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Co-dependence

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by orangesunset, May 15, 2015.

  1. orangesunset

    orangesunset Active Contributor

    Usually all addicts have family members, loved ones or relatives that indirectly support the addicts addiction. They are the ones who make excuses for the addict and in some cases even give the addict money to buy drugs or allow the addict to steal from them. Co-dependence is a form of addict, and needs to be treated. Also it prevents the addict from getting the help they require.

    Alanon is for co-dependents whose loved ones are addicts. In some ways codependence is a form of addiction.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  2. You are so right. Co dependence is definitely an addiction. You become totally addicted to someone needing you. You fight for the addict and deny your own needs for theirs and the only reward is an occasional, usually short lived victory when they "promise" to stop. Co dependence is as destructive as other addictions. You lose yourself to the chosen drug of the person you are always " helping". It is a horrible place to be in.
  3. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    I am so guilty of being a "codie". When my husband was at the height of his addiction before getting sober (he has since relapsed on alcohol), I would do everything I could to make sure he was okay. I would hand over whatever money I had, make excuses for him, tell people he had quit drinking, and do everything to protect him. Or so I thought, then I found a great forum that really opened my eyes and showed me that I wasn't do anything but making it worse and that I HAD to focus on myself and stop with the codependency.

    I couldn't attend Alanon in person, because of transportation issues, but I sought out online meetings and attended a couple of them, and just by attending those, I learned so very much. Thank you for sharing this. This could very well help someone realize how much they are enabling the addicted loved one.
  4. Rubyrose

    Rubyrose Member

    I guess in a way I was a co-dependent. Before I even knew what co-dependency was, when I was younger, I ended up helping my mom a few times with her addiction. When I got older, I said I would not do that anymore. And now that I think about it, was helping her because I let her have some of the money I would get from financial aid when I was going to college. I was also keeping her addiction a secret from the rest of the family, no one really knew what was going on with my mom until I decided I had enough and moved from her house. Now that I have moved out, I have been able to experience things that I had not been able to experience.

    I can understand why co-dependency would be considered a form of addiction, because you become addicted to helping the person who has an addiction to whatever it is they have an addiction too. Looking at this post made me realize that I had enabled my mom while I was living with her, but I had enough and left. I still worry about her and I of course still love her, but its good to be away from all of that.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  5. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    Co-dependency tends to make you feel as if you are helping them. I watched a program on tv called Intervention where this elderly man's adult daughter was an alcoholic with cirrhosis, and many other health problems related to her addiction. Anyway, the poor man would go out and buy her a case of beer every morning and bring it back in and say "here is your medicine, I don't want you to get sick.". Of course he was thinking that she needed it to stay alive. I understood it so well but it hurt to see him blinded by her addiction.

    I'm so glad that you moved out and you have a life of your own now. You have to break away and not enable in order for the addict to see their ways. It's not easy to do when you love them so much but it is necessary. I hope your mother finds sobriety.
  6. ohno

    ohno Member

    I'm really glad someone else(and others) agree with this! My father and I were seen as mean for kicking my brother out and forcing him to clean up and get a job if he wanted to see his kids.
    He's doing a lot better and thanks us for standing up to him. Most people would continue to bail him out. They would get him out of jail, let him sleep on their couch and generally enable him.
    Once we started standing up though other people followed suit. Now he's doing much better and I don't want to think about how it could have gone differently.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  7. Femiluv

    Femiluv Active Contributor

    I haven't necessarily experienced codependency with an addict but I've experienced co-dependency in other ways in my relationship. Something that helps me a lot is reading about codependency and recognizing when I'm feeling codependent. If I'm able to rationalize my feelings and actions as codependent, I usually go back to the drawing board and figure out what needs to change. It's usually something internal that needs changing.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  8. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    I can say that even when my husband wasn't using I was still very codependent and he is too. We still do this but not as bad and I do not do it at all when it comes to his drinking. It's more of me doing things for him that he can do himself. Such as ironing, washing his clothes, and making his plate. I do this out of love and do not see it as a problem though. He does things for me as well.