Loving Yourself After Codependency
You know that moment on the airplane when the flight attendant announces, “In case of an emergency, place the oxygen mask on yourself first before assisting others.”
The same goes for life circumstances. There are situations where we must choose to save ourselves or drown with others.
I was drowning in a relationship with a drug addict. If you’ve never loved an addict, you’re lucky. If you’ve loved an addict, you’ll understand.
Loving an addict was one of the hardest experiences I went through. But knowing when to let go was even harder. Between the sleepless nights, the constant worrying, the endless effort of trying to save her; without even realizing it, I became codependent. I sacrificed my own well-being for someone else. I spent more time trying to fix her that I forgot what it felt like to think for myself.
One of the hardest lessons I learned was no matter what I did or didn’t do, it wasn’t going to guarantee she’d live or die. At the time, I truly believed I could make a difference. Maybe I did in some way but the only person with the power was her. Addicts are the only ones in control. They are the only ones who can choose to get help. Believe me, if they want to get better, they will.
I don’t know what it’s like to be a drug addict but I do know what it’s like to love one. At times, I believed it was harder for me because I was the sober one. I could remember everything and feel everything. Whereas, she would have no recollection of the things that still haunt me.
I was so afraid of grieving over her because I had already lost so many loved ones. I tried so hard to hold on to her. However, I later realized, I was always grieving over her.
We reach a point where we ask ourselves, when enough is enough? For some it takes longer or something bad to happen to finally have the strength to walk away. As we grow older and wiser, we can no longer tolerate the things we used to.
There’s no greater pain than watching someone you love, love their drugs more than they love you.
Loving yourself means having enough respect to know what you deserve.
Loving yourself means freeing yourself from anything that is bad for you.
Loving yourself means ALWAYS making yourself a priority.
Loving yourself determines the relationship you will have in the future.
We have to think about our own health and well-being. Otherwise, people are going to take us down with them. If we stay in a black hole, we'll only get deeper and it will become harder to climb out. It’s like quicksand, unless someone throws us a rope, we can’t make it out alone.