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Breaking Free: Unraveling the Chains of Codependency

"A codependent person is one who has let another person's behaviour affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person's behaviour.”

~Melody Beattie

Many of my clients feel confronted when I call out their co-dependent behaviour. There's something quite cringing about admitting this trait. I believe that codependency is on a spectrum and that it shows up in all of us to varying degrees.

Codependency is a complex and often misunderstood issue that can have a profound impact on our lives and relationships. It develops as a result of dysfunctional family dynamics and unhealthy relationship patterns. However, it is possible to break free from the chains of codependency and reclaim our sense of self-worth and autonomy.

Codependency is characterised by a pattern of behaviours where a person excessively relies on others for their sense of self-worth, validation, and happiness. They often have blurred boundaries, struggle with low self-esteem, and prioritise others' needs over their own. It can manifest in various relationships, including romantic partnerships, friendships, and family dynamics.

The first step towards breaking free from codependency is recognising the signs and acknowledging their presence in our lives.

Some common codependency signs include

  • people-pleasing

  • difficulty saying no

  • fear of abandonment

  • excessive caretaking

  • lack of personal boundaries.

Reflecting on our behaviors and patterns can help us gain insight into the ways codependency has influenced our lives.

These are also useful codependent telltale signs:

  • Codependents gain positive feelings from being liked and accepted by other people

  • Codependents focus on helping and fixing other people

  • Codependents believe that everything happening around them is something to do with them

  • Partners are often seen as an extension of the codependent

  • Codependents sense and feel failure if they cannot control all around them

  • Codependents fear rejection and abandonment and will do anything to avoid this

  • Codependents will sacrifice, martyr but show rage when there is no return

Breaking free from codependency requires a journey of healing and self-discovery. It involves developing a strong sense of self, building healthy boundaries, and learning to prioritise our own needs and well-being. Therapy, support groups, and self-help resources can provide valuable tools and guidance in this process. It is essential to explore our own desires, passions, and values, separate from the expectations and approval of others.

As we unravel the chains of codependency, we can begin to cultivate healthier and more fulfilling relationships. This involves learning to communicate assertively, setting boundaries, and surrounding ourselves with individuals who respect and support our growth. It is important to remember that healthy relationships are based on mutual respect, trust, and interdependence rather than dependency.

Embracing Self-Care and Self-Love

Practicing self-care and self-love is crucial in breaking free from codependency. This includes prioritizing our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Engaging in activities that bring us joy, setting aside time for self-reflection and self-care, and nurturing our own needs are essential steps toward reclaiming our autonomy and building a strong foundation of self-love.

Breaking free from the chains of codependency is a courageous and transformative journey. It requires self-reflection, self-compassion, and a commitment to personal growth. By unraveling the patterns of codependency, we can reclaim our sense of self-worth, build healthier relationships, and live a more fulfilling and authentic life.

Remember that you have the power to break free and create a life filled with love, independence, and personal fulfillment.

Setting boundaries in intimate relationships is a required skill, you can join the self-paced Boundaries course: How to Say No Without Apology, and learn how to set and reinforce your boundaries.

Lots of hugs until next time.

Faith xoxo


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