Post Therapy Thoughts // Understanding Codependency

Heading into my session, I had something weighing on me, and it wasn’t until I sat down and blurted it out that I realized it was affecting me so much. Over the weekend, I had found out some disturbing updates on a former boyfriend and while he hasn’t been in my life in years, I was worried about him.

Discussing it in more detail, I explained to my therapist just how concerned I was and how I felt compelled to reach out and help. With this blog and writing about mental health on a daily basis, I truly believe that I’ve started to lead with my heart more. I care unconditionally.

In the middle of my story, my therapist suddenly said, “that’s codependency.” And it hit me. That’s what it is.

Let me be clear, codependency is not equivalent to kindness. It is in my personality to be caring and kind, but what my therapist explained was that codependency feeds off of this quality.

It pulls you in, weighs you down. A whirlwind, hurricane swirl of that intense desire to be needed by another human. To make an impact in someone’s life. Their choices, their self worth.

Most people have this notion that codependency means you’re “addicted” to each other in a relationship, but it can mean that you’re addicted to helping. Always the cheerleader, encourager, or even mother in any relationship, you are the healer. They come to you for solace, comfort, and contentment.

My overwhelming desire to help others has always led me down a difficult path when it comes to relationships and men. Picking slightly broken people with addictive personalities, I believe I subconsciously had the desire to be needed, to help others heal. It was in this session that I learned I need to let that feeling fade.

My therapist truly understood my emotions, because with her own profession, she wants to help everyone heal – but she can’t. I can’t help everyone, she says. People like her and I, who fully understand how rewarding and fulfilling the other side of pain can be, just want others to see it too but sometimes, they don’t. She went on to describe how frustrating and emotional it can be to see someone’s self worth and have them be so blind to it, and that struck a cord with me.

I just want him to see his worth. That’s what I immediately thought. My previous boyfriend wasn’t the best boyfriend I’ve ever had, but he’s a good person. He has worth, more than he knows. More than anything in the world, my codependency wanted to help him realize his meaning, his purpose but in reality, I have no control over whether he sees it.

Realizing my hurt and confusion over this new notion, my therapist told me how she handles it.

“Once we get to a level where we can no longer affect change with another person, we must learn to trust in something bigger than ourselves. I pray, but it can be anything you feel comfortable doing – meditation, sending out positive vibes, etc. Let go and let the universe take over.”

These words not only gave me comfort, they made me feel like I was doing something for him, anything. While it might be small, I truly believe that sending out positive energy of love, self worth, and kindness can have an affect on that person.

I’m still struggling with the realization, but it’s crucial that we embrace this concept that we cannot help everyone. Even my close friend, who is also a healer in her personality, told me that it’s important to know when to step back and heal ourselves. Learning to protect our hearts rather than pour them out to others can be more beneficial than sharing it with someone who is deaf to the impact. My therapist gave me a list of books with topics surrounding codependency, and I plan on researching them and reading a few. I’ll be sure to give you all updates on those!

Let’s save our strength and compassion for the right people, and for ourselves. We can’t help everyone, but we can control how we use our kindness towards others. 

 

 

 

Do you have issues with codependency? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

7 thoughts on “Post Therapy Thoughts // Understanding Codependency

  1. Amanda

    I love this blog post. I can so relate with picking slightly broken people with addictive personalities. Do you think it’s because we just want to help them and it makes us feel needed?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had never thought about codependency this way before. I know that I’ve done mental checks for myself to see if I’m becoming too codependent on someone, but the idea of always wanting to help never seemed like an issue to me.

    This is definitely something I’ll be mentioning in my next therapy session!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this wonderful comment, Maddi! Yes, I always had that idea of codependency being about that as well but my therapist explained it in this way and it made such sense to me.

      Yes do bring it up! Let me know what happens 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fullheartandsoulliving

    Great post as always! I think it is a struggle to know when it is codependency or not. I do not believe I have issues of codependency, or at least I have never been told. I do have a passion for helping others, but the way I think of it is, if I can help one person, then that is what matters. I have learned how to set boundaries because people can take advantage of our kindness and “wanting to help.” It is important as a healer to protect our energy and ourselves. I look forward to learning about the books that you stated.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: What Do I Do When Someone Doesn't Want My Help? | My Bitter Insanity

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