Friday, January 7, 2011
Codependent no More!
Almost 17 years ago, a friend introduced me to the book Codependent No More, by Melody Beattie. Her books had been around for a while, but they say that when the student is ready the teacher appears, and not a moment before. I devoured that book, Beyond Codependency , the Codependent´s Guide to the 12 Steps, and a few others, in order to move past the feeling that if only others did this or that I would feel better, my life would make more sense, and I would be happier.
Throughout the years, I´ve had to dust off these books and reread them at different times, because codependency is not something that simply goes away. It may resurface under challenging circumstances. So, here I am, revisiting this bestselling author and all of her books.
I recommend them to anybody who can say yes to at least a couple of these statements:
- Believe your happiness depends on somebody else´s behavior
- Think you can change people, places and things, and you try hard to!
- Deal with someone with an addiction on a daily basis
- Have to deal with someone with a mental or physical disorder
- Feel bad for other people and absorb their problems
- Are extra sensitive and suffer because of it
- Feel bad about someone else´s pain and absorb it as your own
- Want everyone to like you
- Want to please everyone
- Feel that you are responsible for someone else´s happiness
- Go out of your way to please everyone, except yourself
- Engage in fatal attractions and stay in toxic relationships
- Have unresolved anger
- Have feelings of guilt
- Feel you are always right, and everyone else is wrong
The list could go on and on, but most of us can probably relate to at least one of the above.
The bottom line is that really, we cannot put our happiness in anybody else´s hands. We also cannot think we hold the key to someone else´s happiness. Each one of us may not always be to blame for what is going on in our lives, but we are definitely responsible for making it better.
And we cannot make everyone happy. So, let´s make ourselves happy, detach, and live in the present.
Melody Beattie continues to write books, also about grief, after her son was killed in a skiing accident.
One of my resolutions this year: to continue to take responsibility of my own happiness and let go of the woulda, shoulda, coulda´s …
To know more about my books: www.lorrainecladish.com