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What is Codependency?

There are a number of explanations for Codependency, which might explain why there is confusion and misunderstanding about what it means.

Back in the 80’s the term was first realized when it became clear that the partners of addicts in a number of treatment centers all behaved the same, that the term Codependency was born.

Today we know that whilst the partners of addicts are codependent, that not everyone that is codependent has been impacted by another’s addiction. But if we are codependent we grew up with faulty parenting.

I describe Codependency to my clients as “abandonment of self”.

That is, we have lost touch with who we are and what we want. We are shame-based and have low self-esteem at our core. To feel better about ourselves, we look outside ourselves for approval and verification.

This is where after time the problems start showing up in our lives:

o Attracting toxic relationships or narcissistic personalities and being unable to leave these relationships.

o Seeking other people’s approval in the form of ‘taking care, catering, or rescuing of them’, then being resentful for not receiving the validation or approval we feel we deserve for doing this.

o Struggling with setting boundaries – especially in relationships.

o Enabling a friend, child or loved one to stay in their addiction and or protecting them from the consequences of their behavior.

o Enmeshing yourself with others too quickly, giving away too much of you before you really get to know that person.

o Being a worrier and worrying MORE about what others think about you MORE than you worry or think about yourself.

o Saying YES when really you want to say NO and you over commit to please others.

If any of the above resonates, this is Codependency. 

Please don’t think it is all doom and gloom, if you identify with the above. Codependent behaviors are learned and can be unlearned. Awareness first and then taking action to look at these issues. I speak from experience I have been there. Change is possible with commitment and work.

If you would like to find out more about Codependency or how I could help you, or if you are struggling with any of these issues, please feel free to book a discovery call with me.

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