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Hello! When I realized I was in a codependent relationship, I decided to learn how to become more independent. And it came with so many more up sides than I imagined. Here are the unexpected benefits of healing codependency.
First of all, let me give you a little background. I was raised in a majorly codependent home by parents who basically embody the definition of codependency in their own relationship.
So, when I realized I was personally codependent as an adult, I freaked out. I detail this story more, as well as how I healed it here.
But as I healed it, I got so many more benefits than I thought I would. And I want to share those with you here.
To start off, codependency tells you that your entire value and self-esteem actually comes from the other person. Which is scary, unstable and something I really hated.
Also, when I was in codependency with my parents, I didn’t like who I was because I was constantly trying to please them. EW!
But when I started becoming more independent and focused on pleasing myself instead of them, I started liking myself!
What’s really magical about finding yourself after codependency is that it actually gives you room to breathe and figure out who you are.
TIP: Ask yourself what you really like about who you are and start focusing on that.
If you’re interested in a journaling activity to find out who you are as an individual, I share one in a blog post here.
Secondly, when I started focusing on myself and healing codependency, I realized I didn’t need other people’s approval like I used to.
For instance, when I graduated from college, I decided to go to Europe to be an au pair for the summer.
But when the family I was set to work for cancelled at the last minute due to marital issues, I decided to go anyway. Since I was desperate to travel and see more of the world, I figured I could travel around a bit, then find a family to work for once I was there.
And I totally did this without asking anyone’s permission.
Also, I didn’t tell my parents because A) I was a grown adult and B) I had saved more than enough money to afford what I was doing.
So, I went solo to London and had the best. Time. Ever. Seriously, it was sunny the entire week I was there, and that never happens in London!
But when I later mentioned to my parents that I was still looking for a family to work for, they freaked out and demanded that I came home.
And I responded that I had enough of my own money, I would find a family to work for soon and all would be well.
By the way, I ended up working for a family in Tuscany and we still talk to this day. It was a beautiful summer.
While this is just one example of when I didn’t need anyone’s approval, it also spread into the rest of my life. The more you start making decisions for yourself, the more natural it becomes.
Finally, I started to believe in myself as I healed my codependent behaviors.
Since I was majorly dependent on my parents in basically every way, I had no confidence that I could do things on my own.
But the more I started trying to fly on my own, the more I realized could accomplish anything I wanted!
For example, one of my big goals was to become financially independent of my parents. So, little by little I worked up to it.
I started challenging myself to only buy things I could afford with the money I made from my job.
Once I knew I could afford to live on my own, I moved across the country to Asheville, North Carolina. And for the first time, I paid for my own life.
Also, I had the best time! I found a cute studio apartment, got a cat and had a job I enjoyed. It felt so good to be on my own.
After this experience, I became more confident.
Since I had always dreamed about moving to Paris, I decided to learn French and go to France for grad school.
So, I started taking lessons and could have basic conversations in French within 4 months.
While I didn’t end up going to France, it ended up being perfect because I soon met my husband who happens to be from France. And it’s come in handy because my in-laws only speak French.
Also, we now live in Montreal, where French is the first language, so I use it every day.
But the reason I’m sharing these little stories is so you can see that healing my codependency made my life so much more of what I wanted it to be.
And while it’s difficult to repattern your behavior and how you’re intrinsically wired, it’s totally possible.
In case you want to know how I did it, I’ll share that blog post again here.
Once I realized I was codependent, correcting this behavior is hands down the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. It freed up my energy in so many ways and has led me to have a very healthy marriage, as well as made my other relationships so much healthier.
Have you broken out of codependency? Tell me in the comments!
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