Friday October 31st 2014

Am I codependent?

Patterns of codependency

Codependency is a term used when one person develops unhealthy patterns due to the involvement with another person who has the disease of addiction. Some of the negative patterns that develop include enabling, denial, and low self-esteem. While these patterns don’t happen overnight, most people who live with an addict for a sustained period of time, eventually fall into some of these behaviors.  Codependent addictive relationships can be identified by asking yourself some straightforward questions.

7 questions: Am I codependent or not?

Have you taken on the patterns of codependency in your own life? Ask yourself the following seven questions to find out:

1. Do you have difficulty sleeping at night because you’re worrying about the addict?

2. Do you take on many of the addict’s responsibilities such as paying their bills, taking care of their children, or giving them free room and board?

3. Do you constantly threaten to leave the addict, or kick him or her out, but you never follow through?

4. Do you fall for the same lies from the addict over and over again?

5. Are you suffering financial difficulty due to the addiction?

6. Do you avoid social functions out of the fear of shame or embarrassment?

7. Do you avoid doing things away from home because you want to keep an eye on the addict?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the patterns of codependency may be affecting your life. The more “yes” answers, the deeper the patterns. You owe it to yourself to start letting go and detaching from the problems surrounding addiction.  Although ending a codependent relationship may seem difficult, your life can change and become more satisfying and healthy than you ever thought possible.

Moving through codependent patterns

So what are the steps for moving forward? The first, and most important step is to reach out for help. You don’t have to do this alone. There are countless forms of support available such as Al-Anon, church support groups, or a counselor.

If you’ve never visited an Al-Anon meeting before, now is the time to give it a try. What better group of people to turn to for comfort and support than those who are living with the same struggles? Through Al-Anon you will learn the tools for recovery. There are also countless books available that teach these tools.

You deserve to have, be, and do everything that you want — and you can. The addict is not holding you back. The only person in control of your life is you. You are offered endless options every day and you make the choices. Choose happiness!

Photo credit: sicoactiva

Leave a Reply

3 Responses to “Am I codependent?
Darlene Lancer, MFT
2:50 am May 12th, 2012

Thanks for letting people know about codependency. These are good questions to ask if you’re with an addict. However, codependency is prevalent in relationships where there isn’t substance abuse, as well. There may be another addiction, such as workaholism, overeating, or sex addiction, and even in couples where there’s no addiction, but they grew up in dysfunctional families. Codependents Anonymous is another 12-Step Program that’s helpful. The definition, symptoms, cause, and easy to follow steps you can take to heal are all outlined in “Codependency for Dummies,” the most comprehensive book on the subject.
Darlene Lancer, MFT

Faye
3:31 pm July 7th, 2014

I have recently left my codependent relationship. My now ex partner still continues to turn up at my door promising the world, promising change; however, when it comes down to it he is unwilling to break the behavior he exhibits and I know I have to leave the relationship for my own well being. It is so hard because I do still love and care for him but the constant worry is making me unwell. I just need to know it will stop hurting this much.

mary-mary
10:38 am July 16th, 2014

my partners habbit has got worse since our daughter has been born we talk about him getting help and it doesn’t happen, the mood swings and arguments are getting worse I really love him, I just don’t no how to stop this heart ache and worry.

About Lisa Espich

Lisa Espich is the author of the multi award-winning book, Soaring Above Co-Addiction: Helping your loved one get clean, while creating the life of your dreams. For additional articles, resources, and a free preview chapter of Soaring Above Co-Addiction visit her website. Her book is available at bookstores everywhere and at Twin Feather Publishing.