I heard this phrase for the first time late 2011 or early last year. I could identify with it. I was honest with myself one day and realised that I was so used to having at least one “special” person in my life at any given point. This in itself is not bad, no man is an island but when the person is able to dictate your feelings or emotions there’s a problem. That is why I went into a deep dark hole, close to the abyss when I had a crisis with my appointed special one. I realised (myself and with the help of some of you) that what I had with the person wasn’t balanced. One of the deepest comments for me was the one that said something about relationships not being about seeking the other person’s approval. I knew then that that was what I had been doing all along. Seeking some form of approval.
Today I googled “emotionally dependent people” (EDP) and I came across different articles (as expected). The umbrella word for EDP is Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD).
*Note that people can be dependent on other people or on substances*
Of all the symptoms up there I can relate with the fear of abandonment the most. In fact I think that’s the only one I can relate with. I’ve had several thoughts of “how would my life be without this person?” and “what if this person just wakes up one day and decides he/she wants to leave me?” It scares me, not intensely but I feel it. The funny thing is that I’m not like this with relationships. It’s in friendships with the people I’ve given a special place in my heart.
For those who have major DPD, my first advise to you would be
1. That you pray and ask God in His mercies to show you that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and you don’t need anyone having the power to determine how you feel at any point in time.
2. “Don’t Fear Loneliness – One main reason why most people end up in any from of “dependence” is for their fear of being left alone. We are almost scared of being alone with ourselves and constantly seek to run away from ourselves, trying to lose ourselves in our object of dependence. We constantly seek some form of entertainment, some from of company or some form of preoccupation, just to avoid being alone with ourselves. We are afraid of “being” so we keep “doing” something or the other. However, the secret to liberation is to see that what you are really looking for is already within you”
3. Apart from praying, seek within and “Find Out Who You Really Are – Most of us have no idea who we are, and so we are completely dependent on a “self image” to give us a sense of being or a sense of self. A self image, however, is an idea and it needs “content” to keep itself alive; the content is usually provided by other people, so we are constantly dependent on other people for a sense of fulfillment. In fact, the root cause of emotional dependence is a negative self image, anyone who bears a negative self image of themselves will always be emotionally dependent on people or objects to give them some sense of worthiness or security. But truth be said, all “self images” are inherently negative (or will turn negative with time), simply because self image is by principle “impermanent” and dependent on ideas.”
4. “Don’t Push Away Your Source of Emotional Dependence – Most people, when they realize that they are emotionally dependent on something or someone, tend to force it out of their life. What they eventually end up doing is replace one source of emotional dependence with another. For example, if you were emotionally dependent on alcohol, you might push it away forcefully, and end up feeling empty which you will then till to fill up through a relationship, sex or some form of entertainment.”
You can overcome all forms of dependence by letting go of all the fear and insecurity that you are currently holding on to. Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that could happen?” and put down your answers. I’m almost certain you’ll feel silly after going through the list plus remind yourself that whoever it is you are dependent on is merely a human as well. Why depend on another mortal when The Immortal One can give you so much more? It’s even worse when you’re emotionally dependent on a substance. Seriously! Why?!
Sorry about the typos.