WHAT IS CODEPENDENCY?
The following is the Celebrate Recovery Codependency Description
– My good feelings about who I am stem from being loved by you
– My good feelings about who I am stem from receiving approval from you
– Your struggle affects my serenity. My mental attention focuses on solving your problems or
relieving your pain.
– My mental attention is focused on pleasing you.
– My mental attention is focused on protecting you.
– My self-esteem is bolstered by solving your problems
– My self-esteem is bolstered by relieving your pain
– My own hobbies and interests are put aside. My time is spent sharing your interests and
– Your clothing and personal appearance are dictated by my desires, as I feel you are a reflection
– Your behavior is dictated by my desires, as I feel you are a reflection of me
– I am not aware of how I feel. I am aware of how you feel
– I am not aware of what I want- I ask what you want. I am not aware- I assume
-The dreams I have for my future are linked to you
– My fear of rejection determines what I say or do
– My fear of your anger determines what I say or do
– I use giving as a way of feeling safe in our relationship
– My social circle diminishes as I involve myself with you
– I put my values aside in order to connect with you
– I value your opinion and way of doing things more than my own
– The quality of my life is in direct relation to the quality of yours
Do any of those strike a chord with you? Almost all of them did when I first started on my road to recovery after my divorce. One of my big “Aha!” moments was in Walmart buying soda. (I learn a lot about myself in Walmart.) I was reaching for Pepsi because that is what he liked. I like Coke, but had not bought it in years because “I value your opinion and way of doing things more than my own”. But, we were divorced now I could pick Coke. Do you see how codependent I was, even in the small stuff? But, there I was on the road to recovery, trying to figure out who I was. I had totally lost myself in my codependency. (By the way, I don’t drink soda anymore.)
Codependency to me is losing yourself in a relationship and making that relationship more important than yourself. If you are at it long enough you don’t know who you are anymore. You certainly don’t know who you are in Christ. That relationship with the other person is more important. It does not have to be with a spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. It could be with your children or your job.
So, a broken heart because of my codependency was the struggle I worked through during my first two times in Celebrate Recovery. It occurs to me that I have been in Celebrate Recovery for almost 10 years now. That logically seems like a long time. You would think that I am “recovered” by now. But, spiritually for me, it is just a drop in the vast bucket of my life. You see, by the time I had decided to give my life to Christ, I had been totally immersed in the world for over 40 something years. The Lord’s done a lot in me and through me over the last 10 years. It has been exciting! But, He has a long way to take me. Some days I am totally up for the challenge, but some days I know I dig in my heels like a little child throwing a temper tantrum.
I am glad the Lord only asks me to work on one struggle at a time. If I looked at all the character flaws I have, I would be overwhelmed and would give up before I start.
At Momentum Church we are starting our Freedom Ministry which goes through the Celebrate Recovery curriculum. I will be working on my food addiction on my next go around in the Celebrate Recovery curriculum with Hope, who will be facilitating a Women’s Freedom Ministry Step Study on Wednesday evenings. If you are a woman and struggle with anything, I hope to see you there. We were never meant to do life alone.
2 Corinthians 12:9- “But he said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.”