The Art of Codependency

Hi. I feel like I should start by stating that I have never written for a blog before. I should probably also admit that I wasn’t exactly sure what a blog consisted of or how it works, but God said “blog” so I hesitantly said “yes”. That being said, here we go……..

I have been on my journey for recovery from codependency for 9 years. I say this not as a brag or a badge of honor but as a declaration to never go back to the way I used to be. I have always had an exaggerated sense of responsibility (wanting to “fix” and rescue other people), low self-esteem (I never felt good enough), bad communication skills (I would stuff my feelings), abandonment issues (I was afraid to make someone angry for fear that they might leave me) …. the list goes on and on. I was also caught in the performance trap. If I made someone else happy by helping them or doing a good job then I felt good about myself. My self-worth was based on my performance and on what other people thought of me. Through the healing process of recovery and with God’s infinite grace, I later came to learn that these behaviors all added up to codependency. My favorite definition of codependency is “someone who is willing to do more for others than they are willing to do for themselves”. That was me.

I didn’t come from a family that suffered from addictions and I didn’t have a history of abuse. Yet here I was. Broken and at the end of my rope. I was actually pretty baffled as to how I had reached this point in my life. My lowest point was one day when my husband and I had a fight (again) and he left the house angry. While my two boys napped, I went out on my back porch and cried. Not just wept but cried that uncontrollable cry of desperation. I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I called out to God to please help me. I told Him I couldn’t do this anymore and to please send some angels to look over me. I literally felt the arms of Jesus wrap around me and hold me while I cried. My tears eventually ended and looking back I realize that at that point I began to heal. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had taken my first step.

My life was out of control and I came to realize that only God could put the pieces back together. God put people in my path to help me along the way. Angels on Earth that didn’t always know what a difference they were making in my life. I started attending a weekly recovery service and a codependency small group, seeing a therapist; heck I even changed my radio station. Slowly my habits and thought patterns began to change. Many baby steps started to add up and I could see a difference in my life. I felt at peace, even as the storm raged around me. The truth is that I first came to recovery to support my husband and his recovery. I was shocked to discover that I was part of the problem. I thought that if my husband would only “fix” his issues then we would be fine. The truth was that I needed to focus on myself and my own issues. It has been and will continue to be a process….a journey….never a destination, but God is right beside me and lots of times there is only one set of footprints in the sand.

If I ever get up the nerve to get a tattoo, it would say “Miracle in progress”. That is what I truly believe we all are, we just have to let go and let God.

– Raylene Edwards

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