I, Christina, joke, “I am a good co-dependent”. Meaning I am good at what makes me unhealthy. Aren’t we all, in some respect, good at what lessens the quality of our lives? I think the American culture mandates this, feeds it, then turns on us and chastises its followers for being unhealthy.
At the roots, nothing makes my form of unhealthy any different from anyone else’s. My drug of choice is co-dependency but could easily be any other addiction, food, shopping, gambling, drugs, porn, alcohol, whatever fill in the blank. Addictions torn down share a similar root, hurt. I once was hurt, so now I_____________. It’s common, it’s everywhere. They tear us down and pull us apart. We are pulled apart from ourselves, apart from our spouses and apart from God. Hurts and addictions, whether hidden or out in the open, are within us all. Yep, I said “all”. I’ve met no one who has gone through life unscathed and they all have a “thing”.
My “thing” is co-dependency, which means:
I assume responsibility for other’s feelings and behaviors.
I feel guilty about other’s feelings and behaviors.
I am afraid of my anger, yet sometimes erupt in rage.
I worry about how others may respond to my feelings and opinions.
I have difficulty making decisions.
I minimize or alter how I truly feel at times.
I am very sensitive to how others are feeling.
I judge most things I think, say or do harshly as “not good enough”.
I can perceive myself as unlovable and unworthy.
(This list is half of the co-dependency check list written for Celebrate Recovery. )
This negative list of attributes doesn’t exactly exemplify me as a person. In conversations with my husband, I turned the word “co-dependency” into “co-d” for shorthand since we were both so familiar with the term. “Co-d” eventually blended further in my head to “code-d”,
a substitute for Code: Death.
It seems to be a harsh substitution I am sure. Do I think I am going to die because I am a “good co-dependent”? No, not really. Not a physical death at least: perhaps a spiritual death, dying to what could become healthy in my life if I continue to walk the line of choosing unhealthy behaviors.
Throughout this streak, I’ve wondered, how come other happily married couples don’t do what we are doing? Are we so different from the rest of American culture, why? We both have our garbage in life. We have both been hurt in life and we both still deal with the repercussions of those hurts. Am I such a good co-dependent that I not only came up with the idea for the streak of daily intimacy but followed through with it for 714 days simply to please my husband?
The answers are, IDK, yes, beats me, nope. Respectively.
I guess that means I am not as good of a co-dependent as I thought I was.
Funny things start to happen when God’s word becomes a priority in life. In 2012 I got serious about reading my Bible every day. Within these last three years of daily digesting His word, health and peace, knowledge in who I am and a new kind of closeness with my husband all began to evolve. Intimacy occurred, intimacy with God and His word and intimacy with my husband. While I am not fixed, I still deal with my Code-D tendencies; I am healthier with God as my daily, moment by moment leader. He never promised to fix any of us, but He did promise He would never leave us.