Thursday, March 26, 2009

More about Letting go

I remember that a friend of mine said my problem is that I am a codependent. I still am not sure what that means, but I have read some on this. Sadly, my control obsessions prevent me from reading other opinions on this subject with an open mind. It is funny how many people write about this, and my personal frustration with the therapeutic/recovery community makes me perhaps more critical than I need to be.

So, am I a codependent? Well, I do not know. I do know that many folks ask me questions about my relations with others. The key question I found today is “Do you feel a need to compromise your values to avoid conflicts with someone else?” So.... that question brings me back to my conversation with TG over fifteen years ago. He felt I was too obsessed with other people's feelings. Looking at my latest reading, I am convinced I am getting better. One person who read tons of books on these things diagnosed me as a “codependent”, and worked to convince me what a problem it is in my life.

To my credit, I believe I am getting healthier. I have not tried to diagnose anyone's problems in quite a while. In fact, there is a degree to which I am feeling more peaceful by not analyzing other people's problems. But, I was feeling a little out of balance, so buying that book (Language of Letting Go) is helping me recoup my peace.

Whereas my neurologist has my permission to diagnose my neurological problems, I am sure not in a hurry to give myself some kind of name to my emotional issues. I am gaining a little peace from avoiding limiting names to things. When my friend told me that she thinks I am “very codependent”, I assured her I could stop it if that would make her feel better. I am not making fun of codependency as an idea. I am startled by the people who are struggling mto help others with this problem. I think there is something scary about people who are trying to find problems with others.

I will not get started with the ubiquitous question, “Are you sick?”, or “Are you coming down with a cold?” What can I accomplish by buying into the questioner's reality? Still, we are living in a time when a disturbing number of people are self-diagnosing with emotional problems, as if there is something useful in identifying with the labels of ADD, OCD, ADHD and today's label of discussion, codependency. I do not believe I gain any freedom from applying a label onto me that could actually cause me to acquire more symptoms than it will alleviate.

There is nothing cool about being obsessive-compulsive. People with attention deficit disorder have serious problems that go beyond being entertained by two things at one time or keeping a messy desk. Understanding this, I know that most of these diagnoses are serious problems that can only be rendered meaningless by my fighting to get a diagnosis I can call my own.

Since 1992, I have read many books and articles on alcoholism, codependency, mental health, attention deficit disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I loved exploring these worlds, loved working to glean something to help me feel more comfortable in my own skin. I noticed my life started getting better when I stopped reading all these books. Peace by peace, I learn what books help me, and now I am able to limit my time lost to gratuitous self-reflection.

This is why I am learning to write about things that do not deal so much with me.

Thank you for reading.


nyl said...

Hey Keith!Reading this entry reminds me of your comment in one of my entries quite a long time ago.

When I read books, I try to have an open heart and mind into what the book is trying to suggest on me. And whether they add complications in my life or not, the choice is mine..and that is I will still try to live my life simply, learn to be content and most of all hold on to my faith..with that perhaps I will not be having trouble about 'letting go'.

Speed on Keith!Possibilities are endless.:)

Santa Cruz Nick said...

Interesting picture of Woody, he sure doesn't seem happy for having a young, attractive woman at his side.
My approach to mental health is to admit that life is completely and unredeemably sucky, then I work my way up.
All's well,

haze said...

Reading is great, sure it gives you more ideas about life and could learn a lot of things under the sun ! Am also passionate reading psychology books and tried to discern human behavior though not really hooked up :D !

Anonymous said...

yo keith, i enjoy checking your page every now and then and reading your interesting posts. i got some real good inspiration from it today. i can't believe your still in redding; it makes me smile when i think you left sj on a bike, stopped in redding and never left, lol. drop me a line sometime - (don from sacramento)