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Codependently Yours

(Photo: Sometimes you’re the boyfriend. Sometimes you’re the giant, man-eating squid. Credit: Vulcania Submarine.)

Here’s a tidbit you’ll never hear on Oprah: a spiritual awakening can be the biggest pain in the ass. Especially for attention-hungry, emotionally grasping, codependently needy bloggers like me. Because when you get right down to it, enlightenment doesn’t equal recovery.

(You agree with me, don’t you?)

There’s a press release I wish I’d gotten they day Awakening 2008 kicked off for me. Don’t get me wrong. Practicing a compassionate life has immediate and enduring benefits. Unfortunately, one of them is personal awareness.

(Well, don’t you?)

Lots of it. I may no longer find the fun in tearing into the municipal whipping boy of the moment on my blog (and I’m sure the CTA and my local Alderman sleep better knowing that). But that doesn’t mean from time to time I don’t feel the urge. Sometimes, I have to put my head down and go to a happy place, full of dancing deer and floating butterflies, just to keep from hitting the “Enter” button.

(Might I say, that’s a nice computer you’re using. You’re my friend, right? Buy me something?)

There’s nothing a codependent like me likes more than being in control. That’s the crux of my particular entry into a lifestyle of weekly 12-step CoDA meetings. That’s my high. Being in charge of my life, the lives of others, and the world around me in general. Completely. Mercilessly. I get giddy just thinking about it.

(Don’t you know it’s bad for your back when you sit in front of your computer like that?)

And, like anyone with an addictive nature to deal with, I get disappointed when I learn the naked truth: I’m really in control of a lot less than I think. Or at least I’m not in control the way I think I am. Woe to the blogger’s boyfriend who steps in front of those crosshairs.

(Didn’t you hear what I just said? Sit up straight already!)

It’s no fun seeing those tendencies still swimming around in the soup of my psyche. The good part is I know they’re there. My growing personal awareness feels like a spotlight shining into the gloom, illuminating the contours of creatures from the murky depths. I prefer it when they flash me a toothy grin and swim off in search of easier prey. But sometimes, they just want to climb up on the shore and play, and it becomes a bear of a problem getting them to roll back into the water.

(Look, I’m only trying to help. Get a backache if you want to. See if I care.)

Anyone want to place any bets why I really wanted to move in with Chris in Oark Park? Or in with Devyn in New York, for that matter? The stress I put myself under for unreasonable reasons was titanic in both cases. Trying to stop myself from going down those codependent roads was like trying stop Camões, my Portuguese danger cat, from vomiting on soft surfaces. It only worked when we both learned to throw up in the tub.

(How does your back feel now ? Do you want a backrub? Well, do you?)

Knowing why they happened, I laugh now when I think about the string of bad endings my relationships have had in the past. Especially back in New York. Mikey Noodles locked himself in his apartment on my birthday. Kevin Who Lived By The Dump told me he went back to women. Jerry Bang-Bang dumped me for someone from New Jersey.

(Fine, be that way. See if I care.)

So the fact that Devyn and I are emailing each other again and Chris and I still grab ice cream at the Brown Cow in Forest Park must mean I’m doing something right.

(I love you…)

And just as soon as I don’t have to have the deer and butterflies on mental speed-dial anymore, I’ll have it made.

Categories: Codependence

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Michael Thaddeus Doyle

I’m an #OpenlyAutistic gay, Hispanic, urbanist, Disney World fan, New York native, politically independent, Jewish blogger in Chicago. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I write words and raise money for nonprofits. I’ve written this blog since 2005. And counting...

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