Getting Over Codependency, Learning Self-Love To change our negative stories we need to learn to love ourselves

Every day I need to work on my mind and body to stay fit. Healing from Complex-PTSD is an ongoing process, particularly getting over my codependency issues.  Growing up with an abusive father I l discerned what to do to avoid him going into a violent tirade. As long as I did not ask for anything, did what he said even if I did not want to I was safe.

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Further, to meet my needs for love and acceptance, I learned that if I was helpful to members of my family I would be thrown at least some scraps of acceptance. Sadly, this led to a total annihilation of my sense of self. I was like a puppet, controlled by others.

Stop Saying You Are Fine

Motivational speaker, Mel Robbins in her inspiring TED Talk Stop Screwing Yourself Over says “If you’re crappy, say you’re crappy. If you’re amazing say you’re amazing. Tell the truth.” Further, she says that when we keep saying we are fine we are denying what we truly want. When you tell others that your depressing situation is fine means you reinforce the fact that you are fine not having that thing which will make life more meaningful and joyful. How does one change our codependency narrative? That self-deprecating voice that says this is all that you were meant to be.

 Changing The Narrative of Codependency

Adult survivors need to overcome their co-dependency issues if they want to change the narrative of their past. This is not an easy endeavor. For those of us have grown up being nobodies, suppressing our feelings, needs and even health so as to not upset our caregivers, it is an uphill task getting in touch with our true selves.  However, we need to understand that though we are not responsible for what happens to us during childhood, it is essential to our future happiness that we become responsible for what happens to us during adulthood.

I constantly need to take steps to prevent my mind sliding into depression and hopelessness. Even before I get out of bed, I put on my headphones and listen to uplifting guided meditation and positive affirmations. I spend a few minutes saying prayers that are grounding and inspiring.  These are the vitamin pills I need to take to keep myself mentally strong and positive.

Learning Self-love

It has taken time but this self-talk and subconscious reprogramming have worked. No longer am  I  dependant on the acceptance and validation from others. It so empowering to not give a f^^k about what anyone thinks of me. Initially, I was filled with insecurities about my value, my goodness. Without a doubt, overcoming my negative self-denial was learning to start putting myself first. It can be frightening and difficult. You are constantly filled with the dread of rejection. Nevertheless, you have to push on, you need to fake it till you feel it. Don’t let self-doubt creep in. Listen to inspiring talks, read uplifting memoirs.

Remember that you are one in a billion. You are don’t have to pretend to be fine, tell yourself that I am going to have a fantastic life. Early morning is the best time to keep re-enforcing and rewiring the negative messages you grew up with.  It has taken we 2 years of self-love to change how I feel about myself and the world. It works because our brain is plastic, it can be re-wired with self-care and self-love.

The power of self-love and self-esteem | Caira Lee

Emotional First Aid

Though there are times when the past negativity intrudes on me It only takes a small trigger to send my mind hurtling back to the time when I was a helpless child who was denigrated for being a useless human being. To switch the flow of thoughts back to positive, I need to immediately practice emotional first aid. According to psychologist Guy Winch, we should take care of our minds just as we take care of our bodies. When we are wounded we are given first aid, so we should do the same for our emotional hurts. Accept that we are feeling angry, or feeling rejected or sad and take some action to mitigate the wounds, don’t suppress your feelings.

For me, the practice of self-love has meant learning to put my feeling and needs first. For years all my relationships were codependent. My sense of well-being was directly connected to being accepted and approved no matter what. I have changed that story of my life by accepting and loving myself.  I have learned to let go of people who won’t respect and accept me. It has been worth the effort.


Further Reading:

Childhood Trauma: The Roots of Codependency

Codependency, Trauma and the Fawn Response

Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts by Guy Winch

The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins

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