Independent and Interdependent Relationships

Many of us strive to find a sense of independence in our lives. We may struggle to pay the bills, but most of us like being responsible for a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothing, and life’s bare essentials. Yet, even though we struggle, there is a tremendous sense of pride in providing for our needs. We tend to feel a sense of independence in our quests to live healthier and more whole lives. Many folks find their independent nature while exhibiting interdependent relationships with those they love and trust. I have relationships that I’m interdependent with, yet I’m entirely separate from those connections. There is nothing wrong with having a support system of interdependent relationships because sometimes those relationships help us make sense of the chaos in our lives.

I have friends who I question their behaviors. I’m not the type of person that understands why so many people feel the need to go from relationship to relationship. Until a person deals with their breakups, they won’t learn from their errors and find themselves repeating the patterns. I figure if that works for them, I am happy for them, but I don’t function well because I like dealing with problems rather than running from them. It’s a far cry from where I once was, but it’s healthy, and I don’t regret my choices. I may regret hurting folks along the way, but I don’t wish my life away. I know that we all have memories from our past that can haunt us. Still, if we learn from those mistakes and errors in judgment, then we learn that we all need not only a sense of independence but interdependence with our communities and peers to make ourselves better in the long run.

When addicts face recovery, they are the first to tell you that it isn’t easy. No matter what their addiction, they are responsible for their actions. However, their inner circles’ support or lack of support helps make or break their recovery. If you expect an alcoholic to be okay in a bar full of people drinking, they may or may not be alright, especially if they are experiencing heavy layers of pain in their lives. The temptation might be more than they can handle. Each person is different, but our lives cause us to make questionable choices. I’ve seen both sides of the pendulum. I witnessed several people fall off the wagon, while others struggling helped others stay safe.

The most challenging task most of us face is asking for help. We want the feeling of doing things on our own without the assistance of others. But sometimes, asking for help makes the difference between doing very well and succeeding in our endeavors and failing miserably. We often tell others how independent we are, which is an admirable trait. But being independent doesn’t mean that there won’t be days we need the assistance of others around us. If you drive a vehicle and don’t know how to repair automobiles when they run down, chances are you need to find a mechanic. If you break a tooth and aren’t a dentist, chances are you need to visit the dentist’s office. When our health takes a turn for the worst, most of us need to follow up with a doctor to find out what’s wrong and get a prescription to help heal us. All of these scenarios require some interdependency. Sure, we can control most of our actions in a day, but there are always things out of our control, and we need help fixing those issues.

Most of us are constantly learning, and we need the right tools to help us achieve unprecedented levels in education. The teachings of other people hone our crafts. We practice and exercise our bodies and minds based on our information. While we are responsible for what we learn, there is also an interdependency on the tools and resources to acquire and sharpen those skills. The truth is that we can do nothing in this world entirely by ourselves, which requires people to succeed. Attorneys need people to argue their cases with; criminals need people to represent them; patients need doctors to help them heal. So many other positions in this world require interactions with people. There is a certain point that we all find ourselves needing others. What we choose to do with each other and ourselves is solely our responsibility. Yet, recognizing what we need and how to interact with those needs is entirely our choice.

The next time you find yourself needing the help of others, remember that we all have times in our lives where asking for help is like taking a chug of vinegar. It’s not always a fun feeling. But if we ask others for help when we need it and don’t receive that help, we can find ourselves dealing with disappointments and discouragement. It’s normal to feel this way. Don’t allow others saying you “no” to keep you from realizing your dreams and needs. Someone will eventually say “yes.” I hope that you all find yourselves helping others in their daily lives. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we face interdependency daily. It’s a matter of recognizing our strengths and weaknesses. Have a great day, everyone.

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