Do You Know The Truth About Codependency?

Codependency is defined in many different ways. One of the leading definitions was coined by Melody Beattie who is a leader in codependency work. She defines codependency as letting someone else’s behavior impact you in an extreme way. Codependency takes on many different forms from care taking to manipulating to neediness to destructive behaviors. People criticize and characterize codependency in negative ways to try to make sense out of it. When codependency arises in someone, it is hard to understand. For example, when an alcoholic husband finally goes to treatment and gets sober, his angry wife seems to worsen in her moods, attitudes, and behaviors. The husband heals yet the wife remains something resembling mental illness. Doctors tried to understand the phenomena of codependency for years until they figured out something basic. A person who becomes codependent essentially loses themselves and their life to someone with a problem.

Codependency Takes People-Pleasing To The Extreme

Caretaking, people-pleasing, and serving others isn’t just a behavior of codependents but a compulsive behavior. Similar to the way an alcoholic reaches for a drink or a drug addict reaches for a drug, codependents reach for other people- to take care of them, control them, please them, and serve them, to the point of losing themselves. It isn’t about being overly nice and extra helpful, but feeling a deep and insatiable need to give to other people in order to feel wanted, appreciated, and not abandoned.

Codependency Has Many Gray Areas

Being codependent is not a matter of being codependent. The behaviors which accompany codependency can range from clinginess to avoidance. Everyone has some kind of boundary lacking which causes them to act codependent in some kind of way. The length to which someone get lost in their codependent behavior is what differs.

Codependency Is A Sign Of Weakness

Low self-esteem? Yes. Low self-worth? Yes. Needing to feel wanted, needed, useful, in order to feel validated? Yes. All of these things are part of codependency. However, they are not a sign of weakness. Instead, they are sign that someone has had to work extra hard in their lives to feel wanted. Often, people who develop codependency have carried a tremendous emotional burden on their backs for many years.

Codependency is not a shortcoming, a character defect, or a weakness. It is a coping mechanism and a means for survival. Many addicts and alcoholics develop codependency as the result of growing up in a dysfunctional home. We know the pain of codependency and addiction is real. If you are ready to heal and transform your life, call Enlightened Solutions today for information on our treatment programs. 833-801-5483.


High Functioning Depression Is More Than Meets The Eye

Everything May Look Great, But…

Just like high functioning addiction or alcoholism, high functioning depression looks one way but feels completely different to the person suffering. Depression, though it can be managed and coped with, has persistent symptoms that can be unruly. Showing up to a job, to a marriage, to a family and to a life is possible with depression. Facing the challenges of having depression while doing so is incredibly challenging. Depression, along with many other mental illnesses, is quickly dismissed when everything on the outside appears to be fine. Outside the sun may be shining. Inside is a dark storm, forever brewing.

Sometimes, showing up and doing well is part of the way one copes with depression. It might be surprising to learn someone has depression when they do their job so well or function so seemingly normally in life. Just because you can’t see the way someone’s depression affects them doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Telling an alcoholic you don’t think they’re an alcoholic because you don’t see them as one is making a statement according to social guidelines. Projecting social expectations onto someone suffering from mental illness only heightens their sense that they are different. More troublingly, it tells them that their authentic and individual experience in life is unimportant.

Supporting a loved one with high functioning depression should include many activities or gestures to help them remember just how important they are. Their life and place in this world has a great impact on everyone involved. Losing them would be a significant loss to the world around them. Remove the stigma and blanket generalizations of depression by creating an individualized world for your loved one. What activities do they enjoy the most? What small actions can you commit to each day to help remind them that they are loved? Of course, none of this is meant out of codependency, but instead compassion.

Compassion is the ability to recognize someone’s suffering. Sometimes, suffering is hard to notice when it is so adequately masked by high functioning behavior. As the family and friends of a loved one suffering from mental health disorders we learn to question what we see. A spiritual practice to engage in this contemplation can include a conversation with yourself, with friends, etc, to ask, “At what cost does this person’s life come?”. What we see on the outside is only sometimes an indication of what’s inside. We can never know what someone is going through until we stop to ask.

Enlightened Solutions wants to know if you are suffering from mental health issues like anxiety. A certified and licensed dual diagnosis center, Enlightened offers the best in integrative treatment. For more information call 833-801-5483


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Losing Yourself in Someone Else: Codependency

Codependency can be a development that takes place through hidden increments. At the foundation of codependent tendencies is a set of basic human fears:

I am not worthy

I am not whole

I am not loveable

Should our significant other discover these unconscionable truths, they may leave us. Forgetful that these fears are the fallacy of the human conditions, we adopt them as personalized convictions. Our relationships transform from mutual to one-sided, shifting from healthy to unbalanced.

Codependency is Losing Yourself in Someone Else

Healthy relationships have an open communication channel for limiting what each individual is capable and not capable of doing. Saying “no” is setting a loving boundary with just two letters. Relationships are unbalanced when saying “no” becomes a point of anxiety because saying “yes” has become obligation for one or both partners. Love and service are beautiful parts of any partnership. They are not the same as indentured enslavement. Codependency is when we lose our ability to say “no” out of fear. We might notice that when our partner needs help, we run to their aid. When we are unable to attend to them, we suffer from guilt and anxiety. Unless we are validated by our partner’s need for us in their lives, we feel lost. Our sense of being is defined by how we are needed.

Detached from our inherent strength to set boundaries is the beginning of a decline in our authentic voice. Codependency in a relationship creates fear that our opinions, thoughts, and feelings might scare the other person away. As a result, we cease expressing ourselves as we are. Instead, we speak as we think our partner would prefer us to be heard. We might mimic them entirely. We feel that our being is not as good as theirs, that we are less than them. Ultimately, we are in fear of abandonment and rejection. Allowing fear to dictate how we act as a whole being extinguishes our ability to come from love.

We not only lose sight of our personal power and our voice, we disconnect from our needs entirely. Prioritizing the identity and responsibility of our partner, we forget to focus on our own needs. Friends, family, 12-Step meetings, hobbies, and interests fall to the wayside as our world closes in around our partner.

Enlightened Solutions humbly offers a holistic design for the recovery process to heal the spirit, mind, and body. Our program is rooted in twelve step philosophy as a solution to the problem of drug and alcohol addiction. Call us today for more information on our programs of treatment for men and women seeking recovery 833-801-5483.