co·de·pend·en·cy /ˌkōdəˈpendənsē/ noun – excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction.
re·cov·er·y /rəˈkəv(ə)rē/ noun – a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
Ciera is one of my oldest friends. I’ve known her since elementary age and we’ve grown up together from high school to college — to now being young professionals. We were born ONE day apart. Cee is one of my best friends and forever friends. We’ve recently have been growing a ton in our friendship and it has been revealing yet so cool to be able to build deeper roots with one another.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27.17
Ciera has been in recovery from codependency for about a year and it has been one of her biggest journey’s so far! Here is a devotional from her and what she is currently learning:
What I’m going to be writing about today is seeing and recognizing patterns in yourself.
Non refutable and sometimes embarrassing patterns.
This at times can be a hard truth to swallow.
But it is one that must be done in order to evolve.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world (or the pattern of my worldly self) but rather be transformed.”
What I’ve learned is transformation can’t occur until we see and accept the ways we have fallen into patterns of this world.
Without vision there is no evolving.
One of the patterns in my life is my need to have a guy in my life.
At around 17, I vividly remember saying to myself, “I like liking people” and I like the feeling of liking people.
Ten years later, I’d truly understand the weight of my desires.
The rush of dopamine from liking or being liked by men was what I needed to feel full.To feel complete.
And to feel worth.
At 14, I couldn’t go longer than 3 months without having a love interest.
Men had become an idol and a drug.
Friends and family would always say “you’re boy crazy.”
And I even bought into it.
And I thought that’s all it was.
Nothing more, nothing less.
So it came to no surprise to anyone when a new guy popped up in my life every few months.
This became my truth and I didn’t dig any deeper into the danger of this pattern.
People get hooked on drugs — legal or illegal — for all sorts of reasons. For me, my drug use was for emotional emptiness.
I believe my upbringing is the source of my emptiness.
People thought I had daddy issues.
But I often disagreed.
I loved my dad and he loved me.
He didn’t do anything wrong and we have made the best of what we were dealt.
But unfortunately what I was missing — which was later revealed to me through recovery, reading, and therapy — is sometimes it’s not what your parent did do, it’s most often what they didn’t do.
This can lead to emotional neglect and evolve into emotional starvation.
But I do realize, however, there is no perfect parent or parenting dynamic.
Because our parents are also victims of toxic parenting patterns that are inevitably passed down from generation to generation.
And while they do so many great things and love is so deeply, often times the less obvious things get left out.
For me it was emotional needs.
The times I felt low, the self-deprecating thoughts would flow. Because I was deeply unaware of this truth in myself, I defaulted to a self deprecating mindset.
“Ciera, what’s wrong with you?”
“Why are you so boy crazy?”
“Why are guys always such a temptation for you?”
“Why won’t you just go to God?” You know He’s the true source you need!”
With time, however, I’ve been able to see and recognize the patterns in my life.
I can embrace them with understanding.
And I can begin to speak to myself with kindness and grace.
Evolution CANNOT happen without vision.
I slowly began to transform my mind and repent of my patterns and being cognizant of how I was filling myself.
I believe we are so much deeper than our actions and our patterns.
I also believe God sees our brokenness behind the actions we take.
He considers our upbringing and the patterns we’ve formed because of it.
I believe this is why He’s empathetic and gives us grace.
He created us and He loves so deeply, even when our behaviors at times are painful to Him.
“I remember that you are dust.” — Psalm 103:14
God is the only one that can break my patterns of addiction.
He’s in fact the only source that can truly fill me.
But to what depth do I need filling?
This is revealed to me through daily prayer and time with God.
It takes courage to take a deep and honest look at yourself and your patterns, as destructive as they might be.
But evolving that far outweighs the pain of my past.
Thank you for letting me share my still-in-progress-transformation story with you.
I love you guys and we got this.
Crusty, dusty destructive patterns have nothing on God’s might.
— Ciera Waga, @ceeewaga
If you would like more insight or advice in this area, please feel free to reach out to Ciera via Instagram!
*Edited by Sterling Giles