Journaling or writing is a way of becoming aware of your feelings, processing them, and gaining clarity. Its an especially good tool for people who struggle with codependency as two of the core tasks of recovering from codependency are to 1) understand yourself as a unique, whole person and 2) fully accept and love yourself.
I developed the following journal prompts especially for people who want to understand and heal their codependency. They target common codependent traits such as:
- Difficulty identifying and expressing your feelings and needs
- Taking care of others at your own expense
- Taking responsibility for other peoples feelings and actions and things beyond your control
- People-pleasing and fear of rejection or abandonment
- Trying to control others and feeling anxious because things are out of your control
- Poor boundaries
- Not asserting yourself
You dont have to be a good writer to benefit from journaling. Your journaling is for you; its your process not intended for others to read or understand. And while I think theres benefit in keeping your journaling and re-reading it, this isnt necessary. If you feel more comfortable shredding or deleting your journaling for the sake of privacy, thats fine. There isnt a right or wrong way to do it.
I get angry when ______________, but Im not able to express it because __________________.
Im afraid of _________________.
People like me because _______________.
When things dont go according to plan, I ________________________.
Taking care of other people makes me feel ______________________.
When I listen to my body, it tells me that it needs ____________________.
When I tune into my spirit/soul, it tells me that it needs _____________________.
I wish people knew _________________ about me.
Im really good at ____________________.
Im ashamed of _____________________.
I tend to bury or deny my emotions by __________________.
I can show myself love by ____________________.
Someone who is supportive of my growth and change is ____________________.
When I try to set a boundary by saying no, I feel ______________ because ____________.
When Im sad, I ___________________.
When Im angry, I _________________.
If I let myself feel all of my feelings, I would __________________.
I dont feel good enough or loveable because ___________________.
If people knew the real me, they would _____________________.
One person who truly knows me is _________________.
If I start of focus more on myself my needs and feelings, people will ________________.
If I let my inner child speak, s/he would say _____________________.
I feel anxious when __________________.
A positive way to calm my anxiety is ________________.
I try to control other people and situations by _____________________ and this leads to ________________. Instead I will ____________________.
I suspect I may have some denial about _____________________.
I feel hopeful about ________________.
I am grateful for _______________ and I will show it by ____________________.
Just for today I will _________________________.
3 Ways I can take care of myself today are _____________________________.
These prompts may bring up some strong feelings. In fact, they should; thats kind of the point. But you arent in this alone; try to ask for support. Consider working on these journaling prompts for codependency recovery with a therapist or a Codependents Anonymous or Al-Anon sponsor.
Wishing you well on your recovery journey,
2016 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved. Photo from FreeDigitalPhotos.net