Step 1- "We admitted we were powerless over the effects of alcoholism or other family dysfunction, that our lives had become unmanageable."
How nice it is to not worry about things that are not my problem. I do still have the tendency to get overly concerned with things that are not my responsibility. But I am getting better at realizing when my codependency kicks in and NOT acting on those feelings. And then feeling good about my ability to not to act out of some misguided sense of duty.
Hard as I try, I can't control everything. At times, I can control almost nothing. And being OK with that is the most liberating feeling!
Like it says in "The Problem"; "We had come to feel isolated, uneasy with other people, and especially authority figures. To protect ourselves, we became people pleasers, even though we lost our own identities in the process."
To me, this is the root of my urge to overcommit my time, energy and effort to a given person or project. It used to be an automatic, fear based reaction for me. The thinking goes something like...If I offer something of value to you and make you dependent on me, you can't hate me.
Now I stop and think about it... What's best for me? Is that something I really want to do? Do I really have the time needed or will I be sacrificing completing some other important matter? How much will I resent putting my own needs on the back burner for this?
Or when I really get stressed I ask myself, "Is the earth going to stop spinning if I don't jump in here?"
These questions bring me clarity and I can then make a decision with confidence and no regrets. And sometimes, because I'm focusing on taking care of ME, the answer has to be "no". Reasonable people usually understand. My great fear of being castigated by someone because of my decision never materializes. And I know that if someone tries to use guilt or pressure me unduly, THEY are being dysfunctional. And that's never a good enough reason for me to do anything.
It sure feels good when I treat myself this way. I then have more of "me" to give and share with others.
Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children