Well, it’s official. I suffer with codependency.
Hi, I’m Dan and I’m co-dependent.
I made the effort to get up early this morning, well more like on time, but early for me at the moment, and went to my first local Co-DA meeting.
I’ve had my suspicions that I am co-dependent for some time, but I’ve never really known enough about it to be able to say with any certainty that I am for sure.
One thing that I think has always been in my favour is my ability to keep an open mind.
As I sat there at the beginning of the meeting and we started to read the introductions etc. I could relate to every single line on the pages. The more I listened throughout the meeting the more I realised that this is the root cause of everything.
I came home and decided to start reading one of the books I had been recommended about facing codependency. I am home. I have found the root cause of everything.
As a co-dependent, I didn’t know who I was and I couldn’t connect with my own reality, so I manifested my reality through others:
- I was motivated to do things in the service of others, never for the service of myself
- I had no self worth or self-esteem and constantly struggled to justify my own existence
- Nothing I did was ever good enough. Even when I did something that I thought was ‘perfect’ I knew I could do better next time
- For my entire adult life I have been unaware that I had my own needs and wants
In a nutshell I lived my life for others and put their needs and wants first.
Because I could never find solace or lasting peace from trying to ‘fix’ others I was always left wanting. Because my self-esteem was based on external factors I developed what we called ‘other-esteem’. When the external factors didn’t go as planned or disappeared completely, I was left feeling empty, numb and void.
These feelings would trigger my addictions to manifest themselves as they did and left unchecked I would progressively become more and more depressed.
I was in a constant state of depression because I had no self-esteem or self worth of my own, but on occasions I would get huge highs because I was feeling fulfilled from the service I was providing for others. In essence I had a noble cause that gave my life purpose. These highs and lows were what I was later to be diagnosed as bi-polar 2. I’m not bi-polar but I experienced bi-polar tendencies because I couldn’t live a life of moderation. Occasionally I would have extreme highs that I would call mania, but looking back now, these were just periods of so called ‘freedom’ as I experienced myself for the first few times. I was actually motivated to do things for myself, but because I wasn’t aware of what had changed in my perception of reality, I couldn’t maintain that awareness. When it went, so did all my self worth… again. This was actually just another form of delusion because I wasn’t consciously aware of it.
I don’t, as yet, have any answers, but I now know which questions I’m supposed to ask. It feels like I’ve been pissing in the wind for the last 5 years, aimlessly searching for something, only to find that the thing I was looking for wasn’t out there. It was in here all the time!
There was a hole in my soul and I tried to fill it with ‘stuff’ rather than accept it was actually my conscious-self. I was in denial and I was living a life based on a delusion.
Peace be with you all.