If you are struggling with feeling bad or being depressed you should get your mind off of yourself, you’ll get happier. I know it’s not an easy thing to do when your life is in turmoil.
I remember well how it was when things were at their worst with Tommy and me. He was drinking a 1.75-liter of vodka as well as Jack Daniels every day, besides what he consumed at our bar and others, and I was wallowing in self-pity. I had to force myself to eat. I’d stopped cooking dinner for my husband because I couldn’t stand watching his drunken butt dropping half of his meal down the front of his shirt. I’d remove his plate and he’d pass out on the couch. I’d stare at him disgusted and repulsed. I couldn’t see the man I fell I love with anymore. I didn’t see the wounded addict that needed help. All I could see was the man that was making my life a living hell. “Why me Lord,” I’d scream in frustration. “What did I do to deserve this?” It took awhile for me to hear Him but God’s words were pretty clear. “You knew your husband was an alcoholic and you bought a bar. Now it’s my fault that you are suffering?”
Talk about a gut punch. The easy thing about being miserable is staying that way. It takes courage and tenacity to own up to your part of your mess. I know that without renewing my relationship with Christ I never would have been able to do it. It took almost four years after my renewal of faith to truly give my husband and his disease over to God. I gave lip service to it for most of those years but I wasn’t really giving up the control. I continued to try to fix my husband. God used that time and my husband’s disease to rub off many of my rough edges. I learned that the only way to experience real peace and joy was to get my mind off of my misery and myself. I had to see my husband as the good man he was inside. He was a broken man with a disease. I needed to pray for him and love him no matter how unlovely he was. I needed to face my own demons and ask myself why I put myself in the position that I found myself in. And I had to admit that I wasn’t in control of anything.
Codependents are commonly control freaks. We believe that if we aren’t in charge things cannot possibly go well. Many of us grew up in dysfunctional homes. My childhood was scarred by molestations. I had to help raise my brothers from a very early age because my single mother had to work while going to school. I have an A-type personality and took well to being put in charge. However, I took it to the extreme, believing that I needed to be in control of everything at all times. I became a, my way or the highway kind of person. I was manipulating and dominating but truly believed that I was doing it all for others best interests. I had no clue as to how selfish I was.
We human beings are selfish by nature. We want to blame someone for our pain. When we are hurting we can hardly think of anything but our own misery. We talk about it and think about it. And think about it and talk about it. We don’t even have to talk about it with another person to bring ourselves down. Self-talk is where most of the damage is done. You roll the problem over and over in your mind hoping and praying for a solution. You see no light at the end of the tunnel and you don’t know how you will survive your misery. I know because I’ve been there many times.
With all of the miracles that God has worked in my life you’d think that I would easily cast my cares on Him knowing that He will handle my problems. I try to but I have to admit to being a work in progress. I still lay awake at night letting issues that I have no control over keep me from getting a good nights rest. Matthew 6:27 says, “Will all your worries add a single moment to your life?” No they won’t. In fact, anxiety will rob you of years of your life. It will not only shave years off of your existence but it robs you of a good life right now. Worry robs you of sleep, your health and your happiness.
I finally figured out that I needed to seek God’s help to make changes in me and leave my husband in His capable hands. When I did miracles happened. I stopped drinking myself into oblivion in self-defense. I’d decided that if I had to go home to a drunk I wasn’t going to do it sober. We had some awful fights back then and said horrible things to each other. I shudder to think of them now. I started fixing meals again and if Tommy ate, he ate. If he didn’t I stopped letting it get the best of me. When he passed out on the couch I covered him with a blanket and went to bed alone. I started out crying myself to sleep but eventually I prayed and believed for the better life that I knew God had planned for us. I became much more aware of the hurting people around me and made an effort to help them whenever I could. I got my problems and myself off of my mind and I was so much happier and more peaceful. And then God worked His miracle and Tommy put himself into rehab. My life didn’t have to get better before I felt better. I got my head right and then God changed our lives in miraculous ways.
Tommy has been sober for over twelve years now and we have a fabulous life together. We love and enjoy each other in a healthy way. I don’t need to fix my husband any more. I still fight the desire to make him see things my way. I’m a work in progress. But God is good and we are more blessed than I can say.
If you are struggling in your relationship I’m here to help. If I had had someone like myself to walk through the tough times with, it may not have taken four years to get on the other side. Subscribe to my website and I’ll send you my free PDF Five Things You Can Do to Increase Your Joy Right Now. I also offer freedom coaching. Make an appointment for a free 30-minute strategy session and let’s see if I can help.
Now go out and do something nice for someone and see how much it will lift your spirit! Get yourself off of your mind and you will get happier.