It is possible to escape your codependency. It is possible to stand strong and be yourself without needing anyone else. It is a process and it will take time, but even if you slip once in a while, just start again. Just follow through. Love yourself.
Keep a diary
Make note of the signs and behaviors of your codependency. Be honest. Write down your thoughts and feeling throughout the day. Psychologists say journal keeping is an excellent way to relieve stress and sort through your feelings. It is so important for an empath to recognize what feelings are their own and what feelings are someone else’s.
Observe others, learn and recognize
Observe and look for codependent behaviors in all relationships. A person can be codependent with a parent, a spouse, a child, or a friend. Your list can help you with this. As you observe, write down your emotions. Write down all emotions and then look deep within yourself to see if these emotions are your own or if they are theirs. There likely will be similarities if you already have acknowledged that you are codependent. Remember, when it comes to other people’s emotions, feel the emotion, acknowledge the emotion, and immediately release the emotion, especially if the emotion(s) belong to someone else.
Build up your self-esteem
Low self-esteem is a huge problem. Self-esteem issues happen not just for people who are codependent but since codependence is largely a self-esteem issue, building self-esteem is extremely important.
Build up your self-esteem by:
- changing the way that you think about yourself by recognizing your strengths
- read and watch uplifting materials
- create an atmosphere of self improvement and self forgiveness
- write down one positive thing about yourself every day
- be aware of the negative thoughts in your mind
- stop comparing yourself to others
- focus on the things you can change
- celebrate the small stuff
- do things that you enjoy
Part of recovering from a codependent relationship is learning to allow others to accept and face their own consequences. Part of codependence is continually saving others from themselves. You must learn to let go. Recognizing when helping someone is beneficial and when he or she needs to fend for themselves is an important step in recovering from codependency. Everyone around you should be responsible for himself or herself. Recognize that you are not responsible for their actions only for your reactions. You cannot control what they do only what you do. You can’t help people. You, as an empath, are meant to guide, perhaps, but first you must regain control of your life and stop being codependent.
Create boundaries and learn to say no
Setting boundaries can be difficult, especially when you are a codependent empath. Setting limits is important because it is the best way to protect yourself. With clear and defined boundaries, friends and family will know what is and is not okay. They will learn when they are out of line. If these friends and family get angry about your boundaries, it is because they do not respect you. Stick with your boundaries. Say no. If there is a problem, it is their problem, not yours. Stay strong and firm in what is best for you.
No more blame
it is not your fault that someone in your life uses drugs, is depressed, has anger issues, self-harms, or is abusive. You do not and honestly cannot control them. Stop blaming yourself for what they do or do not do. They make their own choices. You can only control your own emotions, reactions, and actions. If the consequences of their actions are negative, it is their fault not yours. Therefore, you are not responsible for correcting their mistakes nor are you to blame for them. Self blaming is an extremely destructive behavior.
Stop negative self-talk
Stop focusing on your “failures”. They are always learning moments and we move forward. Dwelling on what we did wrong does not change anything, but knowing that we learned from those moments is the only thing that should be recognized. When you catch yourself having negative self-talk, instead of forcing yourself to stop, try remembering something you like about yourself. If this is difficult, make a list and add to it regularly, of all the good things about you. Start simple, you have pretty eyes or you have a great smile. You have a wonderful child or you touched someone’s life with a smile or a kind word. When you find yourself being negative about yourself, get out this list and read it.
Focus on Yourself
By focusing on yourself, you create positive changes in your life. You can take a class you’ve always wanted to or attend a workshop that interests you. By shifting the focus to what makes you feel good and right, you add to your independence and inner strength. Be sure that you stay positive in your actions. Make sure you are taking time for yourself when you need it. Spend time out in nature, hug trees, go on picnics, watch the stars, spend time near water. Rivers, oceans, lakes, any body of water or moving water is so healing for empaths and so important on learning to love one’s self. Allow yourself to come first.
As an empath, it’s so important to ground and shield. There are many ways to ground and many ways to shield. Googling or joining an Empath Support Group are good ways to get support for your gift and your codependency.
You do not have to make these changes alone. You can get help for your codependency issues. There are a variety of community based and private organizations that help with these issues. Many people need help to stop being codependent. There is no shame in asking for help from a support group, community based organization, or treatment center.