On Co-Dependency

I’m getting the hang of this blogging thing.  I suppose.  I felt driven to tell my story after I came back from Burning Man.  This is what I seem to talk about…I cannot stress enough how life changing it is.  At least for me.

When there is an addiction of some sort and or mental illness in a family, co-dependency seeps in.  It is an ugly dynamic that cannot be shaken off.  I have been working on this for about five years now.  I notice a tremendous difference in myself.

If you asked me about fourteen or fifteen years ago to attend an event and go hang out, I would have a guilt trip.  You think guilt trip?  WTF is that?  It was difficult to socialize and enjoy my own life because of the family dynamic.  I don’t want to dis on it too terribly, but this has been my experience and my own story.

What kids enjoy at their age…the family vacation, the trips to the beach, summer camp, having friends over…all the good stuff that people relish in and can recall in mind’s eye.  But for me, at 36, I have to give all those things to myself now and more.  Burning Man was the summer camp, the Disneyland, the circus and the ability to be free—all what a child should enjoy.  Unfortunately, mine was filled with worry, anxiety, decision making, and being uptight and serious.  My environment consisted of emotions flying off the handle and not knowing when things would change from happy to being guarded…within days.  I couldn’t understand how to hold onto what happiness meant for me as I would have the fear of losing it again.  I never felt safe to freely express who I was.

I have debated and mulled over to write my own memoir and I know that I have story to tell, but that is in the back burner but prob not too long.

This shit is real and coming from an environment like that does mess someone up, but it is a person’s ability to soar and want a better life for themselves.

The thing with co-dependency is that a person cannot be themselves.  They don’t know who they are.  It’s almost like they are out of touch with their own body, their own thoughts and feelings.  Because all of the attention is going to the person who is ill.  There are roles assigned that happen automatically.  It’s just the way it is…a stupid behavior that robs people from tapping into their own potential.  We often don’t talk about how much this affects the family members…as once again, we are focused on the person who has an addiction and or mental health issue.

I now have the tools and through my personal work…plus self help books, awareness, being mindful, yoga, writing, running and finally being.  It’s an awesome feeling when you can finally get there.  It’s like climbing a mountain and reaching the top with arms spread out wide welcoming the new world.  It’s liberating.

Albany Bulb
Me at Albany Bulb.
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