Have you ever missed something so intensely that you either panic when it’s gone, or you try to devise ways to ensure that it never goes? Sometimes untangling from co-dependency can generate a similar feeling.
Codependency can produce a heady feeling of acceptance and worthiness or shame and guilt. Like any other habit that involves a big rush of negative emotions, there are side effects.
Here are some things you might notice as you try to leave a co-dependent situation.
Comfort eating –
When the people that relied on you are gone, A feeling of worthlessness might accompany their departure. Sometimes this feeling can be assuaged with food. Comfort eating is widely used to manage emotions that are both negative and positive. It can be the thing that is practised to pick you up when you feel down or balance moods after the rush of ‘good’ feelings.
Examine your decisions; this will help you identify the event that will trigger low or high feelings. Identifying patterns will help put you in control and in a place where you can initiate change.
A co-dependent will move from one friendship to the next without taking time to heal. Moving can happen because you are addicted to the feeling you get when the new relationship starts. Or the impression that you get from the chase. It might make you feel in control. However, when the relationship ends or when that initial phase wears off you are left with the same feeling of worthlessness that triggered the hunt for new attachments.
There are many reasons why we develop co-dependency.
It is also important to note that though this is something you are trying to heal from as an adult, as a child it was beneficial and may have kept you safe or protected.
You may have grown up a home where you were the scapegoat your way to avoid being targeted was to meet the needs of your abuser. Only then would you get protection or any sense of safety.
Additionally, when you’ve lived your whole life enjoying the feeling of being needed, it can be challenging to make the distinction between what is co-dependency and what is a genuine cry for help. If in doubt develop the habit of questioning your motives. Ask ‘why am I doing this?’ ‘What do I hope to gain from helping’? The answers will help you make the distinction.
Three tips that can begin to help you heal from co-dependency
Learn to accept you as you are today. Not after healing, or weight loss or when you become a better mother, wife, sister or friend. What you consider ‘good’ might be constructed in your mind and not necessarily right.
Tell yourself what’s right about you today, now. Notice what you do well and celebrate. Admire your good traits and make those your primary focus.
Make sure you have effective boundaries in place. Boundaries are healthy.
Without boundaries, it is impossible to identify when a relationship is co-dependent or when patterns such as; I’m relying on you to depend on me shows up.
If you would like to learn how to grow healthy boundaries and learn self-acceptance go HERE