Because I believe that codependency is the breeding ground for addiction, I would like for everyone interested in helping addicts to be aware of the characteristics of children growing up in families with addiction. I also believe that that applies to most of us. Understanding that addiction can be about money, power (which is what codependency is about), religion, sex, etc. as well as substance abuse (food, legal drugs, illegal drugs, alcohol, etc.) shows how wide-spread addiction is..
Anyone who has worked in a workplace with a “good daddy/mommy” or a “bad daddy/mommy” knows this experience also. I have trouble with rage addicts because I grew up with a father addicted to rage–he was a rageaholic. So I have to keep a close check on my codependency around them as I have a basic desire to kick them in the behind–in a ladylike way, of course. But judgment hurts me as well as the other so I try to remember to pray for tolerance when in the company of someone who wants to control me with his/her anger.
The following sites have good references to the ACA/ACOA characteristics. Don’t be surprised if you identify with a few of them.
(1) My favorite ACA site is the home site for Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization. On this site, a reder can find a meeting, buy the ACA literature, learn more about ACA, and read daily meditations strengthening recovery. From the introduction to ACA: ”
“Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) is a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition program of men and women who grew up in alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional homes. The ACA program was founded on the belief that family dysfunction is a disease that effected us as children and affects us as adults. Our membership also includes adults from homes where alcohol or drugs were not present; however, abuse, neglect or unhealthy behavior was.”
“We meet to share our experience and recovery in an atmosphere of mutual respect. We discover how alcoholism and other family dysfunction affected us in the past and how it influences us in the present. We begin to see the unhealthy elements of our childhood. By practicing the Twelve Steps, focusing on the ACA Solution, and accepting a loving Higher Power of our own understanding, we find freedom.”
(2) Codependents Anonymous is the CODA site. This site includes a great list of characteristics centering around denial (“perceive myself as being completely unselfish and dedicated to the well being of others”), low self esteem pattern (“I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires”), compliance (“I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long) and control (“I have to be “needed” in order to have a relationship with others.
(3) Mental Health Issues includes this:” There are identifiable core issues that ACOA’s experience. Control is one such issue. The fear of loss of control is a dominant theme in their lives. Control dominates the interactions of an ACOA with themselves as well as the people in their lives. Fear of loss of control, whether it be over one’s emotions, thoughts, feelings, will, actions, or relationships is pervasive. ACOA’s rely upon defenses mechanisms such as denial, suppression in order to control their internal world of thoughts and feelings as well as the outward manifestation of those thoughts, feelings, and behaviors”.
A current blog post about why some ACOA’s thrive in the addiction and the characteristics they learned from being in the addiction. Great article and I recognized why creativity has been my salvation.
I love intermittent fasting. There are many ways to do it, but I do the eating 2 times per day. My body had started to do this naturally. But I was eating several small meals within a 6 hour window. Now I eat twice daily–at 10 AM and 4 PM. This has taught my body to switch from burning sugar to buning fat. This lifestyle change is not a diet. It is a pattern of eating that allows my body to “rest” from having to continually be digesting food.
From James Clear, who has been intermittent fasting for over a year, “How Does Intemittent Fasting Work?”:
“To understand how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss we first need to understand the difference between the fed state and the fasted state.
Your body is in the fed state when it is digesting and absorbing food. Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. When you are in the fed state, it’s very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high.
After that timespan, your body goes into what is known as the post–absorptive state, which is just a fancy way of saying that your body isn’t processing a meal. The post–absorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you enter the fasted state. It is much easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.
When you’re in the fasted state your body can burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state.
Because we don’t enter the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, it’s rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting will lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise. Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely make it to during a normal eating schedule.”
Daily Burn Has 5 Intemittent Fasting Methods: Which One is Right for You? This article lists 5 different plans and gives the pros and cons for each.
From Scientific American, David Stipp writes:” “How Intermittent Fasting Might help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life“. An excerpt fom this article:
“The idea that periodic fasting may offer some of the same health benefits as continuous calorie restriction—and allows for some feasting while slimming down—has convinced an increasing number of people to try it, says Steve Mount, a University of Maryland genetics professor who has moderated a Yahoo discussion group on intermittent fasting for more than seven years. Intermittent fasting “isn’t a panacea—it’s always hard to lose weight,” adds Mount, who has fasted three days a week since 2004. “But the theory [that it activates the same signaling pathways in cells as calorie restriction] makes sense.”
Your agenda- “No matter what you do, where you do it, or with whom, at the most fundamental level you are always trying to fulfill your agenda, to meet the needs and expectations it contains—and so are all the people around you.” Martin Potash
About fears- “Men’s fears focus around loss of what we experience as our independence and women’s around the loss of significant relationships. We most fear engulfment—anything that threatens to rob us of our power and control. Women most fear abandonment, isolation, loss of love.” Sam Keen
Intimacy- “Intimacy that’s too good to be real ought to make you stop and take heed, especially when it happens fast. No matter how much you want to believe it can happen quickly, real intimacy takes time. Sharing yourself, as opposed to losing yourself, is a delicate procedure that evolves step by step.” Susanna Hoffman
Authentic love- “Authentic love is a dance with three movements: solo, counterpoint, and coming together; it embraces solitude, conflict, and intimacy.” Sam Keen
Relationships- “You shouldn’t go into a relationship expecting that he or she will change. If you pick your mate wisely, you will both make adjustments, but it’s unfair to expect your future mate to make basic changes. Put yourself in his or her shoes. Would you want to be overhauled or would you expect your mate to love you as you are?” Dr. Zev Wanderer and Erika Fabian “
The purpose of our relationships is to help us get to our destination. When we learn to look at our relationships this way, we become aware of the beautiful gifts they contain, and we begin to travel more quickly along our spiritual path” – Karen Berg