Author Archives: kberman

Specific Steps to Overcoming Your Codependent Habits

613445810_2249c2d193_zCompassion is the basic learning needed to help others. When you can see and feel the pain others are feeling, you can begin to build a bridge of understanding.

1. What specifically can you do to be free from your codependency? from codependencyinfo.blogspot.com

Hello! A while ago I got a question from a blog-reader on what specifically to do to be free from the codependency. Good question! There is no straight answer. But I’m going to go on and type out some tips here:

Getting rid of your codependency is a process. It is personal development. That’s why it can take time. You can fall back into old behaviors sometimes, and you have to start over again. It can come back slowly or unexpectedly, and then you have to deal with it all over again.

Firstly, what codependent behaviors have you developed? In this post is a long list of symptoms. Read it through and think about what you recognize in yourself and how those behaviors are manifested i your life and relationships to other people. http://codependencyinfo.blogspot.se/2012/09/characteristics-of-co-dependent-behavior.html*

If there are several behaviors that you want to change, a good thing to have in mind is to not try and change all of them at the same time, but one at a time and really focus on them.* If you are having trouble seeing what codependent behaviors you have and how they are manifested, read the list out to a friend (or many friends) and ask them to tell you what they have noticed you might be doing.

Another exercise that you can do is to write diary whenever you fall into codependent behaviors during the day, to be more aware of when they happen. You can also write how you would like to act if a similar situation occurred again.* Make a list for each time you managed to avoid stepping into a codependent behavior and handled the situation in another way. See your accomplishments!

There are self-help groups where you can seek support from others. Clearify also to yourself what benefits are to gain from making a change! What do you gain from working with your codependent behaviors and what do you lose if you don’t and instead keep going like you do now? Those were hopefully some specific things to start out with!

2. From Waking Up: ‘Boundaries‘:

This last week has not been an easy week. I had to set a boundary with a person who was jeopardizing my sobriety. I had to limit contact with this person and limit this person’s contact with my family as well. My husband and daughters are all in recovery as well. We are living life one day at a time and on life’s terms. My sponsor told me I didn’t not need to give reasons for setting boundaries because that would be taking someone else’s inventory and then I would owe an amends. Yet this person took my inventory. This person never thought I was an alcoholic to begin with. I am hurt and saddened by so many of the misunderstandings and lies that were told to me. It gave me a lot of pain. I am so grateful that I was able to process so much of this in my AA meetings, my IOP group, with my therapist and at my Ala-non meeting.

I didn’t have to drink over the grief and loss of this relationship and could instead feel the grief, loss and betrayal and the waves of sadness that are necessary to heal.I am reminded of a scene from the TV show Desperate Housewives where Bree who is a newly recovering alcoholic in this scene has had about as much as she can take from her rebellious teen-aged son. She takes him to a gas station along a remote highway and drops him off with his belongings and some money to get him through until he can find a job and tells him ” I am not strong enough and can no longer have you in my life.”

When that show first aired, I was in the early stages of my alcoholism and thought what Bree had done was horrifying. Now I understand what she meant by not being strong enough to have her son in life. She had to put her sobriety first and her son jeopardized that sobriety. I also have to put my sobriety first and the recovery of my family first and I cannot allow anyone to jeopardize our recovery. Boundaries are necessary in order to heal and move forward. Letting go is necessary to recover from codependency that prevents us from our serenity.

3.  From Terry Gaspard: “Overcoming Codependency: Reclaiming Relationships“:

•Visualize yourself in a loving relationship that meets your needs. If your current relationship is destructive, look at ways you self-sabotage and examine your own behaviors.
•Challenge your beliefs and self-defeating thoughts about your self-worth. You don’t need to prove anything to another person about your worth.
•Notice your negative self-judgments. Be kind and compassionate toward yourself.
•Remind yourself daily that it’s healthy to accept help from others and a sign of strength rather than weakness. Counseling, friendships, and online resources can be tremendously helpful to supporting you in your journey of finding a happy relationship.
•Don’t let your fear of rejection stop you from achieving loving, intimate relationships. Surrender your shield and let others in.

Take a moment to consider that you might be hooked on the feeling that being in love brings pain. If so, you might be self-sabotaging your chances of having a healthy relationship where you can get your needs met. Your fear of being alone or taking a risk, for instance, might be preventing you from finding the love and happiness you deserve. You may be freezing out the opportunity to love someone who can meet you half way. Author Karen McMahon writes, “By focusing on your healing and personal growth you will energetically transform your life and begin to attract others (friends, bosses, companions) who are your emotional equals.

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