Codependency and Trying to Figure Things Out

The older I get, the more I realize I don’t know, and the more I realize nobody else knows anything either. We are all just human, trying to figure it out as we go along.

Or maybe it’s not that no one knows anything, it’s that no one else can decide for me how I feel about any given situation.

It occurred to me that everyone I talked to about this guy I’m seeing had a different take on it, and after I walked away from each conversation, I found myself believing whatever their take was on it. One friend said, You’re catching feelings. Oh yes, I am catching feelings. I liked that one because it contains meaning, and everything to me needs a deeper meaning, something sweet and kind and beautiful, preferably. I mean, I love love. My therapist said, Ask him, casually, how he’s doing when you see him next. You can let him know you’d like to hear more from him. My sponsor said, Get real. Do you LIKE him? Or do you just want him because you haven’t heard from him in a few days?

She reminded me that I’d been ambivalent about Steven, my ex, an observation that always pisses me off, because she did not know me before I walked into CODA at the beginning of December, before the Thanksgiving debacle. I adored Steven. I don’t recall feeling ambivalent about him. I wanted so badly for the relationship to work, which is why I started going to CODA.

One characteristic of codependents is that we often cannot identify our feelings. As a codependent and an introvert, I need to walk away from a situation and mull it over, process it, sometimes for days, before I understand the complexity of how I feel about it.

She’s not incorrect. In the end I doubted my ability to continue with the path we were on, though I wanted for us to continue on that path, together. That’s why I went to CODA, in part, though I realized that if that wasn’t going to work, it would be beneficial for me to go anyway, because obviously I don’t know how to be in a healthy relationship, having had two divorces prior to that.

Today I am just confused. Not everyone seems to have traditional relationships anymore, and I’m trying to decide if that’s what I want too. So many benefits come with living alone and not seeing each other all the time. At the same time, I want to feel secure in this relationship, knowing he’s in this. With me.

She pointed out that the draw for Steven for me was that we had a push-pull relationship, in which he withdrew from time to time, and that drew me closer. She said that I’m like a puppy: when you chase after the puppy, he runs away, but as soon as you stop paying attention to him, he’s all over you. I thought that was a bad metaphor because I’m pretty sure puppies love you and want you all the time–I’ve had used a cat as a metaphor–but I’m just expressing the truth of what she said.

I didn’t like that analogy because it implies that I didn’t love him, and I absolutely did love him. More than anyone I’ve ever dated or married. Don’t tell me it’s only because he shut me out every so often. We were friends. We could hang out doing nothing and still have fun.

That’s not what I’m saying, she said. I’m not saying you didn’t love him.

Sigh.

This whole codependency recovery thing is way harder than getting sober was. With sobriety every day I just made a decision not to drink today, and at the time I was just so happy not to be hung over it wasn’t too hard, plus I was super busy with two jobs and going to meetings and making friends, and the next thing I knew, I wasn’t even thinking about drinking anymore. I must continue practicing a spiritual way of life because drinking was my coping mechanism before, and now that’s gone. But now that that’s gone, relationships became my addiction. And honestly, I don’t see giving that up. From my vantage point today, staying sober is easy because I simply abstain from alcohol and work the program, whereas I’m not giving up men. I love men.

Give it up temporarily, maybe?

Maybe I make a decision not to obsess over the guy today. What can I do right now, how can I focus on what’s important in this moment?

It doesn’t mean I don’t like the guy or want his company, but it also means I don’t need to place demands on him. Stop worrying about what he feels about me, and face the truth of how I feel about him, and not try to make it into something more than it is. We both have lives to live. Right now is my time to focus on a new career path. It’s time for me to grow in the workplace, and I’ve had some eye-opening situations come up recently that I hope to write about in a future post.

My sponsor suggested I focus instead of loving myself. Sigh. Boring! Does she not know that I say positive affirmations to myself all the time? I am smart and successful. I’m loving, loved, and loveable. At work I try to spread cheer and positivity. And what about sex? I’m not a fan of abstinence in that department, nor do I want to have meaningless one night stands with guys. Just saying. Not a fan of being single.

I don’t know, y’all. I do not know anything.

All I can do is take it one day at a time.

And I will be okay. I am okay. My life is good, so much better than it’s ever been. I have everything I need. Maybe not everything I want, but I have everything I need, and every moment is an opportunity to grow and learn.

PS: Trying to figure things out doesn’t work. More later.

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2 thoughts on “Codependency and Trying to Figure Things Out

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you that codependency recovery is so very difficult. Your sponsor is right about focusing and loving yourself. You say positive affirmations to yourself but do you truly believe them? You smile and spread cheer but do you really feel it inside? I ask because that’s exactly what I did but I didn’t BELIEVE the affirmations nor did I FEEL cheerful or happy. I clung to my unhealthy relationships because I was unhealthy. I didn’t like me. I was needy and this drove people away which just made me try to cling on even harder. I promise though if you really try to do what is good and right for yourself, learn about yourself, your likes & dislikes, what you want and don’t want, things will start to fall into place. You will be able to see and know for certain when a relationship is not good for you and you will also know how to handle a relationship in a healthy way. It takes time and lots of work but it is so worth it! Your journey has just begun. Give yourself credit for trying to think things through, acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses and trying to live a better life. Believe the affirmations you say and if you don’t, try to think about why you don’t. Sorry to ramble on but I believe you can find peace and happiness on you journey!!! You are so worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Terri,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I do generally feel cheerful these days and sometimes I believe part of the affirmations but that’s definitely a work in progress. I know my likes and dislikes; my trouble lies in knowing the right boundaries. I don’t feel like I’m that needy (though it depends on the relationship) but no one has ever accused me of being that way. Maybe I was/am and didn’t/don’t know it? I’ve always been one to pretend like I don’t care when something actually really hurts my feelings… You’ve given me a lot to ponder. I enjoy reading your blog and look forward to reading more. 🙂

      Like

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