My Days

Codependent does NOT mean I need someone or have to be with someone. 
Codependent means I’m so busy trying to fix everyone else’s problems, I forget to take care of myself.
Links in My Days

I've added hyperlinks to various things in My Days postings. My hope is you might want the information I found, without having to find it yourself. 

No, I'm not being codependent, I'm being helpful.

Please let me know if there are other resources I mention, which you would like copies of or links to!

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Days 670 - 691

posted May 18, 2018, 7:33 AM by Kelley Likes   [ updated May 18, 2018, 7:33 AM ]

FRIDAY - FRIDAY

Sometimes life comes at you fast and you find yourself slipping back into old behaviors. Stop. Take a breath. Take time for yourself. 

"But so much crazy stuff is going on," you scream. 

Yup. I know. That's when you know you aren't taking care of yourself. You are letting the crazy take over

God knows you. He loves you. He wants what's best for you. He will guide you in the direction you need to go, to reach your full potential.

"But it is so hard!" you scream. 

Breathe. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. 

Life is stressful, but REMEMBER:

Worrying doesn't change anything, it never has and it never will. Your brain needs time to recharge.  You need time to recharge. You can't fall into a well of craziness and expect to keep your cool. You will drown and pull down the rest of the house with you. 

If you are late to work and it's driving you crazy, well, either except you are going to be late for work, or figure out a way not to be late. Once, I was so upset about being late for church I announced to the family the night before, I'm leaving at 8:30, whoever wants to come with me, be ready. And guess what, a couple kids rode with me and a couple rode with their dad and were late to church. But at least we were all there. I did what I had to do for me. 

If the house is a mess, well, except it is a mess or do something. Whining and complaining doesn't do anything. Kids tone that out completely. On the flip side, showing your son exactly how to clean the bathroom and then helping him do it to your standards, providing positive feedback and rewards, works. 

We have a marble jar at our house. It's for service freely given. So if I ask you to fold the towels and you don't really want to, but you do it anyway, pay yourself in marbles. Each marble is $1 and you get to pick what you feel you deserve. It works great. I pay myself in marbles. So if I have to clean up someone's mess, I pay myself. Then I use the money to do something just for me because I earned it. 

Yes, I get crabby. Yes, I get tired. I also try to listen when my family says, "Hey mom,  you're acting really grumpy." And yes, it makes me mad when they tell me I'm being codependent, but you know what? They are right. Truly right. Me getting mad, well that's proof I was acting codependent. 

I'm not perfect, I'm trying and yes, some days I want to curl up into a ball and just cry. And yes, there are days I wonder why I'm on this earth. It's called a bad day or bad moment. They pass and help you to recognize a good day and be thankful.

You can do this, keep climbing up the hill! Eventually, you will become a really good climber!
 

Days 632 - 669

posted Apr 26, 2018, 6:20 PM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Apr 26, 2018, 6:20 PM ]

TUESDAY - THURSDAY

So what does it mean to surrender your life to your Higher Power? It means accepting that His plan is better than your plan. It's accepting and acting on the pull in your life. It means taking steps and having faith the path is before you, even if you can't see it. 

For the last 12 years, I've worked at Marist School in Atlanta, GA. It was my place of refuge. It was my calm in the storm of my eternal chaos. And then this past year, it wasn't. My home became my place of refuge, my calm, my home. At the end of long days, I came home to people who loved me and actually wanted me around. 

Now, I love teaching, don't get me wrong. I love my students, genuinely. I work with some pretty amazing people. However, I feel like God is calling me to other things, specifically to run my company, NetherCream. NetherCream is good, completely. I realized others don't see the world as I do. They don't have to, but I don't have to be a part of something that no longer meets my needs or shares my values. 

And, yes, it is super scary. It's like my phone is buzzing and God's calling. Do I answer or simply hit the "Sorry, I can't talk right now." button? Well, I accepted the call and all the unknown which comes with it. And it's so scary, but that's ok. It isn't chaos. It isn't drama, it's God's plan and it is moving forward. 

Maybe it's my midlife crisis, only I don't feel in crisis. I've never felt more in control of my life. Stepping away from something, trying not to please everyone, taking time for myself. It feels amazing! 

So my plans for the upcoming year:

1. Be a stay at home mom, for the first time in a very long time. I plan on enjoying the time I have with my children.
2. Write. A lot. Be looking for more Jacob Doesn't Read and Inherited Codependency Support books.
3. Run my company NetherCream. I'm truly honored to have this task. It may include dressing up as an elephant for amusing commercials about the "elephant in the room." 
4. Keep working on my recovery. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't assess how I'm doing or things I need to change. 
5. Go to the temple more often. I love finding my ancestors and connecting families. It's so much fun! On that note, I also need to reconnect with family here. 

God, my life is yours, completely. Your hands are good. Your hands are strong. Your hands hold me up. Your hands, I'm in your hands. 


Days 609 - 631

posted Mar 19, 2018, 6:23 AM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Mar 19, 2018, 6:24 AM ]

SUNDAY - MONDAY

Time flies! Zerin already has four stars on her Missionary Chart, which means she's been gone for four months already. 

I want to spend some time talking about recovery. Once you find out you are codependent, your world changes. You may think you are all done, you've found the problem, now life will all be great, only it doesn't work that way.

Codependency is an addiction. The addiction is focusing your life so much on controlling other people, you stop taking care of yourself. You find yourself wrapped up in stuff you shouldn't be wrapped up in. You forgo your own needs and wants in order to do for others. While this sacrifice seems worthwhile, a sacrifice which destroys you isn't really a sacrifice, it's an addiction. 

You have to detach or let go of the things you don't need to be controlling. Think of it this way, look in the mirror, that's the only person you should be trying to control. 

You can't make your kids or spouse do what you want them to do. You CAN NOT control other people. If you have kids, think about the last time you tried to get a toddler to go to bed. If they choose not to go to bed, then that's on them. They will be tired and crabby and maybe not able to go to the park or do something fun. However, you trying to get them to sleep, well it never works and it will drive you crazy. Setting boundaries, telling them consequences for their actions and THEN FOLLOWING THROUGH, is what will work. 

People can't read your mind. You need to become better at communicating. This means you will need to trust the people you are communicating with. If you need someone to vacuum the entire house, say that. Don't say, I need you to vacuum. Say, I need you to vacuum every room in the house and it needs to be done before we leave for your game. So you have to start vacuuming within the next seven minutes or it won't get done. If you don't vacuum the entire house before we leave, we will not be stopping for ice cream after the game. 

It starts with little things. Little changes. Falling back into codependent behaviors also starts with little things. Asking your child or spouse to do something, then doing it yourself, because it's "easier." It isn't easier, it's controlling. It's lack of trust. You have to trust. I know it's hard, but you have to. 

You have to trust yourself. You have to love and take care of yourself. If you can't do something, you have to delegate and trust it will get done. If it doesn't get done, the world won't end. The world will not fall into chaos because the dishes didn't get loaded correctly into the dishwasher. 

Stop criticizing everyone. It doesn't do anything for anyone. It totally demolishes any trust and makes you feel bad. You fall into the victim mode and the oh poor me mode. Stop it. Love yourself. You will be the best person you can be if you simply take care of yourself. 

If others fail, that's on them, let them fail. We have been given this life to be tried and tested. To have joy and sorrows. Don't take away someone's opportunity to grow. 

Take a walk. Walk away. Breathe. 

I'm not very good with meditation. To be honest, I think it's a waste of time. If I want to sit still, it's because I want to sit still, not because I want to focus on trying to be still. That's doing something, instead of not doing something. 

I do, however, need to time to just sit and be. Looking around the room, seeing the bird sitting on the branch and the rain clouds in the distance. Not worrying about the super long list of things you need to get done, they will get done, or they will fall off the list and you will move forward. I found a list from a few months ago, a long list of things that NEEDED to get done. Funny, I lost the list and found it six months later. So, how did I do? Well, I'd forgotten about most of the things on the list, like getting apples at the store. However, the things I needed to do, like redoing my taxes, applying for financial aid, and finishing a website, all managed to get done, without the list. It's about trusting yourself. I could have spent months looking for that list, it was crumpled up at the bottom of a box...or I could have just lived my life. 

I just lived my life. 

You need to attend meetings. You need to attend meetings. One more time, you need to attend meetings. You need to know you are not alone. You need the insight of others who have worked the steps and are moving forward. Go to www.coda.org to find a meeting. 

You need a sponsor. Seriously, you need a sponsor. Someone who has worked the steps and isn't wrapped up in controlling others. Someone, to say, "Hey, this is how I feel, is it healthy or codependent?" 

At one point, you will think you are "just fine." You aren't. That should be a huge warning to you. If you are no longer codependent in any of your behaviors, you need to be the one at the meeting for those who have just begun this journey. 

If you are making excuses as to why you shouldn't go to a meeting, you need to go to a meeting. If you don't have time for a meeting, you aren't taking care of yourself. You are busy with something else, besides your recovery. The alcoholic who no longer needs meetings is headed down a path towards drinking again. 

I know, you inherited this from your parents, that doesn't change the fact it is an addiction. It does not simply go away. 

Love and take care of yourself. You are the best person for this job. 

Days 568 -608

posted Feb 24, 2018, 1:26 PM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Mar 14, 2018, 3:01 PM ]

MONDAY - SATURDAY

Boy, it's been a long time, sorry. I've been busy starting a company.  It has been a very faith-filled journey. I feel very blessed in my life. Everything from the idea to the recipes has been divinely inspired. 

I'm proud of myself. Yet, I have to say it, as a person recovering from codependency, I feel inadequate in so many things. I feel like I'm falling behind and letting people down. I get all caught up in the things I can't do, I often forget about the things I am doing. I spend a large part of my day feeling like a failure. 

Then I think about all the amazing quotes my husband sends me. The ones about only those who don't try fail. Failure is just experience. I read the words, and in a way they register, yet, I'm fighting this battle against myself. 

I haven't curled up into a ball and cried. I haven't given up. No suicidal thoughts. Just fleeting moments of "I'm not good enough." 

The lesson this week in my church course, Starting and Growing Your Business, is perseverance.  Life isn't always going to be perfect. There will be moments of perfection, but for the most part, life is just meant to be lived. 

I want to succeed in something in my life, yet I've succeeded in so many things. My children, on most days, love me. We are safe and secure, though probably moving soon. My husband and I just celebrated 25 years together and I'm going to say it, I still love him. I still like him a lot. I have two really good dogs, who are loved and feel secure. I've published books. I blog. I create amazing websites. I am kind. I am honest. I am able to love and be love. I look amazing while wearing red lipstick. I'm not a size 2, but I love my size. 

It's been almost a year and a half since I've spoken to my mom. I don't miss her. I struggle with this fact. Like there's something wrong with me. Something wrong with not wanting to have someone who is so caustic in my life. I simply don't want it. I hope she is happy. I hope her life is all she wants it to be. And I wish that knowing I don't ever want to see her again. And you know what? I'm OK with that. 

I'm sitting in church, getting ready for the Young Women Cake Auction and I'm excited to be here. I have no worries about the future. I know my life is in God's hands, after all, I surrendered my will to Him. Persevere. I must persevere and move forward, knowing I have successes. I am good enough. Yes, I fall short, but I pick myself up and move forward. 

My goal, by my 26th Anniversary, is to sell 1,000,000 units of our new products. Sweaty, Stinky, Itchy? We have a remedy for that, and it's amazing!

Days 538 - 567

posted Jan 14, 2018, 6:38 AM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Jan 14, 2018, 6:39 AM ]

SATURDAY -SUNDAY

I've had an amazing month or so. I've started a new business with my family. It's been amazing and time-consuming. It has been peaceful and fulfilling. Life is so amazing when you are simply living it in harmony with those around you. 

The other night, my husband and I were watching one of our favorite shows, This Is Us. In one scene, the mother is having a conversation with the father. She says something like, "I'm always the bad guy and you are always the good guy." My husband laughed. He said that I always used to say that. I do believe the mother in the show is codependent. Her mother is the original codependent and she, sadly, is the inherited codependent, and she doesn't even know it.

My husband was right. I did say those words a lot. So, let's analyze what those few words actually mean. 

"I'm always the bad guy." This statement is 100% victim. Poor me. I always have to be something I don't want to be. Yet, I take that role on willingly because, well, I don't trust the "good guy" knows what he or she is doing, so I have to do it. I feel like I'm the bad guy. Why wouldn't I? My whole life I've been the bad guy, even though I rarely did anything to warrant this title. So in adult life, I've taken this role and embraced it. I feel guilty for being the bad guy, but hey, someone has to do it, because if someone doesn't do it, the whole world will turn to mass chaos. 

"You are always the good guy." You always get to do the fun stuff. To be honest, you get to do the normal stuff. Like spending time with the kids or hanging out with the kids or doing fun stuff with the kids. Stuff I won't allow myself to do because fun just isn't something I can do. I have to be the one controlling everything while you get to go off and have fun. And YES, I resent you for it. Why can't I just have fun? When I try to have fun with the kids they are wary of me. It's like they are walking on eggshells, waiting for me to get mad and yell at them. 

Does this sound like your home? Can you see how the controlling codependent isn't having any fun? I haven't used that phrase for almost 2 years and guess what? My home did not fall into chaos. My kids aren't on drugs or failing school. My husband and I are united in our parenting discipline. It is no more of go ask one parent and if they say no, go ask the other. It's now if mom says no, it's no for both or if dad says no, mom will too. 

Letting go means you learn to trust. It doesn't mean you are weak. It means you trust those around you to make good choices. You lead by example, not by coercion. You trust they will make mistakes, and learn from them. You let them have those experiences. You let go and simply love. Love yourself. Trust that you are NOT the bad one. You don't have to have that role. No one does. Discipline is a way of life, but it is a punishment for things not going the way they should. 

You set boundaries, you establish rules. If those boundaries or rules are broken, there is a punishment. It's that simple. You don't live your life like a prison guard, you live your life loving and taking care of yourself. 

"I trust you to make the best decision." This is the most powerful thing you can say to anyone in your home. Then you shut up, back down, and LET THEM make the decision. Even if it is one you don't agree with. You are free to give your opinion, if they say, "What do you think?" but not if they don't ask for it. If children don't learn to make mistakes and how to recover from them, you are crippling them. Let go. Trust. 

You can do it!

You are NOT the bad guy. You are a good guy. 

Days 514 - 537

posted Dec 15, 2017, 8:04 AM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Dec 15, 2017, 8:42 AM ]

WEDNESDAY - FRIDAY

Life is good. I've been working hard to get Inherited Codependent: The First 365 Days from Crazy to Tranquility and All the Steps In Between finished. It's been a labor of love and lots of reflection. I've been able to go through and look at each of my many days and stages. I don't really know where I would be today without recovery. I really don't want to think too much about that. I know, right now, I'm loved, cared for, love myself, and am happy. 

Yes, there are trials in life. I don't know why everything happens, I just know there is this plan. I feel myself getting pulled down a certain path and it is exciting. When I fight against it, I get pulled even harder. Pulled. Not pushed. I don't believe I've ever been pushed into anything. That would require taking away my free will. I think of pushing as such a negative thing. 

Instead, here, let me show you the way. It's over here. It requires working some steps, doing some reading, getting a sponsor, and trying your hardest. It doesn't require perfection. 

Step 5 : Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

I've found myself hitting Step 5 a lot lately. My son, recently home from his mission, isn't used to the changes. He has some really bad norms. It is pretty caustic when he is around. I've had the opportunity to apologize and talk through issues with all of my other older children. Now, however, I find myself back at square one with my son. 

So here I go. Dearest Son, I was a really crappy mom. I never had your back. I never supported you. I found fault in everything you did. I wanted you to be the person I thought you should be and THANK GOD (literally) you fought against me. I judged you and found you unworthy. I am not that person any more. I do not live my life like that anymore. I don't deserve anything from you. Forgiving me is in your court. Know that I am sorry. I am trying my hardest, today, to be the best person I can be. And guess what, I fall short. I love you. I'm here to support you. I want you in my life in a positve and supportive way. We need to communicate clearly. We need to trust. We need to have hope in that plan for our futures and help each other be who we are destined to be. 

Recovery is amazing. Come, jump on the train with me. 

Forgive yourself, find faith.

Days 500 - 513

posted Nov 21, 2017, 7:18 PM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Nov 21, 2017, 7:18 PM ]

WEDNESDAY - TUESDAY

Here I sit in Utah, the mother of another missionary. I dropped my 19 year old off at Missionary Training Center to serve for 19 months in the Slovakia Mission. It has been a very wild two weeks. 

We started in Georgia and spent two days driving to Utah. We were piled into a truck with six people. Needless to say it was interesting and cozy. 

My son has been home from his mission for two months. He is learning how to communicate and not to react. His norms are shifting. I had been super busy taking a class and getting ready to go to Utah. So, on Saturday, with a long drive ahead of us, I started up a conversation with Xan about his life. He reacted, harshly. He went off about how I wasn't there for him, how I wasn't helping him, and how he didn't want my help. 

I paused, told him I was sorry, and now I had time and if he wanted to talk, he could. I told him he had reacted poorly, in a codependent manner. It took him awhile before he backed down. We ended up having a great conversation. We addressed some of the things he was worried about and set him on a path to accomplish some things. 

I was able to share with him my hopes and dreams for the next five years. It was nice to have a conversation with him. Sometimes people just get busy and things have to wait until there's a better time, like sitting in a car for several hours. 

We laughed a lot on our journey. With only three days before my daughter was to report, we had lots to do with very little time. It was amazing how NOT stressed I was. We just had fun together. There were a couple times I had to say, "Um, it's just a bag, pick one." It was also nice to do things together as a family. 

Packing the night before was hard. All her stuff in two bags. It all fit, though. We got up early and went to the Provo City Temple to do a session together. It was amazing! After the session, we headed to Brick Oven in Provo, for our traditionally family lunch. We drove to the MTC, jumped into one vehicle and dropped my daughter off, in the hands of strangers, ordained of God, to teach and preach. It was such a relief to know she is safe. 

She's my third missionary. I've done this twice before. Both times before were a nightmare. The stress and chaos drove away any good. My son, the last thing he said before dropping him off at the same MTC, two years ago was, "Don't get a divorce." It was bad.

It has been a very pleasant trip. Virtually no stress with my wonderful in-laws. No stress in my family. It is BEYOND nice to be a healthy family.

We are not perfect, we are trying. Sometimes trying is really difficult, especially if you are the only trying, but that doesn't mean you stop trying. NEVER GIVE UP! Like those who have passed before, you will make it through the hard times and find joy in this journey. 

Days 497 - 499

posted Nov 21, 2017, 6:57 PM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Nov 21, 2017, 6:57 PM ]

SUNDAY - TUESDAY

I spent the last two days in bed with a cold. Reading over my last posting, it's easy to say I wasn't feeling well. I even stayed home from church. I think I slept 14 hours straight, both days. 

When I wasn't sleeping, I did some genealogy. Luckily, genealogy is easy when people want to be found. I started with 40 names to submit and after 2 days had over 500 names to submit to the temple. I was amazed at all those who have come before me have done. It hurt to see their loss and heartaches. I'm grateful for the opportunity to connect families. 

I'm sure they had lots of bad days too. 

I did something rather amazing, I think. I didn't go to church, but chose to sleep. I called in sick to work on Monday, and just slept. I took time for myself to heal and get feeling better. The trouble with getting sick is I don't eat and then my blood sugar gets all wonky. So on Tuesday, I was still a bit off. 

The world will continue to revolve, even if I'm not there. If I want to be the best I can be, I have to take care of myself. 

Take time to love and take care of yourself. Taking time for yourself is important. 


Days 494 - 496

posted Nov 21, 2017, 6:50 PM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Nov 21, 2017, 6:50 PM ]

THURSDAY - SATURDAY

I didn't ask for this, this codependency. I didn't asked to be raised by a crazy woman, who never taught me how to be a good person or how to love. She never taught me anything good. She taught me how to belittle, shame, and destroy others. I didn't ask to be raised the way I was. 

I get now, that I know I'm codependent, I'm supposed to be all better, except I'm not. I don't know what it means to be a good wife or a good mother. I fail miserably at both. No, I'm not being hard on myself, I'm being honest.

I'm trying, and I'm falling short. It isn't enough for my kids. It isn't enough for my husband. And I really don't know what to do about it. I think I'm doing well and then WHAM, I get informed I'm not. I guess they think they are helping me by pointing out everything I do wrong. But they aren't. It is self defeating. 

I guess I talk about recovery too much at church. They don't even call on me when I want to make a comment anymore. Even if it isn't about codependency and recovery. 

I'm not having a good day.

Days 484 - 493

posted Nov 1, 2017, 11:36 AM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Nov 1, 2017, 11:36 AM ]

MONDAY - WEDNESDAY

Codependent parents suck. I'm watching a daughter of a codependent self-destruct. It is horrible to watch. The mother, removed herself from the home and put the once freed daughter in charge. Which means, the daughter lost her job and car. Back under mommy's control. Who does that to their kids? And the daughter, well, she really want's mommy's approval, so she does whatever mommy asks, hoping for some grain of acknowledgement. Except, mommy is codependent and sabotaging her daughter. 

Why? Why can people succeed and codependents feel the need to break them down and destroy them? One step forward and a million steps backwards. 

I'm trying. I don't know that I'm there yet. Last night, I felt horrible. I was tired and crabby. I haven't slept well since in injured my leg. The night before was especially rough. I just wanted to be grumpy, so I was. I was cold and crabby. I was even called a miserable codependent pain in the ass. And rightly so. Then I fell asleep for a few hours and woke up happy. We all have bad days. Those bad days shouldn't define who we are. We are free to take a nap or a walk and start over. 

I'm not trying to sabotage my children or husband. I fully love and support them. 

Right now, I'm sitting in an empty computer lab, feet propped up on a box of paper, beside an open window. I don't have any windows in my classroom. It's a pretty depressing classroom, it is, after all, in the dungeon.  I can, however, come and sit beside an open window during my free time. 

You don't have to stay miserable. That is a choice. Extracting yourself from a situation is often necessary for everyone involved. Love yourself, why not, you are amazing, even if you are flawed. We are all flawed. 

Get a sponsor. Find a meeting. Go. Don't expect tomorrow to be better if you don't change anything today. It's OK to have a bad day. 

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