Looking for love… in all the wrong places

In the past, I felt I needed to be liked or “loved” by almost everyone with whom I come into contact.  I craved attention, while at the same time blending in with the wallpaper.  I was agreeable in any conversation, even if I truly disagreed with the subject or opinions surrounding it.  I was always the one person who made everyone comfortable, the mediator, the thermostat, the “middle child.”  The one person who others would tell their secrets, or problems, like there was a neon sign above my head declaring that I was a great listener and was open for business.  My need to be loved overshadowed the inner turmoil and uncomfortableness I would feel around some men, which always led to regret and sadness. 

On my journey to independence from codependency, I have learned that I can speak my mind and state my own opinions without fear.  At times, I believe I speak my mind more loudly than I should. and will later second guess myself.  The guilt still tries to creep in, or the need to explain or excuse myself.  I stand behind my convictions, and am strong in my beliefs.  I am now the square peg and do not fit into the round hole.  Being strong suits me and I feel I do not need to look for love any longer, but accept the true love and friendship I am finding along my journey.  Love me for who I am, not for who you want me to be.

Big Game Tonight

Football is my passion.  I love the competitiveness, the talent, the rivalries, and the fan support.  I have watched NFL football with my dad since I was 14 years old, watched my boys play in school, and have not become a fan of college football, because of my son’s university.  I bleed purple for a team that cannot seem to get to the Superbowl, but has some of the best players in the league, with the best attitudes.  Tonight, my team plays a big rival:  the Packers.  It will be exciting and so much fun to watch, and the camaraderie with fellow Vikings fans is like no other.  It takes me away from the things in life that get me down, a savior, if you will, as it has made many sad and unhappy moments disappear.  I am so thankful that football is such a big part of my life and am grateful to the football fans, the players, and the competitive spirit for always lifting me up.

 

Since we are in the same boat, grab an oar!

It seems that I meet new people every day.  As I listen to their stories, I am amazed to find many people live a life very similar to mine.  The need and the want to help our brother, sister, mother, child, et al, is the core of our being.  This is not something we can turn off or on.  It is how we feel.  We want to believe the addict in our life, that they are not the blame for their addition, but the victim to it.  We fall prey to their excuses and start to consider they may be right.  This always seems to be at our detriment, as we are left holding the bag.  We clean up the mess and make it seem there never was a mess to begin with. 

While I listen, I stifle the want to provide them with the overwhelming evidence of their codependency.  At times, I will see a crack in their veneer, an opening, if you will, that they know I am truly listening to what they are going through and understanding.  These are the times that I feel a true connection, as I have been on the same path, and a friendship begins. 

boat and oar

I am always eager to help others if I can.  Yes, this is the codependent in me, using my powers for good.  Besides, rowing the boat is much easier with the help of friends.

“There is only one success – to spend your life in your own way.”
– Christopher Morley

I am successful!  I am beginning to spend life my own way.  Life is good.

Self Esteem… The Highs and Lows

Low self-esteem is one of the worst parts of being a codependent.  We cannot seem to make ourselves feel pretty, handsome, smart, funny, or important.  We do not feel we are worthy of having a relationship, that there will be someone better for our partner around the corner.  We cannot possibly fulfill their needs, although we try so hard to be everything they could ever want us to be.  We sacrifice our wants and needs to make sure others are happy. 

Then, the day comes when we have a moment of clarity, an epiphany possibly, of being a good-looking, interesting, and intelligent person–one with whom others want to be around and spend time.  The feeling is euphoric.  We want to hold onto this feeling forever. 

Too often, I have let the people in my life steal that feeling from me.  Many times, I have given that feeling away in order to keep the peace.  I had started to agree with others and put myself down.  That is the lowest I had been. 

Until now. 

I have broken the spell.  I feel that I am truly a good person.  A person who is able to hold onto the euphoria that fills me, as I know I am worth it.  It takes work and understanding to capture the feeling and hold onto it.  Codepedency is not a disease…  it is a condition.   A condition of a bruised soul.  This too can heal.

Old Friends, Good Times

I went to a party tonight and saw many people with whom I attended high school.  It was interesting as I had not spoken with many of them in quite a long time.  It really struck me the way people embellish on their lives and make things seem a bit more amazing than they truly are.  It makes me take a step back and look at my life as in who I am and how I deal with my situations.  I realize that even with all of the issues I have had to deal with:  the anger of my ex-husbands, the control that was used on me, and the range of emotions in dealing with alcoholics; my life is beautiful.  I have wonderful children, a supportive family, and a strong character that enables me to deal with the situations life throws at me on a daily basis.

I may not have money, I may not have fame, but what I do have is what makes me a loving, caring, strong, happy individual.  It is what makes the sun come out every day, even when it is raining.  I cherish what I have and I thank God every day.

Words of Wisdom…

Go Forward With Courage

When you are in doubt, be still, and wait;
when doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage.
So long as mists envelop you, be still;
be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists
— as it surely will.
Then act with courage.

-Ponca Chief White Eagle