Do you feel anxious and overwhelmed? Combative? Are you focusing on other people's problems, and ignoring your own? Feeling as though you have to make everything in everyone else's life go smoothly can make your life chaotic. Chaos brings on stress and resentment.
To co-dependents, this is their life. They have a need to please, and to take care of the needs of others. But, this urge to do for others can be harmful to those whom they serve, and can shorten their own lives.
A general rule of thumb is not to do for others that which they can do for themselves. If they can do it for themselves, they should. For example, if you are fixing and serving meals for someone who just sits, and does little, you are contributing to their lack of exercise and thus their declining health. Simultaneously, you may be adding to your own pile of things to do, and thus to your own anxiety.
In addition, you may harbor resentment, a form of stress. You may need to learn the word 'no'. Some people may truly require your assistance or someone else's. Others may simply find you an easy target to use for their own purposes. Your health demands you make the distinction, and learn to voice your true opinion about whom you will serve, and whom you won't.
Learning to take back your time, and decide your own path will lessen the burden you carry. Life is not stressless, but it can be made more controllable. You have that choice. But you have to decide to make that move.
Many co-dependents have no idea they have choices. I was in my fourth decade before I began to understand this. Many, many tears and failed relationships later, I began the painful process of taking my power back and giving others theirs. By over caretaking, we give the other person only the power of weakness. It is a game that takes a toll on both players.
Yes, change in your actions and reactions that is maintained can bring change in those around you. And, yes, you may lose those who play this game with you the most. They will resist any change in the status quo that supports an equal relationship. Freedom has a price. Be aware. Be ready, if you really want the change. You can get it at any age!!
Anxiety can kill you. A stressed mind rules over a stressed body. The body releases compounds that keep the body reacting to this stressed state. And, the body under a constant state of anxiety declines. Anxiety, and depression can begin. Prescription drugs may then be given. Alcohol, smoking, over eating, and drugs may be used to alleviate the issues, but can become an unhealthy habit.
Stress can turn into depression. Stress depletes the body of B vitamins, as well as others. Prescription drugs often further deplete nutritional support to a body in desperate need. Alcohol and smoking also take vitamins and minerals from the body. The downward spiral begins. That is the focus on the subscription portion of this site.
I encourage you to look at your life, and lifestyle. Really look. Where would you like to be in 1 or even 5 years? What you do with your health today will impact your life goals down the road. Don't go down this road with blinders on. Find the courage to make the changes you need for the future. Put co-dependency behind you.
Linda Mac Dougall
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