Often, our blogs have taglines. But, what if humans did too? What would your taglines be?
I’m actually so random and unpredictable that several different taglines could be used to represent me, but at the time of seeing this writing prompt, “Zero Fucks Given” is what comes to mind. I’m counting down to the wonderful age of 30; 14 more days; OMG exactly 2 weeks from today, eeeeeek! And do you know what’s funny? I actually feel different. Though it’s been a gradual uphill struggle getting up to this point, I feel like only within the past 3 – 6 months have I realized the many significant changes within my mind, body, and spirit. Some people may share my sentiments and some people may scoff and think that my age ain’t nothing but a number. Shrugs, I dunno, I’m just going by how I am currently thinking and feeling.
These days I am less anxious, more calm, and easygoing. I have more understanding and acceptance, especially of the people, places, things, and events that I cannot change. I love myself more and appreciate my true beauty. I feel more confident and have the motivation and courage to do what I want. My people-pleasing days seem to be coming to a close. Regardless of the fake ass, hardcore bullshiggity people spit from their mouths about not caring about what other people think about them, we all want to be liked/loved, valued, and appreciated. Me included! But, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, this is less important to me than it was in my previous years. I figure that as long as I like me, God has my back, and I’m ok with my thoughts, feelings, and actions, then I’m good to go!
I want to share something with you… Given my unconventional upbringing in a substance abusing household, I have developed what those in the mental health profession refer to as dun, dun, duuuuuunnnnn, “codependency issues”. According to merriam-webster.com. codependency is a psychological condition in which someone is in an unhealthy relationship that involves living with and providing care for another person (such as a drug addict or an alcoholic); as a psychological condition or relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition; dependence on the needs of or control by another. According to Codependency for Dummies, symptoms are as follows:
Not liking or accepting yourself
Feeling you’re inadequate in some way
Thinking you’re not quite enough
Worrying you are or could be a failure
Concerned with what other people think about you
Pleasing others and giving up yourself
Boundaries that are too weak and there’s not enough separateness between you and your partner
Boundaries that are too rigid and keep you from being close
Boundaries that flip back and forth between too close and too rigid
Difficulty expressing thoughts and feelings
Difficulty setting boundaries — saying “No” or stopping abuse
Lack of assertiveness about your needs
Afraid of being alone or out of a relationship
Feeling trapped in a bad relationship and unable to leave
Relying too much on others opinions
Avoidance of closeness
Trying to control or manipulate others
Feeling trapped in a dysfunctional relationship
Denial of codependency
Denial about a painful reality in your relationship
Denial of your feelings
Denial of your needs
Controlling your own feelings
Managing and controlling people in your life; telling them what to do
Manipulating others to feel or behave like you want (people pleasing is a manipulation)
Addiction to a substance or process
Um, well damn! As a mental health therapist with a specialization in working with individuals with co-occurring disorders (i.e. someone with both a substance use disorder and at least one other mental health disorder such as bipolar disorder), I am fully aware of those who present with codependent behaviors. I’m actually well-versed in the subject matter, but for years I felt as if I was above those issues due to my studies and career in the field… How foolish! It wasn’t until there was a major crisis within my immediate family 1.5yrs ago, the heart breaking end of my last relationship 6 months ago, and my participation in brief outpatient therapy which ended about 3 months ago, before I realized that a lot of my stress and depression was directly related to my freaking codependency issues!!! Cue the cartoon light bulb above my big ass head!
Therapy brought me back to life. It helped me to get centered and put my life into perspective. It helped me face my denials and hold myself and others accountable. It helped me deal with my extreme feelings of guilt and shame. It helped me gain the strength to say “NO!” and feel ok about it. It helped me to loosen my death grip on everything and everyone because, can you believe this?, I actually don’t have all the control in the world. It helped me to recognize where I was being taken advantage of. It helped me to simply let go and forgive myself and others.
I still care about other people and some things, but not at my expense. I do what I want and drop whatever gets in my way. I thank God that I have peace today… #ZeroFucksGiven
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