The road is long…

The road is long, the journey is rough and consists of many different directions, obstacles, and decisions.  Being a lifelong codependent, I have always traveled my path with the belief that I can handle anything and everything on my own.  This belief is shared by many codependents as it creates an appearance of strength and competence.  The farther I travel on my walk, the more I have found others like me and this comes with the enlightenment that I do not have to be alone.  Others are willing to help carry my burdens and I am able to help with theirs.  In gathering friends and family along the way, the journey has become an adventure. forest above The strong and capable me becomes the sharing, loving, alive, and happy inner self that has waited for the chance to spring forth.  My journey is filled with faith, sunlight and happiness, an excitement greets each new day.  Codependency will no longer overshadow my world and leave me crouched in a corner, afraid to face the world.

I have taken a step back to view the forest, instead of focusing on the trees.

Music is therapy

“When you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand and nothing is going right….  you just call out my name and know wherever I am…  I’ll come running to see you again.  You got a friend.”

“Sometimes in our lives we all have pain, we all have sorrow.  But if we are wise we know that there’s always tomorrow.  Lean on me when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on.  For it won’t be long ’til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.”

We are on this path together and need to be here for each other.  Musicfriend is the therapist that can help get you through life’s toughest challenges.  Together, we can push onward and truly enjoy the journey to recovery from codependency, addiction, depression, etc.  Lean on me…  Someday, I may need to lean on you as well.

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Found, but not lost

Today was the day I was found.  While I was not lost, I was walking a path that was unclear and out of focus.  I was not able to see what my future would become and was not looking forward with much hope.  This morning, hearing one song veered me back toward the path on which I was meant to be.  Music empowers me in different ways and today this song touched me deeply.  I need to change for the better, my family needs this from me.  I replayed the song no less than six times. 

I know what I need to do with my life and what has been found within me.  While the Lord has never left my side, I turned away from and not toward Him for help, guidance, strength and peace.  Sometimes, being strong means forgiving yourself and accepting the help of others when it is offered.  I am more aware and alive than I have been in a long time.  I thank God for granting the gift of writing music and lyrics for others to share with us.  Music has once again shown me the way and hit me right between the eyes with this song.  I have been found.

Changed by Rascal Flatts

I came up, out of the water
Raised my hands, up to the Father
Gave it all to Him that day
Felt a new wind kiss my face
Walked away, eyes wide open
Could finally see where I was going
It didn’t matter where I’d been, I’m not the same man I was then

I got off track, I made mistakes
Back slid my way into that place, where souls get lost,
lines get crossed and the pain won’t go away
I hit my knees, now here I stand
There I was, now here I am.. Here I am.  Changed.

I got a lot of “hey I’m sorry”s, the things I’ve done,
Man that was not me I wish that I could take it all back,
I just wanna tell ’em that.. tell ’em how

I’ve changed for the better.  More smiles, less bitter…
I’m even starting to forgive myself.  Yes I am

I hit my knees, now here I stand
There I was, now here I am, here I am, here I am I’m changed.
Yes I am.. I’ve changed for the better

Thank God, I changed

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Changing direction

Just be yourself.   Okay.  But who am I?  I know the person that I want to be, and the person that I feel I can be, but my codependency tends to get in the way.  I am gaining the mental acuity to know the person that is deep within me and yet I push that person aside.  I want to be strong, self-assured, confident, happy, loving, caring, intelligent, spiritual, and carefree.  That person is within me and screaming to come out and face the world.  Instead, the codependent in me wants to fix the world and when she can’t, she stumbles and falls.  The person who gets up is a bit more negative and depressed. 

When I hear the wind sailvoice inside, I want to follow and throw aside the chains of codependency.  The happier, more self-confident me draws others in and laughter becomes the norm.  Meeting other codependents is therapeutic.  Seeing the similarities in our behavior patterns is enlightening and speaking of our past experiences helps, as we know we are not alone.  Codependents are normal people with bonus behavior and sensitivity traits.  We are good, loving, caring people who want to save the world.  We can start by saving ourselves.

We can overcome codependency.  “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are headed.”  Words to live by, I think.

Self Care 102

Self care is a necessity.  A need that must be filled daily.  Codependents tend to get lost in the caring for and giving to others, so much so that their own self care goes unattended.  I have to make a conscious effort to take care of myself each and every day.  Since my interests are varied, it is very easy for me to find something that I can do just for me.  However, many codependents seem to have a hard time finding an interest which would placate their self care need.  Self care can be as simple as watching a movie or reading a book.  A movie or book can take them away from the grind of making life better for everyone else.

Today, my self care involved watching a high school basketball game, interacting with my parrot, and writing this post.  My journey has created many forks in the road which have led to new interests and  curiosities.   This helps assuage my constant need to care for others.  SalsaIngredients

My newest idea, and quite possibly my craziest, is to start my own salsa-making business.  Is it possible?  Yes.  Anything is possible.  What is your self care strategy?  If you don’t have one, you really need to get one.

Perception

To wear the badge of “Codependent,” one must go through a lifetime of addiction, dysfunction, and very trying life situations.  It is not a perfect life, nor is it an easy one.  It is, however, the life we have formed for ourselves and the life we live.  We are able to make the lives of those around us more pleasant, much to our own detriment.  It is the role in life that we have chosen and we take our role seriously.  It is a burden and it is a challenge, but we come out in the end as very capable and strong individuals.  I believe we become codependents as a result of the love we feel for the people to whom we are codependent.

This love we feel becomes hidden behind the façade of meekness or possibly even weakness.  It appears that we are incapable of handling situations, are controlled by others, and rarely do we think for ourselves.  Little do these people know about the strength and power every codependent holds.

A large part of my self-care involves writing this blog and writing has become a source of my strength.  The more I write, the stronger and more confident I feel.  When I feel confident, I want to share this confidence in my writing with the people closest to me.  I recently had my best friend state that she would like to edit my book, which is a story of my life and how I became the amazing codependent I am today.   I consented and provided it to her.  Upon her reading of only the beginning chapters, I was told that my book is too personal, how would my mother feel, and if this book ever got into the wrong hands I would surely be hurt due to the choices and decisions I have made in my past.  I was speechless.  I showed another friend a couple of my blog postings.  After she read them, she stated “that is just sad.”  I was hurt. 

Since I am on the road to recovering from codependency and heading towards independent living, I have to share the bad with the good.  It would be very easy for me to write a happy post every day, but that is not my purpose.  There are many of us codependents out there and if I can help even one, my life would be blessed.  I do not feel that we should hide or be embarrassed about our life stories.  They did, after all, mold us into the people we are today, and I am not unhappy being me.  I actually like me.

People do not take time to walk in the shoes of another or try to understand the pitfalls and roadblocks someone has faced on their path to recovery.  Perception without empathy is a very shallow view.

P.S.  I want to thank you all for reading my posts–you motivate and help me more than you know!

Moving forward while standing still

I have run into many potholes on my path and surprisingly I am able to overcome life challenges and find new strength.  I am a student of trial and error and learning from my mistakes has always provided growth opportunities.  I believe I will always have a codependent piece in my character, one that I will never be able to truly leave behind.  It is who I am.  My journey to living for me has opened many other doors, doors which have me moving forward into new areas of my life that I would never have explored in the past.  I love my life and the family and friends that surround me and the support I receive keeps me grounded. 

I am excited to investigate the new areas my codependency has led me to, and am relieved to know I can make my mistakes and remain standing upright and proud.  I will continue to move forward on my path, while standing still and safe with the love of my family and friends.

path with bridge