From Self-Sacrifice to Self-Worth – Moving Beyond Codependency
Trusting God with new hope of enjoying life and healing my soul!
I had been meeting with Linda Darin for Holistic Therapy Services weekly for about a year when I was finally ready to admit I was married to an alcoholic and depressed man. In my early 40s, I put on a front of having a good life. I had a high-level design job, lived in a luxury apartment, and was proud to be married for twenty years, but behind closed doors, I was in absolute misery. Plagued by anxiety and stress, I felt trapped without any hope. I minimized my husband’s drinking to avoid confrontation and painful feelings and focused all my time and energy on work and other people’s problems. Focusing on others gave me a sense of purpose and self-worth. At work, I pushed myself until I became ill without regard for my mental or physical well-being. I liked being the martyr but became bitter, angry, and resentful because I couldn’t say no to anyone. My codependency and lack of boundaries created unhealthy relationships in my marriage, at my job, and with family and friends. I thought I was helping; instead, I was hurting myself and everyone around me.
Codependency is a behavior in family members and spouses of addicts like me. I learned about the nature of codependency while studying addiction and alcoholism with Linda. I became aware that my self-sacrifice, focus on others, need to control people and situations, and inability to recognize my emotions were all codependent behaviors. Her years of experience working with addicts and her intuitive counsel made it immediately evident that I was codependent. Still, she had given me the time I needed to confront my behavior, decide to change, and move beyond codependency.
As a codependent, I played the roles of caretaker and persecutor while dating and in my marriage. I treated my husband as a victim of his alcoholism, enabling his drinking and dependence on me. I often hid alcohol or criticized him for his drinking while financially providing for him since he refused to work for ten years. His depression and alcoholism affected our financial stability, and as a result, I completely lost my sense of self. I focused on his addiction and hid it from my friends and family, feeling fear and shame. I blamed him and his drinking for all our problems, never taking responsibility for my codependency.
Linda led me through many energy healings and chakra balancing sessions to remove negative energy in my body and mind attached to the fear, guilt, shame, and anger that had infiltrated me through the demons of addiction in my marriage. The constant arguing filled me with these dark emotions, and I held onto them, stuffing them down for years. Finally, through the power of God present in Linda’s deliverance ministry, I could break patterns, belief systems, and agreements with these negative entities and think clearly. With a clear mind, I realized I had to get out. Leaving was difficult because I connected my identity and value as a married woman.
Divorced from my husband, I had to become honest about my addictions to alcohol, shopping, food, and codependent behavior patterns. What an illusion to think I was healthy!
I self-sacrificed through workaholism. By focusing on work, I didn’t have to face my emotions and feelings of unworthiness from the pain of ending my marriage. Instead, I would soothe myself and escape reality by drinking, spending money, or eating. Now that I didn’t have my husband to focus on, I began controlling and manipulating friends and family by acting like the victim. I cried whenever they asked about my situation and expected them to help me solve my problems. They rallied around me, and my dad offered financial support. My friends ensured I wasn’t isolated, stayed involved in church activities, and even opened their homes to me when I first left my husband.
In The Darin Method® telling Linda my story, I saw the roots of my codependency in childhood. Even though there was no substance abuse in my family, the patterns of codependency prevailed. Everyone takes on specific roles to deal with the dysfunction in our relationships. Abuse manifested through neglect of our home and ignoring the emotional needs of my brothers and me. I felt my feelings so strongly, yet my dad’s belief that I had to be happy made me feel crazy and misunderstood whenever I was upset or angry as a child. As a result, I didn’t trust myself or my emotions.
I began to repress my emotions, stuffing them down until they eventually exploded out of me in an overreaction, making me feel even worse. As an adult, I did not know my feelings and often dissociated from them when they overwhelmed me. One of the first tools Linda encouraged me to use was journaling my emotions daily. I would start by breathing deeply to clear my head, write down my feelings, and then confess and repent my dark emotions and ask God’s forgiveness. Once I could identify my feelings and allow the emotion to move through my body instead of staying locked inside my soul, I experienced more peace. I began to feel comfortable in my skin. I made attending Linda’s weekly online energy healings a priority for the spiritual cleansing of negative energy attached to my dark emotions. Once again, the clarity assisted me in making choices to change my behaviors.
I also had a problematic relationship with my depressive mother, with whom I had difficulty connecting emotionally. Growing up, I tried to earn her love, acceptance, and praise through my good grades and helpful attitude, always trying to be perfect, acting out the role of family hero. Still, I felt overly controlled by her because my schedule was full of so many activities. Desperate for her love and attention, I thought I could not say “no,” fearing rejection and abandonment. Due to feeling so controlled, I developed a recurring nightmare where I was trapped in a plane at the bottom of the ocean with no way out and awoke terrified! I would often sleepwalk, and my parents would find me banging on the door of our house and yelling to get out. I had no voice, did not know how to say what I needed or wanted, and anger and rage built inside me toward my mom.
I realized that ignoring my needs and trying to be who my mom wanted me to be, are signs of codependency. For the first time, I admitted I hated my mother! To heal my pain of rejection and deep resentment and anger, Linda guided me in the process of forgiveness. The pain was too heavy to carry and felt like poison in my soul. I surrendered and prayed daily, asking God to soften my heart so I could forgive her. I learned that forgiveness is a weapon against the bondage to the clusters of emotions of rage, anger, bitterness, and hatred. In conjunction with Linda’s gift of deliverance and God’s healing power, forgiveness began to break me free from the pain and grief of not having the loving relationship with my mom I wished I had. Finally, I understood that she did the best she could raising me due to her childhood wounds and chronic depression, and I stopped blaming her for rejecting me.
In my childhood, I continued to want to be the star and center of attention at school, the camps where my father worked, and in my 4-H sewing club to combat my feelings of unworthiness from the neglect and rejection I experienced at home. But, attempting to be the best, I became obsessive about learning new things and would spend hours alone focused on a singular task. Succeeding was often more important to me than building relationships. I wanted everyone to like me and be my friend, but I didn’t know how to connect with them lovingly. Constantly competing for attention and praise pushed them away. As an adult, I carried on the same way, wanting to be the best at my job, and becoming a workaholic.
Placing my self-identity in my job title and taking on more work than I could complete in a regular workweek are signs of codependency. I didn’t know how to set boundaries around work and personal hours. I devoted more and more time to the office and resented my boss because I had no energy left for chores or fun in the evening or on weekends. I became increasingly anxious and stressed out. Because I gave everything to my work, I was devastated when I lost my job due to Covid supply chain issues. The company closing was totally out of my control, but I felt rejected again and panicked. Linda assisted me as I wrote my work autobiography with patterns and beliefs from my teen years up to now. I was amazed that I had never said no to a job offer in my career! I was so afraid of rejection that I accepted every offer, thrilled they wanted me. But then, I would put the demands of every job above my personal needs and feel anger and resentment when my self-sacrifice was not appreciated or recognized.
As I began interviewing for a new job, I respected myself and my needs enough to change the pattern of workaholism and wait for a role that would not overwhelm me. My new belief is to honor my time and balance my life, and I had more time to heal my mental health and learn about Christian Faith Healing with Linda. I joined her Experiencing God Group on Saturday mornings and understood God’s immeasurable love for me in a new way. If God could love me in my brokenness and forgive me when I messed up, I could also begin to love myself. As a result, I began to feel the emptiness inside me fill up with peace and the loving presence of God.
Ignoring my needs to this extreme is a form of self-hate. I had to learn to love myself before I could begin healing and changing my codependent behaviors. I did this by exploring my creativity with writing, pampering myself with quality skincare, moving my body on daily walks, eating nutritious food, and prioritizing my mental health. I didn’t berate myself for not being who I thought everyone else wanted me to be.
When my dad was admitted to the hospital earlier this year in 2022, I was able to spend a month with him to make sure he had all his medications and follow-up care in place. It was profound for me to speak up for my needs at my job and ask to work remotely for an extended time while staying with my dad in Ohio. I was amazed that they said yes! I continued meeting Linda for distance healing sessions while I was there. Taking the focus off my needs and selflessly caring for my dad moved me from the victim mentality into compassion and love. Together we cooked healthy meals to combat his diabetes, walked in the park to strengthen his endurance, and reminisced about stories from my childhood while looking through old photographs. I also encouraged him to begin sorting through the boxes of magazines, paperwork, and clutter throughout the house. He was excited to have help to tackle it finally, and we held a party for my extended family before I traveled home. They were all amazed at how clean and open his home was! We had a wonderful afternoon catching up with everyone and celebrating my dad’s renewed health. Experiencing this loving visit with my dad showed me I was breaking free from my codependency and changing and transforming.
I am moving beyond codependency:
- not focusing on others
- setting proper boundaries
- no longer self-sacrificing and feeling unappreciated
- not controlling and manipulating others
- experiencing my full range of feelings
- no longer being who someone else wants me to be
- no longer fearing rejection and abandonment
- not ignoring my own needs
I am growing, transforming, and changing with self-respect, self-love, and self-value.
I am so grateful for Linda’s soul-healing techniques that have helped me discover inner peace and joy while striving to become the best version of myself. I could not have loved my dad this way without the transformation and changes in my body, mind, and soul through The Darin Method® and Linda’s deliverance ministry. My value and self-worth are no longer attached to a job, a home, or a marriage license. My success story is finding and accepting who I am, God’s beautiful creation, while learning to love myself, codependent no more.