Finding My Voice, Facing My Truth
co.de.pen.dence: a) tendency to place the needs and wants of others first and to the exclusion of acknowledging one’s own, b) continued investment of self-esteem in the ability to control both oneself and others, c) anxiety and boundary distortions relating to intimacy and separation, d) difficulty expressing feelings, e) excessive worry how others may respond to one’s feelings, f) undo fear of being hurt and/or rejected by others g) self-esteem dependent on approval by others h) tendency to ignore own values and attempt to adhere to the values of others.
Hi, I’m Melanie and I’m a co-dependent.
WOW. That was tough, scary and I am riddled with fear as I type this. However, it is time to face my truth and my truth is that I allow others to define how I feel about myself. I give my power away. I, without others knowing, allow others to control me. I put others needs in front of my own. I am now learning to take my power back, to put my needs first and to define my own feelings about myself. Day by day. Group by group. Reading by reading. I am learning how to find value and worth within myself.
Today I am scared. And as I type this I am on the brink of tears. 1. Because I am opening my heart and my vulnerability up to the world and to all for judgement. 2. Because now the honest truth is known about me & 3. Because I fear what telling the truth means to those nearest and dearest to me. However, this year I promised myself that I would do things that scare me, I would challenge myself and I would be forthright and honest with who I am on this here blog.
Today is my first step in that direction. Today is the day I free my fear, open my heart and crumble into tears as I need to. I no longer carry the secret all on my own. I’ve not done that for a while, but today, I no longer keep the secret from you. The danger is in keeping the secret, if I hide who I am from the world, how can I ever become a productive member of the world. And if I deny who I am, how can I ever actively grow?
There is a pain in being co-dependent. The pain lies in making every decision based on what I believe others think, others want, how others will react, how decisions will impact my relationships and who I may lose if I stand strong and put myself first. There is a pain in understanding myself, why I so desperately fear losing people and why the most unhealthy relationship is the most relatable. There is pain in finding comfort in hurt, in suppressing emotions for the sake of others, in denying desires as they do not match others and in hiding my true self.
This has been a hard fight and in all honesty the fight has just begun. I’ve spent a couple years in weekly therapy and a handful of months attending groups that support my getting healthy and I am finally at a place where I understand that I need to do a lot more work to find self-worth. That I need to do a lot more work to change my subconscious habits. That I need to do a lot more work to maintain healthy relationships. And that I am excited to do the work to get there.
I am blessed to have a close knit circle that know of my pain and fears. I am blessed to have a therapist and a group that acknowledge my fears and support my health. I am blessed to have a family and a boyfriend that have loved me through this process. I am blessed to be releasing my fears and acknowledging my truths. I am blessed to have a kiddo and pups that can make my worst days better with a smile and a kiss. I am blessed to have the opportunity to beat my sickness before it beats me.
Today I continue my journey. Today I make myself a priority. Today I understand I will stumble and fall, but that the courage to pick myself back up and to continue my fight is progress. Today I love myself more for acknowledging who I am out loud. Today I cry because I allow myself to feel my emotions & I smile in feeling. Today I work on not making my happiness someone elses responsibility. Today I take this process one day at a time and know that today’s struggles can be tomorrow’s victories. Today I handle one day, one feeling and one hurdle as it comes. Today I love me just little bit more.
**This post is the hardest one I’ve written yet and I appreciate your support and love**
Jamie-JJanuary 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm
I, too, have battled (and am still battling) this disease. The habit of saying yes so that you don't make waves. Of going along though you know it's not right. Of waking up in the middle of the night and wondering just where the you that you liked has disappeared to and who this shell of a woman is lying in your place next to this stranger who happens tho be the father of your child. I made the choice 2 1/2 years ago to stand on my own. To find ME again. And I did. And I have. And I still am. It's been hard. And scary. And I lost a lot of people before I found MY people. The ones who GET me, down at the core of me. I can tell you it is one baby step after another but you CAN do it. And it starts (this is how I did it, at least) with smiling. Smile when others smile. Then smile when you want to smile. Then giggle a little. And sing at the top of your lungs in the showere. Sing ALL the time. Randomly burst into song. Even if you sound AWFUL. Sing. Because soon your soul will start singing along with your voice. And that sound… Thats the YOU you've been searching for. Good luck. You can do it.
All my prayers,
Quirky ChaosFebruary 2, 2012 at 4:47 am
Jamie – Thank you for your loving words. I appreciate your story and value you taking the time to read mine. Have a beautiful day…