Lessons learned from The Retreat
I can’t go into details about the specifics of the experience, but I can share some of the remarkable revelations I learned.
The first major thing I learned was that I actually have co-dependent tendencies. I had no idea! I guess the first clue should have been that when my friend first recommended that I attend the workshop and then I agreed to go, I did so because I thought it would make her happy. I didn’t go with any expectation that it would be a life changing experience. I didn’t go because I was seeking a much needed, deserved, or justified sojourn into mental health. I went to please someone else. Participating in a retreat because you want to make someone happy is Co-dependence 101.
Another clue that I actually have this issue in my life, is the problem I have with boundaries. I have impenetrable walls around the parts and people of my life I should be open and transparent with; and I have nonexistent barriers where some discretion is advisable. This blog is a perfect example of that. Some of these posts I pray get read a while others make me cringe, hit delete, and then question my own sanity as to why I would ever type such a thing.
Difficulties with moderation is another biggie in the world of co-dependency. My over-indulgence in food, alcohol, the internet, and so many other things I have obsessed and over-used through the years is a strong indicator. Who know addictive behaviors were actually strong signs of codependency?
I guess the number one reason I was finally able to let this label stick to me and admit there was an issue was the matter of self-esteem, or a complete lack of it, that I used to feel. I have come a long way from that season of self-loathing I once felt. I truly don’t hate myself any more, but I don’t always value myself, my time, or my contributions to this world. I place too much emphasis on what others think of me and not enough on what God thinks of me. How can I live a truly authentic life if I’m waiting for the world to give me the much deserved recognition I believe I have earned? People will let you down if you are relying on them to bolster you up.
After a week of going through this, I finally have an understanding of why I am the way I am and why I do the things I do. I’m in control of my responses now and that is a heady yet grounding thought. I still have far to go, but have much better understanding of where I am heading now.
Why would I share all of this with you? I share, not because I am failing to set up proper boundaries again, but because healing from the hurts of life is a process that takes effort and determination. If I can move towards healing, anyone can. I am inherently worthy and embrace the freedom found in recovery!
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a part-time basket case who wants to be a full time writer.