Am I codependent?

Am I codependent?

Are you codependent? Do you find yourself wondering about your behaviors? If they’re classified as codependent? And if so, why? If you’re in a relationship with a good person suffering from addiction, I have a loving truth for you: the recovery community has classified you as codependent.

If you’re new to this community, welcome. And we think about things differently here. And drop labels and expectations, and learn from our situations and experiences, codependent or not.

Here’s the loving truth: I truly believe there are benefits to carrying this label of ‘codependent.

When you’re in a relationship with a good person suffering from addiction, you just want them to get sober. You desire the very best for them, and you can see that means a drug free life.

Of course you’re not trying to be mean, or needy or a nag, you just want to kick this disease out of your home once and for all, so you can have the life you always wanted.

Are you codependent?
Benefit number one:

One of your best qualities is the ability to see the good in people.

You’re a compassionate, loving woman.  You empathize with other peoples pain.

And because you have such a good heart, you want to help and fix and solve.

Loving others is one of our greatest responsibilities.

People might have called you codependent (I’ve called myself a codependent for years).

Some people say that being codependent is not healthy, but I totally disagree.

Codependency can be one of our best traits.

I know this goes against anything you might have heard before but please hear me out…

The secret to embracing our codependency is simple: we just need to learn when it’s appropriate to behave compassionately and when it’s damaging or harmful to become overly involved in someone else’s problems.

Codependency is a powerful gift and should be used appropriately.

We should be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless and be generous with the things God has given us.

Serving others is one of the best ways to get over a deep depression.  And we need more gentle responses in this world that will diffuse anger instead of adding to it.

But…

Are you codependent? Look out for this:

Codependency can be harmful when we feel entirely responsible for helping an alcoholic or addict.

We need to stop blaming ourselves for their disease – we didn’t cause it and can’t cure it (a famous line from Alanon that’s so true).

And sometimes the best way to help an alcoholic or addict is to let them fall apart and say nothing.  

No unsolicited advice, no shaming and “I told you so’s” and no guilting (I know this is super hard).  

Just listen with a compassionate heart and keep a quiet mouth.

Let them suffer the natural consequences of their addiction.

If they get caught in a lie with their boss, don’t cover it up.  

When they can’t remember where they left their keys last night after having too much to drink, you don’t need to run around the house and find them.  

If he gets a DUI and needs a bond, you don’t need to wake up in the middle of the night to bail him out.  

Not “saving them” and letting them suffer the natural consequences is one of the best ways to let them realize how destructive this disease is to their life.  

Letting them experience consequences can sometimes be the most loving thing to do.

Your compassionate loving codependent self is a wonderful gift – embrace it and use it appropriately and it will bring you so much joy!

Are you codependent? Embrace it.

You’re a smart woman who can learn when to use your gift for good instead of using your gift of codependency to try and control others.

So how will you use the gift of codependency for good?  And what are you willing to surrender to let him pay the natural consequences?

The Love Over Addiction Program is available now.  Do you have a girlfriend, mother, aunt or grandmother who loves an alcoholic or addict?  Please share this website and give the gift of hope.  

We are all in this together.


Questions from our community:

What are signs of a codependent person?

Here are three signs: Having poor self esteem, relying on your husband or partner for your happiness and self-worth, and having a difficult time communicating your desires and needs.

What is codependent behavior?

Codependent behavior is broadly described when you’re relying on someone else to validate your self-worth, build your self-confidence, or otherwise give you permission for your own wants and desires.

How do I stop being codependent?

We believe that codependency isn’t inherently a bad thing. When it’s used in the right situations with the right people, it can be your greatest gift. Learn when and where to use your codependent behaviors. Find your confidence and courage in other situations where it’s not safe to be codepedent.

What causes codependency?

Codependent tendencies can occur when you’re exposed to a relationship with addiction, abuse, or trauma. This can develop later in life, or can start as a child. Every situation and person are unique.

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson has over 10 years of personal experience with loving someone who suffers from addiction. She was married to a good man who suffered from addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, and pornography. She's used this experience to create this powerful community full of women in the same circumstance. Using her own personal experience, combined with years of research and studying, she presents ideas, tips, and tools on how to handle this disease, and take care of yourself, and your family.

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