Codependency is making our lives about other people. How other people act, feel, behave, what they think about us, all defines how we feel about ourselves. Recovering from codependency can feel as difficult as recovering from a substance use disorder. As codependents, we use other people to satisfy a need within us. We need people to validate our existence, we need people to define our self-worth. Through caretaking, manipulating, controlling, people pleasing, and many other behaviors, we find ways to try and coerce people into becoming what we need them to be- what we cannot be ourselves. Reclaiming the self is the absolute essence of codependency recovery.
People who recover from drug and alcohol addiction face a similar struggle. For most people, drugs and alcohol became a part of who they were. Their identity was wrapped up in their inability to define themselves, define their needs, and meet their needs on their own. They came to depend on drugs and alcohol for everything they need, and eventually, everything they didn’t.
Codependency recovery can be painful. We let people get inside our skin on such an intimate level that it can be hard to let them go. Called “detaching with love” we learn to create healthy boundaries and definitions of where we start and other people end and vice versa. Here are some suggestions for getting through codependency recovery and treatment.
Create A Life Of Your Own
Recovery from codependency is the opportunity to live your own life. You’re working hard through treatment and therapy to find out what you like, what you don’t like, what you want, and what you don’t want. Instead of turning to others, you have to start taking action on your own. Do the things you want to do for yourself. Try something new you haven’t thought you’d be able to do. Take care of yourself in healthy ways. Look instructions up on the internet. Find a new hobby. Create a life that is uniquely yours. You deserve that.
Set Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are the way you define who you are and who someone else is without getting the two confused. “No” is a two letter boundary which says it all. Other boundaries might be more simple. For people pleasers, boundaries often mean saying No more often and not taking on as many responsibilities.
Mindfully Notice When You’re Being Controlled
Spending your time, energy, and emotions on controlling other people doesn’t actually put you in control. On the contrary, it means you are being controlled by someone else’s behaviors. For recovery, you only really need to take care of yourself. When you notice your thoughts obsessing, your anxiety flaring up, and your mind strategizing about someone else, take a mindful moment to pause and let it go.
Codependency recovery deserves all the same clinical care and attention as other issues. LEAD Recovery Center wants to show you how to have the time of your life by giving you experiential life therapy through adventure and immersive learning. For more information on our extended care programs, call 1-800-380-0012 today.