Lose Codependency and Win Your Independence
Do you wonder if you suffer codependency? Are you dependent on someone or something else that is undependable? Are your identity, value and purpose dependent on the approval someone else? If so, you qualify as codependent. The good news is that you can lose codependence and win your independence.
When you give another person the power to define you, then you also give them the power to control you. ~ Leslie Vernick
Codependency: It's More About You Than Any Other Person
The traits of codependency have long revealed themselves. Even dating back to the time of antiquity, codependency can be found in the romantic tragedy, William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in which the couple was convinced their relationship was more significant than their lives.
In today’s contemporary times, the word codependency is often loosely used. So much so it has become a buzzword for many to describe an unhealthy preoccupation with "something." In the most basic terms, codependency is a learned emotional and behavioral condition that affects your capacity to have a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship. It is an addiction that causes you to strongly regard a relationship more highly than you, often times neglecting self in the process. Therefore, it’s less about the other person and more about you.
Where Does Codependency Come From?
Often times, codependency stems from family dynamics (Codependency in Families with Mental Illness and Addiction). In her book Codependency for Dummies, Darlene Lancer shared some of the common traits of codependency:
- Not liking or accepting yourself (Learn To Like Yourself)
- Feeling you're inadequate in some way
- Thinking you’re not quite enough (What To Do When You Don't Feel Good Enough)
- Concerned with what other people think about you (How To Stop Worrying About What Others Think Of You)
- Pleasing others and giving up yourself (How To Stop Being A People Pleaser)
- Difficulty setting boundaries, expressing your thoughts and feelings, saying “No” or stopping abuse (Setting Functional Boundaries and Boundaries Help Overcome the Victim Mentality)
- Lack of assertiveness about your needs (Lack of assertiveness in relationships)
- Perfectionism (How To Stop Being A Perfectionist)
Four A’s to Winning Independence From Codependence
Codependency can keep you from living a life of joy, personal fulfillment and happiness. Lose your codependence, take charge of the change you wish to see and strive to win your independence. Darlene Lancer explains, recovery from codependency takes time and offers the four A’s-game plan to get you started. If you truly desire to change, you can begin the journey to winning your independence from codependence with these four steps:
- Abstinence: This is essential to recover from codependency. The ultimate goal is to turn your attention to yourself and do things that are primarily motivated by your values, needs and feelings rather than someone else’s.
- Awareness: You have to be aware that denying your feelings and emotional needs and eroding your self-esteem by negative self-criticism are destructive habits and start reversing that behavior.
- Acceptance: You have to begin to come to terms with and accept the reality of your condition. This opens the doors of possibility, allows change to occur and new ideas and energy emerge that may have been stifled before because of self-blame and fighting reality
- Action: Faith and insight are important but without deeds they are useless. In order to mature and elevate yourself beyond codependent behavior, self-awareness and self-acceptance must be joined with new behavior. This may mean doing something new or different you have not tried before and making and keeping commitments to yourself.
The Four A's approach to losing codependency and gaining independence by Darlene Lancer will get you started on the right path. It's up to you to take the walk needed to follow that path. There is freedom ahead. Go get it.
Independence is a heady draught, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more. ~ Maya Angelou
D.Ed., S. (2014, July 5). Lose Codependency and Win Your Independence, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingablissfullife/2014/07/lose-codependency-and-win-your-independence
Author: Sydney Savion, D.Ed.
Signed, Helpless in West Central Illinois.