At some point in time we all enter into a codependent relationship. How do you determine or recognize when a relationship is healthy or destructive.
There is usually a hierarchy in each relationship were one is giving a bit more than the other. As long as this does not strip away individuality, personal sense of self an independence this is not something to be overly concerned about.
Codependency is an unbalance of either giving too much to the point of living solely for others or being so needy to the point of losing self-identity, worth and the ability to make any decisions.
Bells should go off if symptomatic of the following; denial, low self-esteem, compliance, control and avoidance patterns. If relationships are founded on these behaviors it’s time to evaluate and look for professional help.
Destructive nurturing is looking for someone to fix but doing it as a broken person and out of the need to fix (usually because you need fixing yourself). These are symptoms to look for.
- Putting other’s needs first to the complete detriment of your own.
- Trying to be the healer and end up destroying two people in the process.
Codependents usually alter or deny how they feel and lack empathy for the needs of others. They identify others by their negative traits or mask pain in various ways. It is possible to be so deep in denial or messed up that we don’t even realize our own behavior.
Codependents, often have difficulty making decisions, look for others approval and behavior over their own and perceive less of themselves to the point of thinking they are un-lovable or worthless.
Shame Guilt Anger Fear Illness
Codependents experience intense feelings of shame and guilt along with unresolved anger and fear that interferes with their ability to value themselves.
In later stages of codependency individuals may feel lethargic, depressed, or experience an eating disorder. Turning to drug, alcohol, pain medication to alter feeling is a common.
Often unresolved emotional issues interfere with emotional intimacy in relationships. It may take years to recognize the devastating impact of such unhealthy relationships and all too often physical injury or debilitating anxiety, panic and depression leads the codependent to seek help.
Alternative modifications delve into the codependents addictive and destructive habits.
Often these are the top of the list
- Facts about alcoholism addiction and the impact alcoholism and addictions has on the family system. This often leads to an intervention, as the family recognizes they are enablers.
- The origins of co-dependency, looking back in time.
- Exploring and releasing anger and fear in relationship patterns.
- The importance of self-care and healing in recovery.
- Exchange “survival” strategies for health living skills.
- Developing an effective support group.
- Participation in the Al Anon family programs, aftercare and support while improving.
Alternatives For Enabling
Enablers keep the loved one addicted. The codependent continues caring to gain a sense of self-worth. Recovery from codependency requires drastic attitude and lifestyle change and a lifelong commitment to the 12-step regime.
No one can cause another person’s addictive behavior. Addictive behaviors are learned habits fueled by expectations. Following through with that thinking will bring about ease, comfort, or the reduction of codependent habits.
Caregiving is not enabling. Caregiving is fueled by the capacity to experience empathy and the desire to be happy. Care givers understand the balance of the ups and downs and strive to embrace life.
Evaluating Codependent Behaviour
It is recommended that codependents do an inventory of all “less than nurturing” experiences of childhood. Examine your life from birth to age 17 an identify all the people responsible for “abusing you.”
No excuses should be allowed for the offenders in our lives.Do not make excuses that they didn’t mean it, even if they didn’t mean it. This includes mothers, fathers, siblings, spouses, children, extended family. Include personal relationships such as boyfriends or girlfriends. Then look into the community, such as work relationships, neighbors and teachers. Keep exploring how deep this goes.
From Codependency To Detachment
- Detachment is knowing you are not the cause of nor the cure for another person’s addictions.
- Detachment is knowing that you can care about someone without taking care of them in ways that prevent that person from also becoming a responsible person.
- Detachment is knowing when we have the power to change and when we do not have the power to change.
- Detachment is having the courage to change the things we can and seeking the wisdom to know the difference.
- Detachment is being okay about not knowing what the future holds and having the comfort of knowing who holds the future.