Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A familiar beginning

Honestly, I'd lived a life of quick fixes and avoidance of life's difficulties.  For some reason I'd never been able to build a solid footing on which to build my life upon.  I'd struggled for as long as I can remember.  One day reality struck me.  My codependent behavior affected much more of my life than I'd truly acknowledged.  There was not one aspect of my life that I "allowed" to happen.  There was always some sort of slide of hand trick I could use to manipulate the circumstances so that I would not have to suffer through any unpleasant feelings.  What a tiring and soul sucking manner in which to endure life.

The fundamental behavior in codependency is the need to control.  Unlike the narcissist who's need to control and manipulate is usually for more sinister gains, codependents are caring and compassionate people often broken in the uphill battle of addiction.  We do whatever we can to make our chaotic lives less painful.  That is everything except the one thing that would allow us to find peace; that is to allow circumstances and experiences to unfold naturally.

If my addict wouldn't hold a job I would find a higher paying job for myself.  If my addict couldn't pick the kids up from school due to intoxication I'd leave my job pick the kids up and return to work.  In my distorted reality the simplest solution was for me to overstep my areas of responsibility and MAKE things around me work.  

Truth is, if my addict couldn't maintain adequate employment for the survival of our family perhaps they should have found himself another home, thus removing some financial burden from me.  Somehow in my sick codependent mind this matriarchy and superhuman behavior was my way of keeping all the ducks in a row. Blindly, I didn't notice the sneaky fox gobbling up all the ducks!  No matter how much I manipulated or fixed, the situations kept coming.  It was exhausting.

At some point I began to live my life in a state of preparation for the next onslaught of difficulty.  I stayed in this state for many years.  I taught my children how to live life in preparation for disaster instead of living life in anticipation for miracles.  I showed the world that no matter what happened I would stand up and fight through it (not to mention showing the world that I was fool enough to stay in the line of sight for the second bullet); I showed that I was a survivor.

Eventually I burned myself out to the point that the simplest tasks seemed daunting.  I could no longer go on.  I just let it all fall apart.  Once the dust settled I saw a familiar place;  rock bottom and a beginning.  But this time I was different.  I'd begun attending Alanon and sought counseling for my own mental health.  I promised myself that I would take this new life I was given and live it honestly and without my own intervention.  This didn't mean I'd just be carefree hoping the Angels in heaven would carry me through.  This meant that I would live my life purposely, but not take shortcuts, and set boundaries that would often result in a longer wait for rewards.  This road has been rough, and I've wanted to turn back and run to comfort, but I know that this path leads me to a life that allows the greatest influencer I know, God.  This path lets me do what I can and I place the rest in his hands without fear, simply because I trust him!   Trusting God has forced me to give up my need to control and manipulate the circumstances in my life.