I’ve begun to recognize some old patterns that, even though I feel like I’ve worked through they continue to reappear. They’re not quite as apparent as they have been in the past. They’re buried deeper into things, situations, relationships, but they’re there. Peeking their little heads up with their Dennis the Menace grin again and again.
Thinking about my burnout with social networking I’ve come to realize exactly what I’ve gotten out of it up until this point. It has fed my need for co-dependency in my life.
Someone on my friends list once told me that I’m always right there and quick to post a comment or send a text when someone is having a hard time. Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all. What I have realized is that from my perspective I was right there because it gave me a sense of worth to be there for someone in need. Well, not just a sense of worth but my ONLY sense of worth. This is where all of the anxiety comes in, as well, because if I’m not checking my news feed constantly how could I be there for someone when they need me if I miss their post?
Do you see where I’m going here? If I change my perspective on this and not look at it from this vantage point I can more casually enjoy the social networking sites and use them more as a communication tool, not as my way to feed something that’s not making my life better. That ‘thing’ being co-dependency. As a child of an alcoholic and an addict, co-dependency has been a part of my life from day one. It hasn’t ever served me well because it’s allowed me to ignore myself. Forty-one years later and I’m still trying to get my self worth from it. Even with all of the work I’ve done and the therapy I’ve been through. It’s something I have to constantly work on. There’s a lot of reprogramming that needs to be done. But the fact of the matter is, being co-dependent gets in the way of me getting to know who I am and what my wants and needs are. Finding those things out about myself helps me to love and accept myself and to develop my own sense of self worth. Plus, the more whole I am within myself, the better my relationships are with others. If I can't take care of myself first, how can I take care of others?
Yes, it’s good to be kind and helpful and there for a friend when they need someone but it’s not good to draw my entire self worth from that one part of who I am. There’s a difference between compassion and co-dependency.
The first step in every healing process is recognizing the illness. Even if I have to recognize it over and over again, I’m still growing and healing.