How to Break Free From Codependent Family Patterns

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If you grew up in a codependent home, this episode will help you break free from the patterns of enabling and giving up your needs for others.

How many times have you lost yourself in some chronic family crisis, giving and giving until there is no more left to give—and yet you give more. Out of love, out of duty, out of knowing that everyone looks to you?

My radio guest, Jodee Prouse, knows about codependent family patterns from personal experience. Her memoir, The Sun Is Gone, is about trying to halt the alcoholic decline of her beloved brother amidst a lifetime of codependent family crisis and dysfunction. It is both a cautionary tale and a beacon of hope for women to find the strength to make difficult yet healthy choices.

Her motto is: LEARN. ACCEPT. FORGIVE. AND HEAL. Check out highlights below of episode #281: The Power to Stop Enabling in Relationships.

Break Free From Codependent Family Patterns

Please summarise your story so we can understand what your life has been like growing up with alcoholism in the family.

We have alcoholism in so many branches of our family tree. Nothing impacted me more than when my younger brother became addicted to alcohol. I thought no one would believe that alcohol would do what it did to him. I was lost on the journey, and I thought other people could learn from what went right and what went wrong for us.

My brother was sweet, kind, and he had a great job. He was loved by everyone. He was my best friend. We were dedicated to each other. I didn’t understand wy I kept rescuing him until I took a step back.

While he fought the battle of alcoholism, I neglected my own health, family, and job as I was consumed with helping him. When I finally got to my lowest point, I began to disengage. Up until then, I believed he was trying to get better, and that my support would help him. The breaking point for me came when I went to therapy and asked what I could do to help myself. Codependents concentrate so much on the sick, we don’t realise we are helping them along. 

How do you define codependency?

Codependency is about people pleasing, looking after other’s needs before your own, and engaging in a dysfunctional one-sided relationship. 

Women often feel they must be the fixers, the caretakers to the detriment of themselves and their own values, self-respect and self-protection.

 

How can women break away from these old patterns of codependency and lack of self-care?

I was blessed to be able to afford private therapy, and that’s what saved me. I also read books, went on the internet, and joined private Facebook groups.

The most important thing is to be honest with yourself and come to terms with codependency. If you’re not prepared to be honest and face the hard truth, you can’t change. Learn to forgive and heal. 

What one step can a woman take today to break from codependent family patterns and begin the path to living life on her own terms?

The biggest thing is to acknowledge that something isn’t right. Then, reach out for help. I didn’t think I’d survive this journey. Go for help with enabling, codependency, and feel pride for acknowledging that something is wrong. Move away from shame and towards getting support. Help is what made life better for me, my sons, and my husband. 

You can get The Sun Is Gone, at jodeeprouse.com and Amazon. 


 

 

 

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