Webster’s defines codependency as “psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition: or a dependency on the need of or control by another.” Codependency is when you are preoccupied by someone else’s life. Their needs come before your own.
Melodie Beattie in her book Codependency No More provides this check list:
- Do you feel responsible for other people–their feelings, thoughts, actions, choices, wants, needs, well-being and destiny?
- Do you feel compelled to help people solve their problems or by trying to take care of their feelings?
- Do you find it easier to feel and express anger about injustices done to others than about injustices done to you?
- Do you feel safest and most comfortable when you are giving to others?
- Do you feel insecure and guilty when someone gives to you?
- Do you feel empty, bored and worthless if you don’t have someone else to take care of, a problem to solve, or a crisis to deal with?
- Are you often unable to stop talking, thinking and worrying about other people and their problems?
- Do you lose interest in your own life when you are in love?
- Do you stay in relationships that don’t work and tolerate abuse in order to keep people loving you?
- Do you leave bad relationships only to form new ones that don’t work?
According to some, codependency is the new addiction. It is when the other person is more important than you – they become your drug. It is important that the family members and/or loved ones understand the three C’s:
“We did not cause it, cannot cure it, and we cannot control it.”
They can offer support and guidance – and understand that it is up to the person with the self-destructive behavior to take suggestions or not.
It is clear that everyone involved, the enabler, codependent, and the person with the self-destructive behavior be helped. We only get one life –there is no dress rehearsal or second chance.
If you have any of the above symptoms, please call and we can help you. By changing the system, maybe it can set the ground work for your loved one to get the help that they need.