Often people ask me how they will know when they have recovered from codependency.
What will it look like? What will it feel like? How will I know that my patterns are changing for the better?
The truth is that everyone’s journey is going to look different. Please don’t compare yourself to someone else, there are still moments when I feel my old codependent behaviors surfacing, and I have to use the tools I’ve learned to work through them.
Recovering from codependency is a challenging process. Many people feel as if they aren’t making any progress and that every step forward results in two steps back. Sometimes you may fall back into old patterns, which is normal.
However, many people understand codependency but don’t know what signs will show they are progressing towards lasting change.
So what signs can you look for that indicate healing is occurring?
People no longer need to validate your worth.
Banking on someone else to assure us of our value is dangerous. It allows manipulators and toxic individuals to break us down. Knowing yourself and who you are eliminates that risk.
You stop feeling responsible for the actions and decisions of other people.
Instead of letting frustration and anger engulf you because of a seemingly stupid decision someone in your life made, you take a deep breath and remind yourself that it’s ultimately their choice, not yours.
Instead of trying to “fit in,” you embrace the qualities that set you apart/make you unique.
There is no more embarrassment associated with what resonates with you. Instead of trying to like what is “cool” or “hip,” you proudly associate it with what makes you fulfilled and happy.
You stop trying to hold onto every relationship and start letting go of the ones that no longer serve you.
The end of a relationship can disguise itself as a failure if you allow it. We constantly change and evolve; not everyone will be on that journey… and that’s okay.
When your partner/friend asks how you feel, you can look within and answer honestly.
“I’m fine.” No longer remains the default answer. Now, you can say when things are not okay or need help.
Instead of jumping headfirst into new relationships, you take a step back and tune in with how you feel every step of the way.
Exciting situations and new people can be intoxicating. However, you know your patterns and force yourself to take things slower, whether with a new romantic interest or friendship.
You set boundaries with people and don’t allow manipulative or toxic people to enter your space.
Unhealthy situations have taught you to be mindful of the company you keep. If someone crosses your boundaries, you don’t allow them to be part of your life; case closed.
Accepting that you are not responsible nor can you take on the burden of fixing other people has settled in your heart.
The first love, or the friend/family member that wouldn’t take the help you desperately offered. The guilt has subsided, and you recognize that it wasn’t your job to save them; that could only happen if they let it.
Codependency has been ill-represented in our society. Growing up, I thought it meant someone was “clingy” and never thought I fell under the criteria for a second because I thought I was independent.
It took more than two decades for me to look within and take a hard look at my relationships and behaviors.
Please don’t be hard on yourself when you backslide, and remember that many of us struggle to learn who we are and what we want in this life.
If you intentionally go on the journey to learn who you are at your core, I promise it will be worth it.