Have you ever reached a point where your patterns and behavior become so painfully clear, humiliating and destructive, you begin to lose any sense of apprehension in executing what your gut KNOWS you need to do to move on? I know I have. But for most of my life, every time I thought that I had reached the point of BFF status with my intuition, I’d somehow find myself in a vastly different situation with the same f*cking outcome: heartbreak, misunderstanding, insecurity, jealousy, rejection & abandonment. Years later, I found out that those painful tenets of my consistent outcomes were the pink and red flags of codependency. “Am I codependent?” I thought. I didn’t even know wtf codependency was. All I knew was that I was in pain. It was a pain that I alone could never conquer or extinguish. Why?
If the healing of your pain is completely dependent on the outcomes, decisions, actions & behaviors of other people, circumstances & situations, you completely disqualify yourself from being an active participant in your own healing (& life).
By doing this, you declare to the universe that you’re more comfortable being in a state of dependency than you are being in a state of happiness.
And since the universe always magnetizes us for that in which we emanate, we just keep getting more and more of the same. We abandon ourselves for so long ago that our existence becomes dedicated to micromanaging the “please don’t abandon me,” of everyone & everything we come in contact with.
This was my reality for over 20 years of my life. Wash, rinse (and
painfully HUMILIATINGLY), repeat.
Codependency is a cancer that only unveils its destructive symptoms once it’s gotten to an inoperable stage IV. Up until then, the “am I codependent?” question is often answered with anything that validates the do-gooder, well-intended and true-love-seeking, good samaritan that you are. This isn’t about being a good or bad person. This is about reclaiming the life that you’re lucky enough to be living right now. It’s about identifying your codependency so that you can extinguish the bullsh*t and start to live the life of your dreams.
If you find yourself wondering “am I codependent?” here’s how to know for sure + 3 ways to heal your codependency now:
“Am I Codependent?” Here Are Some Symptoms of Codependence (all of which I’ve lived out to the max):
Having The Disease to Please.
People pleasers are sitting ducks for codependence. You’d rather do what you think will garner the most approval than follow your intuition. Codependents LOVE listening to their hearts, libidos, heads… ANYthing but their gut.
Needing vs. Wanting.
When I was codependent, I didn’t feel like I had any value without someone in my life that needed to need me. This lead to the destructive (and incorrect) assumption that most codependents live by: needing = wanting. Nothing could be further from the truth. We’re so needy ourselves, we start to assume that just because someone needs us, it must mean that they want us. There’s a BIG difference. Why do we go for people that need us? As I’ve said before, it’s like taking a sh*tty insurance policy out on abandonment. As long as we’re with someone that needs us (and subsequently uses/doormats us because we’re people pleasers), we convince ourselves that we’ll never be abandoned because, well, we’re NEEDED. This need/want confusion makes you a prime candidate for relationships with the emotionally unavailable, narcissistic, sociopathic and empathetically bankrupt species. When you confuse being needed with being wanted, you project your low self esteem onto others, forgetting that it will always boomerang right back in your face.
Like Attracts Like.
Who else would fall for, be blind to the red flags of, make excuses for and continue on a relationship with a codependent other than another codependent? One person in the relationsh*t is generally dependent on pleasing & providing, while the other is dependent on “being fed”/consuming. One is the ATM, the other is the cardholder. Both are dependent upon one another to complete the transaction – a transaction that is automated and void of any connection or meaning. What are you left with when you have an unhealthy dependence on relationships? An abuse of power and two individuals who can’t stand on their emotional feet because they can’t be INDIVIDUALS. They’re just 2 junkies – hooked on production and consumption. Guess what? You’re better than that. Codependency is a certain strain of desperation that disallows honing healthy communication skills, having boundaries and ever being able to trust your partner.
You’re a Living, Breathing Embodiment of Charlie Puth’s Superman song.
Codependency is all about trying to save the day. Codependents want to protect and “shield” people from experiencing the emotional distress that they feel on an hourly basis. They love being an emotional Red Cross unit for “victims.” They also try to shield others from experiencing any consequences for their behavior because codependents feel immense guilt. Therein lies the inability to hold others accountable for (& let them OWN) their actions.
Massive Chaos & Complication.
Instead of continuing to ask “Am I codependent?” ask yourself “Do I get caught up in or create unnecessary drama, chaos, disagreements & complication, so that I don’t have to deal with the bigger problem (my inability to have an emotional life of my own, call my own shots and deal with MY self limiting beliefs/issues)?
You’re the Christian Grey of Emotions.
You truly believe that you know exactly what’s best for other others and feel abandoned and rejected when they don’t take your advice. You do this because as long as you can control others (and tie your worth to them subscribing to your preferences), you won’t have to deal with getting control of the one thing that’s massively OUT of control: yourself. This is why so many people who suffer from codependency are super OCD. They need control over the inconsequential because they’re scared and don’t know how to take control of themselves and their lives. They can never take their own advice.
Fear is the foundation of codependency – the fear of not being enough. Acting from a place of fear makes it impossible for the healing emotions of gratitude and true love to ever reside. “Am I codependent?” Having fear (which turns into anger), and bottling it up until there’s an outburst, is indicative of codependency. Codependent individuals also feel very isolated. Because of this, they grow fearful of people (which adds to their low self esteem and diminished confidence). They’re also extremely resentful of authority figures.
Okay so now you’ve answered the “am I codependent?” question.
What Are the 3 Ways to Heal Codependency NOW?
Take an Inventory (& Fire Accordingly).
Take an inventory of the people in your life that need you vs the people that want you. Remember – you are the CEO of YOU. Make the decision to FIRE the individuals in your life that drain you. How do you fire them? Speak with your actions and remain on your white horse. If you can’t think of any people in your life that want you, start wanting a relationship with yourself and work towards that. You’ll eventually start to attract people that genuinely WANT to get to know you (the real you – not the people pleasing banshee).
Set Your Own Standards Instead of Allowing Others to Set Them For You. Wherever You Set Your Standards is Exactly Where the Universe Will Meet You.
At what point is enough ENOUGH? Don’t ever be so desperate to “have somebody,” that you abandon your standards. EVERYONE needs to have limits (aka boundaries). What are yours?
Be Aware of the Mechanism & KNOW Your Biggest Problem.
Once you commit to ridding yourself of codependency in relationsh*ts, know that IT WILL manifest elsewhere because it’s all you know. This leads to your biggest problem: the codependent relationship that you have with fear (which your ego will hold onto for dear life). If you’re codependent, fear needs you to exist and you need fear to have an existence. I spent the majority of my life living and acting from a place of fear and as scary as taking the necessary action to depend on myself was, I ended up meeting my soulmate: ME.
I realized that I was the only one who knew all of my secrets and the only one that had been there through everything. I was the only one who knew every shred of the pain and despite all of the humiliation, insecurity, blame, shame and abuse that I had inflicted upon myself over the years, I.was.still.standing. And at that moment, I realized that I had never given up on myself, even when I was convinced that I had.
If that’s not the definition of a soul mate, I’d like to know what is.
Once you recognize yourself as your own soulmate, you’ll stop desperately depending on someone else to label you as theirs.
Until next time, x Natasha