Courage To Quit Caretaking

29 July 2016 Written by 

Today at a meeting a newcomer shared her story in tears. She was exhausted and didn’t know what to do about her situation. It was clear that she was a classic caretaker – a hallmark of codependency.

When I shared with her the three C’s (You didn’t cause this, you can’t control this, and you can’t cure this) in regard to the individual she was trying to “fix,” she was overwhelmed with emotion. It was an “ah-ha” moment for her.

What does caretaking look like? It feels stressful, exhausting, and frustrating. It crosses the boundaries of others, rather than honoring them. Caretaking is given with “strings attached,” and leads to feeling like a victim and a martyr. Caretakers don’t practice self-care and believe that others’ needs are more important than their own needs. They worry about everyone and believe that they have all the right answers. Caretakers don’t believe that others can take care of themselves, and that it’s necessary that they be rescued. They offer advice and assistance without even being asked for it.

To break free from the grip of caretaking takes courage. I must remind myself that every human has their own Higher Power (and it’s definitely not me!), and that each person is responsible for their own choices, happiness, and life. I must live my life, because if I don’t – who will?? Live and let live! I live my life and let you live your life free from my interference.

This dear woman asked me after the meeting how long it took me to find peace and be free from feeling “guilty” for not taking care of other people in my life. I answered honestly that for me, it took about a year to move beyond the false guilt I felt, and find peace and serenity in living my own life. I am so thankful for the tools I have been given that have shown me how to step away from being a codependent caretaker of others.

Content Originally Posted By: Amy T. @ Blogspot


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Amy T.

Raised on a dairy farm in upstate NY, I learned to work hard along with my five siblings. I grew up in a very conservative Mennonite-Amish church which shaped a lot of my fundamental core values and beliefs. After moving to Florida to attend college, I married and became mother to five children. Eventually, my unmanageable life came to a crashing halt and I found my way into an Al-Anon recovery program. Recovery has affected every area of my life and I love sharing the things I am learning with others so that they might also find hope for their own recovery.
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