When we are choosing the people in our lives, we like to pick ones that comfort us and support us in our times of need. Part of our relationships with these people means supporting them as well. Some of us don’t really know what it means to be supportive, and we do the best we can.
So, what does it mean to be supportive? What can we do to connect with our loved ones better, and help lift them up without any burden to ourselves? Luckily, the answer is quite simple.
Many of us are fixers – we like to solve other people’s problems, lend a hand, and make sure everyone else’s lives are running smoothly. As a fixer myself, I know that more than enough time is spent on these tasks. Living as an adult child of an alcoholic means that I am well versed in the art of fixing, whether it is cleaning up after someone, fixing their mistakes, or bailing them out of trouble when that might not be the best thing for them. Being a fixer is not a bad thing; many of us are caregivers by nature, and we genuinely do love to help out. Being a fixer just means we spend a little too much time focused on fixing others.
Unfortunately, the best intentions can sometimes go astray. We know that we are coming from a loving place or wanting to help and connect with the other person. Constantly telling them how to fix their problems, however, is not what someone wants out of a supportive friend, and we often get pushed away. Continue reading
For a long time, there was a point in our lives where the things we were saying were not being heard. Nobody was listening, and we didn’t understand. But we saw our mothers and fathers get things done in more evasive ways. They never came out and said directly what they needed or what they wanted done, but things got done. As we got older, we noticed that we had picked up the habit, but that other people didn’t communicate in the same way. They felt no shame asking someone for what they needed, and they didn’t have to stomp around, cursing and making noise in order to get a message across.
For the most part, passive-aggressive tendencies are not appreciated. For instance, someone I once knew moved to college and was put into a suite with several other ladies. Having an early class, and not wanting to wake the other girls, she left a note that asked if the person that left the dishes in the sink could please clean them up. Well intended as the note was, it did not have a happy reception on the other end. The note ended up causing tension, and the writer of it did not understand what was so bad about it. In her mind, she was doing what she was taught – tell someone something indirectly when she felt like she couldn’t directly. She felt since the note wasn’t angry or very urgent, it wouldn’t make sense to wake someone up just to tell them that. The other girls, however, thought that she was too afraid to go directly to the person that left the dishes and ask them. Of course, things were returned to normal afterwards, but it led the note writer to examine her communication skills, and find that she really was not very direct – even though, in this case, it worked out. Continue reading
Hello all! Today I want to talk about the topic of perfection. As codependents and love addicts, we have striven for perfection constantly, only to be disappointed when our expectations were not met. Whether it was someone else we were trying to impress or just ourselves, we were hard on ourselves for not executing it perfectly.
We don’t have to be hard on ourselves. Nobody in this world is perfect! We seem to hear that from people all the time, but the struggle is in understanding and really believing it.
We look at other peoples’ lives, especially with social media, and they seem to have it all – jobs, families, houses, vacations, and happiness. But there is so much of peoples’ lives that we do not see, and each person has their struggles. Truly, nobody is perfect. Continue reading
We all have a right to say no. Most of us are used to hearing this phrase in terms of drug use or consent (“Just say no!” and “No means no!”). Many of us feel as though we are obligated to do things, or that if we commit to something, we cannot change our minds and back out. This is false. We have the ability to make our own decisions, and to say no whenever we feel we need to.
Saying no can be hard! There are people that we want to impress, and a lot of the time, we truly don’t mind doing something for a person here or there. There are some of us however that feel overwhelmed with how much we have agreed to do, and we find ourselves unable to say no. Perhaps we want to seem like we are always willing to help, or we want to give a good impression of ourselves. Maybe, we don’t even realize that our problem is saying yes to everything. The good news is that there is always room to grow. Continue reading
Expectations: we all have them. Maybe we wake up and think it will be a good day. You were on time all morning, and just about to get to work when an obstacle arises, causing you to be late, thus ruining your momentum, perhaps even your day. We have all heard the sayings, “expect the unexpected!” and “it will happen when you least expect it!” Do we ever stop to think about what our expectations are? We certainly do.
In fact, we might do it too much. We expect to have a fun time at our friend’s party, or a mediocre time during family holidays. Sometimes, we are so focused on what we expect to happen that we miss out entirely on the events. Perhaps because we expected not to have fun, and sat in a corner sulking, trying to prove our own point. Maybe we had expectations and then were disappointed with the result because they did not fit our vision. When we put our hopes into expectations, we will usually be disappointed, because expectations are a wish, not a guarantee. The only guarantee that is true with expectations is that you cannot predict what will happen. Continue reading
Hi everyone! Today I want to cover the topic of intimacy, something vital to each of our lives, and a topic that is a big part of love addiction and codependency.
A lot of us have found that in relationships, we have lost ourselves, and a big struggle is trying to rebuild our behavior patterns in relationships so that we can have healthy relationships where that doesn’t happen. We have also found that the people we choose to be intimate with are unavailable to us emotionally, or maybe we have even found someone to be intimate with, but we push them away and sabotage our relationships. Intimacy can be scary! Continue reading
Hi guys. Today I want to talk a little bit about the topic of letting go of our fears of abandonment. I think it’s a really important subject when delving into love addiction and co-dependency, and fear of abandonment is one of the main things that prevents people from getting out of unhealthy relationships.
The idea of being abandoned is scary. Nobody wants to be left alone to fend for themselves. As humans, we are social creatures, and having other people and even animals in our lives is comforting and part of being human. The issue then, is when our fear of being alone – a reasonable fear – becomes so deep that it prevents us from being independent. We can be independent people without having to give up healthy relationships. What we have to strive for there is balance. Continue reading
For many people hearing about drug abuse, addiction is seen an issue faced by those with limited resources and limited ability to make changes in their life. However, celebrity drug addiction, including the recent death of Prince, shines a light on just how pain medication addiction can be found at any level of society.
According to friends of the late singer, Prince had an addiction to opioids that has been with him for at least a decade. He was first seen taking opioids after a hip strain, and he continued to up his dosage to continue to perform as early as a decade ago. Continue reading
In addition recovery programs that are holistic and client-based, resiliency training is one of the key elements of the program. People with addiction have lost their ability to be resilient, and they lack the coping strategies to deal with the challenges and obstacles life throws in their path.
Often this lack of resilience actually comes from unhealed and untreated trauma that may have occurred throughout childhood. This type of trauma can be devastating and lifelong, but it can also be treated even later in life, and the client can develop coping skills and rebuild the resiliency to be able to bounce back when life seems to be going in the wrong direction. Continue reading
When people talk about visualization strategies it is often in the framework of seeing yourself as you want to be when you are at your goal. This is certainly important as one part of the visualization process since if you don’t know where you are then you won’t know the steps you need to get to that destination. However, there are smaller steps to visualizing success that can help you make the right decisions every day of your life. Instead of just focusing in on the huge mega plan, you also need to spend time seeing yourself being successful in the details as well. Continue reading