Progress Sometimes Comes at a Price

I found the blog my coworker writes to recount her life and struggles. I know it is her because of the anecdotes but also because of the pictures.

A little backstory is required here:

In June of 2014, I started at a new job. The department I was posted in is comprised of 99% males and deals with the technical aspect of our business. Me, being the new, young girl who could unintentionally cause a lot of misunderstanding to occur with an overly vivacious personality stayed mostly to myself. I wasn’t about to reach out and make friends until I got to know the company culture a bit more. Thus, it was a welcome relief when a particular female coworker (let’s call her B) reached out to me via the inter-office chat line. We started messaging back and forth and quickly realized we had much in common! So we went out for drinks, got to know each other, and quickly became great friends. B introduced me to another female coworkers of ours (D) and before we knew it, Thursday night happy hours were penciled into our weekly schedules.

Tequila

After the course of some time, B began to open up to me about her struggles with addiction and relationships. The problem with that is, she had no idea that I am a recovering Codependent. Her needs, her desperation, her “brokeness” was my Heroin, and she laid it all before me on a silver platter. But I had already begun my recovery journey at that time and knew that I was standing on a slippery slope, balanced on the edge of what could be an extremely dangerous situation. Despite my inner hesitancy and boyfriend’s worried warnings, though, I continued to allow myself to be whatever she needed me to be. It all came to a climactic crescendo one night after a few rounds of drinks. She was angry and accused me of being a manipulative Witch with a capitol B. Her words made me realize that the help I thought I was providing her was actually putting me in an extremely uncomfortable situation due to the nature of her secrets – she was cheating on her boyfriend (who is my direct junior at work) with our friend D. I couldn’t do it anymore. I had to save myself for the sake of my progress and really, possibly for the sake of preserving my amicable work environment. So I distanced myself. Initially, I hoped I could continue to be a part of her life and still maintain my own mental integrity. That unfortunately wasn’t the case, and I felt myself regressing. My world was starting to revolve around her issues. So I deliberately began to talk to her and D less frequently, easing myself from the middle of the drama, and eventually we drifted apart.

Fast forward 6 months to present day. I found her blog. It is filled with her sorrow, her struggles, her addictions, her anger, her past, her mental health, and her deep depression. Everything in me wants to pick up the phone and reach out to her….to fix her. But I can’t. I KNOW how selfish I sound. I really, truly do, but I’m not at that healthy place yet where I can handle her level of need without losing myself again. And I know she thinks I am a horrible person for pulling away, but I have to. She wrote a blog post about me. An extremely ANGRY blog post. And the Codependent in me really almost gave in to at least explain that I’m not a bad person. But even doing that will open another door, another line of communication, that I cannot risk creating right now. She is currently seeking professional help, so I know she is in good hands. I just have to trust that one day, she will find peace and maybe she can look back and see my actions with clarity.

For now, I have to trust that I am doing the right thing with the best and purest of intentions. So I will maintain this level of distance. Abstinence is my greatest friend here, and I stand behind Him with an aching heart.

With peace,
-Freedom

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14 thoughts on “Progress Sometimes Comes at a Price

  1. You don’t sound at all selfish, to me. I’m a recovering addict AND codependant, and both parts of me agree that you did the ONLY intelligent thing you could have.

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  2. Ohh I am going to be controversial here, it is just y thoughts though and you know better for yourself, right 😉 ? I think you were “selfish” to think you could fix her… Saying this as a 38 years codependent in recovery myself as well. It is very arrogant to think we can fix someone else. It is taking your friend power away from herself and make a choice for herself that she has not done yet. How friendly is that in fact ? Helping is not fixing people. So how is it selfish ? Because we thrive on needy people as codependent. They allow us to justify to the world and ourselves why we are not looking at our wounds and lack of self love to “fix” that and why instead we spend our lives in sacrifice for others. All with the label of glory when in fact there is pain for us and pain for the people around us that are not getting their happiness back. However this process is boosting the ego… making it easier to forget how hurt we are inside. We do that out of pain, just like other people do things out of pain, in different ways. Maybe it is time we all heal our wounds. Just my two cents. 🙂

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    • If I understand you correctly, then I completely agree! I was extremely selfish to think I could and should fix her. I was at least able to recognize that, thanks to my mediums of recovery. It was difficult, though, because her needs definitely did feed me ego. I felt in control and needed. But I was so wrong. Thank you for your comment! I always appreciate different perspectives.

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      • I think you did and you perfectly know how the codependent patterns work ! Congratulations !!!😃 it is a lot harder to fall back into them once they are exposed !!! Well done !

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  3. I echo the comments above. You have to be in a very healthy place yourself to be of any kind of service to someone who is in so much pain so you don’t lose youself to her problems. It’s hard but good for you for recognizing and respecting your needs.

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  4. I have a friend who I think is codependent. She gets really upset if she can’t be joined at the hip with her boyfriend. To me it’s a bit much because I love having space! Reading this post gives me more insight into what she might be going through.

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