Once Codependent–Always Codependent?

If you have been codependent all of your life, can you ever really get over it? Can you get over the drive to fix or rescue the addict in your life? I believe that you can, but it is going to take some work on your part. First of all you are going to need to get educated on codependency. That might entail reading a few books, or you might need to go to a partner’s group that will process codependent issues. Al-Anon is a place that could give you resources and insight into codependency.

People rarely get better with self-directed recovery, mainly because denial keeps you from connecting with what is truly reality. People get into a familiar pattern where they keep cycling through the same behaviors. It takes stepping off the proverbial ‘merry-go-round’ to be able to get refocused and see the situations from a different perspective. Once this happens, it is easier to view the problems with renewed perception. Asking yourself questions like: “What do I need today” instead of “What does the addict need?”

Codependency recovery will necessarily require that your energy to be redirected. All the energy and focus that has been put on the addict (or your kids, etc.) will need to be redirected to self. It not to say that you will become selfish or self-centered. Remember the golden rule, “Love others as you love yourself”? In codependency that rule gets turned around–and you love others to get your value (love). The reality is no one can really love anybody else until they know how to love and value themselves. It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen. Anybody can make changes if they have support, and education about codependency.

When I came to recovery, I had to learn about how my behaviors had enabled my addict husband to continue on in his addiction. I had to connect how my need to fix and rescue really was destructive in the long run. I had to understand what I had been doing all my life to get value was really not value at all. And then I had to admit how vacant I was inside and how I had met other’s needs and never attended to my own. I had become needless, but that only left me angry and isolated.

Is it time for you to come in from the wilderness you have been living in–alone and isolated? Strategies for Healing understands…give us a call.

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