Codependency is the chronic neglect of the self to gain approval, love, validation, and self-identity through another person. Lindsay Andrews shares how her personal struggles led her to invest in codependency recovery through inner child work, daily journaling, affirmations, and other practices. She realized the importance of using her voice and now has a podcast, Unstuck On You, to create a community for those seeking healing and growth. Find out how Lindsay ditched codependency and dived into self-love on Search and Replace.
More about today’s guest:
Explore these related stories:
- Find Lindsay Andrew’s podcast, Unstuck On You, on Apple Podcasts here.
- Learn more about enmeshment, a dysfunctional family pattern, and seven steps to heal and break free from it.
- Tips on how to change codependent thoughts and behaviors.
- Information for using the “gray rock method” to deal with abusive or manipulative behavior.
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[00:00:09] Joe Taylor Jr.: What if the biggest barrier to your personal success in the present is a behavior you picked up to protect yourself during your childhood? I’m Joe Taylor Jr. This is Search and Replace.
We toss around the word codependent a lot these days. Podcaster Lindsay Andrews wonders if we’re always using that term correctly.
[00:00:33] Lindsay Andrews: I’m not sure if many people understand what codependency is about. I think it’s a term that gets thrown around in a funny way these days, and I like to clarify that for people because I think that there’s just some misconceptions around what it is.
Codependency is the chronic neglect of self in order to gain approval, love, validation and self-identity through another person.
I did have a turning point at 40. I was in a job situation that was relatively toxic. And I finally mustered up the courage after five years to leave that position. And I landed at this amazing place and I’m currently at that place.
A month into my new job and I was driving into work and I was listening to a podcast on codependency and this therapist was talking about the journey to self-liking and trusting and loving oneself. And it was like the light bulb had gone off for me in that podcast, in that car, that even though I have this really amazing new job, I still felt very unsettled.
And when I answered the question, do I truly like myself – just to start with basic liking myself? If I was being honest with myself, the answer was no.
[00:01:43] Joe Taylor Jr.: Lindsay dug deeper into what she heard, realizing just how much our early lives shape our adult personalities.
[00:01:49] Lindsay Andrews: A lot of the stuff that we experience in childhood likes to stay with us into adulthood.
I came from a loving home, but like most families, there are challenges. And in this particular case, I had a parent that struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. And dealing with their own trauma, their own processing and feelings, we learn codependency patterns through our family dynamics.
And so that was certainly the case for me. I was really absorbed and concerned about my parent who was personally struggling, and so I was really wrapped up in that and, so much so, that I abandoned myself at a very young age because I was worried and concerned.
So really it all comes back to self-abandonment back in childhood and then the recognition in adulthood when you realize that se sense of self isn’t truly there.
[00:02:45] Joe Taylor Jr.: Lindsay reckoned with the distinction between the somewhat distanced way we talk about co-dependency and the real impact it had on her personal life.
[00:02:53] Lindsay Andrews: I’ve known about co-dependency at that point for ten years, but I was unable to detach myself from that. The transition came when I decided to invest weekly with a therapist who specialized in co-dependency recovery. And that is when I began the journey of doing inner child work, daily journaling and affirmations, and really beginning the process of beginning to know myself, beginning to start giving things to myself that I was giving to other people because I was looking for external validation and love and all the things that I thought I needed to look outside of myself for, and all along, I could really give myself those things.
I’ve got a variety of different things that I practice; yoga being one of them, breath work, meditation. There’s a variety of different things that I give to myself that help me get outside of my head and allow me to get in touch with my body and my feelings.
[00:03:49] Joe Taylor Jr.: As Lindsay spent more time getting in touch with herself. She realized her journey might be able to impact others.
[00:03:56] Lindsay Andrews: Another revelation, I attended a weekend retreat and there were some things that I needed to let go of and some things that I written down that I wanted to realize. And one of those things was the podcast.
I have struggled for years, honestly, with a cough and some digestion issues. And I have tied that back to some of the struggles about my confidence and my voice.
And so in that moment, I just had this revelation that in order to heal my gut and to heal my throat, to heal that cough, I needed to use my voice and the only way that I could see to do that was through the podcast.
I have a podcast that is focused on codependency recovery, and I just started it, too. So it’s relatively new this year, and so I am leaning into that as I know that staying in the place where I was before is not honoring the highest intention for my life.
I really did feel a pivotal shift when I acknowledge that in order to heal myself, I needed to use my voice.
[00:05:05] Joe Taylor Jr.: And it’s through that voice that Lindsay’s building a community of people challenging themselves to heal and to grow.
[00:05:12] Lindsay Andrews: I refer to myself as a recovering co-dependent. And I say we, whoever this resonates with, that we have been doing the same thing over and over and over again, and it is really hard to see ourselves alone.
I know that is not always possible but I highly, highly recommend getting the help of someone who is trained in this work that really can help you understand your subconscious and the patterns that you learned in childhood so that you can re-parent yourself.
I’m in a constant state of self-awareness about how my old coping mechanisms, my behaviors from the past, how they show up. And I’m very cognizant for when they do show up.
I would just say that that kind of awareness can be a little bit overwhelming, and so it is important that we are nurturing ourselves through the process of that awareness to, kind of, embrace this new window of opportunity to get to know yourself.
And it’s exciting and invigorating when you can start allowing yourself to try new things and to explore what’s out there.
[00:06:24] Joe Taylor Jr.: That’s Lindsay Andrews, the host of Unstuck On You. We’ve got links to Lindsay’s show in our show notes and on our website at searchandreplace.show.
Also in our show notes, our team’s gathered some additional resources to help you learn more about different types of codependent behavior, including enmeshment and disengagement, especially inside of families.
And we’ve got details about a tool that therapists use to help patients deal with abusive and manipulative behavior. That’s all on our website at searchandreplace.show.
Today’s episode was produced by Nicole Hubbard with help from the entire Podcast Taxi team. I’m Joe Taylor, Jr.
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