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I'm Codependent

And That's Not a Bad Thing

I've always known that I'm a bit clingy. Maybe a tad controlling too. I like to make a plan and I like everything to go according to that plan. However, I only recently realized that there's a bit more to my strange habits than just being a bit quirky. I'm codependent. Here's why that's not a bad thing.

Codependents are often described as controlling. We try to fix everyone else's problems while neglecting our own. After giving up our heart and soul in an attempt to "rescue" someone, we aren't appreciated. We become resentful because no one thanks us. This resent can manifest as passive-aggressiveness or straight up rage, causing arguments in our relationships. We don't understand why those we love don't live their lives the way we would. Yet, despite all of this, we continue to try to repair other people's issues. It's a vicious cycle. We are walking, talking contradictions. We crave the approval of others even though our behaviors will give an opposite result. We feel like those around us are not capable of taking care of themselves. We get so caught up in others' lives that we forget to live our own. We're tired of yo-yoing between sympathy and resentment. We're hurting.

It can be difficult to see codependents as good people. Some may even say we're sabotaging ourselves and our relationships. Here's the thing though: All of our bad qualities stem from good intentions that have been overdone. Codependents are naturally caregivers. We don't want those around us to hurt. We're extremely generous. Our good qualities are endless but the most important thing to understand is this: There is nothing wrong with us. Every single negative behavior we exhibit has its roots in a positive personality trait. We don't know when to stop. We give and give and give without even realizing that we're killing ourselves.

Many codependents are like this because of a trauma. Of course we're controlling and overbearing. After being through an abandonment, addiction, assault or any other trauma, wouldn't you be too? This is the only way we know how to cope.

The only way we can heal and repair our relationships is to realize when to stop. Saying "no" to something you really don't want to do is not selfish. It's empowering and compassionate to ourselves. Realizing that we are not responsible for other people's problems is freeing! Understanding that people are not required to live the same way you do is soothing.

When you stop worrying about other people so much, you can finally love and care for yourself. So take a breath. Remind yourself that no one else can make you feel anything. Love yourself, emotionally and physically. Your mind has been waiting for it.

Sticker #1 by Sierra Houk

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