For most of my life, I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety, and…something else. It wasn’t until recently that I learned what that something else was. It wasn’t until recently that I understood more about my depression and anxiety and was able to appreciate them within a wider context. That thing that I just learned about is codependency.
Until I had a word for it, codependency was just a nebulous soup of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors I had learned in my childhood. It meant it was addicted to being needed, to helping unhelpfully, and to solving other people’s problems. It meant that I put the emotions of others first before my own, not because I’m selfless or a martyr, but because it was a way I had learned to survive and ultimately to help myself.
My mom used to call me Junior Mom, and not as a term of endearment.
But I’ve recently been given this gift of self-knowledge. Understanding that I am a codependent has helped me to take the steps to recovery.
Although it can’t be cured or even strictly diagnosed, it is widely recognized by mental health professionals as an addiction. When my therapist laid it on me (nicely), it was hard to hear, but it was also a relief. I had an addiction, and you can do something about an addiction. But it meant I needed to take care of myself.
This blog is a way to do that. It’s a way to take care of myself and get better acquainted with myself. It’s a way to put my habit of obsessing to good use.
Since depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand with codependency, mental health has long been my purview, even before I realized it. I’m not much good at small talk (which I’m trying to change), so I love good chats about mental health, addiction, disorders. I love ’em over tea or coffee or driving in a car.
I love movies and books and writing fiction, too. I am a deep fan of Nutella.
I believe we are all worthy of love and healthy human connection, and I believe we are all strong and capable of working toward that connection.
I wish you Serenity, Courage, and Wisdom,
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