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 538 - 567

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


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 ]


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 ]


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 ]


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 ]


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 ]


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. 

Days 448 - 483

posted Oct 22, 2017, 5:27 PM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Oct 22, 2017, 5:27 PM ]

Sunday - Sunday

Deep breath, it has been awhile! So very much has happened! 

My son returned home from his mission. I can't tell you how amazing it is to hug your child after two years away! Best hug of my life! It has been an adjustment having him home. He left full blown codependent crazy and wasn't really sure what to expect when he came home. 

Triggers are weird. One never does know how someone will react to a trigger. One of my children threw herself back into scapegoat role. If you don't know, most codependent homes have a scapegoat. This is the person who always does everything wrong. They are the ones you blame for everything. And yes, this child was the scapegoat, but hasn't been for over a year. After two very long weeks of codependent crazy from her, she came into my room and had a melt-down. She exploded about how she was the scapegoat. To which I responded, she had put herself into that role. Once acknowledged, crazy went away. The nice child in recovery was back. Peace was once again restored. 

Everyone has felt some sort of trigger at his return. I have sadness for the mother I wasn't. It's important to note, he isn't in recovery. He hasn't worked the steps.  I have caused him pain. He remembers all of it and at one point, I had to tell him to let it go. He can't get back what I took from him, but he can move forward. It's up to him to forgive me, all I can do is truly be sorry and try to be better. I'm trying. 

I believe I won my first codependent challenge yesterday. It has been a very busy month. A return missionary, a soon to be missionary, a new extra job, a foreign exchange student, three birthdays, one baptism, and one endowment. The last three all in one day, well one birthday. It was an amazing day yesterday. At one point, I lost two hours and was way behind. I was panicked, but not crazy. I asked for help, assigned tasks, and everything got done. It was exhausting, but wonderful. I didn't yell, I didn't belittle. My husband actually said, and I quote, "Today was a lot less stressful than I thought it would be." 

Recovery is amazing. It is a DAILY thing. Finding out you are codependent does not make it go away. You have to work the steps, every day. Take a moral inventory of the previous day, make amends, and be better. There is no wallowing in what was, it is moving forward, always moving forward. 

I love this life. I love my family. I love the blessings I have received. I am so very grateful for recovery.

Don't wait. Don't kid yourself, it is better. It is amazing. It is far beyond just OK. 

Days 440 - 447

posted Sep 16, 2017, 6:21 AM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Sep 16, 2017, 6:21 AM ]


Sitting in a room full of people in recovery, knowing I'm the reason they are there, hurts. Watching them work recovery and find successes in their lives is amazing. 

This past week, I've watched a love one make really hard choices and close doors. No one wants to close doors. People want to keep living their lives hoping something will change and not really doing anything to change. Sadly, that doesn't work. 

Do. You have to do. Recovery is about doing. Yes, time heals a lot of things, however, without action, time just passes us by. 

So today, I'm sitting in a Picture Book Conference. It's amazing to do things I love. The joy in taking time to do things I love to do is vital to maintaining my mental health and my recovery. If I spent every waking moment doing what needs to be done and not take time to do what I love, my life would just be passing me by. 

Is it selfish to take time out for myself? Well, that depends on if you think being selfish is good or bad. Me time is imperative to growth and love of self. 

When doors close, doors open. Come what may and love it. I used to spend my time saying "smile and nod." Meaning there is nothing I can do about it, so let's just ride along. There is no joy in smile and nod. There is no do in smile and nod. It's just what you've been given, so deal with it.

Come what may and love it contains joy. I get my life is going to have trials, issues, good days, and bad days. So when someone dies, do I just love it? No. But I have an eternal perspective. This life is just a fly speck on the timeline of my life. I'm here to learn. Some lessons hurt more than others, but I'm also here to find joy. 

18 months ago, when bad things happened I crumbled. I became a pile of why me. I brought up all the bad in my life and attached it to the current bad thing. My woe was deep and dark. I used to think I was good about my woes. I would throw up my hands and say "OK, God, what do you want me to learn." In actuality, I was cursing God, my life, my husband, and my family. I waited for the next drama so I could feel. 

Now, well, I genuinely want to know what God's plan for my life is. I don't spend my life thinking twenty steps ahead. I'm living my life. I don't play what could be's over and over on a never ending rewind. Come what may and love it. 

How? How do you do this? It's easy, but not something codependent people find easy to do. Spend time in nature. Sit still. Just listen to the wind in the trees. Take a walk and look at the flowers or the cement, if that's all you've got. Don't think about all that is going on, let your mind rest. The world will not end if you take time to not think about stuff. In fact, you will have more energy and brain power to tackle problems if you've given your mind time to rest. 

I can't change people. I can't make them do things. I can offer suggestions. I can teach. I cannot control, why would I want to. A controlled person is a miserable person. Recently, I was watching a really cool dog act. There were two dogs running and jumping, flipping and dancing. It was amazing. Why would a dog do that? Because he was forced? No, because he loved it. 

Are you running and jumping, flipping and dancing or are you trudging. Step 2. Let go and trust. I know trust is hard. Your desire to control will go away when you learn to trust those who are trustworthy. 

Take a walk. Sit in the sun. Just be for awhile. 

Days 433 - 439

posted Sep 8, 2017, 5:50 AM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Sep 8, 2017, 5:51 AM ]


Letting go. It's a scary thing. At a recent CoDA meeting, a person talked about what it was like to be fighting against God's will. She said it was like trudging through muck, unable to really move forward, often standing still, spending more time than necessary wondering why. And then, when you turn your life over to God, it's a running to catch up to all the blessings He's putting in front of you. 

I believe this is true. To truly be in recovery, you are going to have to shut some doors. You may have to slam some shut, add a deadbolt, nails, and a solid wooden beam. You may not realize it, but you are carrying around a load of burden with these open doors. The second you decide to close them, the burden disappears. Many keep the doors open because of obligation. If the open door is destroying your sense of well being then there is no obligation or duty. If you are unable to love and care for  yourself, then you are unable to do much else.

Now, I'm not talking about divorce. I'm talking about activities in which you may feel obligated to continue, even though they bring you nothing but pain and grief. Shut the door. Walk away. Find joy. It is OK to say no. Set boundaries. 

I've seen this happen to people I love. I see the joy when God opens new doors. I see joy as they walk through those doors, knowing what they are getting is better than what they had. 

But it is scary. That's were trust comes in. As a codependent, we don't trust. We don't know how. Sad, but true. Surrendering your will to God is all about trust. If ANYONE knows what is best for your life, it is God. He knows you better than anyone on this earth. He WANTS you to be happy. All you have to do is trust. 

So today, examine all that you do. If there is no joy in an activity, stop. Find something new, or just be happy without that activity. God will open new doors, He always does.

Days 419 - 432

posted Sep 1, 2017, 7:05 AM by Kelley Likes   [ updated Sep 1, 2017, 7:10 AM ]


It seems when the school year starts things get super busy. I find myself exhausted and churning through the days. It is probably because I'm not sleeping well. Now, this isn't because I've got too much on my plate or I'm worrying about things, it's mainly because I wake up at 3:30 and just can't fall back asleep. The nice thing is I'm not worrying about things or thinking of what can go wrong. I basically try to go back to sleep. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sleep deprivation isn't a good thing. 

I've been thinking a lot about Step 1. Getting to the point in one's life where you realize your life is no longer manageable. You know something is wrong, but as a codependent, you're probably blaming everyone else for your misery. The moment you surrender your life over to God, amazing things will begin to happen. 

First, you take ownership of how you feel. You can no longer blame others for the crappy life you've had. You look within to fix what is broken and no longer try to fix others. It is empowering. It is freeing. It is frightening. Who really wants to find out they are the broken one? Who wants to have to fix what they thought was OK? 

Really? Just OK? OK isn't good. It's just blah. 

Step 1 removes the crazy. Codependent crazy is a real thing. It's curled up in a ball, crying, because of the misery of what is happening to you. It's the poor me. It can quickly turn into the rage against everything. The lashing out, cruel words, the LOOK AT ME I'M IN PAIN, and you're doing nothing to help me. Except, you probably aren't saying that. You're just being cruel. Hoping someone will take the hints, get the clues, and sadly, you're pushing away those who could help you, because, after all, who would want to help you. Codependent crazy is crazy. It makes no sense. Looking back at my life, in my many many rages, I can now see just how irrational they were.

I remember once, at a department store, I stormed up to my husband and demanded the car keys. His response was, "You've got to be kidding me." I yelled, belittled, and went so far as to reach my hand into his pocket. When I switched the car keys I was holding to my other hand, to reach into his other pocket, I realized I was HOLDING the keys I was demanding. Wouldn't it have been easier for me to walk up to my husband and say, "Hey hunny, I can't find the car keys." To which, he probably would have laughed and said, "You're holding them." Laughter instead of rage. 

The other night, my daughter brought up something I had said many years ago. She was really upset about it. I told her I was sorry and to not judge me by the person I was. It isn't fair. I get I was a horrible person, but I'm not that person anymore. I'm recovering. I'm not fixed. I'm still working hard to be the person Heavenly Father wants me to be. 

Knowing the the next step, Step 2, RESTORES US TO SANITY, it's worth surrendering our will. 

Work the steps, they work. But you have to work them ALL the time. It's not like a book you read once. You need to go through the steps, take a week or a month, but work through them. Then, once you know them all, go back to the ones you feel you need to work on some more. The 12 Steps are a lifetime of sanity, not a quick fix. You have a lifetime of norms to undo.

Go to meetings. Meetings are important. Everyone is tired or has better things to do. I have yet to go to a meeting where I didn't learn something profound. PROFOUND. Meetings, with people like you, will help you feel like you're not the only one. You're not on this journey alone. 

Get a sponsor. Someone who has been there, done that. Someone to bounce ideas off of. Someone you can reach out to when you need them. Sponsors won't solve your problems. They're in recovery and as codependency has a pretty predictive path, they can help you during the rough times. 

Don't give up! 
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