Find the podcast on:



The Dark Truth of My Codependency at Work: Sacrificial Helping Part III

As codependents, why do we allow ourselves to work in such toxic work environments?

How does being codependent at work shield me from having to deal with my own sh*t?

How does self-sacrifice serve us? *It doesn’t…but it does*

Listen to hear me get real, honest, and real honest in Part III of this series on Codependency & Sacrificial Helping Syndrome. Katie Vernoy, LMFT came on and shared with us what Sacrificial Helping Syndrom is–now I’m getting honest about how and why it came up for me at a previous position. And it’s dark. Katie posed multiple questions for all us codependendummies and here are my answers about how I “got off” on helping others, got to avoid dealing with my own sh*t, and how–deep down–I f*cking loved to bend backwards for my clients, colleagues, and bosses–as long as it meant I didn’t have to deal with or rely on myself. #codependummy to my core, right?

Thanks for listening!

Be sure to follow me on instagram @therapywithmarissa

Deets on the episode:

Codependency & Sacrificial Helping Syndrome Part III. Katie Vernoy, in her episode that aired May 17, provided us with questions to reflect on our self-sacrifice at work. I’m going to answer those to model to you all: this is how you use this podcast to promote growth and create change.

I start with giving you all more context about my position. All in all, I easily was logging 70-80 hours a week thanks to clients, meetings, travel, and documentation. I also was driving hundreds of miles a week all over Los Angeles and surrounding counties. Back pain, missing time with friends and family, and drowning my internal organs with cortisol from all the stress.

And I did it. I did all that for 2.5 years. Ugh.

Now, Q&A. Write them out as you listen so you can answer them as well.

Why would I allow myself to get in that dynamic?
Direct quote from Katie: I had to constantly try harder, be better, help more, do more in order to feel like I was good enough. Part of it was looking at the toxic work environment. The other part was understanding why would I allow myself to get in that dynamic?

I too acknowledge that I was working in a toxic work environment. And now, the real question: Why would I allow myself to get in that dynamic?

I believed that was what I deserved.
I believed that by bending myself backwards as a good employee, it would make me good as a person. Good as a being.
I got to relinquish control of my life.
I received your pity.
I loved to be needed.
It gave me something to talk about.

What comes up for you while listening?

If you could imagine yourself with a diminished capacity, would you still be lovable and have value?
Direct quote from Katie: Imagine yourself sick, tired, disabled, and sitting on a couch and not able to provide all this help. UNABLE, OLDER, all the things that are capacity will decrease. If you could imagine yourself with a diminished capacity, would you still be lovable and have value?

Other direct quote from Katie: Just being there, sitting there, we are valuable and I think we don’t get that message from society if we aren’t pretty, thin, perfectly able, helping, sacrificing. If you are having to constantly empathize or understand the other – when the person you serve is way more important than you and everything should be aligned with what they need – if you haven’t developed who you are, you are spending your whole time being someone else who can serve.

What comes up for you in response?

Who are you and what are you putting out into the world?
Direct quote from Katie: It’s truly knowing who you are separate from other people. If it’s just you and no one is asking anything from you – you don’t have a role or can’t take care of anyone – who are you?

If I had no responsibilities, who am I as an individual, if no one was relying on me in any way, no strong push, what would I be doing?
Katie and I talked about how being needed is intoxicating and I asked what we are to do if we want to get “sober.”

Direct quote from Katie: Take a breath and say it again (If I had no responsibilities, what would I be doing) since there are so many pressures that we internalize those pressures (oh, but i have to remember what). GET TO A VERY BLANK SLATE: What brings me joy? What are my areas of genius? What fills me up and doesn’t drain me?


Suggestion from Katie: Pause, think, and get clear if and when you are wanting to self-sacrifice or be a helper at work (or anywhere):
Is this toxic?
Is this what I want or what others want for me?
Then build up the resilience to build some limits here.
That’s a wrap. Sacrificial Helping Syndrome Part III. Katie has a special offer for $150 a package with her. Link below!

Thank you for listening. I hope you like the Marianne Williamson poem!

Katie’s offer: