Here are some thoughts on Codependency & Recovery
(They represent the author’s thoughts and experiences and are not endorsed by CoDependents Anonymous.)
• Codependency is about focusing on, taking care of, and fixing others. Recovery is about focusing on and taking care of me, and being supportive of others.
I believe that codependency is a set of survival mechanisms and behaviors learned in childhood to protect against abuse from our primary care givers and others. As adults these behaviors and beliefs are self—defeating and do not work for us.
In recovery, we go back, identify that this abuse happened to us, and feel and validate the feelings that we buried for our survival and sanity as children. We also identify and begin to change our offensive, self-defeating and sabotaging behaviors.
• Codependency is about giving with resentment or with expectations of receiving something in return. Recovery is about giving because I want to.
I believe that our adult child issues, and codependency are behind the addictions (including alcoholism). When I’m in my addictive behavior, they all feel pretty much the same, although I will acknowledge that the chemical addictions tend to have more dramatic results, especially in chaos and suffering. As codependents, we use the addictions to numb our feelings, especially pain and anger.
• Codependency is about numbing my feelings. Recovery is about learning to celebrate and feel my feelings, even the painful ones.
• Codependency is about chaos, excitement, obsession, intensity, extremes and feeling overwhelmed. Recovery is about moderation, balance, detachment, peace, and serenity.
When I’m practicing the Serenity Prayer, I’m in my recovery and vice versa.
Here are some jokes from Codependent Recovery Circles:
Balance is something a codependent briefly notices while going from extreme to extreme.
Definition of Insanity: Practicing the same behaviors and expecting different results.
• Codependency is about desperately trying to control people and situations. Recovery is about acceptance and letting go of the outcome.
We both deal more with identifying the problem (including family of origin issues) and dealing with it in the present (changing my reactions & behaviors. Both have had an extreme impact on my recovery.
• Codependency is about reacting to every thing that happens to me.” Recovery is about making choices based on self care and taking action.
We generally think of codependents as being weak, dependent, and victims. This is most likely about 1/2 of the codependent population. The other portion who are also codependent often show signs of anti—dependence, arrogance, grandiosity, being needless and wantless, and lack of containment boundaries. These people often have the greatest difficulty entering recovery as they frequently won’t acknowledge that there is a problem.
• Codependency is about perfectionism and false pride. Recovery is about becoming teachable, learning humility, and accepting and owning my imperfection.
• Codependency is about denial and isolation. Recovery is about owning my truth, going to meetings, sharing, reaching out, working the steps, and working a program.
Some recovery wisdom: Adults can be left, but only children can be abandoned.
• Codependency is about having a skewed, self-defeating thought process, belief system, and perception of reality and the world; generally formed by the dysfunctional ways we were raised. Recovery is about choosing to view things in a more accurate, positive and effective way.
• Codependency is about having little or no understanding of where I stop and you start. Some of the behaviors that manifest here include:
1. Doing something for you that I want you to do for me and expecting you to magically know this.
2. Assuming that your reality, needs, desires, and wants are the same as mine.
3. Not being able to respectfully hear “no” from another person.
4. Inability to take responsibility for my own feelings, thoughts, attitudes, etc., and at the same time believing that I caused your reality.
Often the consequences of this are pain, resentment, and damaged relationships. Recovery is about knowing that my feelings, thoughts, etc., are about me and not about you, and vice versa.
• Codependency can be life threatening and debilitating just like the addictions it sometimes causes. The first step of recovery is: We admitted we were powerless over others and that our lives had become unmanageable.
• Codependency is a generational disease. We break the chain of codependency by doing our own work and not passing it on to our children.
• Codependency is about trying to fix others. Recovery is about taking care of me and being supportive of others and their path.
Some Recovery Resources Include:
• Codependents Anonymous Meetings
• Other 12 Step Meetings
• Therapists Trained in Codependency Issues
• Seminars and Workshops
• Recovery Books and Tapes
Here are some thoughts on Codependency & Recovery