You’re welcome! For I know that after reading that title, you have now stepped into a brand new understanding of how life works. But seriously though, how annoying is it, when a saying that you have heard 50 thousand times over the span of your life, finally fucking clicks!? Like, OHH THAAAAAT’S WHAT THAT SHIT MEANT?! Let me tell you, as true as this is for me in this moment, I am aware enough to know that I will reread this a year from now and be like, “this bitch!.. Thinking she had it all figured out, one plus one equal’s life will now be smooth sailing”. But we aren’t there yet, so I’m gonna go ahead and celebrate this new found enlightenment. So here is goes…
“Hello, my name is Jessica Kelly, and I am a co-dependentaholic”
::meeting room is silent because nobody showed up to the meeting, because someone else they know and love needed them, and they “forgot” they had to show up for themselves::
So now that that’s out there, let me tell you how I figured this one out, and how god damn agonizing the withdraw symptoms are. First and foremost, withdraw is happening to Me, and only Me, so here I am dealing with this shit alone, because I have finally realized that I am not anyone nor am I in control of anyone but myself. Yep, you might want to reread that one. Until pretty much today, I honestly did not comprehend the fact that I am soul-ly a representation of my own true identity. Meaning, I am not my titles, I am not my relationships, I am not my career. Therefore, I do not have to live my life completely enmeshed in the current state of those aspects. For example, for as long as I can remember, I have decided whether or not I was going to enjoy myself in a situation, based on how the people around me were actually feeling about it. Legit, not at all checking in with the part of me that was saying, “Hey I mean, just because they are bent out of shape about this that and the other, you like these people, and you love this song, you can go ahead and still have fun”. Nope, not Captain Co-Dependence! I shall inherently absorb all of your feelings, identify them as my own, completely abandon my intuition, and therefor stay in the safety net of people pleasing!
Another fun thing that I have always done is to introduce myself to someone, followed by who this person knows that I know. Something like this: “Hey Brian!, I’m Jess, Pat and MaryJane’s daughter!” or “Hey Debbie! I’m Jess, Kristin and Sean’s sister!”… you get the idea. Now you may be thinking to yourself, well I do that too, does that make me addicted to being codependent? YES!! Just kidding, no not at all, in fact in some cases I’m sure that way of speaking will be very appropriate. The first example that pops in my head, is meeting Ellie’s teacher or her friends parents for the first time. That could get awkward real quick if I just roll up and say “Hey, I’m Jess!” at the beginning of a parent teacher conference, giving no inkling as to why I am sitting at a toddler sized desk. But I digress. The fact is that I took this to another level. It was as if these relationships were my acronym; my M.D. of sorts. As long as people who didn’t know me yet, could group me into a category they were familiar with, I could bow out gracefully and fall into the role they needed me to play for them. That’s where I have always been most comfortable. “Oh ya need a peace-keeper, awesome I’m a middle child I was made for that shit!” “Oh need someone to listen, give you “sound advice” and encourage you to achieve all of your goals, look no further!” But the other role that I played when I wasn’t saving lives, was victim.
As you can imagine, there is a pretty stark difference between the brave hero, and the child cowering in the corner yelling out “it was her!” When I got quiet and honest enough, I realized that this is the case with every aspect of my life. It’s always a black and white dichotomy. I am either super excited or really turned off, extremely busy or being a recluse, laughing and joking or being defensive, giving advice but totally shutting out my truth. I shift between polarities constantly and as exhausting as it has always been for me, I can only imagine how frustrating that is for the people around me. But I never knew any other way, and the truth is, I still don’t have “a way” that this will all feel more natural or comfortable. But I do know that I am seeing this a hell of a lot clearer than I ever have. I also know at this point in my life, I need progress, not perfection.
The beauty and the freedom in this super messy, uncomfortable work that I am doing, is when you have these moments of clarity, you also have the understanding that there is zero blame for any of this. This is simply where I am, where I am supposed to be, and I got here in the exact right order according to my inner GPS. I mean, I have spent my entire life so wrapped up in everyone else’s business and what-have-you’s that if this was anyone else’s fault, trust me I would have figured that shit out by now. But it truly isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, my ego wishes it was. I wish I could chill in the corner of my comfy couch eating a bag of chips and a carton of ice cream, using my spoon to point out everyone in the line-up who made me this way, and throw their asses in jail. Ugh, what a dream!! But I mean honestly, the only person who I have imprisoned is my own identity, and its due time that I post bail. Shitty part is that the only form of payments accepted are checks made out to: Uncomfortable Truth Telling/Owning, Pride-Checking, Boundary Setting and Over-Due Apology Giving. Shit sucks. But I only have the one trip around the sun, and I’ll be damned if I raise a little girl who thinks that she has to check in with everyone else before she can be true to herself. So it’s time to get to work. By the way my name is Jess, and once I figure out who I am I’ll be sure to re-introduce myself. I have a feeling I am prettttty awesome. Xo