Codependency

 

If you are either currently in a relationship with a person who abuses substances, or grew up in a home where one or both parents abused substances, you may struggle with a set of unhealthy thought and behavior patterns known as codependency.  You may find yourself “guessing at what is normal.”  This may include being confused about what a healthy relationship looks and feels like.  It may also involve a tendancy to make unhealthy choices in life.  You might tend to put other’s needs before your own and struggle with setting and maintaining healthy boundaries—even with yourself.  Many people with codependency live chaotic or overly controlled lives, and sometimes swing between these two extremes.  If you are codependent, you probably have thought and behavior patterns that promote anxiety and depression. 

Perhaps you've never been in a relationship with a substance abuser but still experience the above patterns in your life.  You may have developed these behaviors as a result of being emotionally and/or physically abused or neglected as a child.  People who grow up in a family where their primary adult caregivers aren't able to meet their needs for safety, love, guidance and mirroring, are often recruited at a very young age to take care of their caregiver's needs and become "parentified."  This is a situation ripe with lessons on how to be self-sacrificing, how to deny your own needs and feelings, and how to keep your focus on taking care of everyone else--a perfect set-up for codependency and unhappiness in adult life.   

 

If you identify with any of the above experiences, I can help you begin to recognize, value and honor your own feelings and needs.  We can work together to identify thought and behavior patterns that undermine your wellbeing and replace them with more life-affirming patterns that contribute to a sense of peace and happiness.  And, I can empower you to learn to distinguish what a healthy relationship looks and feels like.