I am a recovering codependent. I’m also an empath–I feel everyone’s pain and take on their problems. That I can’t recover from. It’s how I’m made. But I can find healthier ways to cope. Here are recovery tips for codependents and empaths using Al-Anon slogans.
* First things first. It’s fine to care for others, but not so much you neglect yourself. Too much serving others without self-care burns you out. Most adults don’t need near the care-taking we codependents give. I was actually doing without necessities to give others luxuries. Re-prioritize, putting your needs first. Help only after helping yourself.
* Easy Does It. Stop pushing, micromanaging, overthinking, overworking, compensating for others. Take time to refresh.
* Live and let Live. And the first part is sometimes the hardest. We’re so worrying about what they want, need, think that we don’t know what we want, need, think. Don’t do for people what they can do for themselves. Consider how your choices affect others, but mostly how they affect you.
* Didn’t cause it, can’t cure it, can’t control it. What if others don’t work their program? What if they make dangerous, dysfunctional choices? Isn’t it my job to save them? Nope. You’re responsible for one person–you. You answer for one person’s actions–yours. So they blame you? That’s the dysfunction and addiction talking. Just work your program and let them work theirs, or not.
* Think, Think, Think. Why the urgency? Where’s the fire? Codependents run around like we have a siren on our heads. We make ill-considered decisions. Don’t just do something, sit there. Wait for direction for your higher power. Then and only then, act.
* One Day At a Time. When I was deep in codependency, every problem seemed like a crisis that had to be solved yesterday. Give it time. It took a lifetime to create these problems. It might take that long to heal.
* But for the Grace of God. Ease up on judgmental. You don’t know why he acts that way. You don’t read minds nor do walk in her moccasins. Be thankful for your blessings.
* Take life on life’s terms. I know someone who always feels sorry for herself. She’s got it pretty good, but her resentment clouds the view. Life hands out some lemons, but then lemonade is pretty refreshing on a summer day.
* Principles before Personalities. I used to let others’ moods and actions dictate my response. And I did some pretty mean, stupid things. I’m learning to act according to my values, regardless of how others behave.
* Let go and let God. My higher power never seemed to help me. Then I got out of His way.
* This too shall pass. Think childbirth–miserable. But at the end, there’s a something wonderful.
* Let it begin with me. Don’t wait for others to change before you do. Don’t excuse or rationalize bad behavior. Take the initiative. Don’t change expecting that others will too. Change because it’s right for you.
* Just for today. If I thought I had to keep up healthy new behavior every day, I’d go crazy. I don’t. I just have to do it for today. Let the days challenges be sufficient to the day.
* Courage to change. I could wallow in misery see what I could change and do it. That’s a question each person answers for himself. You can get input, but ultimately, you decide. And I wouldn’t trust unhealthy, shaming or blaming people nor those with agendas. I would trust my inner wisdom and higher power.
Best wishes for recovery!