Have you lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else’s? If so, you may be codependent. If your loved one is an addict and you have a tendency to enable them, then I highly recommend the book written by Melody Beattie called: Codependent No More, How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring For Yourself. Beattie maintained in her bestseller that a codependent is a person who believes their happiness and self-worth is derived from helping other people or one person in particular, eventually becoming obsessed with controlling the behavior of the people/person that they believe is making them happy or needs there help: hence codependents often end up in relationships with drug (including alcohol) addicted spouses or lovers. She details specific examples from her personal experiences and those of others and offers practical solutions to those whose lives are affected by a loved one’s negative, often destructive behaviors. She teaches about detachment which is based on the premises that each person is responsible for himself, that we can’t solve problems that aren’t ours to solve and that worrying doesn’t help. We adopt a policy of keeping our hands off other people’s responsibilities and tend to our own instead. If people have created some disasters for themselves, we allow them to face their own proverbial music.
Posted by: Angela Whiting, North Hampton, NH.