Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Codependency can feel normal to those that were raised in a dysfunctional home or are in a relationship with someone who is struggling with addiction. The first step to healing is recognizing your codependent behaviors.
Isn't everyone codependent in some way? No, codependency in relationships is unhealthy, it may just feel normal if that is all you have known. Codependent relationships can occur in marriages, friendships, romantic relationships and families. Most people who struggle with codependency come from a family that kept secrets, was chaotic, unpredictable, that you had to walk on eggshells in order to avoid abuse, violence or had parents struggling with addiction or mental illness. Being raised in this type of environment you may have had to become an adult too soon, having to be a caretaker, having to put your parents needs before yours in order to survive or to feel loved. As an adult these survival skills are played out in your relationships. The most common statements I hear from someone struggling with codependency is, "I feel like if I do enough for them they will finally love me. If I put my needs last again they will see how much I love them."
Signs of Codependency
*You may feel responsible for the feelings of others.
*You may give, even when it hurts you to do so.
*You may have trouble asking for what you need or want.
*You may be hyper focused on your partners issues and problems.
*You may let your partners mood affect your feelings and your mood.
*You may be more attracted to people with problems.
*You may have great difficulty saying No to others.
*You may put your needs last in relationships.
*You may confuse pain with love and accept people who say they love you often hurt you, lie to you, betray you.
Once you recognize your codependent behaviors you can begin to work on recovering from codependency. As a child you weren't able to control your circumstances, now you are an adult and it is time to put yourself first free of guilt.
Tips for healing from Codependency.
*Detach from unhealthy relationships.
*Set firm boundaries.
*Put your needs first.
*Ask for what you want or need.
*Discover what makes you happy and do it.
*Practice self affirmations ex. ("It is ok to say no."-"I am not responsible for others problems.")
*Seek counseling, it is ok to ask for help.