CNM 006: Firsthand Recovery Insights for Codependents – with Debbie

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Here’s an insightful discussion with long-time codependent, Debbie, contributing to our Share To Repair program, a place where you can find a collection of stories from real codependents to learn about their struggles and what they’ve done to recover.

Debbie was the youngest of five children, but was quite a bit younger and really felt like an only child. She spent a lot of time alone, and as an adult tried to compensate for this lack of attention by getting overly involved and attached in romantic relationships. As a young adult, she didn’t like how she was, but didn’t know how to be any different. She would hop from relationship to relationship, with her partners having a common thread – a drinking problem. She was a serial dater and had a fear of being alone. It wasn’t until later that she became “okay” with herself. Debbie got involved in many recovery activities, and got great benefit from attending and even leading support meetings at Celebrate Recovery. She found the openness and anonymity of the group highly valuable. Over time, she realized the importance of knowing yourself; rather than beating yourself for WHAT you do, understanding WHY you do it so that you can begin to create thoughtful change in your life. Recovery can be like peeling an onion – you do it one layer at a time and there are tears along the way. Debbie says codependents should be familiar with what boundaries really are, and to understand what emotions are and how to translate them since they shouldn’t always be taken at face value.

In this session, we discuss:

  • Growing up feeling alone and wanting more attention
  • Debbie’s old desire to “fix” other people
  • Relationship-hopping / serial-dating
  • Why it’s tough to leave a bad relationship
  • The “Aha” moment of knowing she was codependent
  • The activities Debbie did for recovery
  • Where to find understanding and empathy for your codependency
  • “Retreat, Rethink, Respond”
  • Debbie’s biggest advice for codependents

Items mentioned in this podcast include:

We LOVE your comments. Feel free to comment below the episode. Questions? Comments? Anything you wish we would have discussed more about?


~William Heart