To have a name to attach to the way you live your life, doesn’t make it any easier. Maybe it allows closure or acceptance and eventually healing or transition. I don’t know. I am just putting words on paper to try to map out the emotions so I may better understand what lies before me.
The word of the day: Codependency.
I grew up with my best friend having an alcoholic father. I’ve watched her for the last 30 years live the life of a codependent. She is a fixer. Always taking care of everything and putting herself last. So much of what she is has been based on the success of those around her.
I knew this. I’ve known this for years. So why did I not recognize it in myself? The last several weeks, while locked down in this COVID 19 Quarantine, have caused me to do a lot of self-reflection. Some Good, Some Bad.
I’ve worked out almost daily. I’ve watched my caloric intake and feel great. When able, I’ve sat in the sun and soaked up all the Vitamin D Mother Nature has to offer. Even being sick for a couple of weeks with the Corona Virus is merely a memory. All this time alone and work I’ve put into myself has made huge strides toward loving myself.
So with these moments of self-reflection, I have discovered that I, too, am a codependent. My whole existence has been the wife of…the mother of… and for so long not ME.
I’ve had moments of going off the deep end and mid-life crisis events where I’d search for what or who I am. Even in brief counseling, it was never labeled. But in reality, how much can one solve in two or three sessions. I struggle with myself because most of the time, I think I’m a bitch, yet some people think I’m a complete sweetheart. I have coworkers who fear me and friends who think I’m the most loyal and caring person. I don’t feel that I am worthy of any of these descriptors.
Then there is the passing of my mother. In her last weeks, we had several conversations “What advice do you want me to remember?” I asked her. “Respect your Husband” was her reply. Jokingly I thought to myself….”Really? That’s It?? C’mon, Mom, there’s gotta be something else.” In hindsight, I learned from my mother that as a wife and mom, you lose your identity.
Now in doing so, I’m not saying this loss of identity is codependency. For me, living with someone who struggles with addiction is where the realization lies, that I am a Codependent.
I enable behavior and feel guilty whenever I don’t give in. I take the blame for things that in no way can I be responsible. The word “No” isn’t in my vocabulary. I don’t think it ever has been.
With this healthy transformation, over the last 11 weeks. I am beginning to see value in myself. I can see that I am worthy of much more. I cannot do this alone. It will take time and help. I will fall, but I will always get back up.
Until the addiction can is addressed, can healing begin. As he works on his demons, I must continue to work on myself. Whether he seeks outside help or not, I must continue to work on myself.
I now stand at the bottom of the mountain, looking up, deciding the best course to take to the top. I just pray that this journey is not like Sisyphus, where I push a rock up the side only to start the next day again.
The scary thought is…I’m afraid of heights. Will I be afraid if I ever reach the top??