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!