10 Ways To Begin To Find Yourself Again (Codependency)

10 Ways To Begin To Find Yourself Again (Codependency)

  • Christy Diane Farr

“I’ve been reading your articles about codependency. You’re right, I don’t know myself anymore. I eat what my husband wants to eat. I go where my kids want or need to go. I even do a job I don’t love because my boss thought I’d be great at it, and I am but what about me? Where did I go? I don’t even know how to start to find myself. ”

Frankly, it sucks to realize that we’ve wondered this far away from ourselves. This week, I spoke with four different women who are beginning to pick up the pieces. There are a million different paths back to you but here are a few basics to get you started.

1. Google “codependency”.

2. Read anything by Melody Beattie.

3. Adopt these rules (all year around): 5 Rules For Holidays That Don’t Suck.

4. If you are one who can always be counted on for a YES, read this: Why Do I Keep Saying Yes?

5. Consider a 12-step program.

 

6. Hire a life coach who does this kind of work with their clients. (Yes, of course, I am one.)

7. Take a few minutes for yourself every single day… no matter what. (If you don’t know what to do with those few minutes, consider starting with some of the items on this list.)

8. Ask yourself what you want and be still until you hear an answer.

9. Do what your intuition tells you to do. (See number 8.)

10. Take the Ultimate Cody (Codependency) Challenge.

This isn’t a formal thing. It just came through me during a coaching session a while ago, but it works. I’ve done it myself and it’s working for others who do it. Commit to discovering and document something new about you every single day. It can be something new that you never knew before, or something you used to know but that slipped away with all of the focus on parents, children, partners, work, and the world.

It can be foods, music, colors, people, hobbies, books, movies, the temperature of the house, or the way you cut your hair. It might be something you love to do, like acting or dancing, or something you want to know more about, like being a vegetarian or learning a new language.

It doesn’t matter what it is. Just notice you, without the influence of others because it’s not any one thing that slipped away while you were busy reacting the world around you. It’s a million little things. And if you take a moment day after day to reconnect with your truth, your impulses, your preferences, your favorites, you’ll find your way back home to you. I promise.

I’ve challenged clients to do this every day for a week to just get started, a month to go a little further, and I had one client who did this for a year. It’s easy and fun. You can share it with others or keep it to yourself. If you’re feeling a little lost, or incredibly lost, this challenge will carry you right back to the one you were born to be… one simple thing at a time.

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Grieving and Recovery

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving and Recovery

BY: Heather Schichtel

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I sit on the park bench eating cheesy popcorn and watching young children on the playground. I am enjoying the day, the sun on my face, and the smell of fresh grass.

Randomly I think, I wish Samantha could run and play with them.

And there it is, the cold hand in my cheesy popcorn, the presence taking up too much space on the park bench, blocking my sunshine. My Grief.

“Really?” I say. “I didn’t invite you. Get your hand out of my cheesy corn.” Instead, I end up having to scoot over, making more room for My Grief. Grief comes and goes when I least expect it. I’ll be in my car, driving along listening to music and I’ll catch it in the corner of my eye, kicking the back of my seat.

“Hey Heather.”

“Aww crap, what are you doing here?”

“It’s been a while. I thought I would stop in for a visit.”

“Well, make sure you fasten your seatbelt and be quiet. My daughter’s sleeping and I don’t want you to wake her up.”

“Can I change the station?”

“No.”

“Can I play with the window?”

“No, you can just come along for the ride. 

So we go on the ride together, fingernails thumping on the dashboard as a reminder of who decided to show up today. Yes, I am quite aware of your presence, you don’t need to remind me.

Grief’s appearance used to rattle me, send me into the bathroom crying hysterically. Render me useless for a day. Sometimes it still does, but as Grief has been established as a consistent visitor in our household, we have drawn up a contract. We have an agreement.

As the mom of two children, one who died at birth and one who has a progressive disease, I will grieve. I will grieve for many dreams that will not come to fruition. I will grieve for a life I thought would be different.

I will grieve at times. And I will not grieve at times. I will laugh at times. I will not laugh at times.

Grief can come into our house but is not allowed to stay. If allowed to stay, it would devour the corners of our house. It would suck up the oxygen in the room. It would consume me.

And that is not acceptable.

Grief tends to run within the Special Needs community I am a part of; I bump into him quite often, even visiting other families….

“How are you?”

“My daughter has pneumonia. She is in the hospital on a ventilator.”

I look around and see Grief, sitting on the couch, smugly picking at dirty fingernails.

And I meet those who sadly keep very, very close company with this unwanted guest. Grief hangs over them like a shroud. It is hard to laugh. It is hard to love, because in copious amounts Grief tends to ooze; like a nasty septic wound… draining life from us.

But we still have to laugh, we still have to play, we still have to live… life carries on.

I cannot, at the end of my life say… well, it was long, hard and I was sad.

Surprisingly, our relationship is not based entirely on conflict. My interactions with Grief have allowed me to see myself raw, unprotected, and exposed. At times I feel that I have lost my skin… yes, here I am. Be careful, that’s my beating heart you see there. Do not touch.

I am no longer afraid to approach others regarding their own tragedies. I bring up the tough conversations. How is your mother? I am sorry for your loss. I am so sorry your daughter is in the hospital. I hug, I cry, I listen. Not because I am an über-sensitive person but because I know Grief sometimes travels alone except when he travels with his favorites… Isolation and Loneliness.

Sometimes Grief shows up at a party… drinks my wine, eats my last bite of fudgy dessert. It’s an annoyance really, but since Grief is not a constant life guest, I have learned to tolerate the time we spend together. Sometimes we even enjoy an introspective moment or two.

We have set the rules and sometimes they are followed. We cannot have a permanent impy, uninvited guest… we don’t have the room… not in our lives, not in my heart… life is too short and despite the bad things that can happen… life is too sweet.