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I'm driving everyone in my life away from me...
May 11, 2009
8:49 pm
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moncheechee
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I've always known I was codependent to an extent, but I guess I didn't realize how bad it had gotten until recently. I don't really know where to start, so I'll just jump right in. In the span of two months, I lost my job, my dad got cancer, and I got evicted from my apartment. I felt like everything was falling apart, but I tried to hide it and act like everything was fine. My mom always told me, "no one likes a high maintenance friend" so I have always tried to keep everything to myself so that I wouldn't come across as high maintenance. But because I kept things bottled up, I started being afraid to be alone. I surrounded myself with my friends because if I wasn't alone, I wouldn't have to look inside and actually deal with how I was feeling.

At first, my friends were all supportive of me, and I was feeling pretty happy. Slowly, though, I began to depend on all of my friends to make me happy, and instead of dealing with my problems so that I could move on with my life, I started taking on all of my friends' problems and trying to fix those. I felt that, if I was always there for them for everything, and did everything I could to help them, then they would like me better. One of my friends in particular lost his job around the same time as me, and for a while, he and I hung out all the time and we talked all the time. I did everything I could to help him, including writing his resume and letting him borrow my car to go job hunting. He had become one of my best friends and I enjoyed our closeness and spending time with him.

Somewhere along the way, though, I went from wanting to help my friends to being completely dependent on them, especially the guy I had been hanging out with so much. I don't know why I suddenly went off the edge, but I started being really controlling and obsessive about my friends. Everytime someone seemed upset about something, I immediately assumed it was my fault, and I would smother them with questions and attempts to cheer them up. I started letting everyone's emotions and actions dictate my feelings and how I felt about myself.

It got to the point where I would have a huge meltdown everytime the slightest thing went wrong. I had gone from being fun-loving and laid back, to being stressed out and depressed all the time because I couldn't stand the thought that I wasn't as important to my friends as they were to me. I read into everything they said and did, and if they didn't act like they were having fun or enjoying themselves around me, I would ask them "what's wrong" every five minutes because I was so obsessed with making my friends happy and making sure they were having fun with me.

Slowly, my friends stopped calling me or texting me as much, and suddenly, I was the only one texting people and making an effort to hang out. I had become so clingy and dependent on them that I had become the high maintenance friend that I had always tried to avoid being. The worst was when the one friend who I had been hanging out with so much and had become so close to stopped coming by so often. I would text him like we always had, but he didn't respond as much, and recently, he just doesn't respond at all.

I'm so unbelievably upset and angry with myself because I feel like, because of my recent behavior, I've driven my friends away from me, and I'm scared that I've lost one of my best friends forever. I don't know what to do to fix this. I know I need to just give them all space and leave them alone until they decide that they want to hang out with me again, but I'm so scared that there's nothing I can do to fix this, and I don't know what I would do if I've screwed things up beyond repair. I don't want to be like this anymore, because I've gone from being a fun person to be around, to this crazy person that even I don't want to be around anymore.

My friends mean the world to me, but I am going nuts just sitting here, praying my phone will ring and going over and over my actions in my head to the point where I am so full of fear and regret over my behavior that I just want to withdraw completely from everyone at the risk of making things worse. I know I need to see a therapist and I have called my old therapist to make an appointment, but if anyone out there can offer any wisdom or advice as to how I can break this cycle of obsessive behavior once and for all, I would be so appreciative. I just want to be free from my dependence on everyone else once and for all, before I end up completely alone. Thanks so much for reading this, and thanks for your help and support.

May 11, 2009
11:12 pm
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Texasboy
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I feel your pain. I'm new to this and have a lot to learn. Just went to a therapist today. Laid out my life and guess what I'm codependent. It all makes sense now. But I don't have any answers. My fear is that when I get better, I will see my wife of 18 years as a bi polar abuser. I do love her, but I wonder now if she is or ever was the person I thought she was. I am rambling. Know that someone else feels your pain.

May 12, 2009
1:06 am
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_anonymous
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moncheechee- Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Since you seem to be very social I think support groups would be a great way to figure out what is going on with this driving everyone away business. You can go to CODA (Codependents annoymous) or take a class or join a group that shares a common interest that you have.

What do you enjoy doing?

May 12, 2009
1:09 am
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_anonymous
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Texasboy- The best part about therapy is learning how to deal with yourself. It is interesting how the spouse you thought you had and the spoiuse you really have can turn out to be quite different.

My x husband had all kinds of mental disorders. Now that I have detached myself from him I can see how self centered he was and how his problems overshadowed my life.

May 12, 2009
6:12 am
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sunshine88
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hi moncheechee and Texasboy, welcome! hope you will find lots of helpful insights here.

am inexperienced with advices on therapy, counseling and coda meetings. so i'm just gonna give you guys a big warm cyber hug! 🙂

May 12, 2009
9:18 am
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cancer
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Hi moncheechee,
I say take a breather and dont be so hard on yourself, yes, the best thing to do right now is to give your friends some space, if they dont understand or come back they were never real friends to begin with.
Try doing things for you, on your own, become more dependent and you see things will work out. Good luck!

May 12, 2009
6:49 pm
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moncheechee
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Thanks everyone for your kind and supportive words. I know it's going to be a long and hard road before I can really free myself from this codependent behavior, but I'm trying to take some proactive steps. I've contacted my therapist and I'm going to start seeing her again. I also found a CoDA group pretty close to my house that meets tonight, so I'm going to go to that and see what happens. I don't expect to recover overnight, nor do I expect that I'll ever be "cured," but my goal is to learn to manage the behavior so that I can have healthy and productive relationships. Thank you all again...it's nice knowing I'm not alone in this struggle.

May 12, 2009
8:00 pm
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Stacers
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The first step to getting better is to stop throwing yourself into everyone else's problems and worrying if everyone else likes you. You sound like a really warm person who wants nothing more to have good friends, be good to your friends and be there for your friends. Absolutely nothing wrong with that! Wouldn't we all like to have a friend as warm as you? I know I would. You have taken the first step to realize that you are smothering your friends. I bet you just don't want to be alone because then you will have to figure out what your real problem is. Through support groups and counseling you will come to term with your co-dependency. Good luck...lots of hugs.

May 12, 2009
10:05 pm
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Anonymous
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Hi. (I WAS under the nickname ~Sky, but something had seemed to happen to that name, as it wouldn't let me log in with it, so I'm now here as *Sydney, instead!) Lol.

Anyway, Yeah...I can understand the you faulting yourself for other people's moods! (I still tend to do that, from time to time! Especially, with those closest to me!)

I used to have the fear, of being alone too! But, I'm working on it, and aren't TOO BAD, with it now!

Anyway...just wanted ya to know, that, you're not alone, and am glad you're taking steps to seek therapy again!

Best of luck to ya!

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