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Breaking Free from Codependency: 5 Ways to Embrace Interdependence

Do you feel like your happiness is solely dependent on others' approval or that you sacrifice your needs to prioritize someone else's? Do you feel responsible for how others choose to behave? Do you feel guilty for having needs? If so, you may be struggling with codependency, a complex pattern of learned behaviors that can affect our mental and emotional well-being. It can trap us in destructive relationships that are at best one -sided or abusive.

When stuck inside of this relational dynamic it can feel overwhelming to imagine breaking free from what feels like our own self-created prison of being needed. Addressing codependency requires a multifaceted approach and it will be helpful to seek out individual or group therapy that focuses on supporting individuals who are codependent in your efforts toward change.

When we begin the complex process of changing our relational patterns it can be helpful to understand some of the ways this process will shape us. Here are 5 aspects of breaking out of codependence:

1. Increasing Self-Awareness: The first step to healing is recognizing and acknowledging the presence of codependency in your life. A journey of self-discovery can help you identify underlying patterns and triggers that contribute to codependent behaviors. Codependency often has its origins in our past and has contributed to our safety and survival in our lives while also trapping us in unhealthy relationships. Healing from these experiences may be a critical element of letting go of these patterns we are locked within.

2. Setting Healthy Boundaries: Learning the art of boundary-setting - a skill crucial for maintaining balanced relationships is critical to establishing independence and maintaining healthy interdependence.

3. Unearthing Your Authentic Self: Embrace your true self! Codependency often can lead us to reject many of our needs apart from the need to be needed. Being able to explore your needs, desires, and passions without guilt or shame can feel selfish, but it is also liberating. Reconnecting with your authentic identity is the goal and the reward of breaking free from codependency.

4. Cultivating Self-Care: Prioritizing self-care is a revolutionary act of love for yourself. Our mental health experts will guide you in nurturing your mind, body, and soul, teaching you effective self-care practices that build resilience and promote well-being.

5. Fostering Independence and Interdependence: It can be challenging to navigating the fine line between exclusive independence or dependence. But if we stay the course, we can arrive at our relational destination: Interdependence. Interdependence allows us to rely on our ourselves as capable and autonomous people, but it permits us to be vulnerable with others in supporting them and being supported by them. All of this is confined within boundaries that maintain the safety of both people which provides fertile ground for mutually beneficial connections that grow with the people inside that relationship.

I will emphasize that it will be necessary to reach out to someone or a group of people for support in your efforts to escape codependency. Being able to acknowledge and share your needs with another person is at the foundation of change. If you are reading this now and feel trapped in codependency I would challenge you to reach out to someone who can help you escape. Start that journey by contacting a therapist or a codependency support group and take the opportunity to value the incredible person that you are. If you are in our community please know that Prism Point Counseling is here as one such support and we will be glad to support you in your journey or point you toward resources that may be helpful in that process.


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