I have joined a few groups for codependents on Facebook within the last week or so and I’m really not liking the vibe in them. LOL… Get a bunch of codependents together and all they want to do is fix everyone else. Truly, I understand the need for these support groups but sometimes the drama just becomes too overwhelming. One of the groups has a moderator that does a great job at redirecting the focus back onto the individual who posted, to get them to try to see how their own behavior is affecting their thinking and/or actions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work.
There was a young woman who joined the group and within a few days she posted that she was moving on and putting it behind her. She was leaving the group and they could send a friend request if anyone wanted to. I was curious (ok probably more nosy) and sent her a message asking why she left after only a few days. She responded, “Because I figured it out.”
Well, you know I just had to ask…”Figured what out? The reason you joined for?” So began a very interesting, albeit short conversation.
Her: No, it’s like a switch that went off. The reason people become dependent on others is lack of interests or hobbies. The cure is simple when you realize, but some people enjoy revisiting the past.
Me: Yes, I guess you could say that is part of it. My personal take on it is there is a lack of self (which included interests or hobbies), lack of self-esteem, lack of self-love, lack of self-care. Once we start focusing on those things, our lives change. And for the better!
Her: The more you have to do, the less you will care what someone else is doing. Therapy gurus don’t want to share the simplicity of it, cuz then they’d be out a paycheck. It’s interesting how none are straight forward. The concept of a self gets over complicated. It’s just about what you like to do. The group isn’t bad and it can help some.
Me: I can agree and disagree with that.
Her: Well we all have our perceptions on what works for us.
Me: Yes. Thank you for chatting with me.
Her: No problem! I wish you the best!
Me: Same to you!
Then came the kicker and I wasn’t quite sure how to respond.
Her: If you have any more questions about it, feel free to ask. I read and watched a lot in three years to get here.
So I explained that I have over 12 years of codependent recovery. I have a blog I write and published my first book earlier this year. I have plenty of recovery which is why I was hoping to get involved in the group…
I was a little taken aback by her comments, “The reason people become dependent on others is lack of interests or hobbies.” and, “The more you have to do, the less you will care what someone else is doing.”, but really didn’t feel the urge to try to convince her that this was a huge misrepresentation of codependency. I am curious though as to what she read and watched over the past three years that led her to this conclusion but I didn’t ask. I don’t feel the need to convince her otherwise.
I can attest that I was always busy. I worked a full-time job and even brought work home with me. I did crafts, homework with my kids, hung out with friends from time to time, read a lot, cleaned my house, went shopping, and all the other life things that keep us busy from the time we get up until the time we go to sleep. However, this did not stop me from being codependent. Busyness did not raise my self-esteem. Busyness did not help me take care of myself physically, mentally or emotionally. Busyness did not help me love myself. And, it certainly did not help me get to know myself better.
But alas, her perception is her reality; it isn’t mine and I do not need to try to change her’s.