The Power of Acceptance: Embracing Change for a Brighter Future
Here is a quick question to ask yourself. If you were drowning, would someone else's life flash before your eyes?This may seem funny, but in reality the co-dependent, as the 'co' part of the term implies, is at least equally entangled in the family dysfunction as the addict. However, the co-dependent person's behavior is usually seen by themselves and others as love and concern, which usually masks the unintended toxic effects.
The co-dependent person considers the alcoholic/addict, or other people, places and things, as being the problem. They usually see themselves as stoic, unappreciated victims. Others view them with sympathy. Why do we rarely see co-dependent people, or care-takers coming to treatment?
Because by the very nature of the condition, they don't see themselves as having a problem, and are masterful at controlling their environment which usually keeps them from the obvious bottoms of substance abusers. The codependent has grown up in or otherwise become conditioned to chaotic environments, and has learned how to control what they can in an effort to feel safe.
However, the consequences of this acquired life long behaviour pattern can, and ultimately does, result in relationship difficulties, family dysfunction, unhappiness and despair, anxiety or depression, and chronic physical conditions such as heart disease, cancer and fibromyalgia. The more public and dramatic bottoms of "jails, institutions and death', often seen in the addict, are usually absent.
Co-dependents, unlike most substance abusers, are generally not facing imminent death without immediate help. For these reasons, they and those they love, may suffer in silence for a long time.If you love someone suffering from the disease of addiction, and you are concerned about how to get them to stop, take an honest look at your life, your level of stress or unhappiness, and your part in the relationship.
You deserve the gift of recovery regardless of whether your loved one is using or not. You can't fix him or her, but you can look after yourself!
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