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Old 08-24-2001, 06:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Co-Dependency


For Your Information (FYI)
The Definition of C0-Dependency

Co-dependency is a term being used with increasing frequency in the field of chemical dependency treatment. Unfortunately, no clear definition of the term has emerged, which has led to confusion and loss of credibility. Frequently, the term has replaced the phrase "significant other" in Alcohol and other Drug Abuse counseling and treatment and means very little except that the person has been exposed to another's alcohol or drug abuse or dependence. It is generally agreed that a co-dependent is someone whose life has been significantly affected by another person's use of alcohol or mood-altering chemicals. It is the belief of my learned colleagues that if co-dependency is to have value as a concept, it must be limited to those individuals who develop a series of generally predictable and problematic responses from that exposure.

Co-dependency has been defined as a pattern of beliefs about life, learned behavior, and habitual feelings that make life painful. The external locus of control of the codependent person that makes the co-dependent rely on things outside of themselves for self-worth. Another definition is co-dependency is a dyfunctional pattern of living and problem solving which is nurtured by a set of rules within the family system. A more limited term, "co-alcoholic" has been defined as a ill pattern of health, maladaptive or problematic behavior that is associated with living, working with or otherwise being close to an alcoholic. Some would say co-alcoholics are adults who help maintain the social and economic equilrium if the alcoholic/addict. Children who grow up in a family with the alcohol syndrome and learn behavior from both the alcoholic and the co-alcoholic parent. It is suggested that co-dependency is one of a newly perceived class of problems that is simultaneously both interactive and intrapsychic in nature.
The effects of living in an alcoholic/addict or similar environment are so strong that an individual may be affected at any stage of life. Thus, children of alcoholics, adult children of alcoholics and adult spouses of alcoholics all can suffer serious damage to their sense of reality, ability to trust, self-image, etc. Furthermore, this damage does not necessarily diminish when the immediate source of tension is removed. Co-dependents may continue to suffer serious consequences for years after their initial exposure, leading generally joyless, loveless and mindless "existences"

A co-dependent is an individual who has been significantly affected in specific ways by current or past involvement in alcoholic, chemically dependent, or other long-term, stressful family environment. Specific effects include: fear (b) shame/guilt (c) prolonged despair, (d)anger, (e)denial, (f) impaired identity development, and (g) confusion.

The addiction process is an unhealthy and abnormal disease process whose assumptions, beliefs, and lack of spiritual awareness lead to a process of nonliving which is progressive......

CHARACTERISTICS OF CO-DEPENDENT

1. My good feelings about who I am stem from being liked by you and receiving approval from you.

2. Your struggles affect my serenity. My mental attention focuses on solving your problems or relieving your pain.

3. My attention is focused on pleasing you, protecting you, manipulating you to "do it my way".

4. My self-esteem is bolstered by solving your problems and relieving your pain.

5. My own hobbies and interests are put aside. My time is spent sharing your interests and hobbies.

6. Because I feel you are a reflection of me, your clothing and personal appearance are dictated by my desires.

7. Your behavior is dictated by my desires.

8. I am not aware of how I feel. I am aware of how you feel. I am not aware of what I want. I ask you what you want. If I am not aware of some thing, I assume.

9. The dreams I have for my future are linked to you.

10. My fear of your anger and rejection determine what I say or do. In our relationship, I use giving as a way of feeling safe.

If this is your M.O. Do you want to change?
Do you want to stop. Do you want to live?

Just for Today---------I am Sober
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Old 03-22-2002, 07:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh my god, this is me 110%. I was really going back quite a bit, and I found this topic and had to read it. This is me.
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Old 03-22-2002, 08:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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BonBon:

what a GREAT post to pull forward..... this is a perfect thing to keep pulling to the top in order to remind all of us what co-dependency is.....

THANKS!!!!

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Old 11-18-2002, 09:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 11-18-2002, 09:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've been away for a while, and this was the perfect post to come back too! I've been dealing with alot, and I thought since My A was in recovery that meant that I was too! I was soo wrong! Thanks, I needed this!
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Old 01-31-2003, 02:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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codependancy

I just recantly learned and admitted that i am a codependant, It is hard for me to be with out people in my life, and being a codependant is also hurting people in my life, it realy helps to know that there are people out there that have this same problem, I need to know how to over come it. please give me some advice.
I live with my fiance' and he is the one who brought it to my attention that i am a codependat, he wants me to move out, not break up, but move out so that he can get his life more stable, he says i am hurting him buy not moving out, and buy taking care of him. he is a full time college student and i feel a responsiblity to take care of him. when i should be taking care of my 4 year old daughter, instead of my parents. my parents hate him. and i can't stand that fact. please i need help and advice.
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Old 02-01-2003, 05:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Back to the top! Boy is this hard to admit!
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Old 02-01-2003, 03:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Bravo Pernell!!!! Great Thread and too good to get lost in the basement. ****{Thank you********.
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Old 02-02-2003, 08:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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CoDA

You are so right about codependency being a crucial issue. I've been a member of CoDA (codependents anonymous) for several years. The meetings are great, and I would encourage anyone to attend or even start a meeting in your area. The site is codependents.org and there is quite a bit of literature and news about events around the country.

To update about my A (my son). He is doing weekend community service in NYC. This is a view of the legal system that is not what I wanted to see. The community service consists of cleaning up a park! Where are the people who know ANYthing? I am discouraged at this point, and am anxious about what I can (& can't) do. I must add that I am doing so much better since I am aware that I HAVE A LIFE apart from what my son (or anyone else) is doing in theirs. I have the program to thank for that!

Hugs to you all.
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Old 10-08-2003, 12:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm new- thanks for this-even though I'd like not to have to thank you- it is real and it is me.
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Old 10-08-2003, 04:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This is a good post. Thankfully, I do not agree that ALL of the things relate to me, NOW. A few years ago, yes.
Sometimes, people will say to me "put the boots to him and make him behave", or try to make me take responsibility for something he does. Now I understand that my "putting the boots to him" will have no effect whatsoever, except to make me feel bad that he "doesn't love me enough to make me happy" , and I can also tell people that if they have a problem with what he does, tell him, not me. I have no control over what he does.
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Old 10-09-2003, 07:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Welcome bkr & sdp!!
"doesn't love me enough to make me happy" (sounds like a country song lyric! LOL)

That is absurd, as I learned long ago in recovery. How can we expect someone else to MAKE us happy...happiness is an inside job...as someone once said. Thanks for posting, and "keep coming back" as they say. I'd recommend a CoDA meeting, if there is one in your area! It has been a life changer for me!!!

love to all,
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Old 10-09-2003, 08:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I still dont know about this codependancy thing. Yes, I can see myself in many of the descriptions but let me ask..if you are married to a user or the parent of a user etc. How can you NOT feel some of these effects?!?!?

"A co-dependent is an individual who has been significantly affected in specific ways by current or past involvement in alcoholic, chemically dependent, or other long-term, stressful family environment. Specific effects include: fear (b) shame/guilt (c) prolonged despair, (d)anger, (e)denial, (f) impaired identity development, and (g) confusion."

If you love someone enough to marry them, again how could you not feel anger or confusion or despair that they are throwing away their lives, their health, your relationship because of drugs?!?

Look at #9 "My dreams I have for my future are linked to you"
DUH!!!
Isnt that why people get married? Because they share dreams! They invision growing old together, taking trips together, raising children together etc?!?

I know that I have gone a bit crazy because of my husbands problems, I take full credit for that. But when the life you wanted (and had for sometime) starts to fall apart...who wouldnt go crazy???

na
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Old 10-09-2003, 08:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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na-
I completely understand your position on the codepandency issue.
Someone said- on another thread possibly- that it may impossible for us to completely detatch ourselves from our addicts- and that it may just have to be and ideal we strive for-(I will find it so this person gets credit!). But they are absolutely right. You are in a marriage that has come full circle into a devastating addition.
The dreams and hopes you two had not only have been thrown away by your husband but may no longer be remebered or important.
The idea behind codependency and detatchment to me is trying to live and be happy and satisfied without using your addicts success and happiness to acheive it. It can be hard because that person and their addiction and their recovery become all you want and live for. You become addicted to them and they become your source of emotion. It's vicious and desparate.
The point is to teach you to be a separate person with attention to your own needs and wants and persuit of your own happiness apart from the addict. Realizing you are not their cause or remedy.
As for #9- this applies to the addict as they are now- in your present life. Not the man or woman you married. Those characteristics apply to the relationship you have been forced into with someone you love because of their addiction.
In a normal relationship- of course these things are important- but they do not dictate your every feeling and decision as w/ an addict. You can be happy in a normal relationship doing regular things and functioning on a normal level. These characteristics express the way you adjust your 'normal' life to revolve around the addict- because you think you can 'fix' or 'control' or 'contribute' to their addiction.
What you are experiencing is not your regular marriage as it was. Whether you can relate to all or a few of those things associated with codependency or not- you can't apply them as if your relationship is a normal one. You live with/are married to/ love an addict and the rules change when you inter that world.
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Old 10-09-2003, 08:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thank you, I really needed to read this. It has been a year and this thread helped me see my progress as well as what still needs work!
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Old 10-09-2003, 09:33 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Brittany,
you made it much clearer for me. thank you

i guess i understand the co-dependancy thing, but still have a hard time digesting some of it. i tend to think co-ds are nice people, generous people, caring people that have been taken advantage of and hurt

i guess it is all a matter a bounderies...setting them for ourselves so that we dont fall into the same situation again. but i will not stop being generous and caring...personally i think thats what life is all about. maybe that makes me a textbook co-d but i dont care *lol*

its my spiritual belief that we are here to contribute, do for others, spread joy, give help etc etc
if that makes me a victom of the co dependancy disease then so be it
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Old 10-09-2003, 09:57 AM   #17 (permalink)
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na,
I really sympathize with your situation. I have been there. My husband addict died 12 yrs. ago, and I still struggle. You are so right about the boundaries part of codependency. No one says that doing for others or spreading joy is something to be avoided, it's just that when that becomes harmful in any way, and takes away YOUR capacity for joy and full functioning----that's when help is needed. I sense a bit of defensiveness, but I know...I reacted that way too. To me, if the joy of others is something I attach so much of ME to, then if their joy somehow doesn't turn out...then mine is affected to my own harm.
I know it's hard to understand...and sometimes I don't even know what I feel. The long and short of it is that we CAN ONLY control our own behavior...and not others'...it's as simple as that.

Be well,
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Old 10-09-2003, 10:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
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na-
Just because I understand it doesn't mean I live it like I should.
I'm in your club of 'let's give everyone their chance and love and forgive and support'.
I have sworn to everyone including my bf that I can never ever give up or turn my back on him. And I know that's not what detacthing yourself is about- but I feel like if I remove myself from his life and his problems then that's what I am doing. I always forgive and promise never to forget. I believe I'm only angry and hateful at him when he's gotten high and lied to me. I really love him and he's a wonderful person under the addiction.
I'm afraid I will always be here because I'm afraid he won't quit and neither will I.
It's a harsh fantasy to think one day that person we love will be better and clean after years of struggle and we can stand back and say how we fought right there with them and never gave up!
Wouldn't it just be a perfect world.....
It's not. It's harder than that and I know it.
You and I face the same moral struggle everyday. 'Do I stand by no matter what- showing complete love and support and encourage this person while they break my heart?'-
But-yes-we do.
And we will always do what we believe is best until otherwise notified by our loved ones, that (a) They need more- we must do more to help- they want to change, but can't- just stick around a little longer...
or, (b) They destroy us along with themselves, or die trying.
I hate this and I hate living like this and I hate to feel 2nd best to a handfull of pills. But I love my boyfriend so much that I will continue to do what I have to, because I believe in him and that he loves me too. I'm just glad to have this place to come to for a reality check now and then! Hang in there- I'm hanging too!
Brittany
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Old 10-09-2003, 11:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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msmom, i'm sorry to hear about your husband. I can only imagine what you have gone thru
You sound wise, and you are right...we can only control ourselves. Its just so damn frustrating we you see the one you love destroying their loves and they dont realize it or say they dont care. Argghh!!!

Brittany, I sympathize with you. I understand what you are saying about being there for your boyfriend. Thats how I feel about my husband. It was in our vows 'sickness and in health' I took that seriously

Unfortunately, he left me 2 weeks ago. Claiming he will be back, but he know says he doesnt want to come back to me. We have never spent this long apart in our 5 years together. It is so hurtful that I tried all I could to stand by him, help him, support him and HE is the one that bails on ME! Saying he could no longer stand the fights over his use and lies

I hope he forgives me and puts it in perspective. Maybe he will realize that no loving wife could have stood back, watched and said nothing. Maybe he will see that it was a vicious cycle that need not happen again

I sit here and hope
na
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Old 07-14-2004, 02:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Guess I really am co-dependent!!
 
 


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