This is the time of year when many of my clients call when they are stressed, lonely and plain ole angry. r, if you will, a condition that affects every part of your being, particularly affecting you mentally and emotionally. While I am a psychic and not a licensed therapist, I know a codependent from the second I hear his or her voice.

Picture you are being controlled by someone you love very much, who may be addicted to drugs or alcohol or may be suffering through another type of illness. Picture you are depressed because you feel trapped, yet you feel obligated to be there and endure more than you should because you feel that person needs you in order to survive. Picture you are one half of a codependent relationship that feels like an endless cycle, and the more you run, you’re not going anywhere, you’re just growing tired of it all.

This is codependency. Codependency as defined by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition such as an addiction.

The truth of the matter is that codependency is an addiction itself. One person is addicted to controlling others because he or she feels they have no control over their own lives. Meanwhile, the other person in the relationship is addicted to being controlled and fulfilling the needs of the controller. Both parties tend to excessively ‘take care’ of each other and others outside of the relationship as well. Are there other ways to identify codependency?

Just a Few Symptoms of Codependency: Perfectionism Controlling Behavior Obsessive Caretaking Depression Illnesses due to Stress Not Wanting to Deal with Feelings

Jennifer, a client of mine  was in a codependent relationship with her mother. In Spring 2007, she finally developed the courage to break the cycle of codependency between the two of them. While it wasn’t an easy move to make, it was well worth the effort. Below are the four steps she took to help her get to the point where she could break the cycle. I offer these steps to you, in hopes they will help you find yourself and begin to put YOU first.

Step 1 – The Truth With Set You Free – Do not be afraid to speak the truth concerning what’s going on within you and within the relationship. You should always speak the truth and live the truth whether people are willing  to hear it or not. Just remember that you’re speaking the truth for the highest good of all concerned because the truth sets you free and the spoken word is very powerful!

Step 2- Cut the Cords – Once you’ve spoken the truth about the situation, then proceed to cut the cords between you and the person, if they are not showing any signs of action towards positive change within themselves. You can NOT change someone else. So you have to come to a point where you can stop waiting around for them to get better one day. You can only change yourself…no one else. If you’re ready to change yourself, then go for it. I will offer a visualization/meditation technique to help you cut the cords, in case you need extra help. But cutting the cords verbally and physically may be necessary. So be ready to do it if it is, indeed, necessary.

Step 3- Stand Your Ground – Once you’ve cut the cords, I will tell you the truth, you will be met with some opposition from others. Especially, the one or others who were controlling and manipulating you. You will be bombarded with questions like, “What’s wrong with you?” and “What’s gotten into you?” But do not let this stop you from your healing process. Do not let fear (false evidence appearing real) stop you from doing what’s best for you this time. This time you are putting yourself first, not someone else. Use prayer and meditation as ways to keep you strong and continue forward no matter what anyone else say or do. The majority of tactics to stop you are mental, spiritual, and emotional through verbal attacks. In particular, you may face guilt-trips, manipulation, and other attempts to try to keep you under control. However, you should keep moving forward. Just because the other person in the codependent relationship decides to stay stagnant doesn’t mean you should stay that way.

Step 4- Take Care of You – At this point, within step 3 and after step 3, you have to take care of yourself. Learning how to take care of yourself can be scary because you’ve always depended upon someone else. But I tell you from experience, it can be fun and interesting too. Make the best of it. Pray for the right people to come into your life to help you along the way. You never know…a book may catch your eye, a movie with meaning to help you out may grab your attention, a person you meet at the grocery store may have a pearl of wisdom to offer you. Stay open to God’s guidance and take care of yourself. Figure out what you need to learn, for example, you may need to learn how to manage your finances on your own. Well, start gathering information to learn what you need. There may be a local class that’s free to the public you can take, or a magazine article that caught your eye or a book at the library you can make notes from to help you out. And you can find so much information on the Internet to help you out as well. But that’s just one example on how you can start taking care of yourself. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help from certain people from time to time, but you must make sure it’s the right kind of person to ask for help from, who won’t try to use it as a means of control over you again. The point is to move forward, not backwards. You’ll be surprised at how many people there are around you who would be willing to help you just because it’s the right thing to do and it makes them happy to do it and no other reason. So stay open. Stay positive. And move forward to the new!