The definition of Codependency is a pattern of painful dependence upon compulsive behavior and approval of others to find, safety, self-worth, and identity. Co-dependence is insidious and powerful it robs people of their joy and peace of mind and the ability to sustain loving relationships.
It affects your relationship with your self and with others. It may affect one of your relationships or all of your relationships. Codependents live with a high degree of shame, stress and re-activity. They have behaviors that stem from fear, guilt and the need to control others; they also may suppress their feeling or overreact. This limits the flexibility and the flow of communication in relationships.
Codependents often feel trapped and unhappy because they give too much of themselves by denying or suppressing their needs and feelings in fear that they will be alone or rejected. To cope they sometimes disregard what is happening in the present and as a result, problems with intimacy and communication arise do to confusion about personal boundaries. They develop a persona in the world that reacts to others, to their own self criticism and to their own ideal of who they should be. Codependents feel uncomfortable being themselves.
1) Do you deny or minimize painful aspects of your relationships?
2) To you hide from others painful aspects of your relationships?
3) Does your anxiety, guilt, or self-blame increase in any of your relationships?
4) Do you have self esteem issues?
5) Do you obsessively watch the person you are in a relationship with?
6) Do you try to control through manipulation or by blaming?
7) Do you feel anger and disappointment because of the broken promises you have made to yourself or to others?
8) Do you resent the person you are in a relationship with because you can’t control them?
9) Are you experiencing an increase in conflict or mood swings?
10) Do you enable or manage your partner’s responsibilities?
11) Do you keep secrets?
12) Do you use food, alcohol, shopping, or work to cope?
Recovery from codependency is possible. The overall goal of recovery is to become a fully functioning individual. That means learning how to value, trust and congruently express your self, your feelings, and your needs. You can begin to improve your self- worth, your life and your self-esteem by acknowledging that you may have some of these behaviors and asking for help. You are meant to have a life filled with joy and peace. The road to recovery begins when you take that first step.