Despite there being 60+ years of public documentation that supports Codependency, there are differing definitions of what it actually is. It’s also difficult to condense the understanding of Codependency into one particular definition.
Melody Beattie, author of Codependent No More defines Codependency as someone “who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior. We believe that we’d be happy if the other person would just change.”
Addiction and Codependency go hand-in-hand. So, it’s not a surprise for addicts to also emulate Codependency behaviors. Chronic shame about addiction will often lead to other painful feelings and even problematic behavior. An addict can feel ashamed and believe they are not worthy of love, success, happiness, and even respect. When dealing with the many fears and feelings, an addict sabotages themselves in their relationships, work, etc.
A Major Obstacle? Denial
Denial seems to be a major obstacle. Codependency can be difficult to see within yourself, so awareness is a major step in a new direction. Awareness alone can often alleviate the countless symptoms of Codependency.
In an effort to better understand Codependency and addiction, we have some helpful tips for you.
Identifying Codependency. Do you often:
– Live defensively, “walk on eggshells” so to speak?
– Avoid conflict. Feel afraid to confront others?
– Make poor or even wrong decisions. Usually accommodating others?
– Lie — even the little white ones, to avoid conflict with others or anger?
– Blame yourself or feel angry with yourself? Letting others have their way or feel generally dissatisfied with others.
– Overprotect your behavior? Hiding your alcohol or drug use from others.
– Find yourself hurt emotionally – by others behavior?
– Are you unable to simply say “no”?
Change is not an easy path to take. It involves time and a few steps. Four steps to be specific. Abstinence, Awareness, Acceptance, and Action.
Abstinence – Sobriety is absolutely necessary to recover from codependency.
Awareness – Denial is the hallmark of addiction. To overcome your destructive habits, you must first become aware of them.
Acceptance – In every aspect of healing, one must learn self-acceptance. This is not just a simple step, but a life-long journey.
Action – In order to grow and heal, you must change your behavior. each time you try a new behavior (being assertive, for example) you learn something new about who you are and your feelings accompanied with it. You’re building your self-esteem.
The Perfect Alibi
Is it possible that in your struggle against addiction, you’ve also become codependent? Are you ready to overcome your addiction and break free of your codependency? The above information is only a basic roadmap to understanding Addiction and Codependency. If you are ready to get sober and detox from alcohol, read our detox guide. It could save your life. For more information, feel free to contact us.
~ Pamela Moore