“At its heart, codependency is a set of behaviors developed to manage the anxiety that comes when our primary attachments are formed with people who are inconsistent or unavailable in their response to us. Our anxiety-based responses to life can include over-reactivity, image management, unrealistic beliefs about our limits, and attempts to control the reality of others to the point where we lose our boundaries, self-esteem, and even our own reality. Ultimately, codependency is a chronic stress disease, which can devastate our immune system and lead to systemic and even life-threatening illness.” Mary Crocker Cook
We live in a codependent society that refuses to accept what codependency really is. One of the main fights of my life is helping others to see this in themselves and demand better treatment from others in their lives.
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 2020, 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 codependency recovery means healing the childhood experience? It is painful and a lot of work but has to be done to get to emotional sobriety.
I have decided to go all in on trying to help turn the tide on codependency deniers. We are all either a codependent or a narcissist person if we grew up in a troubled family. We had no other choice. It was the only way to stay in that troubled system. This realization took me 23 years to accept so I know that self acceptance can be a slow process.
BUT the recovery is very quick. Once you accept you are a codependent, you begin to look at all your relationships and begin seeking change or leaving the relationship. I believe the two biggest defenders of building your self confidence during this healing to be learning boundaries and detachment. I notice immediately now when I want to “rescue” someone from their own life. I now know that is my trying to not deal with something in my own life or my having allowed myself to be hooked into believing someone else can’t make it without me. I step back and see how I am being hooked. Is it coming from me or from them? So I spend some time reflecting on what it might be that I want to avoid. A great question I sometimes ask is, “Are you asking for help?” 9 times out of 10 the person waiting to be rescued will deny their need. No wonder I used to feel used.
This ezine contains the following topics:
- It is Hard to Accept That Your Childhood Included Any Kind of Abuse
- Codependency was Our Survival in a Troubled Family
- Our Core Beliefs Set in Childhood Have to Change in Recovery
- Finding Peace Begins With Learning How to Quiet Your Mind
- Create a List of Healing Methods That Help You When It All comes Off the Rails
- Self Care Includes Learning Not to Betray Yourself
- The First Addiction You Chose in Recovery Probably Isn’t Your Primary Addiction
- Codependency Recovery Begins With These Basic Behavior Patterns
- Creativity is a Bridge Toward Healing
- PTSD can be Healed by Learning to Live in the Moment
- TA (Transactional Analysis) was the Way I Found My Inner Child
- Relationships Become Deeper in Codependency Recovery
- ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) Teaches Us About Our Childhood
- Practice of Continuing Codependency Recovery
- We Live in a Codependency Society So Ingrained It is Ignored
- The Good News About Codependency Recovery
- Why Everyone Needs Codependency Recovery
- Section for adding the future articles