Anxiety is a worst case fear gone worse. As a mental health dysfunction, anxiety is the way that fears become worse fears, built upon even worse fears. Labeled as worry warts, fearful, and other characterizations, people who are anxious can’t actually regulate the way they experience fear. Like an instantaneous snowball, one small lightning strike of realization can turn into a category five hurricane. Anxiety is created when fear creates more fear. Living a fear-based live isn’t functional, often blocking the way for peace, serenity, love, and acceptance.
Acceptance is not a key characteristic of those who struggle with codependency. A focus on trying to fix, change, solve, and control other people’s problems isn’t acceptance. In fact, it’s the opposite. Anxiety can be caused immediately when there is no acceptance. Calm is the effect produced by acceptance. Acceptance is the antidote to anxiety. What has happened has happened. What is, is. What will be, will be. Codependents live in an alternate reality in which they have the power to change people, places, things, and situations. Not being able to do so, or losing sight of the fantasy that they can do so, causes anxiety. However, that anxiety isn’t completely unwarranted. Codependency is typically created by living in a dysfunctional home, where there might have been abuse, alcoholism, or other causes of trauma. As a result, there are different kinds of anxiety caused in codependency.
Anxiety in codependency can be caused by a desire to avoid the feelings of abandonment. Abandonment is not always an act of someone physically leaving. People can emotionally disappear, be socially rejecting, and more. Abandonment can be as obvious as a parent leaving the house never to return, or a trusted friend betraying trust without explanation. Codependent behaviors like clinging, enabling, and controlling can come from the anxiety of being abandoned or having to live through that painful experience again.
“If this, then that” these statements are called “conditional statements”. Codependents believe “if” they do “this”, then “that” will happen. For example, if they don’t control their spouses, then their spouses will drink. If they don’t please everyone, they will be abandoned. If they aren’t perfect, they will be rejected. Living with constant fear of losing control can cause anxiety.
Recovery from codependency needs to include healthy lifestyle changes which promote balance, strength, and serenity. At LEAD Recovery Center, our transitional care programs help those recovering from codependency find the independence they need in life through leadership, mentorship, and real life adventures. For information, call us today at 800-380-0012.