Codependency Recovery: Has Their Addiction Become Your Addiction?
My loved one has only been sober for 1 month. Why aren’t they answering their phone? Did he/she relapse again? Oh no…not again. You call. They don’t answer. You drive by their favorite restaurant; their favorite bar. They aren’t there. You call their friends. No answer.
There it is….that feeling in the pit of your stomach. The anxiety, the worry, the fear that something has happened to your loved one. You “know” something horrible has happened. You weren’t with him/her. Why weren’t you there? You should have been there. If you were there, “this” wouldn’t have happened. Where is he/she? Where on earth could he/she be?
Does this story or a version of this story sound familiar? The anxiety, the worry, the fear that something has happened to your loved one. You don’t even know what “this” is. You don’t even know if your loved one has relapsed, but yet you have that knotted feeling in your stomach. You just know that something bad has happened. This feeling has become a way of life for you. You have traveled this road before. The anxiety is paralyzing. You have become obsessed and you can’t get your mind off your loved one. You have deemed it your responsibility to fix them and to help them. Their addiction has now become your addiction. You are addicted to helping them solve their addiction. You have become codependent.
What is a Codependent?
A codependent is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior. (Beattie, 1992). A codependent relationship is one of inequality, where one person consistently gives more to the relationship than the other.
To you, the codependent, obsessing and controlling has become a way of life. You hold on tight to the control. You hold on tight to the fear. You can’t let go. If you let go, you fear that horrible things will happen to our loved one. You tell yourself that if you truly love your loved one, it is your responsibility to help him/her; to fix him/her. You believe that without your intervention, support, caring, and love, terrible things will happen to them. They may relapse. They might even die. If they relapse, it will be your fault. If they die, it will be your fault. If you help them this last time, maybe they will get it. How often have you told yourself these words?
It is human nature to want to help someone. No one wants to see their loved one suffer. Where the relationship became unhealthy and codependent is when the obsession, control, worry, and fear have taken you over and those behaviors adversely impact your life. Codependency keeps you from spending time doing things that you enjoy because you are too worried, too obsessed, and too fearful of what is happening with your loved one. Somewhere during their battle with addiction, you started holding yourself responsible for their behavior. You started holding yourself responsible for their actions. You held hope that they would get better and be the partner, or loved one you know they could be. You see their potential and spend all your time and energy trying to coax it out of them.
You are not responsible for other people’s actions. Period. The choices they make are not your responsibility. To know this logically and to feel this within the core of your soul are often two separate things.
Is Codependency Recovery Truly Possible?
Yes codependency recovery is possible. Codependency recovery does not lie in the other person. Codependency recovery lies within ourselves.
Twelve-step programs have become a popular choice for those who are on the path of codependency recovery, however, there is an emergence of progressive codependency recovery treatment programs that utilize holistic and energy medicine therapies to effectively treat codependence. These codependency recovery programs utilize both energy medicine and traditional therapeutic techniques to help you heal core issues, heal family of origin issues; heal from unhealthy family relationships, and reconnect with your soul.
Codependency is often handed down from generation to generation. Maybe your mother, father, or someone you were close to as a child was an addict or involved in an abusive relationship. Maybe learned this from another role model.. Either way, you were attracted to someone who was or became an addict. Why? You have an unhealthy imprint in your energetic field. “Imprints are formed when the negative emotions that accompany trauma are not healed”. (Alberto Villoldo, 2000). The energy field is known by a variety of terms including life force, qi (chi), prana, and spirit. Energy medicine practitioners are trained to work within your energy field to correct imbalances that have manifested themselves emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually.
As part of codependency recovery programs that utilize energy medicine techniques, you will learn how to cleanse your energy field from unhealthy energetic imprints. You will learn how to heal your core issues; learn from the events of your past; let go of the past, and break the cycle of unhealthy relationships. You will learn how to align your mind, body, soul, and spirit and let the past go on an emotion, physical, spiritual, and energetic level. You will re-inform your body with new, healthy patterns that will bring your entire being into balance. Through codependency recovery programs that utilize energy medicine techniques, you will have an opportunity to connect with your highest destiny and rediscover your life’s purpose. You will find the courage and the strength to reach deep within your soul and recover your soul’s longing to become whole.
Trying to recover from being a codependent on will power and therapy is not always enough. Correcting the imbalance at the level of the energetic, removing the imprint that has bound you to these unhealthy patterns of behavior, combined with traditional therapeutic practices are your best chance for sustainable codependency recovery. You can recover from the codependency patterns that rule your life. Through specialized codependent recovery, you will learn techniques to bring your mind, body, spirit, and soul into balance. You will learn to let go, to love, to care, and be involved without losing sight of yourself.
Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D. (2000). Shaman, Healer, Sage. New York, NY: Harmony Books.
Beattie, M. (1992). Codependent No More. Center City, MN: Hazelden Foundation.