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Understanding Codependency

  • Understanding Codependency

    Understanding Codependency


    This talk is intended to help you gain a deeper understanding of the concept of codependency.

    There is a lot of misconceptions out there about co-dependency, specifically when it comes to the field of addiction. The root of codependency, the origins if you will, came from the term co-alcoholic at the time it was wives of alcoholics who enabled their husbands and continued letting them drink, give them money to go buy alcohol, and embarrassed of them. They didn’t have the strength to tell them to stop. So, as that continued more and more people started connecting co-dependency with addiction.

    Roots of Co-dependecy

    However, the true roots of co-dependency is often rooted in childhood and not the childhood of the addict but the childhood of the co-dependent, because the same way alcohol doesn’t make someone an alcoholic the same way drugs doesn’t make someone a drug addict because if you take the alcohol away and the drugs away than they should be fine, but that’s when a lot of problems begin to show up.

    However, let me give you some real examples to better understand this. I was working with a client in the first session his biggest problem was how co-dependent and overwhelming his mother was. I got the chance to talk to the mom and she said she’s definitely not ┬ácodependent, she’s definitely not overwhelming, she’s only been this way since her son developed an addiction, out of fear, and the only reason she’s being a co-dependent is because she’s scared. So one day I got the family on the phone, and the mom started talking and she said you know my whole life I never thought my kid was going to get an addiction. I was in charge of all his academics in school. I was student body president, I did a lot of work with his sports youth teams, and you know I never was really too involved in his life. Than she started to say that when addiction came in it really started to impact her life and she lost herself. Eventually they fell into debt because of all the credit cards and it’s impacting other parts of the relationship and their family and she wanted to know if her son is calling his sponsor and talking in groups and also after asking many questions asked her son if he called x family member and thanked them for the gift package that was just sent the care package that was sent during treatment and if he hasn’t that he should definitely make that call today. So, I said that drugs and alcohol doesn’t make someone an addict. A Drug addict doesn’t make someone a co-dependent, because the roots of co-dependency happen in childhood and its pattern of thinking and behaving that was placed upon somebody if you’re thinking this always happens in addiction let me tell you a loving caring house. Mom and Dad both workers, mom tries to come home a little earlier to take care of the kids, but for the few hours they aren’t there they tell the older sibling son or daughter I need you to be strong I need you to take care of your little brother and sister and I need you to help us out in the house and this is a loving mom loving dad no abuse no alcoholism nothing. They’re just trying to do the best they can. And let’s say the one child that was placed with all the responsibility gets scared gets fearful one day just doesn’t want to do it. He now is unable to be himself. He has to leave his experience and be strong, be there for his siblings and that moment that individual begins to lose self and he begins to think that in life I have to take care of people I have to be there for people. My needs don’t matter, i have to be strong even if I feel weak and those individuals later on life find other individuals that they can be responsible for, they can take care of and there’s nothing like an addiction of a child that can bring up all those co-dependent tendencies. so the questions is this if you feel do you think about the needs of others over yours. If you feel that your can sleep better at night knowing someone else is ok you will have a difficult time setting boundaries. If you have a hard time no, If you have a hard time recognizing your own feelings, if you have a hard time doing things that give you pleasure, if you have a hard time receiving gifts not giving them, if you have a hard time receiving compliments not giving them. I strongly suggest that you look into these co-dependent behaviors and tendencies that something that may have developed prior to the addiction of your loved one and if that’s the case begin your own recovery process to regain self so when and where was it that you had to leave your own experience and be there for the experience of other and tap back into that same process that brought the recovery process and be whole and complete on your own and i do know this that nothing helps addicts more than treatment than knowing and watching their family members and loved ones also do the recovery work needed for their own transformation because both of these at the same time if done by families and shared with each other produces a new language of recovery which transforms the whole experience within the family system.

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