CODEPENDENCY IS THE CONDITION OF THE LOST SELF.
More common than we think, codependency is being experienced at epidemic levels across the globe. It does not discern between age, culture, creed, gender, or economic status and in the words of Roslyn Saunders, Inner Help’s Codependency Recovery consultant, codependency is the ‘mother of all addictions’.
Codependency is present in normalised unhealthy behaviours and underpins all other addictions. This includes addiction to substances like drugs and alcohol, as well as lifestyle addictions such as food, sex, work, drama, sickness, social media, shopping, gambling, exercise and relationships. These dependencies are all symptoms of unresolved codependency. Codependency becomes our identity and our focus, and like a person living in addiction to alcohol or drugs, it consumes our whole life.
We unconsciously use our codependency in cunning and manipulative ways to control and get attention or a negative form of love. We do this as a way to fulfil unmet emotional needs that developed during the formative years from birth to seven.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE EXPERIENCING CODEPENDENCY?
At Inner Help, we work with our clients to understand codependency by undertaking a practical program of change that addresses behaviours like:
- Saying yes to things you don’t want to, and doing them anyway.
- Changing to please other people and losing yourself, especially in close relationships and friendships.
- Giving and doing for others to the point there’s nothing left for you.
- Fearing not being liked or approved of and being subservient to others.
- Experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
- Waking with a feeling of foreboding, as if you can’t cope with the day ahead.
- Fearing that you’ll lose people in your life, as though you couldn’t live without them.
Acknowledging any one or all of these traits in your own behaviour is an important first step towards implementing support for codependency recovery, and moving towards a life free from addiction.
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