My Codependent Valentine

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It is the day before Valentine’s day, and what better way to show my appreciation than with a story time about relationships.

As many of you may know, heard or read, I have struggled for the past two decades with being in severely codependent relationships of all kinds. It has been one of the biggest obstacles I’ve created for myself that kept me away from self-love and from having an unshakable foundation rooted in joy.

Let me begin with my definition of co-dependency. What I find to be true is that it means when a person takes on the responsibility of another person’s life through different means, for example: manipulation, control or blame and shaming and thus completely neglects their own life. What I find is that a codependent person forcefully tries to take the steering wheel of life away from another person. What we don’t realize is that even if we have good intentions to “save” or “help” them, we are communicating that we don’t believe they can take control of their own lives, that they shouldn’t be responsible for themselves and that they are incapable of healing and growing on their own. We are literally taking away the opportunity for this person to be able to reach their own epiphanies and learn the lessons from their specific circumstances that leads to growth and becoming the best version of themselves. We are taking away the shadow work that is so valuable for each person to do.

Codependents often find themselves in a vicious cycle with these relationships. They try to “fix” someone, that person is uninterested in their “help” and rejects them, the codependent person lashes out in anger and the other person rebels against them leaving the codependent feeling “used” and “taken advantage of” once again- not realizing that it was none of their business in the first place.

For as long as I can remember I involved myself emotionally, even physically, in the lives of others- taking it extremely personally when they rejected my advice and ultimatums. The more I pushed and shoved my way in, the more people backed away from me. I was also unable to realize the amount of resentment I built up against the people I loved for not changing into who I believed they should be and when they needed to do it. The feeling was mutual of course, my loved ones bottled up more and more anger towards me until we would both explode, creating long-lasting effects that caused our relationships to crumble.

It wasn’t until I was left on my own by my partner and my friendships fell apart that I realized I was suffering from deeply rooted codependency. Through lots of research, reading and reflection I figured out that the only person I had any control over and should assume responsibility over was myself- and I had not been doing that in any way shape or form. As a codependent I was quick to succumb to feeling like a victim and even paraded my victim mentality around town, playing the sad girl woe-is-me card to anyone who would listen- and even to people who didn’t want to! I thought so poorly of myself that I was using the distraction of other people’s problems as a way to avoid facing my own darkness. I had absolutely no sense of self-love, and had placed all of my self-worth in the hands of other people’s approval. Because I had taken control of other people’s lives (or tried to), I believed that other people were responsible for me and my happiness. I didn’t know how to trust myself and always sought for answers externally. I thought that others had to change in order for me to feel love and joy. Man am I glad that I was wrong!

It took my separation for me to finally have no choice but to look at my life- all of it- and plunge head first into the darkness that we call our shadows. I had to literally use all of my will power to move my focus from my partner and even healing for the benefit of our relationship to just myself. I had to accept that I had inherited and experienced trauma, limiting beliefs and god knows what else that had caused me to become the way that I was. And thus, the shadow work began.

I feel like codependency can be like an addiction, especially if we’ve been that way for the majority of our lives so it makes sense that I have relapses every now and then. I have to remember to have compassion for myself, take a step back and take inventory of how I am feeling, behaving and what my intentions are. I remind myself in these moments that I am here to help, inspire and guide those around me, but that it is their responsibility to do the work. I try to remember to have compassion for them when I get angry or frustrated- because I too was once in their position so who am I to judge? We can only make changes when the necessary clicks in our brains have been made and when we are ready to do so. All I can do is bring the focus back to myself and offer my love and support- holding space for their growth.

 

 

Thank you for reading my post today. I wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day, please remember to take the necessary steps to love yourself on this day and every day after. For those of you lovelies who attended my Valentine’s Self-Love Goddess Ceremony, don’t forget to give yourself your card and read the beautiful letter to yourself!

 

Love always,

Mabes

my path to healing trauma


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Trauma happens to all of us, it can be something tragic that occurs when we are children, or a series of micro-traumas throughout our life. We accumulate trauma in our body and it effects our mental, emotional and physical bodies in a harmful way unless we go about healing.  As an almost 30-year-old, I have had my share of life-altering events and micro-traumas. While I began to learn about self-development early in life, it took me well into my 20’s to become aware of all the underlying trauma that was living inside me. The desperation I felt in 2016 when I was diagnosed with PTSD, depression, anxiety and panic attacks was enough to make me not walk, but run towards healing.

Choosing to heal means taking full responsibility for ourselves and our lives. It means we will not be playing the victim or choosing to pity ourselves and stay miserable just because of our past experiences. It means that only we can make the choice to heal or be a victim. I feel that when we don’t heal ourselves, that we continue to attract situations, and people into our life that reflect our subconscious beliefs and fears. Below are some of the different things that proved successful for me and that I am still doing today.

Therapy is something that thankfully worked out for me with the first person I made an appointment with. My therapist was so full of compassion and just as passionate about self-development, spirituality and the power of our mind as I was. She was the one who was able to shake me into awakening with her words to the fact that I had been telling myself stories, and allowing them to subconsciously bring me down for 20 years. If it wasn’t for her, I’m not sure I would have ever told my parents about my childhood trauma- something that literally and uncontrollably flew out of my mouth the minute I left the building. She helped me to figure out that I was harboring so much guilt and shame towards myself and it was causing me to hold myself back in many ways. With each session, she was able to catapult me into the direction of healing and developing myself into a better woman. I will forever be grateful for her.

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to research the things that I am passionate about. While I was far from thrilled about my mental and emotional instability, I was still able to find within my darkness, the fire I needed to learn all I could about my depression and the symptoms and feelings that I felt. I quickly began reading through dozens of articles on holistic healing, watching videos about curing panic attacks and anxiety, put together my symptoms to be able to give a name to what I was feeling (co-dependency and de-personalization), listening to podcasts with self-development experts, doctors and spiritual teachers, and reading endless books. I was in such a dark place that I was out of work for over a month, and I was unable to be alone. Everything that was occurring was so overwhelming but the thought of not trying to heal, forever doomed, scared the shit out of me so that my number one priority was to get better.

Journaling has always been one of my stress relieving outlets since I was a child. As a teen I stopped writing and it was my depression that got me back into journaling and even what gave me the courage to start my blog. I know now that for a long time my throat chakra was blocked up. I was petrified of speaking in front of people and it was even part of the reason why I dropped out of University (the first time). When I would speak, everything that came out was filled with anger and fear, I was unable to talk without hurting those around me. Writing is what allowed me to express myself and learn to communicate in a healthy manner. When it comes to blogging, it is the tool I use to voice my truth so that I let it out of my body, and as a way to bring awareness to my readers.

Writing was also what helped me to create self-developmental “charts” for myself where I could work through all of my spiritual, emotional and mental blocks. I created tables for figuring out boundaries for myself, the fears I felt in my relationship and how to work through my emotions in a way that validated what I felt and helped me to look underneath to reveal the subconscious fears and needs that my body was trying to tell me. It was how I was able to learn to face my extremely uncomfortable emotions head-on so that I was able to feel them and find the root cause behind it. Each time I did this I felt the relief of the heaviness lift off me that had been weighing over me for so long that it felt normal.

I began meditation in 2013 when my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 &1/2 breast cancer and thyroid cancer. It was my brother who acted as a catalyst when he taught our family about the power of our thoughts. With this knowledge I went full-force into spirituality and self-development. Meditating is what I truly believe got me through those tough years at home and in a job that was unfulfilling. I meditated every chance I could, sometimes up to 4 times a day. These were also the last years of my partying phase. When I was younger, I used drinking and drugs as a coping mechanism to numb out my feelings. I can truly say I was just floating through life without a purpose or care for anything or anyone around me, including myself. Maybe it was the psychedelics or the hours dedicated to meditating and opening my chakras that has now led to my hyper-awareness. After the depression it was like a life-long curtain was lifted from my whole being- it made me think that I was possibly depressed my entire life and I was now able to see it. Regardless, it caused me to become so hyper aware of everything around me; the people I surrounded myself with, how I behaved, but most importantly, my emotions. What was so easy to numb before was the complete opposite now. It was like each fear, thought and emotion came with a big red sign, horns and flashing lights. At first this shook me to the core, it made me feel completely ungrounded and even crazy. But deep down I knew I was experiencing some type of shift inside and that as petrifying as it was to face my fears and emotions, I knew I had to do it if I wanted to survive and live a healthy and stable life. I knew that I could not live with myself if later in life I had a family and passed down all of my trauma and subconscious beliefs, knowing now that I have a choice to heal and I chose not to.

Each time I felt overwhelmed, anxious or hopeless I knew in my core that the way out was to go through it in meditation. It was extremely difficult and painful most times, but I knew It was my way to healing. Now meditation acts as a way for me to reflect on myself and is part of my grounding practice in my morning routine. Sometimes for days, even weeks, I stop meditating, but I always come back to it. I know when I do it, I am home.

Healing the inner child was something I had heard about vaguely in the numerous self-help books, podcasts and books I read. At first glance it sounded ridiculous but after the idea kept popping into my head at random times, I knew I needed to at least give it a chance. What I like to do is meditate and use visualization as a way to bring myself back to each traumatic event (yes, that means purposely reliving it again), and watching it like an outsider. Then I go to the younger version of myself in the visualization and I just hold them, love them and console them. It is what gives me the epiphany I need to connect the event with a subconscious belief or fear that I’ve been holding onto my whole life so that I can finally heal and let it go. I’ve done healing inner child meditations using guided videos the first time, but after that, I was able to do it on my own. I’ve been able to “go back in time” and heal fears around finances, relationships, family life and even my sexual trauma. As an adult we experience triggers and many times we have no clue why. Instead of running away from or avoiding the trigger, or even blaming others, what I believe is the most beneficial is to find the root of the trigger and heal it. I know I don’t want to be running for the rest of my life avoiding people or situations. While it can be very difficult to willingly revisit traumatic times, it has the most profound and life-altering effect and I highly recommend it.

Doing shadow work and healing from trauma is never an easy thing and it has no quick fix. But you will never regret having the courage to heal from the past. After I overcame my big depression, I was able to have so much gratitude for it. Now when I experience difficult times, I can recall on how strong I was to overcome my trauma so that I know in my heart that I can overcome anything.

Thank you all for reading this, please reach out if you have any questions or experiences you would like to share. I am not a medical professional so be sure to find help if you need it.

 

Love always,

Mabes