The Final One: Everything in Moderation

“My experience leads me to believe that operating in extremes may come from at least two situations and perhaps more. One is observing and reacting to the behavior of the caregivers who operate in extremes. The other is from the experience of “not being heard” or feeling invisible in the family of origin.” Pia Mellody in Facing Codependency

If lacking boundaries or not knowing what we need and/or want was not enough of an indicator that codependency might be present, cue core symptom #5. Difficulty experiencing and expressing our reality in moderation.

The ability to moderately know what we are feeling, how to express it even how we behave is difficult. This key symptom affects our body, our thinking, our feelings and our behavior. It affects every aspect of our reality.

Let me show you what I’m talking about.

—-If you’d prefer to watch the video that accompanies this post, watch it HERE

Continue reading


Core Symptom #4: This is why you’re so needy…

“Don’t you have a magic pill or something?” she laughs and then…stops.  This is a person who doesn’t want to feel “this” anymore. She’s been hurt by the ones who were suppose to love and protect her. She is so disconnected from her own needs, wants and emotions as a result of being abused, denied, and neglected.

It’s hard enough to know our own needs and then, on top of that, to find safe people to help us meet them. Especially when all we’ve ever known is abuse, ridicule, hate and shame.

How do we overcome it and, as Brene Brown shares, show up and be seen authentically with our whole hearts?

—-prefer to listen and watch? Follow this link.—-

Continue reading

Facing Codependency: Can I trust myself?

“I feel really hurt by what he said to me…but I might have heard it wrong.”

“When I was little I cried a bunch and I vividly remember my mom telling me to “suck it up. It’s not that big of a deal”

“I know the scale doesn’t lie but 115 pounds at 5’9 feels and looks really heavy on me…”

For those who grew up being ignored, attacked, or abandoned–in any way–likely struggle with owning and accepting their own reality.  Consider this: you witnessed your mom hitting your dad and it scared you…alot. When you ask why mommy was hitting daddy, you were told that what you saw didn’t happen and that everything is fine. When this type of denial of your own experience happens consistently over a period of time, you begin to question your own thoughts, feelings, behaviors and even how you experience your own body.

Core Symptom #3: Difficulty owning our own reality

Continue reading

Facing Codependency: The Big Kahuna

I thought being a friend meant always being there when they needed you.

I thought being a “good wife” meant never saying “no” when my husband wanted to have sex.

I struggle to say “no,” even when it is obvious that I don’t want to do it…I still end up, somehow, saying “yes.”

If I’m honest, I routinely blame others for my own emotions, especially….when I’m angry. I don’t like to take ownership of that.

Any of these sound familiar? All of these are real life examples of people who struggle with…boundaries.

Continue reading


The #1 Symptom of Codependency (it’s not what you think)

In my previous blog post Learning how to Stand Back Up, Again: How to fight your inner demons  I laid out the 5 core symptoms of codependency as organized by Pia Mellody in her work, Facing Codependency.  While there are several books on the topic, the way in which Pia approaches codependency is palatable and comprehensive in how she puts “flesh” on the issue in all types of settings and relationships. In short, Pia does an excellent job in showing you the myriad of ways codependency looks across all platforms. Whatever you thought codependency was before, this perspective will likely give you a much bigger picture and understanding of an extremely common issue. Continue reading