Do You Feel Overwhelmed, Unloved and Powerless to Find Fulfillment and Acceptance?
Do you feel as though you are always giving to your loved ones, but no one supports or takes care of you? Does it seem like something is preventing you from forming healthy, lasting relationships? Maybe you feel certain that something is wrong with you, and you wonder if you might be broken and unlovable. Perhaps it has been years since you enjoyed any intimate contact. Or, maybe your life orbits around your family members, coworkers and friends, and you are always stretching yourself as far as you can go to meet their needs and desires, then judging yourself for falling short. You may feel as though you’ve lost sight of your values, hopes and goals because you are so busy taking care of everyone around you. Does it seem, no matter how hard you try to connect with others, that no one truly loves you or even likes you? Do you wish could release guilt, shame, resentment and fear and develop deep self-respect and healthy relationships?
Codependency can be a painful, disheartening and frustrating experience. Maybe it seems as though you are fated to sacrifice yourself for others, and you feel increasingly exhausted, unappreciated and angry about the way you are taken for granted. Still, you might worry that your loved ones could not get by without you, or that something horrible will happen if you aren’t there to offer your time, energy and emotional and/or financial support. If a loved one is struggling with addiction, you may live in constant, anxious anticipation about what challenge you will have to face next. Perhaps you have been neglecting responsibilities in your life because you are dedicating so much time to caring for your loved one. As you strain to support your addicted parent, sibling, partner, child or friend, you might find that your other relationships are falling apart, your job performance is suffering and your health “physical, mental and emotional” is declining under the weight of stress and worry. Maybe you feel utterly drained and doubtful that you can make a change, even though you don’t want to keep living this way.
Many People Struggle With Codependency Throughout Their Lives
If you find yourself resentful and simultaneously overwhelmed by guilt that you are letting yourself and your loved ones down, you are not alone. Men and women who grew up in homes shaped by alcoholism, addiction, violence, instability or absent guardians know all too well what it is to like to feel hurt. It’s unknown exactly how many adults living today were exposed to childhood abuse, neglect or trauma. However, these experiences leave their mark and lead to negative self-beliefs; addictions; feelings of guilt, shame and hopelessness; and fears of intimacy and abandonment. Men and women with these experiences tend to have significant personal histories of isolation and dysfunctional and/or failed relationships.
Codependency means that you have trouble maintaining boundaries or separating your needs, goals and sense of self-worth from your relationships. You may feel as though you need to rescue or “fix” your loved ones and believe that you owe them everything you can give. When it comes to addiction, this can lead to enabling behaviors, such as posting bail or taking care of housing or financial needs. As time goes on, you may feel as though you are being taken advantage of and forced into the role of full-time disciplinarian and caretaker. You might feel burdened by your loved ones’ problems and blame them for robbing you of your life, but also fear what might happen both to them and to you if you took a step back. Regardless of how codependency is manifesting in your life, a qualified therapist can help you stop living for others and start discovering yourself.
With Codependency Recovery, You Can Create a New, Freer and Fulfilling Life
Codependency recovery is one of the most talked about issues today, and fortunately, psychotherapy is ideally suited to helping people struggling with this issue. At the core of codependency are shame and an irrational belief about one’s identity and one’s worth. Adults who grew up in homes where addiction or other traumatic events played out learned to think of themselves in ways that just aren’t true. While these early beliefs may seem simplistic or irrelevant, performing a simple review of your life can reveal how they have framed your understanding of yourself while shaping important, life-changing decisions, from jobs to relationships. You may be holding yourself back, entering unhealthy relationships and recreating harmful experiences, thoughts and emotions over and over again. Psychotherapy can help you identify and release the old beliefs that have been keeping you from living your best life.
In sessions, you can begin to recognize the source of your feelings of shame, guilt and low self-esteem and replace them with confidence, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. Together, we can look at the ways in which a history of addiction, abuse and/or neglect has placed you into a victim, rescuer and persecutor role in your relationships, including the one you have with yourself. As you address the buried forces impacting your worldview and choices, codependency recovery can help you create new and healthy beliefs about yourself.
For over 20 years, I have offered support and guidance to individuals struggling with codependency. I am also in recovery from addiction and an adult child of alcoholics. For many years, I have personally and professionally sought techniques and solutions to help others and myself move from feeling powerless over their problems to finding the power within. In codependency recovery sessions, my approach is focused on removing the blocks preventing you from making positive, sustainable life choices. You can express your thoughts, feelings, worries and desires without fear of judgment or blame. I am highly interactive and attentive during sessions, frequently offering supportive guidance and exploring new strategies that can help you cope with your unique challenges.
Whether the effects of a loved one’s addiction, neglect or abuse has lingered from your childhood or is actively impacting you today, there is hope for healing, relief and release. You don’t have to continue sacrificing your health and happiness. With therapy, you can learn to set and maintain the boundaries you need to take care of yourself and build the career, relationships and life you crave.
Now you know that codependency recovery may be of help, but still have some questions or concerns…
My parents are responsible for all my problems today.
It is easy to see how the adults in your childhood contributed to your current suffering. Unfortunately, blaming parents for where we are at today keeps us in victim consciousness, which is all about avoiding responsibility for our life experience. Perhaps you are afraid of taking control of your life and believe you can only make things worse. Or, you may still carry anger and hurt about the past and find it difficult to let go. An experienced counselor can challenge you to grow beyond victim consciousness and help you heal from what has been holding you back.
Therapy can’t help. I’m too broken.
Carrying the baggage of the past is a heavy weight that only gets harder to carry the older we get. Releasing grief, anger, resentment, sadness, fear and shame is possible. In codependency recovery, we will work from and build on your strengths. Sometimes, what seems like a sign of brokenness might actually be a sign of strength. Over the course of therapy, you may feel your old self returning or perhaps, a new and resilient self emerges. The more baggage you release, the freer you are to be your beautiful and magnificent self.
I’m not the one with a problem.
You may look at your life and conclude you were dealt a “bad hand.” Fortunately, you have more control over your life than perhaps you realize. The first step toward resolving codependency is recognizing that you are the common denominator in all of your experiences, both good and bad. This is a fundamental principle on which all personal healing work occurs: personal responsibility. When you take this step in its entirety, many doors can open to you, creating new pathways for positive change, success and self-care.
Codependency Recovery Can Transform Your Life
I invite you to email me for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I’m happy to answer any questions you have codependency recovery or my practice.