A number of years ago the term codependent referred to a person who enables an alcoholic or drug addict, by supporting them emotionally and or economically to the detriment of their own wellbeing. Research shows that while some codependents may have an substance abuser they are caring for, the psychological condition in the general public is more prevalent than otherwise known.
You can be an alcoholic or addicted to opioids and still be codependent. Codependents and substance abusers are both likely to have been brought up in a dysfunctional family. The term dysfunctional family refers to a family in which the child’s needs are not met. While crises occur, like a death in the family or a life-threatening illness, a normal family returns to balance after the situation has eased or passed. In a dysfunctional family, imbalance, negativity, psychological, neglect, physical and sexual harm may be a constant occurrence or threat to the child.
A brief list for codependent characteristics and behavior include: low self-esteem; not feeling good enough and comparing yourself to others; people pleasing; poor boundaries; quick reactions and defensiveness; trying to control another person; interfering in another’s life when you weren’t asked, or interfering and disregarding the effect it has on you.
Being codependent is exhausting. All one’s attention and efforts are focused outward. You are always on guard. Did I say something wrong or do something wrong? If I am really nice to so and so, she will like me better. Right now she doesn’t like me. I am not smart enough or good enough.
To become free from codependency you need to begin recognizing your fear of being found out. You think you are not good enough, and are afraid if anyone finds out then you’re doomed. To compensate for your lack of self-esteem you go overboard with care, then surely the person will see you are a really great person. Recognize when you react to someone’s perceived needs. Check in with yourself and ask, Is it my job to take care of that person’s problems?
Codependency is a merry-go-round of self-induced pain. Freedom from this draining behavior takes time, patience with yourself and practice, but you can get there. You might want to find a good therapist to help you with codependency. There are group meetings, too, called CoDA. After you begin working on codependency you might have some grieving to do, but later you’ll feel so free.
Recovery is unlimited. Infinity Malibu believes that once you start the work of recovery, infinite change is possible. Call us today for information on our private treatment programs offering the highest levels of luxury care: 888-266-9048