Sometimes it is a wide open prairie and many can walk along together, some boosting others up on their shoulders, stopping and waiting for the slow ones to catch up, strongest ones taking up the rear so no one gets left behind…
Sometimes we will reach a platform of sorts and will be able to turn around and face the climbers behind who are in various places on the mountainside and some who have not even started the climb and we can speak words of wisdom that echo down the mountainsides into the canyons for all to hear…
But, always, when it is time, we turn and continue the climb upwards…
Sometimes there may be a rocky place where we feel like we are stuck and the trek up looks too steep for us to handle and we have to seek the only one who can help us for a time until He reveals or we finally see the way of escape that was always, always there…
There’s something in the air today, this morning, breakthrough. I sense it, don’t see it, but it is here, I feel it.
There is a new freedom here in my home that I cannot see with my eyes or hear with my ears but it is real.
After hearing Sunday’s morning message, I became really irritated with everything and all circumstances around me and was able to pinpoint a place that I needed to again turn over to God and give Him full freedom to deal with. It is hard to do that when all of my life I have carried certain things on my shoulders. I am talking about decades that I have carried these things, not just a couple of years. I would give them to God and then take them back, give them to Him and take them back, give them to Him and take them back, sometimes all in the same breath if you can comprehend that.
Codependency is such a hard thing to put a stop to with people when we care about them, sometimes more than ourselves, and we have no control over their lives. When we are Jesus followers, there is a fine line, or boundary that we have to be careful not to cross. We, as Jesus followers take on an identity of self-sacrifice.
Those of us who have been codependent have to stop and check ourselves occasionally. Here are some of the questions that we should ask ourselves:
- Am I comparing my insides to other people’s
- Am I a people pleaser, do I have a hard time saying no?
- Do I feel responsible for other people’s feelings or blame others for my own?
- Do I feel threatened by other people’s opinions or feelings if they do not agree with my own?
- Do I need people to behave in a certain way in order for me to feel ok?
- Do I have trouble communicating my thoughts, feelings and needs?
- Am I afraid of being rejected?
- Do I blame the ways that I am feeling and acting on other people?
- Do I have a problem being open and close in an intimate (not sexual) relationship?
- Am I feeling angry, resentful, depressed, hopeless, anxious or numb?
If you have ever had an addict in your life and you have answered yes to one or more of these questions it may mean that you are codependent. Don’t feel bad, there are many who have gone before you and many who are dealing with it now. It is not a death sentence. This is something to gauge who you are and to help you get better, recover.
I believe that it is harder for mothers to separate themselves from codependency with their children than anyone else. Our children were formed our wombs, we are nurturers…we take on full responsibility for their welfare for their whole lives. The decisions that we make are always based on what we think is for our children’s best interests.
If one of our children becomes an addict in any way, whether it be to drugs, alcohol, selfishness or some other tangibly addicting thing we still have that desire to love unconditionally, nurture, be a caretaker, fix the problem if at all possible. At some point the line is crossed and we start realizing that something is wrong. We start feeling like a puppet on a string. We start feeling that life is being sucked out of us as if we have an open wound that will not stop bleeding.
The giving that we are doing becomes expected even when it leaves us in need and bleeding. There comes a time when the phone calls become one-sided. When it is codependency on the givers parts and the takers are just not getting it. Why? Because the role that they have played in this insane way of living is not to give but to take and blame the one who gives.
Sometimes the codependent recognizes it first and stops and sometimes the addict does. The addict will tell the codependent to stop but the codependent insists on the addict accepting the giving…or the codependent will stop giving and the addict will mistakenly decide that the codependent has withdrawn their love, abandoned.
Who has the biggest problem?
It becomes a form of insanity.
One of the definitions that most 12 step programs have adopted of “Insanity” is ‘doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.’
So, now I realize this and I decide that I may be part of my problem.
I can do something about it if I admit that I have a problem. I can first pray. I can find help. There is no excuse for not getting help with all of the resources that are available in this age of technology.
All you have to do is type codependent in the window of any search engine and pages upon pages will come up. There are books, support groups (Al-Anon) and counselors. There are many, forms of Christian help available if you prefer that. If one thing does not work, then try another. I have found that Al-Anon is one of most tried and true places of help for codependents.
Getting better, recovering from something like this is a process. You will very seldom be “delivered” from it. If you are seriously codependent you didn’t just wake up one morning in that state. It was a process to get you to that point and I believe that it will probably be just as long of a process for you to completely recover from it.
And amidst all that I have said, break through will come.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
You who are codependent, this is for you. There is Hope.
Love and blessings,