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My name is Sarah, I'm 56 and I'm recovering daily from the Co-dependency which has ruled my life thus far. I used to laugh at jokes I didn't understand because I thought I'd look stupid if I admitted I didn't find them funny. I just wanted to be like everyone else in the room and fit in, when inside I was so alone and at sea. I had no idea how crippling my Co-dependency was until I had to address it, on my knees and desperately struggling to understand why my life was still such a struggle after 10 years recovery in AA. I discovered that I had quite literally depended on everyone and everything throughout my life to give me credence. I smothered my loving husband with my needs and demands for security and esteem. I depended on his approval to make me happy and I went into deep depressions and rages at his perceived disapproval of me. If he was happy I was happy, when he was down, I went lower. Just one look was enough to send me spinning. 

My core beliefs about myself had no voice. The poor man was only expressing normal everyday behavior, but I was interpreting it as direct judgement of me. I didn't have a clue how to assess my own feelings and behaviors. Our marriage is now over. I am mourning my marriage but I'm embracing a new found sense of self. Today I don't need someone to tell me I'm ok. I can see it for myself. I've learnt to laugh at myself and lighten up..... Life is precious and when I feel low I realize it's just the normal everyday rhythms of life and I don't need to find a person or a hook to pin it on....I can own my own feelings and stay with them. 

When my daughter throws a teenage hissy fit, I detach with love and leave her to it. I've learnt to observe my reactions to others and gauge my reactions. I've learned that 90% of what goes on around me is NONE OF MY BUSINESS!! When I'm in a low place I don't need the whole world to know it and give me their pity and a hand out of it.....it's MY stuff, it will pass and no one needs to know. Today I have a voice of my own and if I say something I don't need someone to validate it to make me feel ok. Today I am powerless over others and how they feel. Today is my business between me and my Higher Power. Today I am responsible for the smile on my face and the twinge on my conscience. Today I am free from the shackles of my co-dependency. Today I choose to please myself, not everyone else in the room! 

I've noticed too, that my family are so much happier and at ease now that I'm not hanging around their every mood and word....they are free too! It's not called Co-dependency for nothing.

Sarah L – 7/15/16 

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