Codependent relationships. Do you think that you are involved in one now?
Today's guest Deanna Marie describes this as “not doing something that you would like to do, because you are worried about how the other person will react or what their behavior might be because of it.” She reflects on her situation, as a young mother of several children, with an alcoholic husband, looking for support and understanding. Other than Al Anon resources didn't seem to be available for the family of a young alcoholic. This is when she promised herself to provide help and resources for others when she rose out of victimhood herself, learn about her practical solutions and her coaching model in this episode. Her clients are encouraged to live their “best and Fullest life, detaching with love and staying true to their own selves”. She gives us tangible examples of the coaching tool called “the model”. Its five steps are 1) circumstances 2) thoughts, 3) actions 4) feelings 5) result with a powerful outcome provided by slowly breaking into new thought patterns. Knowing that we are what we think and what we think is actually something that we CAN control. Learn more in this episode of “Call IT in With Dar”!Support the show
Codependent relationships. Do you think that you are involved in one now?
Today's guest Deanna Marie describes this as “not doing something that you would like to do, because you are worried about how the other person will react or what their behavior might be because of it.” She reflects on her situation, as a young mother of several children, with an alcoholic husband, looking for support and understanding. Other than Al Anon resources didn't seem to be available for the family of a young alcoholic. This is when she promised herself to provide help and resources for others when she rose out of victimhood herself, learn about her practical solutions and her coaching model in this episode of “Call IT in With Dar”!
I'm so excited to have you with us here today. Deanna, before we get started on this exciting topic, would you tell our audience a little bit about yourself and how you get started in this intriguing work?
● Well, thank you for having me, Darla, I really appreciate it. My name is Deanna Marie. And I really got into this work because of my personal experience. I was in an alcoholic relationship for 20 years. That was just about 20 years ago. And at that time, I was really looking for a resource to help me navigate the complexities of living with an alcoholic. And really, the truth of the matter was that I was actually looking for someone to tell me what to do. So I could work the Voodoo on him, and then he would change in our life and would be happy. But what I realized was that I can't change another person, I can only change myself. So that was the beginning of my self help or rediscovery of my journey. And from there, I did self help. I went, you know, I read self help books, I went to Al anon, and I went to therapy. And though all of those research sources were certainly beneficial, I was looking for more of a personal connection. And when I went to Al Anon, which is over 20 years ago, it was like, I went to the rooms at the only time I could when I had little children, which is during the lunch hour, my lunch hour. And the rooms were filled with older people, and I was a 30 year old with small children. So I just didn't feel like I felt it. And one woman did decide to, you know, take me under her wing, but I just didn't feel like we were a good fit for each other. And so therefore, my time there was limited. I did go to therapy for a while. And that helped me really delve into some of the issues of my past. But I was looking for something to really move me forward in the future. And I could not find that resource. And also, I was looking at a point where there wasn't even any social media. There wasn't any Facebook group or Instagram follower that I could reach out to, to who could try to help me understand or just kind of be there to console me or just show some support? So to answer your question, I was so frustrated at that time of not finding anyone who I felt who could be there for me, that I said to myself, that I at a point in time in my life, that I could help these women and relationships in these alcoholic relationships and addiction relationships, if I can help them, guide them, support them and hold their hand through the process. So that they recognize they can feel love, and self confidence and, and just feel better in their lives. And then that's what I was. That's what I was going to do. And that's why I got into this work. I retired this past year. I had this plan to get certified as the life coach at The Life Coach School last year. And this has been my… I am here to help women in men and alcoholic relationships. Beautify just all. Thank you. I just wanted to add in one other thing, Darla, I'm sorry to interrupt you there. But even now as I look 20 years later for resources for partners and alcoholic relationships. There are no new resources that I can find. There are others who are working, doing some of the similar work I am but I have not yet found a coach or another venue that partners of alcoholics just can reach out to and help the family members because they are the collateral damage of alcoholism.
So interesting how you're filling that gap. I also like your story and how you explain how you were looking for a personal connection to help you move forward. And now, that is who you are for other women and other men in codependent relationships?
● Absolutely. And I just really want to try to fill that void for a huge part of the population and just fill that need.
Yes, what great work. How do you define codependency? Let's start with that?
● Okay. Well, codependency is when we live day to day based on someone else's action behaviors, and not our own desires. So for example, say you're driving home from the grocery store from work, and you just want to stop and pick up a few things. Yet, you're worried about that. The fact that your partner was home an hour before, and he may be drinking with the children in the house. And so therefore, you race home, and you don't do what you desire to do, because you're afraid of the actions of your partner. Does that make sense?
Yes, what a tangible example. Do you have a couple more examples of what codependency looks like?
● Absolutely. Let's say your girlfriend asks you to go out to dinner on Friday night. You know, Friday nights are typically the drinking night for your partner after a long week of work. So you don't go to that and you decline that invitation. And you decline other invitations. And it's not because your desire is not there. It's the fact that you're worried about your partner's behavior, and therefore you don't live the life that you want to.
Wow. So when that happens, can you give us some techniques to start maybe detaching from codependent behaviors?
● Well detaching when you're single, is easier than when you have kids. That's certainly true or Absolutely. But detaching is really deciding that you are going to live your best and fullest life without the actions of your partner interfering with that. So if your girlfriend does invite you out to dinner and you want to go, they may say oh, “you know, you always go out with girlfriends” or “why can't you just sit home with me? I want to watch a movie with you.” They may start saying you know, “you're so stupid with her I don't like her” any you can make it mean something. Or you can just look at your partner and detach with love knowing this is just who they are. But you are still going to love you first and do what you most desire. Because their words are just thoughts that they have about you and it means nothing about you and so you must stay true to you
Could you give us an example of maybe some client transformations that you've experienced as you are helping them? Co create a new life away from codependency?
● So one of my clients had an amazing transformation. She was in a relationship with someone who was an alcoholic. And she actually was exposed to some physical abuse. And she came to me after the second time this occurred. And during our time together, what we started to do was really just work on her confidence, because really, she was alone. She's from another country. She was here alone in this country. And alcoholics kind of isolate their partners. And she was the perfect example. There's no other family and her friends that she had were in Boston, when they met, they were in Boston, and he had taken her to his family in Virginia. So at that time, she decided to over some time, I should say, she built her confidence in her strength. And after him trying to bestow some another round of violence on her she actually packed her bags and left. And then she moved to Boston, where she moved in with an old college roommate. And from there, she has gotten a new position. She has started to build her beginnings of a software company. She was always afraid to do anything on her own because her partner had told her that you know,” you are nothing without me”. And she has traveled to New Orleans on her own. She has gone to Cape Cod on her own. She is starting to travel on her own, something that she was afraid that she could never do. And she has never felt happier in her life. And I'm just really proud of her. She did the work. She took the risks, and I'm so glad it paid off for her.
Yes, thank you for that transformational story and it's such an encouragement to everyone that you, too, can make the change. You can overcome that isolation, you can develop self confidence. That's a great story of overcoming.
So putting the eye, eyes back on yourself, we just talked about self confidence. I have kind of a fun question. What do you consider to be your personal superpower?
● My personal superpower? Well, I have to say, it really works well for me in my coaching business. I'm not so sure if my family and friends appreciated it as much. But I have this innate ability to just really be able to read people's body language, and how they're feeling emotionally. And that works really well in my coaching business. Because oftentimes people are telling me things that I think they either believe, or they want me to believe. But their body language tells me that there's something that's just not right there. And for my kids, I don't think it works so well, because they have told me things. And with their body language, I could tell it was something else. So in that way, it was a win. And for my clients, that just helps me to really get down to the grain of what's going on with them.
Thank you for sharing that superpower. And, and so clear, and you gave it to us in such a clear way. So thanks so much. Is there anything else about codependent behavior…That you want to talk about? Maybe regarding detaching from it some first steps? Do you have anything else that you're called to tell us today?
● Absolutely, Darla, well, the whole basis of my coaching practice is I follow what we call in the Life Coach School, “the model.” And it's an interesting tool that we use, because in the model, how we break it down is to: circumstances, thoughts, actions, feelings, and result. So in order in our life with an alcoholic, the circumstance is not that I am an alcoholic, it has to be a fact. The circumstance is “I live with a partner that drinks seven times a week or seven beers a night”, it has to be a very specific fact about your partner. And again, I say he but of course this goes for women too. And how we, the results that we have in our life are based on how we think about that circumstance. So for example, if our partner is drinking, my partner is drinking seven beers tonight, my thought could be, “he will never stop”. And that creates a feeling within us. So maybe it's worry or anxiety. And then, and from that feeling, we create certain actions, perhaps we start watching him or her every time they get up to go to the refrigerator. Or maybe we're looking for behaviors that are going to appear. And the result is that we just continue to prove to ourselves that this will never change, that he or she will never stop. So it's a matter of what we think about our partner that is creating our results as opposed to what the partner is doing. Because he or she cannot affect our behavior. It's our thoughts about their behavior that is driving the feelings that are creating the results in our life. And that's how I work in my program for codependency.
Model is definitely food for thought for everyone.
● Yeah, it can be very powerful. It's a very powerful thing because it is what we think in life.
So if we're thinking that they're bad, we're going to find ways to prove to ourselves that They're bad. If we're thinking they're good, the opposite will be true. It's all based on how we're thinking about our circumstance, our life.
Right, we are what we think. And then that is what we can control.
● Absolutely, because we can't change our partner, if they're going to drink, that's going to have to be their decision. But we can break free of codependency and be independent, by recognizing that we have control over our thoughts about them, and the situation and what we desire for our future.
Great. So when your clients come to you overwhelmed, isolated, this model sounds like it definitely is something that they can go through step by step with you.
● Absolutely, because if they're feeling overwhelmed, which a lot of my clients are, there's a thought that's attached to it. And maybe it is that my life will never change. Or maybe it's that I don't know how to get out of this relationship. And those thoughts are creating overwhelm. So my job is to really delve into that, and how we can change our thinking, to more productive thoughts to get us moving. I'm not saying that we have to flip it on its head, and, and pretend that, oh, he will be better next week, or I love it when he drinks. It's just, we have to, we have to slowly break into new patterns of behaviors and thoughts that get us moving.
I like that sentence slowly,slowly,slowly breaking into new thought patterns. So for our listeners who would like to join you in another step, find out more, maybe slowly start to change their thoughts and behaviors? How can they get a hold of you?
● Well, they can find me primarily on my website, which is Deannamarielifecoaching.com. And I also make it easy. I am on Instagram, and Facebook. And the code is Deanna Marie life coaching. So I would love for them to join me, follow me on Instagram or like me on my page. And there they will get all the information and tips that I provide about living in alcoholic relationship and how they can help themselves with codependency
Beautiful so how to help yourselves the next steps will be posted in the show notes. So they will not have to go back and replay and listen to your description of where you can be found. We'll put that in the show notes for everyone. So I want to give you a big Virtual hug Deanna Marie, and thank you so much for being with us today for this stimulating conversation.
● Thank you so much, Darla, and thank you for letting me get the word out to the partners of alcoholics and letting them know this there's a resource out there for them to
Transcribed by https://otter.ai