Lonely on Campus

This submission is Anonymous

To be entirely honest, I never liked the word “codependent”. Probably because it means confronting the reality that despite my longing to be an individual, I still follow the crowd and walk on eggshells through all of my relationships.

In fact, my entire freshman year was spent people pleasing, which for anyone who doesn’t know is the unstable foundation of a codependent person. I still reminisce (regretfully) on everyday being spent worrying about everyone but myself. And although this problem may seem foreign and individualized to my situation, it is something that I believe a lot of people go through in college. But it’s important to recognize that codependency is not a life sentence in which we are locked away behind the cold, rusty bars of own shame and disappointment.

 I was forced to learn the hard way, the importance of being there for myself. The second semester of my freshman year, my room was flooded by sewer water. I remember sitting on the cold, brown street benches at 3 a.m, stripped of all my material possessions, alone and feeling sorry for myself. Not only did I see my codependent patterns from a unique perspective; I grew up. As I struggled in solitude to salvage what was left of my belongings, I realized the people I called my “friends” would not go the same lengths for me as I would for them. As the months passed, I began to come to a new understanding that it is imperative that we be assertive and forthcoming about what we want out of our lives, health, and relationships.  

Was there an incident in your life that forced you to come to terms with your own toxic traits? 

How did this situation alter the way you think about life as a whole?