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Struggles of Co-Dependent

The Struggles of Co-Dependent While The Dependent is in Recovery

A Co-dependent is the family – spouse, parent, child i.e. loved one of a person who is using, whose life becomes about revolving around the dependent’s using.

Most times the Co -dependent family thinks that the person who is using is the one who has a problem and has to change. They have done nothing. They are fine. The co-dependent however, has to look at the traits within themselves of

  • Of over- loving.
  • Of enabling the user by bailing him out of legal situations, paying off debtors, doing everything for the person without being asked /otherwise.
  • Of taking control over every other aspect of their lives which can be controlled – the business, house and children -responsibilities that should have been shared etc.

Life After Recovery

Once the dependent comes back home from residential treatment as a changed person, like the Buddha who came home after 12 years – Siddhartha was no longer there, however, his father and wife could only look at him as Siddhartha with old eyes, as they had not been through the process of transformation. Likewise, families who not themselves have undergone the aid of counseling, meditation, and writing, etc. will find it difficult to recognize change as they have not been through that change themselves. In such situations, there can be conflicts and emotional outbursts that are not healthy for the relationships and for both individuals.

They expect the dependent to jump into home and job/business responsibilities as though they have gone through a washing machine and have come out clean and should work now as normal. This may not happen.

Once the person is back, he can go through mood swings; he can still behave like the person of the past in procrastinating things, in feeling lethargy, not wanting to get back to work due to a lack of confidence.

The family many times feels he should be able to face such situations now that he has taken treatment, little realizing that this sobriety that he has attained needs to be protected and worked upon every single day till it becomes second nature to not find the need to use . This can be possible by only keeping one’s focus oneself.

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The Role of Family in Recovery

The family who has not taken treatment themselves to go beyond their co -dependency issues many times, continues to doubt and suspect the person’s every move, if he goes out, if he asks money etc.

They even can create situations to test the person by putting him in situations where using is happening or provoking his anger. These are all petty and unnecessary risky situations that are not required for either and frays the bonds that had already been frayed when the person was using.

A Few Dos And Don’ts For The Co-Dependent And Loved Ones –

  • Do take treatment for yourself and work on yourself. You need it more than or as much as the dependent. If you get worried that the person will use even after residential, non –medical, individualized treatment where he has emerged as a happy, joyful, individual living life to the fullest and you find yourself stewing in resentments, jealousies, hatred, mistrust, please remember these are your emotions inside you, you need to work on yourself to get beyond them. Take help – it is available.
  • Many divorces have happened in recovery as the Co-Dependent is unable to accept the change in the dependent and resents losing the control she had over every aspect of his life earlier. The dependent has worked through every painful incident of the past and taken full responsibility for his past actions and emotions. If you keep throwing the past at him, it is your past you have not resolved or reconciled with or taken the responsibility for putting yourself through it.
  • The individual has gone through treatment, not enlightenment. So some old patterns of behavior might recur, blame games might happen, one has to keep the focus on oneself in such situations and remember that it is their emotional swing, you are not responsible for it. Likewise, if you go through one it is you who are responsible for it.
  • You do not need to trust the individual with money immediately but given the opportunity to build trust one should take the plunge.

We have lived long enough in the hell of our own making in our heads. It is our choice how much longer we want to do so. Help is available in a non- judgmental, compassionate, loving environment where your dignity and self -love can be regained. You need to be receptive.

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