Looking back, living life as a co-dependent was like a personal hell that I would re-create through relationships for myself over and over again. I started to feel like Bill Murray in the film Groundhog Day only I didn’t feel like an omnipotent “God” with the advantage of no-calorie pastries, I felt helpless and cursed. I lived my life like an addict, only I was addicted to being needed by others and when I was rejected I didn’t know where to turn. Usually I would turn, but I would just turn in circles like an out of control top who could not tolerate the pain any longer.
Many addicts talk about when they “hit bottom” and my hitting bottom was definitely not something to write home about. As for many, it was one of those experiences that has come back to haunt me in my own “hall of shame” many a time. Understanding co-dependency is very difficult and frustrating for outsiders. We can see certain patterns in people, but it can be trying and difficult to understand why they keep going back to that place of helplessness and loneliness whenever a relationship ends. And why they choose partners that may seem dysfunctional or simply “wrong” for them.
For me, I had deeply ingrained worthiness issues, and I chose people that would prove to me my own personal belief system- that I did not deserve a healthy, thriving relationship that fed my soul on all levels, and that had good boundaries. My lack of boundaries always set me up to fail because I compromised what felt right for me all the time due to my fear of conflict. It would build up until I myself could not handle the situation any longer. But if a breakup came out of left field, it felt like deep abandonment and I had no healthy coping mechanisms to help me get out of my personally fated riptide.
My rock bottom was not the end of my conflict, but it brought a turning point for me in my psyche that I had to take notice of. I was young and already felt tired of having to go through the motions of life. I was confronted with a break up that to me came out of left field. I was a year out of college, and still very co-dependent. When the break-up happened, I felt amazed at how people can make decisions for you and there was nothing you could do about it. But mostly, I felt downtrodden and so helpless that life simply didn’t matter anymore. There was a crack of light from my soul trying to expand itself into my ego-centered vision, but I was refusing to see it.
One night after going out with some friends and drinking I walked into my dark bedroom as if I was walking into a prison cell. I looked out my window and saw the street lamp’s light, and the beautiful leaves from the trees rustling so peacefully. In my heart, I wanted to be those leaves and not myself. I was truly sick of my ego’s helplessness. I then swallowed a bottle of pills. Before going to the hospital, I simply remember this one thought- “why doesn’t anyone love me.” What I had to learn is that my own personal love for myself and the divinity that coursed through my veins was undeveloped, and it was time to move forward. And you know what? I am grateful every day for the grace and karma that I had to take life back by the reins from that experience and remember my truth rather than reject it so I could hold onto a belief system about myself that my ego used every day to create more separation. The great divide within myself had to heal, as it does within all of us. And I look forward to doing this with others for the rest of my life.