One of my coping mechanisms after the death of my son was to focus on others in order to forget my pain . Years later when I visited a counsellor in a “well-known center” somewhere in Quezon City (which I don’t advise you go to, please), I was told that I was a co-dependent. I had no idea what that meant but according to the definition of co-dependency,

“Co-dependency can be defined as the tendency to put others needs before your own. You accommodate to others to such a degree that you tend to discount or ignore your own feelings, desires and basic needs. Your self-esteem depends largely on how well you please, take care of and/or solve problems for someone else (or many others).”

Okay so I put other’s needs before mine. But I thought that was a noble characteristic of mothers, don’t you think? or was I smothering? From the book, Codependent No More, I discovered I was too controlling over my children and husband. Perhaps because my life was out of control? Although I disagree with some co-dependent theories, the one I value most is Taking care of yourself.

I’ve learned to take care of myself instead of obsessively focusing on another person. I’ve learned self-responsibility instead of feeling excessively responsible for others. Caring works. Caretaking doesn’t. I’ve learned to walk the line between the two.

I learned all of this when I got introduced to the self-help group, Co-dependents Anonymous or CODA by accident. They have no website in the Philippines and it’s a pity because a lot  can beneift from this program. The CODA program taught me to love myself so I can develop healthy relationships. Those who are interested to attend these meetings….here are the schedules.

CoDA Friday 7:30-8:30 pm
(For those affected by Codependency & Relationship Problems)
Living Free Center: Unit 528 Alfaro Place, 146 LP Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati
Contact: Malyn C. or Irma M. 830-0898 / 0920-9241719

CoDA Saturday 2:00-3:00 pm
(For those affected by Codependency & Relationship Problems)
Mary Joanne’s Restaurant, Bagtikan street, San Antonio Village, Makati City
Contact: Joanne

CoDA Sunday 8:00-9:00 am (address needs to be updated)
(For those affected by Codependency & Relationship Problems)
307 JAJAJ Bldg., Panay Ave. Quezon City,
(beside National Bookstore, Quezon Ave.)
Contact: Loudel D. 461-6383 / 0918-293133

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