Just as addicts turn to an addiction to avoid unpleasant feelings, so do codependents distract and lose themselves by focusing on others or a relationship as sources of well-being. If we stop doing that―often not by choice, but due to isolation or rejection―we may uncover depression and feelings of loneliness and emptiness that we’ve been avoiding all along. We keep recycling our codependency until we address our deepest pain.
Healing requires we turn our attention inward and learn to become our own best friend because our relationship with ourselves is the template for all our relationships.
With some insight, we discover that we’re actually quite self-critical and haven’t been treating ourselves kindly with self-compassion. In fact, we’ve been abusing ourselves all along. This is actually a positive revelation. Our mission is clear: Learn to relate to ourselves in a healthier way. Our tasks are to:
- Revitalize our connection to our internal cues―our guidance system―to trust ourselves.
- Identify and honor our needs and feelings.
- Nurture and comfort ourselves. Practice these tips. Listen to this Self-Love Meditation.
- Meet our needs.
- Heal our shame and affirm our authentic self.
- Take responsibility for our pain, safety, and pleasure.
Follow the recovery plans laid out in Codependency for Dummies and Conquering Shame. Attend Codependents Anonymous (CoDA meetings), and work the Twelve Steps. PTSD and trauma don’t resolve on their own. Seek trauma counseling.
©Darlene Lancer 2019
Written by Darlene Lancer
Originally appeared on WhatIsCodependency.com
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