Stephanie and Timi Kitty  
Reflections of a Codependent Yogi
By Stephanie Pappas
Unedited excerpts from chapterette:
The Sponge Club

My codependent friends and I belong to what I call “The Sponge Club.” We have many things in common. And we love to talk about these things that we have in common! We notice that we are different from others in particular and sometimes peculiar ways. So let me tell you about how I perceive us. Please read all the way to the end of this chapter though!

First of all, we notice that we are sensitive to criticism and people's "energy." If we can take something personally, we will. We crave acknowledgment and praise from our families, and strangers as well. If we don't get it the way we want it, we can get angry, depressed, and start to turn that anger back onto ourselves. We might even speak harshly about those who won't give us the strokes we want. At times there is suffering, angst and pain in our faces and words.

The world seems to stick to us like flies to glue paper. We can just be taking a simple stroll down the street, or in our car, and if we are in one of our codependent moods, suddenly we may feel rejected because cashier so-n-so wasn't nice to us, or Mr. Tolltaker gave us a dirty look. We return home with longer faces than we had when we started out on our walk because now comes the internal mental attack. We begin thinking about what it is about us that turns people off, or what we could have done to receive such reactions. Sometimes we feel like we don't belong anywhere in this world, and everyone is rejecting us. We think that maybe if we were prettier, friendlier, or happier people would treat us better. In some cases, that may actually be true, because we are walking around wearing our dark energy with a funky face.

We haven't learned the delicate skill of separating our self from others. We didn't have good role models. Everything is our fault! Our boundaries are weak and thin. When we stick up for ourselves we may feel even worse. We absorb problems that aren't ours to begin with. We want to understand life so bad so that we can help others, but the truth is we have no idea what trouble we are in and how to help ourselves. We can drown in our own self-pity and tell our stories to others to alleviate some tension, but the next time we go for a walk, we feel rejected again. The patterns keep repeating themselves, until, of course, we become aware of them. Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, you may be a member of the sponge club, and not even know it yet.

Yes, I agree, that after reading these initial paragraphs there may not appear to be many benefits to belonging to the sponge club, but really, there are! So wait, don't decide to quit yet-read on.

Now I am going to tell you about some of the good things we represent. And we get even better once we begin to get a hold of ourselves. We have a natural intuition that keeps us safe from danger because we can sense when situations are getting weird and vibes are getting sticky. We can even be pretty psychic at times. We are good people. We will be a devoted friend when someone needs us. We sincerely care about people, animals, and the environment. We give nice gifts and remember birthdays. We listen well (when we are not obsessing about others, or "spewing our stories"). We have good parties and draw people together. We are honest and make fantastic employees: we work those extra hours, do more than is expected of us, and are great team players. As partners, we are very attentive and give lots of compliments. We usually find ourselves in the healing or helping professions and really do help a lot of people.

Homeplay Suggestions: What do you think so far? Qualifying as a member isn't all a bad thing. I could go on and on, but instead of reading my descriptions I suggest that you reflect on these qualities for yourself. If it is obvious to you that you belong to our club, I invite you add on to the membership qualification list on your own. Invoke your sense of humor while making the list, if possible. Fine tune your perception. Think about other codependents you know. Start becoming aware of the more subtle qualities of codependency-both the dark and the light aspects of it. Everything we become aware of just takes us that much deeper into the healing process. Try not to beat yourself up for longer than a few minutes if you realize some unpleasant behaviors in yourself.

      © 2007-2015, Stephanie Ann Pappas. All Rights Reserved.
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