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When will I ever get better?
April 7, 2007
3:04 pm
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Desert Moon
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April 7, 2007
3:07 pm
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Desert Moon
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Sorry, I hit enter too soon so the first posting is blank.

Hi everyone,
I came to this site about two years ago looking for answers and finding lots of advice; I saw a lot of myself in many of the threads posted, and have identified myself as codependent but have been struggling to change myself. But after two years I am beginning to lose hope I can ever change as I am not in a much better spot than I was before. The trouble is although I recognized within myself all the classic signs of codependence and say to myself “I need to do this, or not think about that or I must not do this,” I simply fail over and over to make positive and permanent changes within myself. Its like being on a diet, losing a few pounds only to regain it and then I’m back where I started, more miserable than ever.
What I am worried about is do I ever have a chance of succeeding after this amount of time or is it hopeless? Whether I make it with the guy I am now with or not is beside the point in that I would ruin any other relationship because the neediness and insecurity within me would push others away as well, I am sure. Or I would end up being victimized by someone taking advantage of my vulnerability. So
I come back to this site looking for more answers and see a few familiar names, and I see they are still struggling with their issues as well”. I wonder how many of us do go on to live healthy lives free from this codependency stuff. Or are we never going to get “better” and just going to feel this way the rest of our lives?? By feel I mean that helpless feeling that my emotional needs will never be met no matter what I try to do for myself to have fun or how much the other person tries to make it better for you.

April 7, 2007
3:21 pm
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ggfred4
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Desert Moon,
I am still new at this, but felt a tug to post my thoughts. I just accepted I was codependent last Oct. Since then I have tried to educate myself by reading, going to online meetings, reading and answering questions here, while still dealing with my ups and downs of life. I can honestly say that now, almost 6 mos. later, I am more aware of my feelings and why I feel them. I know that this is going to be a lifelong effort if I want to change. I know that only I can make that change. I do NOT want to stay the way I am. I am tired of being abused, being the peacemaker, and not even doing what I want to do. We only have one life and the least I can do is to try and make it the best I can. I cannot give up and be depressed for the rest of it. Now, I have to decide whether I am strong enough now to make some changes or to keep building that strength within. I am trying to take it a day at a time. I have learned so much from the people here on this sight. I feel stronger today because of the loving support here. Last year was very tough for me and I really don't want to sink that low again, so I feel that the only way to move is forward now, even though the steps may be small.

What is amazing here, is that I am having a crappy day and I am writing this. I got in a major fight with my husband.

Anyway, these are my thoughts...take care, ..........gg

April 7, 2007
3:37 pm
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Desert Moon
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Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I agree that this site has helped me as it has you by increasing my awareness about codependency and that I am not alone in this as others go through the same thoughts and feelings and confusion that I do. i have read many books on the subject, and although I can tell you all about it, I just feel stuck, because it's like I'm afraid to let go to make the changes that I know will lead to a healthier balance in my life. As an example I encounter people in my life who seem to be happy in their own right and express confidence in their decisions and are perfectly happy being alone. For example, one person I knew backpacked a week by himself in the Rockies. Another young woman I met moved to my area from Alaska. She didn't know anyone here, she just wanted a change in her life. I could not see myself doing that in a million years and jsut thinking about doing that kind of stuff scares me but I dont know why. But I admire them and I want to have that kind of confidence that I can be just as happy and content doing things on my own as I am being with someone without smothering them to death.
Anyway that's where I want to be. I see it and know what I have to do to get there but when I try i get terribly anxious, and fall back into my old ways of thinking. I doesnt mean I will stop trying, but it is very frustrating. I just want to be healthy and in a healthy relationship.

April 7, 2007
3:42 pm
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Desert Moon
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PS. I am sorry about your fight with your husband, hope the rest of your day goes better. This site does help get your mind of things like that or at least allows you to vent
DM

April 7, 2007
3:55 pm
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ggfred4
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DesertMoon, You wrote some things that I could have written myself such as, "I want to have that kind of confidence that I can be just as happy and content doing things on my own as I am being with someone without smothering them to death. Anyway that's where I want to be. I see it and know what I have to do to get there but when I try i get terribly anxious, and fall back into my old ways of thinking." You are definitely NOT alone in this thinking!!!

April 7, 2007
4:02 pm
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Desert Moon
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gg
Thanks for listening, its good to know I'm not alone and there are others who understand exactly what I am going through 🙂

DM

April 7, 2007
4:31 pm
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atalose
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For me it helped to not look at the great big picture of codie and focus on one thing at a time. For me the follow through was also the hardest leaving me feeling stuck all the time. I picked one issue at a time and took it from there.
I was always offering to do things for others, to fix things and wasn't hearing that they were not asking me to do those things. I focused on not only listening to people but hearing what they were saying. I learned that most people talk to blow off steam and it's not my job to take it apon myself to make them feel better or think I can fix what ever it is they are blowing off about. I no longer offer I wait until I am asked and if I am not asked I don't take it personaly or as an insult that they don't want my help. I longer offer anything unless I am asked except to listen. This has brought so much peace to myself it has opened up new kinds of experiences as well as newed relationships with my family, friends and co-workers. I have learned that they also have noticed me not wanting to interfer, fix or take control over there problems and its great and feels wonderful.
That was just one small thing I changed and it's paid out in a major way for me.
It's a matter of follow through on all those thoughts that roll around in our head. With no follow through they will continue to remain thoughts.
Figure out what part of your codie bothers you the most and make a small attempt at doing that differently. The big picture is overwhelming so chip away at it in small pieces.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 7, 2007
4:39 pm
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ggfred4
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ataloose, Please come fix me!!! Just kidding,....I know I must fix me. I wanted to say that your thoughts were well-stated and made me think about today differently...so thanks!!!

April 7, 2007
5:09 pm
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Desert Moon
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I will keep that in mind, it does seem overwhelming when I look at everything to think I havn't made any progess, but maybe I have in many ways and the changes so subtle I don't always recognize it for what it is. One small thing I have tried to do is just have me time, where I do something special for myself and not think about anything else. It's a start, but I sure know what you mean about wanting to fix things when you hear someone else's problems. That's me all right, wanting to please everyone!!

April 7, 2007
5:18 pm
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sandpipper
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gg, you mentioned online meetings. I have never heard of them. What are they?

April 7, 2007
5:29 pm
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ggfred4
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They have online coda meetings or face to face meetings in some towns. The online meetings are anonymous too like here. You set up a name and attend the meetings. The meeting schedule can be found at onlinecoda.net.......You can just listen with earphones...If you want to share, you can type or talk into a microphone. I bought a headsetw/mic at Wal Mart for $20. I am not brave enough to talk into the mic though, so I type share. You don't have to share at all, but that is when you really grow. I hope this helps. Oh, I set up a name completely different from ggfred4 in case someone from here attends the meetings.

April 7, 2007
5:45 pm
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sandpipper
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gg, thanks for the info about the meetings. I live in a small town and there are no meetings available. Until a couple of weeks ago when I stumbled on this site I have been working on recovery by myself.( for a long ) I have a microphone but I doubt that I would have the courage to speak up. I'll check out the site. Thanks again.

April 7, 2007
5:57 pm
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ggfred4
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sand, it takes time to speak...the first meetings, I just listened and learned. I will say that I have learned more on this site than I have on the meetings, but it takes TIME and continual effort. I am around a lot if you ever want to talk...gg

April 7, 2007
6:14 pm
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sandpipper
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gg, I know what you mean about this site. When I first found it I had been going through a very difficult time and had no one to talk to. I stumbled on the site and for the first week I just read the posts and couldn't believe how much I related to many of them. Just knowing that there are others with similar stories who are healing helps so much. I am amazed at how many wonderful and intelligent people there are here. Thanks SP

April 8, 2007
12:52 am
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startingover
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Hi friends

I would like to join in here and say that I have learned so much from the dear people here. This site has helped me more than any therapist or book I have read. I read things that other people have written and realize that we have a lot of common fears or thoughts, like Desert Moon's wondering "when will I ever get better?"

It took me months to realize that I, too, was being "victimized by someone taking advantage of my vulnerability", which, like you, is caused by "insecurity and neediness" (and in my own life I would have to add loneliness).

Think what a big step that is, to realize and admit to yourself that people take advantage because you are vulnerable.

And thank you atalose for the great advice about tackling one thing at a time. I need to listen better to others, too, and will not offer help so freely.

I think we have all gained some insight, and we may not be the "backpacking alone for a week types", but we can enjoy our lives and be happy, with or without a partner.

Thanks friends.

SO

April 8, 2007
10:53 am
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Desert Moon
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Thanks SO for your input. I agree that recognizing I have a problem helps alot because I can identify it and the possible causes, but then it gets really complicated from there. Its like you have to get out of your comfort zone to change, and for me that is really, really hard to do. I think fear is the biggest factor in hindering change. I think my fear is that if I do change I will be even lonlier than before, and I dont want to take that risk. Or maybe I feel that in order to be better I have to be comfortable being alone, and right now that thought terrifies me. Why?? is it really such a bad thing to be alone and healthy for the rest of your life compared to the tradeoff of sharing your life with someone in an unhealthy way?? I guess overall I am just scared that I will ultimately be alone and unhealthy, and endlessly hoping the 'right' person comes along to 'rescue' me, and that is of course a dangerous state of mind to be in because predators do pick up on those signals like radar. How do you get out of that kind of thinking???

So change for me is really hard guys, its like having a phobia and knowing you have it but knowing isnt enough to change, and therapy and meds may help some but is not always enough either. I am discovering it's an ongoing process, not a quick fix like I first thought when I initially stumbled onto this site. The advice gives me so much insight,
and the love and support of all here is encouraging and wonderful, but I am still here fighting this uphill battle . . .

April 8, 2007
12:23 pm
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startingover
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Hi DesertMoon

Well, I understand the frustration with change. I have decided not to date at all until my children are grown. The bad relationships I have had have not been a good example to them. And they don't like to see me hurt. I have decided to enjoy them to the fullest, they are 21, 20, and 17. They won't be home forever, and I had neglected some of their needs, unintentionally of course, just being wrapped up in someone else's mess, and that someone else was as undeserving and unappreciative as could be. You know what I mean. I also am in a financial mess, so have to get that straightened up too.

I am taking little steps. AlAnon and my friends here are the biggest help, I also work 50-60-hour work weeks in an attempt to get ahead. Yes, it's a little dismal, and very lonely. Yes, I miss sex, affection, and attention.

I do think that even now I would be able to have a less enmeshed relationship. Just like atalose said, people generally just want to talk, not have me fix everything. Well, I was the ultimate fix-it-person, would give of myself when I had no energy, would give money when I didn't have extra. I would not do that now, and I believe I am also able to better select a partner, or even just a date. So, while these steps sometimes seem small, I think it's a huge improvement for me. I will only be alone in the future if that is what I choose, as I do now. And I suspect the same is true for you.

Hang in there, I think you sound very good. It IS an uphill battle, takes work every day.

SO

April 8, 2007
2:22 pm
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Desert Moon
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SO

I have 3 children also who are almost exactly the same ages as yours (21,19 and 15) so I do try to focus on them and not be so caught up in the self-centeredness of this whole thing. I mean, codependency turns into this vicious cycle of it being 'all about me,' you know? I get all caught up into how I am feeling without being able to create distractions to get away from that destructive cycle, and yes I guess it does take little baby steps to get there.
I have been fortunate in that I have had only one person in my life since my divorce and he has been patient and kind, but I guess I just drive him nuts with the neediness stuff. He' not a user and admits he has issues of his own to deal with, but if it doesn't work out I have no plans to date, I have heard more bad stories than good, and I am not in any position to do this anyway.

I hear you on the fixit stuff; I was alsotrying to fix every one but myself, and I think that fixing everyone was my way of filling my own unfullfilled needs. But then isnt doing things for others also supposed to be a way to feel better about yourself? I get really confused as to where one crosses over into the threshold of codependency.

but I will take your words of wisdom to heart, that I will be ok being alone if that is what I choose

April 8, 2007
2:29 pm
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ggfred4
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Okay, are we all about the same age or what? My kids are 24, 21 (twins), and 18!!!

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