The true diaries of an ex-codependent (me)

Last Monday, I presented a talk on Paradigms and Paradigm Shifts (click here for access to the presentation slides). I shared a story about my own past paradigm shift of how I came to recognize my own patterns of unhealthy codependency, the phases of my codependent relationship, and how I took steps to get out of them. A lot of people approached me afterwards to ask me more about my story.

I journaled avidly in my diary during my codependent relationships.

Here is a selection of 11 personal diary entries of mine, spanning the start, middle, and end of my (very last) codependent relationship. These entries have been completely unedited except for redacted names and time periods to protect people’s identities.

Although it was a long and challenging road to recovery, I’m finally glad to be a recovered and ex-codependent and am more than happy to share my story and journey with others so that they can find some light in them too.

He was a mess. I tried to save him. Finally, I shifted paradigms, left, and experienced one of the most blossoming periods of my life.

You can see that in between, I did not always know where I was. I had some thoughtful theories of why I felt what I felt, but ultimately I did not understand the motions of codependency I was going through. I did not know what codependency was. I also did not know that I did not know it, and I thought I was just being a good person. I occasionally came to clarifying conclusions that alluded to what was really going on but then doubted myself about them. I compromised on my standards by “looking at the bright side” a lot, fixating on having positive attitudes while the situation merely got worse and worse (turns out having a positive attitude just makes things worse when you’re climbing up the wrong ladder). Like a frog in boiling water, I didn’t know what was going on. Only through the help of third party perspectives, support and therapy, and an open mind that was ready to learn did I finally separate myself from my codependent patterns.

Now I’m in a healthy, interdependent relationship that is a far cry from my days of unhealthy, abusive relationship dynamics. (Yes, it is possible to have healthy relationships after being in abusive ones! I’ve done it!)

So (drumroll!) here they are:

My Codependence Letters (in chronological order)

(1/11): Spring, the year before. “An update long due”

(2/11): Late Spring, the year before. “Things I hate hearing him say”

(3/11): Summer, the year before. “Time to be honest”

(4/11): December, the year before. “Catch-22”

(5/11): Early-January. “How did I get here? Sadness and frustration again.”

(6/11): Mid-January. “Signs of an abusive relationship”

(7/11): Late-January. “Breakup Letter”

(8/11): Late-January. “Now comes the confusion…”

(9/11): February. “A personal entry to thy self”

(10/11): Early March. “Dear self.. on..singlehood”

(11/11): Mid-April “I believe I am exceptional”