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-What happens to codependents around Christmas time with all the obligation, tradition, and family time?
-How can our efforts to be appreciated, loved, and approved of by others backfire before, during, and after the holiday?
-What are some steps we can take this holiday to avoid the anxiety, anger, and agitation of “Stress-mas?”
In this episode, you’ll hear me, your girl Marissa, talk about what codependency can look like around Christmas time. Cue to doing everything for everyone and getting nothing from no one! I open up about memories of my Christmas pasts and the messages I received from my parents about meeting the needs of others. You’ll hear about the sustainability versus the unsustainability of our codependent patterns around Christmas time and steps you can take to avoid the Stressmas struggle this year! Thanks for listening!
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More deets on today’s episode:
We begin with a grounding activity. Please repeat at your discretion this holiday! Start by taking some deep breaths and then tune into your 5 senses:
Look around and list silently to yourself:
5 things you can see.
4 things you can hear.
3 things you can touch/feel.
2 things you can smell.
1 things you can taste.
I see…I hear…I touch…I smell…and I taste.
We then review our working definition of codependency: A way of being where one puts the thoughts, feelings, and needs of others above their own…in an unconscious attempt to fulfill one’s own thoughts, feelings, and needs.
How does this relate to Christmas?
Potentially, as codependents–codependummies–we can spend this holiday like we do most of our lives but it’s just turbo, supercharged, hyper-codependency. With this holiday, we can put the thoughts, feelings, and needs of others above our own due to a sense of obligation, a desire to be a martyr, a slave to tradition, or out of fear of being rejected by others.
I then share about memories of Christmas and all the things my mom and dad did for myself, my sisters, our relatives, and others (it was A LOT!).
I then reflect on how all their doing impacted me: I tried to control them by helping in hopes that they wouldn’t argue, snap, or be Grinch-y.
My efforts as a codependent both helped and hurt the situation at Christmas.
Questions for you:
What has Christmas been like for you growing up?
Do you sense either of your parents or family members prioritized the thoughts, feelings, and needs of others too much above their own?
How did that impact you?
How did you cope with that?
Did you lean in like I did, withdraw like I did at other times, or respond somewhere in between?
Here are the steps/parts of my interdependent codependiamond life that I have integrated to change what Christmas means for me. Think of it as a Holiday Survival Guide:
Let go of the need for approval
Remember it’s all OPTIONAL
Make the meaning
Merry Codependummy Christmas to you, my dear listener, and to all a good night
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