Healing from codependency offers a brand new opportunity with Covid 19. Codependency is all about doing for others what they can do for themselves. Or doing things for others so they won’t be mad at you and punish you. Codependency is an unhealthy relationship in which one person is tied to others and can’t escape their demands. Do you feel obligated to fulfill every need of someone you love? You’re not alone, but now’s a good time to begin breaking free. You can do it now that lockdown is in force again. Just don’t feel guilty about it.

The pandemic has changed everything

Why is this a good opportunity to examine your potential for codependency healing like never before? If you’re a fixer, this may be the first time ever that you can’t do it. You can’t fix anything, and for maybe the very first time you can’t even try. This distance gives you the chance to create some space with your codependents who aren’t living with you. Take this opportunity to relax your vigilance. It’s been months, and you may miss them terribly, but you can let go of the guilt.

Healing from codependency can’t happen without a change

The pandemic is offering the possibility of change with no consequences. It’s a get out of jail free card for fixers who can’t help trying to control the outcomes of their loved one’s lives. With the virus keeping you apart, you don’t have to set boundaries about what you will or won’t do. Your codependent can’t hate or abuse you for not running errands, not lending money, not walking the dogs or babysitting the grandchildren. Imagine, there are no legal issues to deal with, either.

If you are coping with a loved one with a mental illness, by all means stay in touch. Stay connected with loved ones at risk, and be sure to tell your family members or trusted friends if you are at risk in an abusive relationship. But the care-taking doesn’t have to be obsessive, and you don’t have to put yourself at risk.

Healing from codependency hurts at first but take the challenge

It will cause you some anxiety not to be able to help someone move or supply supplies or fix problems. But you may also feel some relief. This is your time. It’s also a very good time to learn what it means to let go of feeling responsible. You’re not responsible for a natural disaster, and now you can worry about yourself for a change. What do you want to do today? You get to decide. Maybe you want to cook food others don’t like as much as you do. If no one is bugging you to run errands, you can watch TV or animal videos. You can take a nap or do work. How about taking up an old hobby? Coloring is a good one. You have the time. Just don’t obsess about what your loved one is doing or if he/she/they need your help.

If you’re stuck at home with your codependent, however, you’re going to have some extra challenges because expectations for you to be perfect are going to escalate. Here, you will have to learn boundary setting.

The lockdown is your opportunity to focus on yourself

It’s an amazing concept for people whose codependency has been a way of life. You’ve been focused on other people’s needs for a reason. Your person or persons are mean to you when you don’t perform as they want you to, and you want to keep them happy. You learn not to think about what you want because you won’t get it. If you have a codependency problem, you either buckle under to the dominant, sulking person in you life, or you eventually rediscover yourself and escape. I escaped from one codependent and was released from the others. When your children grow up and don’t want your control, your perpetual life-saving, your hurt, resentment, and obsessive caring, you can let go and grow up, too. It isn’t easy, and I didn’t want to do it. But now my relationships with loved ones are much better, and we’re all healthier.

Letting go of codependency and enabling

When you’re codependent you’re worrying about the other person all the time. What you need to do is start thinking about what you want. You don’t have to do whatever your person wants. In fact, I learned about letting go when I stopped doing everything for others. When I changed my behavior, I quickly realized that my giving was the only thing that kept some relationships together. When I stopped being ever so helpful, nothing was there for me. I wasn’t loved or cared for. I had to start taking care of myself. Try saying ‘no,’ and see what saying standing up for yourself does to your relationship. If the other person adjusts, great, you’ve set a boundary. If the other person pushes back and become abusive, you know it’s on you to change.

Check out Codependents Anonymous and al-anon. You’re not alone.

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Leslie Glass

Leslie Glass became a recovery advocate and co-founder of Reach Out Recovery in 2011, encouraged by her daughter Lindsey who had struggled with substances as a teen and young adult. Learning how to manage the family disease of addiction with no roadmap to follow inspired the mother and daughter to create Reach Out Recovery's website to help others experiencing the same life-threatening problems. Together they produced the the 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World of Recovery, and the teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, distributed by American Public Television. In her career, Leslie has worked in advertising, publishing, and magazines as a writer of both fiction and non fiction. She is the author of 9 bestselling crime novels, featuring NYPD Dt.Sgt. April Woo. Leslie has has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education and as a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation. For from 1990 to 2017, Leslie was the Trustee of the Leslie Glass Foundation. Leslie is a proud member of Rotary International.

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