I was one of the lucky ones. Having started my addiction recovery journey in Nov. 1976, I discovered Melody Beattie and codependency in 1986. Being an avid reader of all aspects of recovery, I was astonished to discover myself in her pages. Astonished because codependency was being defined as the co-alcoholic. But I was married to a non-drinker and I was the alcoholic. How was this possible?
Moving forward to 2019, the same problem with misidentifying codependency as the “other” addiction still persists. It isn’t the other addiction. It is the main addiction. Why isn’t this recognized by the addiction/mental health community? Could it be because the codependency recovery means healing the childhood experience? It is painful and a lot of work but has to be done to get to the real freedom.
A codependency quote–
“Codependent people need external sources (things or other people) to give them feelings of self-worth. Often, following destructive parental relationships, an abusive past and/or self-destructive partners, codependents learn to react to others, worry about others and depend on others to help them feel useful or alive. They put other people’s needs, wants and experiences above their own.”
“In fact, codependence is a relationship with one’s self that is so painful a person no longer trusts his or her own experiences. It perpetuates a continual cycle of shame, blame and self-abuse. Codependent people might feel brutally abused by the mildest criticism or suicidal when a relationship ends. In his 1999 book, Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls, author Robert Burney says the battle cry of codependence is: “I’ll show you! I’ll get me!” Daniel Ploskin