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Journaling Prompts to Break Free from Codependency

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Journaling Prompts to Break Free from Codependency

Hi there. Thank you for joining me on your wellness journey. This video is a lot of prompts to help you dig deeper into understanding codependent dynamics and specifically to help break free from codependency.

My name is Kinga Burjan and I’m a registered psychotherapist with your follower addiction treatment centres. So codependency is an unhealthy way of relating in a relationship which often ends up hurting others and ourselves in the end. Breaking free from a co-dependent relationship can be very challenging, and it can’t be compared to breaking free from an addiction.

Therefore, know that this is a process and it takes time and commitment. And once you break free from that co-dependent relationship, there’s still a recovery stage where you’re going to have to continue practicing the new habits you’ve learned, rather than getting pulled into the old relationship dynamics.

The following slides will have journaling questions about possible codependent characteristics and dynamics, as well as questions to ask yourself how to let go of control when you’re stuck in that dynamic.

So let’s start with the journaling prompts.

How do you feel about your relationship with others?

Are there any of these relationships that bring up feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, shame, anger or guilt?

And what other impact might these relationships have on your well-being, especially those that bring up helplessness, hopelessness, shame, anger or guilt? So please list both the good and the bad qualities of these relationships.

Do you have difficulty saying no or creating healthy boundaries?

Are you enabling someone’s self-destructive behaviour?

Do you please others? At the expense of yourself or your own needs.

Do you please others to keep your feelings quiet, to keep the peace?

Are there any feelings that you have that you might be repressing, denying or avoiding to share?

Do you find that you get quick to anger and criticize others on a regular basis?

And is there anyone in your life that you’re making excuses for, especially when the reality is that their actions don’t line up with their words and this happens quite common?

These journaling prompts are to help you reflect on how to let go of control or controlling in that co-dependent relationship dynamic. So even if your intention isn’t to control, that’s one aspect of staying stuck in that dynamic is feeling you need to control the situation in some way. Even if it’s well-intended.

So list the things in your life that you have control of. So this could be as simple as what time you go to bed, what you eat or what you choose to focus on. Now, write out any problems that you can solve versus problems that are actually other people’s problems to solve on their own.

Now, is there anyone in your life that, you know, to try to control again, even if it’s all intended? If yes, what are the fears that come up for you when you think of stopping trying to control this person? How could you take a step in letting go of controlling this person while keeping yourself safe? Do you notice that you have black and white thinking, so that’s the all or nothing thinking or rigid thinking? If yes, ask yourself questions to challenge the reality of these thoughts.

And you can use the hand-up below for questions to challenge negative thinking. Where can you set boundaries or limits between you and others in your life? Maybe you want to start with boundaries between work and home life. Do you notice that you have perfectionistic tendencies? If, yes, reflect on what the worst thing that would happen if these things weren’t perfect.

Reflect on how you could be more kind to yourself and others and slightly reduce those demands and expectations of what you’ve put on that person or yourself.

So breaking free from co-dependency is a process that takes a lot of self-awareness and acknowledging those truths that we might be denying or avoiding because of the pain, the reality of the pain it might cost. But in the end, looking back it’ll be worth it and you are worth it. Thank you for joining me today have a beautiful day.

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