You Are Not Alone
Learning to Embrace Codependent Recovery
Recovery from a codependent relationship can be incredibly hard. After all the work you’ve put in to try and change the nature of your relationship or even separate yourself from a toxic individual, you may still feel tempted to slip back into old habits of losing your own identity and sense of self.
Change is hard especially if you're grieving from a divorce, breakup, loss of love, loss of friendships, or disconnection from family members you used to admire and respect, especially when it comes to changing the way you interact with daily life. But it’s important that you remain strong throughout the process and continue to foster healthy life strategies that keep you free and honest in any relationship without the desire to deny your own needs to feel loved or worthy of love.
Easier said than done, right?
That's why we including this page to help you understand the grief process. Especially, when you are learning how to detach and overcome trauma and insecure, or anxious attachment issues when you struggle with a weak sense of self. Having no identity is part of feeling stuck and loss in life. Loss is loss. It's not necessary only a loss in death. Loss happens in many ways. The common emotional pain is abandonment and neglect trauma.
So, What Is Grief?
What you need to understand about grief is simple. Grief. Grief simply means the process of dealing with some kind of a loss. Traditionally, most people associate grief with death, but grief can also be defined as a loss of a relationship even if that person is still alive. Loss is a part of life, and everyone experiences grief. Then thing is, if grief is inadequately addressed or coped with, it can serve as a major trigger for relapse in folks recovering from codependency and emotional binge eating disorders cause by abandonment and childhood emotional neglect.
Abandonment is about loss of love itself, that crucial loss of connectedness. It often involves breakup, betrayal, aloneness-something people can experience all at once, or one after another over a period of months, or even years later as an aftershock says, Susan Anderson author of The Journey from Abandonment to Healing.
What is Emotional Abandonment?
According to Susan Anderson abandonment includes: Signs of Loss/Disconnection
A feeling of isolation within a relationship
A woman who has lost her job or choose to be a stay at home parent and with it her professional identity, financial security, and status has been loss.
A woman who has raised now-grown children feeling empty, as if she has been deserted.
A child feeling restless because of her parent's emotional unavailability.
A child being replaced by the birth of another sibling.
A pet dying.
A father leaving his children.
A mother leaving her children at daycare.
A child grieving over the death of her mother.
A boy realizing that he is gay and anticipating the reaction of his parents or friends.
A teenager feeling that her heart is actually broken.
A man being left by his fiancee for someone "more successful"
A woman left by her husband of twenty years for another woman.
A baby left on the doorstep.
A divorce or breakup. A intense of devastation when a relationship ends.
An aloneness not by choice.
A primal fear- the raw element that makes going through heartbreak, divorce, separation, or bereavement cut so deep.
We all have been abandon at some point in our lives!
These 3 resources help me in the beginning of my journey!
How To Cope With Grief In Recovery
It’s not always easy to know how to help after a traumatic event, but there are many ways you can support your loved one.
It can be difficult seeing your loved one experiencing the effects of trauma. Not knowing how to help them can interfere with giving the much-needed social support that loved ones can provide. The above list are all traumatic events.
Whether the person affected by trauma is a spouse or partner, family member, or friend, equipping yourself with the correct information can be the first step to helping your loved one. Understanding the grief and the grieving process can help. Your loved one may struggle to accept what is happening and remain stuck in emotional distress until they choose to heal and learn how to cope with the experience of grief. Just remember that grief doesn't mean it is your responsibility to take on other people pain. No! Your job is only to listen and be there when and if they need you.
Understand the “5 Stages” of Grief
In grad school while studying to get my doctor's degree in Christian Counseling we learned about the grief process and the five stages. In 1969, researcher Elizabeth Kubler-Ross introduced a grief concept in her book On Death and Dying. This model is widely used today as a framework for loss and the one I was taught in graduate school.
In this model, grieving people go through these five steps. But our instructor advise us to only use it as a framework. The reality is their is no real order for someone to grieve. Everyone experience loss differently. Kubler-Ross suggests that acceptance is the final step toward completing the grieving process no matter what order someone
experience anger, bargaining, or depression. Your experience of grief is your own, and any of your feelings are valid and real for you therefore use it as a framework and nothing else.
Denial: People reject the reality they face because it's too painful or different.
Anger: People want the situation changed, and they express that wish through anger at the issue or the people they love.
Bargaining: People hope they can somehow make the situation different and look for ways to make that possible.
Depression: People spend an intense amount of time just feeling awful about the loss.
Acceptance: People no longer protest or struggle. They understand that this is the new reality.
The Grief Process
What is grief ?
Grief is a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion for people, regardless of whether their sadness stems from the loss of a loved one, betrayal, from a terminal diagnosis, or one of the above examples they or someone they love have received.
They might find themselves feeling numb and removed from daily life, unable to carry on with regular duties while saddled with their sense of loss.
Helping yourself heal
Because grief is experienced in many ways, experts suggest that those who would support a friend or loved one in a time of grieving follow that person’s lead, and resist judging whether they seem to be insufficiently sad or to be dwelling in grief for too long. And it is generally unhelpful to encourage the pursuit of “closure.”
What To Say
Finding the right words when someone is grieving can be difficult, but being honest and allowing them to be heard is a good start.
It can be as simple as:
“Hey, I heard and wanted to ask if you needed anything?”
“I heard and I’m really sorry. Can I do anything?
“I don’t know what to say, but I love you so much and I want you to feel heard.”
“I’m unsure of what to say, but I’m here to listen if you need me.”
The grieving process
Because grief obeys its own trajectory, there is no timetable for feelings of pain after loss; nor is it possible to avoid suffering altogether.
Many people experience the five stages of grief denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Grief is a process of acknowledging the reality of what's happened, acknowledging how you feel about that reality, and ultimately fitting it into a new understanding of life with that loss.
Grief is an experience that shocks and overwhelms the system, and often the first response is denial. The process of grieving begins with overcoming that initial shock and recognizing that grief is what you're experiencing. Once you put words to it, you can move to the other essential stages such as sadness and letting go.
If you have trouble processing your emotions...
We Can Help.
Accepting a loss
Offering practical help and an acknowledgment of a loss are both positive actions. Many mourners want those around them to listen, ask questions, and share memories, thereby confirming the depth and validity of the griever’s feelings and helping them heal.
If you feel you’re having a particularly difficult time grieving, know that this is natural and common. If it’s getting in the way of you completing important tasks or taking care of yourself and others, you may want to consider reaching out for help.
On some occasions, unresolved grief may lead to complicated grief or depression. Discussing how you feel with a trained professional could help you begin your path to healing.
What "NOT" To Say
Some of these statements can feel rather dismissive, such as:
“At least you had them for as long as you did.”
“They’re in a better place now.”
“At least now you get to know what’s really important in life.”
“This will make you a better person in the end. You won’t always feel this bad.”
“This is all part of the plan.”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
Other responses may be laden with blame, such as:
“Now you know better.”
“Maybe you should have listened to your intuition that day.”
“I bet you won’t discount your inner voice next time.”
Avoidant vs. active coping skills
When you experience grief, you may find yourself working with active or avoidant coping skills. It may depend on the situation or on how you’re used to managing distressing events.
Active coping means you try to directly address the source of your emotional pain with thoughts or actions that change the event itself or the way you look at it.
Avoidant coping skills are more about using strategies that take your mind or heart off the event.
For example, an active coping skill may be asking someone to help you solve a problem, while an avoidant coping skill could be alcohol use or escaping with food.
How to put your coping skills to action
Developing coping skills can take time. If you’re dealing with grief right now, you can put your coping skills to work by:
activing seeking and accepting support from others
acknowledging you are in the grieving process
focusing on solving immediate problems
expressing your feelings out loud or in a journal
learning to recognize emotional triggers
getting involved in activities you usually enjoy
being kind and patient to yourself about your process
getting plenty of rest
setting goals, even if they’re small and immediate
Self Care Tips
In a sense, self-care is a coping skill. It helps you manage your emotions and get proactive about your distress.
Self-care can include:
practicing relaxation techniques
asking for support
going to the doctor for a check-up
reconnecting with family and friends
starting a new hobby
pursuing your academic or professional goals
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Deal With Your Emotional Wounds
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This is an excerpt from the LonerWife Diaries Series
Book 1 Shattered and Lost…Who Am I?
These Dairy Entries Are For Anyone
Going Through Emotional Pain or Self Awareness
and Want To Start The Healing Process of Forgiveness
and Live Life on Their Own Terms.
Empathy Journey Of Self Love and Healing From Codependency
Are you very in touch with your own emotions to the point it can be overwhelming? Are you very aware of other’s emotions and at times find yourself preoccupied with not hurting anyone's feelings? Do you notice yourself becoming overstimulated more easily than others?
Do you find your self sacrificing your happiness for the benefit of others? Do you struggle with low self esteem? At times, do you feel powerless?
Do you find yourself taking on the problems and responsibilities of everyone around you? Is your self esteem dependent on no one being mad at you? Do you find yourself feeling guilty anytime you try to stand up for yourself? Are you highly empathic and allowing yourself to be hurt by people you choose to be with – or are unconsciously attracted to?
If this description fits you, you may benefit from learning more about codependency.
Or, perhaps you may be a Empath or Highly Sensitive Person who unconscious use your gift to support and build relationships with dysfunctional people due to unresolved childhood trauma and attachment issues.
Admitting we have a problem that we cannot, or never could, control, is the first and most important step in codependency recovery no matter if you are experiencing attachment issues, childhood trauma, lack of self, or feelings of unworthiness. The common issues is that we feel that we can't stop the madness. But truth is we can! We can take the big step toward sanity, peace and fulfillment by admitting our powerlessness over our lack of self love, feelings of unworthiness, low self worth, and desire to be liked and/or accepted. It is not our fault that our parents didn't have the emotional intelligence to tend to our needs as a child. People can only love you the way they were taught to love-until they are self aware of their own behavior and choose to change. If they don't change and do the work needed to help bring light, love and peace to those around them-that's when it because our own responsibility to heal and reparent ourselves. This means learning how to love ourselves and practice self care.
No one deserves to live a limited life.
When you're ready and feel it is time to make a change.
We can help you start your healing journey or
help you understand how to adjust with your gift of Empath without allowing yourself to be hurt by people you choose to be with.
Our clients trust us to help them begin their emotional healing journey to learning how to love themselves, practice spiritual tools and self care rituals to help cope with a weak sense of self.
If you are unsure of what a weak sense of self looks like it is when you are prone to over-empathize with others to the point of taking responsibility for their feelings and actions. In relationships you tend to get swallowed up and lose yourself. The compulsion behavior to be everyone’s lover, friend, confidant and caretaker, while ignoring your own needs, goals, and well being.
At some point in our lives we have all seen one person who center their lives around others needs. Their main focus is on pleasing others or gaining attention. Their focus is not on being themselves. It’s on being what others want them to be. Or not be. Sometimes a lack of identity can manifest as always being contrary. It can also manifest as having a hard time saying no. Or, you mood depends on other people opinions if someone criticizes you, you can crumble. If someone doesn’t notice you when you want them too, you can feel worthless. And you can really look to others to give you a sense of stability, then feel disappointed if they don't. As an adult you may feel anxious all the time. Many people like myself with identity issues grew up in a household where they had an inconsistent parent. He or she might have had mental health issues, been an addict, or sick, or just unable to give you the acceptance and love you deserved. You had to tiptoe around and be 'good' or 'smart', or whatever it was that won you attention. As an adult we let our family members, partner or best friend make the decisions, and find ourself suddenly liking their hobbies and interests, or even dressing like them. We dream of a future as if it is what we always wanted, even if it includes things you never used to like. And as a result you might live in terror of being rejected or abandoned. You can read my full story in the LonerWife Diaries Series book one.
This cause us to lose our own identity!
Having your own self identity is important in order to live a fruitful and balance lifestyle free of codependency and development of unhealthy behavior habits/addictions.
Whether you’re a recovering people-pleaser, a recovering codependent, a emotional eater, a highly-sensitive person, an empath, or a chronic caregiver, or have the INFJ or INPJ personality trait our self identity whole health counseling program can guide you to live from a place of strength, authenticity, and inner peace.
Ready to get serious about finding your real identity?
Your Wound is Probably Not Your Faulty
But Your Healing
Is Your Responsibility!
Learn how to …
Realize your own self-worth
Be a caring person without sacrificing yourself
Set healthy boundaries and express your needs
Find your authentic self
Creating worthwhile goals with manageable, realistic steps
Stop codependent behaviors patterns
Help others without enabling
Set effective boundaries
Improve your self-esteem
Identify and express your needs and feelings
Manage unearned guilt
Heal from past abuse
Chose healthy relationships
Use your sensitivity as a gift and take pride in being a HSP
Cope with strong emotions and better understand their purpose
Reduce overstimulation and adjust your environment to fit you better
Increase your self-esteem and strengthen your sense of self
Handle conflict without automatically switching into anxiety, guilt, anger, or withdraw
Maintain healthy boundaries with others and express your needs
Receive guidance from your own intuition
We Repeat What
We Don't Repair!