I really don’t like admitting this to myself or anyone else, but, the truth is, I’m a co-dependent. My wife and I are both co-dependents upon each other. I have had co-dependency issues for all of my adult life, especially when I’m in a relationship with another person. Alone, as a single guy, I never feel complete and whole. I NEED another person in my life to make me feel whole and completely alive and engaged. It’s not so bad that I can’t deal with being single, but I definitely prefer and feel best when I’m part of a couple.
The big problem with being co-dependent is that when you’re so dependent on another person and wrap your whole existence into them, if they leave for some reason, even just for one night, it can be devastating. I experienced this, at its worst, in college. My girlfriend was going to be away for most of the summer touring and working in Europe. I was going through a really hard time with my family at that point and had secured a job on campus for the summer so I didn’t have to go home. The only problem with that is that all of my friends were gone and my girlfriend, my life line at the time, was leaving too. She was supposed to come down to school for the weekend right before she was to leave for Europe. I waited and waited for her to show up and as the hours ticked slowly by I grew more and more worried that something had happened to her, so finally I called her mom’s house and was told that her plans had changed suddenly and she had left early that morning for Austria. Her mom was supposed to call me and tell me but she had forgotten. I was devastated. I had, in my mind, really needed to see her that one last time before she left. We didn’t get to say goodbye properly and I felt an array of emotions that ranged from depressed to angry.
That summer, I fell into an abyss of depression that nearly took my life. I was suicidal at times and had absolutely no desire to eat. I lost about 30 pounds. Time stood still that summer. It was the longest three months of my life. I lived for the letters she would send me from her travels and the occasional visit to campus from a mutual friend. The thing that got me through that summer was exercise. I had nothing to do at night so I started going to the gym and using the pool, weight room and racquet ball court. I played racquet ball for an hour, lifted weights for an hour and then swam laps until I was exhausted. At the end of the summer my body was tan from mowing grass all day and fit and lean from all the gym time. And I had more confidence too. I was sure that she would come home and be awe struck at how much sexier I was than when she left. But instead, her letters started talking about this man she met in Zurich in a vague way alluding to the fact that she had feelings for him. By the time she got home she had decided to break it off with me. I wasn’t surprised, since I’ve always been somewhat intuitive and I saw this coming. Still, it was a punch in the gut after all I’d been through over the summer. I vowed to never let myself get that co-dependent on another person as long as I lived.
And I haven’t. But I’m still a co-dependent nevertheless. I don’t think that will ever change. I just manage it by trying to keep my boundaries strong and pursuing my interests even if my partner doesn’t share them. It takes a lot of mental and emotional stamina to not fall into that pit again and let the other person become my whole world. It’s so much easier when someone else is in charge. Until it isn’t because they leave for some reason.
I’ve been reminded of my co-dependent tendencies lately. My wife has had to travel for work twice in the last 30 days, leaving for 4-7 days at a time. For days leading up to both trips I dreaded her leaving and felt myself feeling more and more depressed as the day came for her to leave. I wanted to spend every moment with her and cling to her as long as I could. The sinking feeling in my gut and ache in my heart when she got in the car to leave both times was a hot reminder of how dependent I am on her. For the first day after she leaves I mope around the house like a lost puppy. I don’t sleep well because I don’t feel secure by myself and every little creak in the house wakes me up. By the second day I’m better but my heart still feels a bit heavy. By day three, I’m mostly back to normal but still feel less secure than I do when she’s around. And then, of course, when she arrives home all is well again in my world.
It pains me that I still struggle with my insecurities at this point in my life. I want to be one of those people who doesn’t need others to make them happy. I wish I could say that I love myself so much that I don’t need another person to make me feel complete. But I’m not that guy. I can manage just fine on my own if I have to but I don’t prefer it. That’s the truth. I’m happiest when I’m coupled up. My wife is my soul mate and the love of my life. If I lost her it would be devastating to me. I don’t think there’s any sense in trying to deny that or to fight it. It just is what it is. I would survive, but I wouldn’t thrive.
Fortunately, I now have a support system in place that I wasn’t aware of back in college. I had this support system then too, but just didn’t know it. I’m talking about my Spirit Guides and Guardian Angels. No matter where I go, what I do or what I go through, they are always there with me. All I have to do is call out to them either silently or out loud and they are with me. They are my best friends, my confidants, my protectors, and my mentors. Completely loyal and with me for life, they will never abandon me or betray me. When I feel scared or insecure I call on them and they comfort me in ways that another human can’t. They’re always on my side, but they do call me on my crap too, so they keep me honest. Just knowing that they’re always with me makes me feel so much more secure. The other thing that is a big help is my crystals. Each morning I go into my office and ask the pendulum which ones want to spend the day with me. Usually 3 or 4 will test yes with the pendulum. I tuck them into a little pouch and carry them in my pocket. When I get to work I will set them out on my desk. Occasionally I will feel the need to wear one around my neck. Yesterday, my heart was still hurting from my wife leaving on her trip so I wore a rose quartz pendant on my neck so that the quartz hung right over my heart. It really helped clear my heart energy out. And, finally, my secret weapons in all of this is my relationship with the Archangels. I rely heavily on Michael and Rafael, but Metatron and Gabriel are also ones I call on at times. Michael is the big protector so whenever I am feeling scared or insecure I call on him. Rafael is great if I’m not feeling well or am worried about my health. Metatron is also a big protector but also great for clearing and cleaning energy. Gabriel is wonderful if you need to tell someone something and feel unsure about it. My own Guardian Angel, Charlotte, is powerful on her own. She does a lot of work to keep me safe and secure and is a powerful healer too.
If you’ve read this far, I can imagine that you relate at least somewhat to what I’ve been sharing with you. It’s not easy for me to confess how weak and insecure I feel most of the time. But I do this because I want you to know that you, too, have a team of Spirit Guides and Guardian Angels that are always with you and that you are never ever alone in this life. No matter how alone you feel, you aren’t. They’re there with you. They’re just waiting for you to acknowledge them and ask for their help. Ask them to wrap you up in their love and make you feel safe and just lean into their arms as they hold you up in your dark moments. They will not let you fall. They love you unconditionally and more than you can imagine. Talk to them. Write them letters. Ask them to show you signs that they are around. Listen for little messages from them. They will show up for you if you ask. They need you to ask. They need you to call out to them and ask for them to show themselves in your life. Don’t expect for them to visibly show up as a human, but look for the little bread crumbs that they leave for you. Songs on the radio. Feathers. Names or words or even numbers that keep recurring in your perception. Maybe you’ll hear a little whisper in your ear or a knowing or a warmth. No matter how they show up, know that they are always there watching, guiding, protecting and never judging. They love you even if you don’t think anyone else does and you’re never alone.