Toxic Relationships

Video

Thankfully, more and more women are learning how to spot the signs of a toxic relationship but if you’re still a little unclear, check out the video below.  I’m very glad to see this raised awareness, as it was never around when I was dating in my teens and twenties, unfortunately.  However, that doesn’t stop us from falling for the wrong guy or girl.  If you replace ‘boyfriend’ with ‘partner’, you’ll notice that it doesn’t just apply to people we date – we can end up living with or married to these individuals. Being controlled is not living a whole life… it’s living a life sentence.  Own your personal power and find a wonderful life.  If you find yourself in a toxic and perhaps even violent relationship, you might also wish to consider The Freedom Programme (http://www.freedomprogramme.co.uk/).

Emotional Abuse & Toxic Relationships

Advertisements

Great new video on codependency!

Standard

Was just sent this video today and felt the need to share it immediately.  It explains really well the ‘symptoms’ of codependency and provides a test to allow the individual to determine whether or not (s)he experiences codependency.

It’s straight-forward, very clearly presented but, most of all, I like the way it’s been put together by someone who knows and has experienced codependency themselves.  Take a look and let me know what you make of it… 🙂

Codependence… The gift that keeps on giving… and giving… and giving…

Standard

Although many might suggest that codependency is a curse, I prefer to believe that it is – at least in part – a gift.  There are many wonderful pay-offs for individuals who receive from the codependent – gifts of undivided attention, one’s needs pre-empted and ministered to, one’s thinking done for one… that kinda thing.  Oh wait… erm… what was that last one?  Oh yes… ‘one’s thinking done for one’…. hmm.

“Help…” someone once said, “..is the sunny side of control” and this would appear to lie at the very heart of the problem with codependence – and let’s face it, there’s a lot of heart in it.  The more the codependent feels out of control, the greater she attempts to regain some control, some firm-footing… and the only sure foothold she seems to find is when her feet are planted firmly in someone else’s business.  “They need to be taken care of… I know what’s best for them… I can fix their problems… if only they’d listen to me, their life would be so much better…”.  She is unable to stay in her own business or ‘fix’ her own problems – that’s way too painful… and she’s undeserving of all that attention.  Any attention she might give to herself means less time given to others and well, quite frankly, she’s not worth that because… she’s not good enough.

All this giving and over-caring and the codependent often cannot see that they’re actually taking…. Taking away an individual’s right to make his/her own decisions, meet their own needs and yes… do their own thinking.  When the gift of giving is given to oneself, the rewards are indeed bountiful.  And what the actively addicted codependent doesn’t realise is that she has more to offer those around her when she begins to meet her own needs and allow others to take responsibility for meeting their own needs too.

So if help really is the sunny side of control… Does it follow then that with self-help begins self-control…?  Getting a handle on those chaotic feelings and behaviours and letting go of feeling solely responsible for others’ well-being… Wow… I have a feeling this could be  a greater gift indeed…

Welcome!

Standard

If you’re a recovering addict (of whatever description) and you’re feeling stuck in a rut and feel ready to step into a new life, get in touch with your Recovery Coach – not a counsellor, not a sponsor, not a therapist. Recovery Coach since 2008; in recovery since October 2000.

via Welcome!.

I was lost… and now I’m found…

Standard

Every end has a beginning, they say… and this could true for many people’s lives – one door closes and another opens.  A clearcut end and beginning.  I’ve said it myself but have come to realise that, for those of us in recovery, the process is more like journeying through a maize with its ‘almost there’ kinda feeling… only to find that we’ve reached a clear spot but still haven’t quite found our way out.  Feelings of frustration, anger, anxiety, panic and other nasties start to roar like the proverbial Minotaur inside us….unless we have found the secret antedote…

“I should be further on than I am right now”… “I shouldn’t be doing this again!”… “Same shit… different day…”… “Why do I have to keep feeling this way?”  Often great teachings can fall like platitudes on deafened ears “We’re exactly where we’re meant to be right now…”  ”It’s all happening perfectly…”  Oh yeah?  Says the neg-head, the saboteur, the inner critic… the voice that’s kept us lost in this dark maize in spite of getting sober and clean.. the voice that, if left to roar, will drive us to distraction and right back into our own peculiar addictive patterns.

So… how do we find ourselves when we’re lost?  Only through kindness and compassion, in my own experience… that and not arguing with reality.  Byron Katie’s teachings show us the mirror and tell us “When we argue with reality, we lose… only every time.”

So when I find myself saying “I shouldn’t be doing this…” I reframe it to “I am doing this…” and then have to look at what’s really going on for me… what’s driving that behaviour… And turn up the volume on compassion… for me and to me, myself and I.  I give myself a hug… and love collecting 8-15 hugs a day, wherever possible… Look myself in the eye and say “I am exactly where I’m meant to be right now… and I love and trust myself enough to handle this.”  Reconnect….pick up the thread and find your way through.  There’s no need to stay lost in the maize… It’s a game, after all… and we can choose to skip through it (even through the rocky terrain) or choose to get into the fear, the anger, the frustration, head weighted down with pain… What chance is there of seeing a clear spot then?

I know which journey I’m choosing these days.  I’ve found the secret antedote – the thread which weaves through my life journey from addiction to recovery and I’m seeing clear spaces opening up all over the place…and the sun is streaming through the cracks in those walls.  I am found.

‘An eternity of frustration’… Groundhog Day…

Standard

… so that’s what Sisyphus was condemned to… pushing a boulder up a hill and before, it reached the top, it rolled all the way back down… and he had to repeat it all over again.  Phrases like ‘an uphill struggle’ and ‘Groundhog Day‘ could have their roots in this myth.  And it kinda sums up for me the frustrating part of recovery… the part before we get into recovery… when it’s ‘same crap… different day!’ and the part when we’ve made some headway in our recovery and then wham!  There goes that boulder….!

There is a school of thought which believes codependency is akin to an incurable psychological illness…. We can treat the symptoms and, at best it will go into remission, only to reappear some time later… at worst, symptoms remain constant because it goes untreated.  Hmm…  As far as I’m concerned, the jury’s still out on this one….

Yes, I agree that recycling is common and I certainly experience it.. it’s well-documented here…. But for everyone?  I’m a little wary of a ‘one size fits all’ approach.  Just as we have each had our own unique life experiences, I believe there is an element of uniqueness in our individual recoveries.  There could be common themes running through our lives… the thread which ties together a scattered life’s tapestry… but there are many other threads which create the whole interesting picture of our lives.  Recovery ties us together – in much the same way as our addiction does – yet how we deal with it and which tools will work for us is certainly individual in its making.  Just as Al-Anon and CODA are sufficient for many, therapy and/coaching provides that little bit more for others.  Seek and we shall find our recovery tools… and perhaps some of us will be fortunate enough to live them from the get-go… whilst others of us need something else… something different… and maybe it’s the same as yours and we just haven’t found it yet.  One thing’s for sure… there’s no need to suffer in silence… or to be condemned, like Sisyphus, to an eternity of frustration….

Chaos theory….

Standard

Something which seems to sow the seeds of addiction is the notion of chaos in childhood. That’s not to say that they cannot whither and die in some individuals, who somehow find coping mechanisms to deal with trauma or who have been self-aware enough to seek therapeutic help or have been offered some form of therapy in childhood to stop the rot from setting in.

Chaos conjures up a lack of control… bewilderment… unnerving… anxiety-inducing…ground-shifting. The opposite of stability, one imagines… wherein a child might feel sure of her surroundings, her place in the family, a knowledge that there is nothing to fear and that all is calm and well…. The notion of safety.

For those of us who didn’t grow up in such an environment, stability and the idea of feeling grounded can be more than a little scary. Sometimes when we sense this rather odd feeling – the unfamiliar feeling of safety and security – we feel unsettled within and can upskuttle ourselves to restore chaos – that old familiar feeling. It might mean we move house (doing a geographical), or we break up with a kind, loving partner in favour of a familiar love avoidant (albeit unconsciously) or we leave a perfectly good job/course for fear of failure… or even success.

It is possible to change these patterns of behaviour – to embrace stability and harmony and to discard chaos – but it takes time and repeated effort and, most of all, a willingness to do so. Chaos can be pretty addictive… it gets the pulse racing after all. But a slow, steady pulse rate is pretty good by me these days… I’m no longer interested in getting high…or, more accurately, low… on chaos. What about you?

Chaos theory….

Standard

Something which seems to sow the seeds of addiction is the notion of chaos in childhood.  That’s not to say that they cannot whither and die in some individuals, who somehow find coping mechanisms to deal with trauma or who have been self-aware enough to seek therapeutic help or have been offered some form of therapy in childhood to stop the rot from setting in.

Chaos conjures up a lack of control… bewilderment… unnerving… anxiety-inducing…ground-shifting.  The opposite of stability, one imagines… wherein a child might feel sure of her surroundings, her place in the family, a knowledge that there is nothing to fear and that all is calm and well…. The notion of safety.

For those of us who didn’t grow up in such an environment, stability and the idea of feeling grounded can be more than a little scary.  Sometimes when we sense this rather odd feeling – the unfamiliar feeling of safety and security – we feel unsettled within and can upskuttle ourselves to restore chaos – that old familiar feeling.  It might mean we move house (doing a geographical), or we break up with a kind, loving partner in favour of a familiar love avoidant (albeit unconsciously) or we leave a perfectly good job/course for fear of failure… or even success.

It is possible to change these patterns of behaviour – to embrace stability and harmony and to discard chaos – but it takes time and repeated effort and, most of all, a willingness to do so.  Chaos can be pretty addictive… it gets the pulse racing after all.  But a slow, steady pulse rate is pretty good by me these days… I’m no longer interested in getting high…or, more accurately, low… on chaos.  What about you?