A new fork in the road discovered…

I have been walking for a long time on my journey, a journey filled with new beginnings, better understandings, and an appreciation offork-in-the-road life.  The path I walk has been fraught with highs and lows, along with a few stones which I have stumbled over.  While I have learned so much, I can’t shake the feeling that there is so much more ahead.  I await the next step eagerly and with much anticipation, as I see a new fork in the road ahead.  It is time to take a chance….

 

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A walk in my shoes…

Living with an alcoholic father, a chemically dependent sister, and an alcoholic husband, my life has not always been the picture perfect family I had projected it to be.  Knowing that I had to be the glue, the constant, that held a family together was draining on me.  The want to escape was great.  This want led to many forks in the road and so often I chose the wrong direction.high heels

There are many times I question every decision I made, every choice I chose.  Hindsight is definitely 20/20 and I would have done things so differently had I known the path I was going to walk.  I have hurt many people with the choices I have made and I learned to forgive myself.  One could drive oneself crazy thinking about “what ifs” and “what could have beens.”  I have spent an enormous amount of negative energy on these thoughts and the only thing that has come from it is the guilt and sadness with which they are associated.

Being judged or disliked because of my past choices is heart wrenching.  I quickly want to explain my past and why I am where I am now.  I want to kick off my shoes and hand them over…  here…  take a walk in my shoes.

The new me is actively engaged in specific thought processes before major, life-changing decisions are made.  This can be difficult when the old me rears her ugly head and wants to rush into decisions and choices.  I have become a more calm, relaxed and rational person and this is a major victory!  It is difficult to break away from old habits, patterns, and routines, but we codependents can achieve a greater level of self-awareness and well-being when we engage ourselves in the specific thought processes from the beginning.  This awareness can leave you with a sense of power that is like no other.

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!