Ok, I cannot write this without this preface: I have been in 12 step programs for more than 25 years—including Al-anon and ACOA. I have been in therapy even longer. I have pounded pillows, sobbed at graves, talked to dead people, written letters that I did not mail and many that I mailed. I have worked the steps and made amends and surrendered my life—in whole and part by part—numerous times. I have prayed, meditated, walked labyrinths, and even been to shamanic healers—four of them. I have read and read and read. I even teach this stuff! I have been healed and changed in the most amazing ways and I am so grateful for all that I had to feel and do and change.
BUT! But today, again in agony over a man, I thought: I really believe that if he changes his behavior I will feel different. Again: If he changes his behavior I will feel different. My happiness depends on what he says, does, thinks. Oh. My. God.
I think this is so deep in me that even with years of recovery and therapy and understanding the psychological dynamics of codependency, I really, really thought: If he changes his behavior I will feel different.