What is CoDependence?

Beginning our journey… Perhaps some of these thoughts are yours…

    “ If he/she changed, everything would be alright.”

    “I can’t control this pain, these people and what’s happening.”

    “It’s all my fault.”

    “I keep getting into the same bad relationships.”

    “ I feel so empty and lost.”

    “Who am I. “

    “What’s wrong with me?”

Our sadness and loss bring us here. We want change, and we want it now. We want to escape our misery. We want to feel good about ourselves and live abundant, fulfilling lives. We want happy, healthy relationships.

If any of the preceding thoughts are yours, then you’re not alone. Many of us in the Fellowship of Co-Dependents Anonymous have felt deep sadness, anxiety, despair, and depression and have turned here – to each other and a Higher Power – for our sanity to be restored.

What brings us here may be a crisis such as divorce, separation, imprisonment, health problems or attempt at suicide. Some of us are feeling weary, desperate or devastated.

If you’re new to recovery, this moment may not seem like something to remember, but someday you might consider it a celebration. Many of us find our pain to be a gift, for without these feelings of emptiness and despair, we can’t experience a real desire to change our lives. Without this desire, many of us know we won’t make the decision to change. We want balance, happiness and peace, but to change, we must acknowledge these feelings and decide to climb out of this pit of pain.

Once we make this decision, many of us ask, “How do  go about this change? Where can I get help? At first, many of us think we can solve our problems by just trying harder or by studying techniques to change people. Often our pride or upbringing cause us to think that we can do this ourselves. These two approaches, however, block our road to a better way of life.

What is codependence?

Somewhere along this road we learn about codependence. We hear about it from a friend or therapist. We see it in the news. Many of us wonder if codependence describes who we are.

Codependence is a disease that deteriorates our soul. It affects our personal lives, our families, children, friends, and relatives; our businesses and careers; our health, and our spiritual growth. It is debilitating, and if left untreated, causes us to become more destructive to ourselves and others. Many of us come to a point when we must look beyond ourselves for help.

When we attend our first meeting of Co-Dependents Anonymous, many of us find a source for help. Each of us arrives here from different directions. Some of us are urged by family members or friends. Some of us come to CoDa when our physicians, psychiatrists, or therapists see the need. Many of us reach CoDa’s doorstep after treatment for codependence or other addictions.

Whether it’s crisis or curiosity that brings us to CoDa, many of us learn about the characteristics of codependence at our first meeting. These characteristics help us to determine what unhealthy patterns weave in and out of our lives. Do we live in extremes instead of balance? How do we, our mates, children and friends suffer because of our behaviours? Do our codependent behaviours cause our relationships to stagnate, deteriorate or destruct? If the answers to these soul-searching questions cause us to admit, “I am codependent and I need help,” then we’re beginning to locate recovery’s path.

It all begins with an honest look at ourselves.