Codependency-Free Holidays (Rule One)

The holidays are upon us, and the reaction seems much like all the years before. For some, it’s all joy and love and peace. They are excited, truly and deeply, about whatever series of experiences generally occur in their respective worlds between now and the first week or so of January. For them, it is indeed a magical time of year.

But for others, Thanksgiving marks the start of an absolutely maddening, completely hysterical spell of over-committed and over-priced, self-induced misery.

Yes, you read that right… self-induced.

I am writing this for those who strive to simply “survive” the holidays. You know who you are. Those who say yes, yes, yes to every invitation, whether they actually want to be there or not. They spend money they don’t have because they are afraid to not give, or they spend the money they do have in a way that doesn’t bring them joy. They do what they “should” do over and over again until they can no longer remember what they want to do.

That’s crap. Stop trying to survive. Take back your life. The holidays are for living, for thriving, for loving… just like every single other time of the year.

If you’re not enjoying your life, or your holidays, I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be this way.

The makings of a codependent adult…

Addicts are…whatever manner of crazy, and the codependent becomes reactive to the addict, losing their own internal centering. It is a coping mechanism that allows young people to survive being forced into relationships with adult addicts (i.e., parents). Once being in the relationship is no longer forced (we grow to adulthood), if we continue to use that coping mechanism, it graduates into our own problem. The coping mechanism that was a survival tool in childhood becomes an ineffective, disempowering, self-defeating, and often destructive tool in our adult relationships.

Codependency ruins everything, including the holidays. This is the perfect time of year… to let it go.

Together, let’s make this a codependency-free holiday season. I have some rules; here is the first one:

Rule One (for a Cody-Free Holiday): Protect yourself from mean people.

If going home for the holidays means not being yourself, love yourself enough to not go home.

When push comes to shove, you–the real you–is all that you really have. If you need to pretend to be someone else in order to feel welcome, don’t go. Find a new place, a new tradition, a new way to be you because you are perfect just the way you are. If the people in that place you call home can’t love you for the truth of who you are, then that place isn’t your real home.

Home is a place where we are loved completely.

Home is a place where the love of others teaches us how and encourages us to love ourselves.

Home is a place that exists deep within us, and also far beyond us.

Home is a safe place.

So, there it is. No more. Ever. Stop allowing people to be mean to you. I don’t care if they were drunk. I don’t care if they “didn’t mean it” or if they were all stressed out because of the whateverthehell was going on that day. I don’t care if you’re gay. I don’t care if you don’t eat meat on turkey day. I don’t care if you don’t want to pray the way they do, or if you do want to pray and they don’t. I don’t care. I don’t care. I don’t care.

And what I really want is for you to not care, too. Any questions?

Image Credit: malczyk by Flickr

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Elisa F.
Elisa F.2 years ago

Great piece. Thanks for sharing.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.3 years ago

nice photo :-)

Sue H.
Sue H.3 years ago

A most welcome reminder, thanks.

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton3 years ago

Thanks for the article.

KS Goh
KS Goh3 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Zee Kallah
Past Member 3 years ago

I used to be so co-dependent that I ended up in the mental hospital diagnosed "Multiple Personality Disorder"

I've come a long way, baby!

I got dismissed from the Mental Health System because 3 doctors said I was healed. I mean, when my Higher Power ZAPPED me over 3 years ago, he set everything to rights. HP did guide me through doing much of it myself.

My HP will not allow me to be co-dependent on HIM LOL Atheists who claim we Christians are just ducking out of our problems don't know MY HP. He guides me, teaches me and expect me to apply what I learn. My HP has one rule for me: LOVE and do what you will.

When I was co-dependent, people used to tell me, "Just be yourself."

I had no idea who myself was. Probably some mousey, inadequate, no common sense
dud who couldn't do anything right!

I've been free of co-dependency for over 3 years now. I have learned who I am. I'm sure not perfect and that's fine with me. I've got lots of room to grow in every way 'cept fat. lol I love me just the way I am, wrinkles and all. .

My numerous faults are a delightful challenge. I am not a "no talent blah"

People tell me the same things about myself that I see in me. I listen to them and believe them when they describe me as Cool! .I do not have to be PERFECT. I'm soul being human.

If I could be anyone in the whole world, including other dimensions, know what , "I choose me." lol

Oh, gee whizz!
What a relief it is.

I know who I am and it's not m

Rita White
Rita White3 years ago

Thanks for the article

Carole P.
Carole P.4 years ago

FANTASTIC!! Thank you so much for sending this message of sanity. This is exactly what I needed to read.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal4 years ago

Wonderful reminder....

Bonnie K.
Bonnie K.4 years ago

Beautifully said, as usual – I so appreciate the clear, deep understanding you have of these dynamics, their organic workings in our psyches. After 2 years of deeply intentional, absolutely necessary work to heal my patterns of paralyzing anxiety and self-sabotage, I had a new shift this past week around a lifelong experience of shame and guilt; I felt a part of my consciousness actually "wake up". And I understand the codependent part of all this so well ... the reacting in order to feel safe, which counters the natural sense of Self.

Thank you for stating and naming these patterns with such clarity, and for your rooted, fierce compassion that adds an extra dose of "permission" to our journeys to just Be Ourselves, no explanations required.