Are you a care-giver or a codependent (sometimes called a caretaker)? I’m often asked if there is a difference between the two. There is…
A care-giver gives physical and emotional care and support to someone who is unable to do for themselves. This may be due to illness or injury or perhaps an infant or the elderly. Care-giving involves kindness, love and compassion.
A codependent is someone who gains a sense of purpose in life from doing for their addicted person, things that they should be doing for themselves. A codependent keeps life together in times of chaos, often doing things that go against their values system. It often includes lying for the other person. Codependents do this in detriment to their own health and well-being.
When I talk about addicted person, it could be drugs, alcohol, over eating, mental health, prescriptions, smoking. The list is becoming endless.
So, I ask again. Are you a caregiver or a codependent? Which of these paragraphs sound most like you…
When attending to another person's needs does it..
- Feel right? Does It feels like love? Are you re-energized and inspired? Or
- Feel stressful, exhausting and frustrating? Have you become resentful and feel unappreciated.
When attending to another person's needs do you...
- Honor boundaries? Do you wait to be asked to help? Do you focus on the solution, not the problem? OR
- Cross boundaries? Do you focus on the problem? Do you try to fix things that are out of your control and have a difficult time making decisions? Do you second guess yourself?
Self-Care, do you...
- Practice self-care. OR
- Do you believe practicing self-care is selfish? Do you suffer from anxiety and/or depression? Do you have a hard time expressing your feelings? Do you believe you aren’t good enough? Do you value other’s opinions over your own? Do you not ask for your own needs to be met? Do you compromise your own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others’ anger? Are you extremely loyal, and remain in harmful situations too long?
Attraction, do you...
- Attract healthy people? OR
- Attract needy people, placing yourself time and time again with unhealthy people and wonder why?
Purpose, do you...
- Know who you are and what your true purpose in life is?
- Have you lost your identity? Do you live life through other’s goals, dreams, accomplishments and failures. Do you set aside your interests and hobbies to pursue theirs.
If you got a bunch of 2's on this exercise, know that you're NOT alone. Plus, you can turn your codependent life around.
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