Codependent behavior can definitely impact ones quality of life in a very negative fashion.
In my own example it was very clear about the kind of men I attracted into my life before I "let go of my need to rescue." I attracted men who were distant or obsessed or addicted. I found men who needed my fixing. "Why?" I would ask myself; “am I a virtual magnet to these bad boys?” I know now that there was a deep, unconscious yearning to feel better about myself by fulfilling my “mission” to save these poor suckers. This has all the earmarks of a form of mental illness. Yes, it certainly does and… is!
Rescuers deplete their own precious energy. They are harried and resentful. I had always put myself last and it showed. I have no doubt that if I hadn’t recovered from this it would have manifested in some grave illness. Thank Buddha!
I remember as though it were yesterday, the very first Alanon meeting I went to, those many years ago in Barcelona Spain. That night I arrived home and couldn’t sleep because my mind was spinning from all the insights that I had received from the other members. Then and there I had the one of the greatest epiphanies of my life! I realized, down to a fundamental and cellular level, that I truly believed I didn’t deserve love. I came to the surface of this ocean I was drowning in. This murky, deluded ocean of my denial and I saw for the first time the truth of my entire existence” that I truly believed I didn’t deserve a wholesome love, a nurturing love, an extraordinary love!” This was the moment that has changed the path to my entire life!
To enlighten myself and my friends I continue to study and remember. I vividly recall the week I went through an actual physical withdrawal of codependency. Withdrawal of the drugs sent to my brain by this rescuing, caretaking behavior. I had no idea what it was. Only that I was shaking all over and felt so disoriented and not at peace in my own body. Luckily, I studied and learned that this ill behavior was my body’s reaction to living outside my comfort zone. I was embarking on a new uncharted world.
Thanks to the Alanon program and the many, many wonderful books and workbooks I’ve encountered, I can now say I love my life. I love my body, I love myself. I put myself first and everyone benefits.
A wonderful book to read is: Courage to Change
One day at a time in Al-Anon
I am kind, gentle and generous to myself always. I always ask myself first, “Do I really want to do this or is it my need surfacing once again to rescue or to people please.
Another important point in getting well is:
We do more harm than good when we interfere in another’s process of life. Mind your own process!
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