Blogs About Codependency Help Keep Boundaries Clear

“The most important words in midlife are—Let Go.  Let it happen to you.  Let it happen to your partner. Let the feelings.  Let the changes…You are moving out of roles and into the self…It would be surprising if we didn’t experience some pain as we leave the familiarity of one adult stage for the uncertain!ty of the next.  But the willingness to move through each passage is equivalent to the willingness to live abundantly.  If we don’t change; we don’t grow.  If we don’t grow, we are not really living.”               Gail Sheehy

1.  I’m Just F.I.N.E.–Recovery in Al-Anon: “Distorted thinking”:

“I seem to be posting a lot of heavy stuff this week.  I do plan to lighten up for the weekend. Yesterday’s post brought about some good comments.  I want to address one by Mary LA who wrote: “But what about the distorted thinking and voice of the codependent who is obsessed with that alcoholism? That makes me equally chilled. Those who don’t want the alcoholic/addict to get better.”

“I think that co-dependency is something that starts at a very young age.  It probably starts with repression of feelings in which a child has to “walk on egg shells” around a dysfunctional family member.  For me, that was my dad.  My mother covered up and denied there was anything wrong. So there was really not much honesty in feelings or trust within the family.  Everything seemed to be “swept under the rug.”

“Consequently, the stress mounts and the child learns to be anxious.  And along with the stress and anxiety, some unhealthy ways of survival are learned.  One of those ways to survive is to deny one’s own feelings.  So instead of basing self-worth on my own feelings and actions, I began to base my self-worth on the opinions, needs, and moods of the person I wanted to please.  In my case, it was my father.”

“As Mary noted in her comment, the co-dependent person may actually feel more depressed and unhappy once the alcoholic is sober.  I think here of Lois who was so angry that Bill W. was attending AA meetings. She finally threw her shoe at him in a fit of rage and yelled, “Damn your old meetings.”

“This type of crazy thinking, fueled by anger, was what got me into Al-Anon.  I knew that I was angry, empty, worn out, and emotionally bankrupt.  I was using very unhealthy thinking to relate to other people.”

2.  Through an Al-Anon Filter: “Two Tiny Steps Forward, One Giant Step Back”

“My sober-for-years-but-not-in-recovery-for-long alcoholic, it seems like the minute I give them any encouragement or support, they take it like a “get out of jail free” card, and start to treat me like crap again. How do I give any positive feedback, when they just use it against me?”

“Oh, have I been in this writer’s place – and it was a mystifying landscape through which to travel. One of my alcoholics is just this way, and I have had to learn that any support or encouragement I give has to be non-personal. If I put anything of myself into it, this person will then see me as vulnerable, and go on the attack. When I’m around this alcoholic, I feel as I might were a tiger in the room with me, waiting for the slightest sign of weakness, always ready to spring. That tiger never sleeps.”

“If this person says, “I have been trying harder,” and I reply, “Yes, I’ve noticed that and I’m very grateful, and you are a good person…” I’ve just bought myself some mistreatment at their hands, because they see that the way a tiger might see me strapping some steaks to myself, and then walking back and forth an inch from its muzzle.”

“Sober is not recovery. Sober is sober, and while I can be grateful for the sobriety, if I see it and recovery as all of a piece/the same thing, I’m going to suffer for that misconception.”

“With this alcoholic, when they say “I have been trying harder,” I have to reply with something along the lines of: “That’s great; working your program will benefit you and those around you,” and leave it at that. I have to keep myself and what I think, completely off the table. They will often try to put me back onto the table with questions like, “You’ve noticed, right, you’ve noticed I’ve been trying harder?”

3. Suicidal no more: “The Weight of the World  (Codependency) and Being Lost”:

“A lot has been going on with my family lately. There is a lot of stress involved. I have this problem: I take on the world’s problems and worry about them incessantly. I have done this my entire life. I was the first child and the first grandchild in my family. They say I always told the younger kids what to do. Once when I was four years old, someone hollered down the basement of a relative’s home and said, “Is anyone down there watching the kids?”. I said, “I am!! Don’t worry!”. And so it began.”

“People don’t want my help all the time, or my advice. But some people do tell me a lot about their problems, and I feel that I need to try to help somehow. It is, in certain occasions, totally useless to do this. In other situations, I do help people in a tangible way. But it’s the thought process that is a problem. It is the amount of time I spend focusing on other people’s problems that is dysfunctional. I’ve been getting sick to my stomach for months worrying about a particular person; my anxiety has been through the roof. I can’t stop worrying, and the worrying eats away at me, makes me miserable, distracts me from the things I need to do to live my own life, and doesn’t change the other person’s situation very much in the long run anyway.”

“One of the things I like about Al-Anon is the idea that you detach with love. That you can’t cure someone’s drinking problem (or other problems), and you didn’t cause the problem, and that’s just how it is. There are a lot of books out there about codependency, and I have looked through some of them, and found that I am described there quite well. I’m not totally codependent, but I have the signs of it. I feel that my family’s well-being is my responsibility, deep-down, and the thing is, my family is never doing well. My family is always caught up in financial problems, mental health problems, drinking problems, life management problems, anger problems, etc. It seems sometimes, that they are never just, plain happy. And neither am I. I’m content sometimes, but I don’t feel much happiness – or, at least not for very long. If this stress was removed from my life, if I didn’t constantly take on the woes of the world, then perhaps there would be space in my life for true happiness.”

Photo credit.


  1. Please read “Love in the Gardens of Macantar; A Spiritual Journey of Healing from Codependency and Relationship Addiction”. It saved my life, literally. Give it a go.

    • Thanks and I’ve added you to my Google Reader. I now have 250+ that I follow. I would like to find a way to share all the things I read. I have 18 blogs and 7 FB fan pages. The problem with FB is that there is no way to organize the info. Twitter is much too fast and furious for me. Good luck to you. I also have a codependency blog that i mainly use on my Emotional Sobriety FB page.

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