For so long, I’ve been motivated by two principle fears — fear of failure and the fear of being alone. At various times I’ve said I’m an introvert, but I’m starting to wonder if that wasn’t fear in disguise. If I never tried to be social, I could never fail at it or prove that I’d always be alone. So far that strategy worked. I was alone.
Then, things started to change. I realized that basically every single thing I did was motivated by fear (read Defeating Codependence). That making a choice was no longer an option. That was the thing I needed to realize to radically change the way I was.
For awhile after that, I lacked the fear based motivation I’d always had. My writing practice fell apart. I stopped reading novels, reading my emails, and the blog posts I used to read. I started playing this computer game, Eve Online. Important things for my day to day wellbeing like medical stuff I do multiple times a day went on like usual. I hoped things would change, and feared they never would.
I started wanting things again for myself though after months just going through the motions. Things I’d never been allowed to want when I was motivated by fear. I started to despair that maybe it was far too late to finally connect with the person I’d buried for so long, me.
Yesterday, something happened. The best thing that happened all day was I figured out something that was puzzling me about the game I was playing, Eve Online. That made me so angry. For a long while, I couldn’t figure out why. That’s when it hit me. Through my lack of motivation, I’d abandoned the things that give my life meaning. Those things are mediation and writing and maybe gaming added in as well. Then my motivation returned. No matter the cost, I’ll do the things that make me happy, now and whenever I look back on it.
Find the thing that makes you happy right now. Do it before it’s too late. And never let anybody or anything stop you. Finding meaning and happiness is the purpose of life.
years, I stagnated, slipping into basic survival mode and leaving
everything unessential behind. That happened to me between 13 and 23.
was a really difficult time in the progression of my Muscular
Dystrophy, a degenerative disease of muscles rendering them weak or
altogether ineffective. Breathing issues start around the time people
like me spend most of their days in a chair, which happened at 12 for
15, I ran into the trouble of slowly losing weight by eating
insufficient calories for my activity level. Then I began my years long
struggle with breathing enough air. I could’ve have gotten help if I had
more foresight and perspective than I did.
withdrew from the outside world and imagined up a richer inner one.
There were times I felt alone, times I didn’t know the use of anything
beyond learning, and times I just went through the motions. That sounds a
lot like depression from the sounds of that, but that wasn’t something I
was willing to admit for years after.
I had mediation. It was something I’d been kicking around in my head, a
leftover from the country of my birth and a melting pot for
religious/spiritual development, by which I mean India in way too many
when I got out of school it was nothing more than watching TV and
living in my parents house (where I still live btw), mediation became my
refuge and escape. My life wasn’t great and depression still ruled over
life turned around with a tube in my throat and a machine to breath for
me. Those first two years were harrowing to say the least. Every other
month, I was in the hospital with scary complications.
I faced the image of my own mortality a few times and got sick of simply surviving from one day to the next, marking time. I picked up writing and escaped my doldrums for purpose and meaning at 23.
a certain point in my mediation journey, I hit a roadblock. It’d been
ten years of mediation at that point. There wasn’t enough head space to
throw into mediation to get me further than I’d already gone. It was
time to clear some room. I turned my focus inward to what I could do
of failure turned out to be the one thing motivating me for the
majority of my life. I was running from failure any way I could.
Doing well in school and trying to purify the tainted soul I believed myself to have (the reason I’d picked up mediation).
The reason I never let anybody in to see the real me behind my defenses. I was always hiding.
The reason I hated writing, which I now love. There was no correct answer, so I could stuck deciding what I should do.
The reason I was usually the adult even in the first grade. A kid so well behaved that you wondered how their parents did it. That was me.
The reason I couldn’t possibly be depressed. That would mean I’d failed psychologically.
And the thing that gave my life meaning. Not failing was the only thing that mattered, the reason I did basically everything.
that away left a massive hole in my psyche that was scary for months
after until it was filed back in. Without mediation, I never would’ve
gotten into that mess or passed through without a major calamity.
Wouldn’t recommend this to even my worst enemy. But in that brief
emptiness, I wrote something beyond my current ability as a writer.
there was codependence. I had this belief that I’d be abandoned if I
didn’t prove my worth on a constant basis by remembering more, being
clever, or proving my intelligence. Figuring that out nearly broke me. I fought back my rejection averse thought process in a kind, watchful way that mediation allowed me.
is a messy, confusing topic, but I realized something that makes it a
whole lot easier. Codependence is an attempt to control the world around
us out of fear — fear of rejection, fear of inadequate self-worth, and
fear of being unlovable.
Blaming exigent circumstances without considering your contribution when something goes awry.
Being laid back and counting that as points to be paid back down the line. Keeping score.
Taking responsibility where someone else is already responsible, like apologizing on someone’s behalf.
Demand love or get jealous of the affection other people get, especially when I’m feeling low.
Show hollow displays of affection for an audience, and showing my true colors in private.
Letting go of codependence put me on the course for a clash with reality.
is really a fear driven need to control the world around us, especially
the people in it. Letting go of control requires accepting the world as
The clash between how we believe the world to be and reality is where I’m at.
Reconciling those two requires constantly updating the model in my head with evidence from the outside world.
Sometimes people will let me down and dealing with that anger or sadness is on me.
That’s a quintessential stage of growing up that I’ve never let go enough to experience.
Knowing that everybody isn’t always truthful doesn’t make it any easier when it happiness to you. That feeling would make a great YA novel right?
Seeing Eight Grade
helped me realize what I’m going through now, finding the person I have
always been and being that person. It’s about an eight grade girl
facing the reality that she isn’t fixed as she is now. Things change for
the better and sometimes worse. Change is what life is.
A couple of months ago now, I published a post about realizing I’m codependent
and starting to turn that thought process around. For those intervening
months, I’ve analyzed the way I think, feel, and act through the lens
of codependence. And identified those parts associated with
codependency. Then turned my mind to change.
Meditation is the development of concentration and un-attatchment. I’m
a novice having mediated with systems I’ve developed taking into
account the information I had at the time. Keeping that up for years
Concentration allows the ability to cut deep into the mind³ to identify the causes behind cruelty and in a deeper sense why we think, act, and feel the way we do.
Making sense of it all requires an understanding of how people operate,
or how you personally operate. Medium is a great resource for that.
That was a long tangent. These are my lessons learned in fighting codependence.
Manipulation is bad.
I don’t think anyone disagrees with that. Manipulation isn’t easy to see. What constitutes manipulation? I have a video for you I watched on Youtube.
Manipulation is acting in such a way to get a particular response. The goal must always be control over other people.
Setting boundaries has always been difficult for me. It’s terrifying. That’s all.
What if is set unrealistic boundaries and nobody can met them? That’s a lie I’ve told myself for years.
I was afraid of rejection.
No one has agency over how you handle your stuff. They
can make suggestions, and you should consider them. If a decision means
they reject you, you don’t need someone like that in your life.
No one can tell you how to be.
That’s your responsibility. If that causes someone to reject you, so be
it. Any time you put on a mask, it’s a struggle to keep it intact.
Sooner or later, the mask will slip, showing your true colors.
Get your needs met.
Boundaries are different for different people, but there are some universal things.
Don’t do something that makes you uncomfortable.
Don’t do something that jeopardizes your well being — physical, mental, and otherwise.
Don’t take blame for how other people feel.
Make I statements⁹. Doing such and such makes me uncomfortable. I can’t be here. It’s triggering for me.
Exculpate other people. It’s nothing you’ve done. (This helps most at the beginning.)