Codependency and addiction often go together. Codependency is when someone feels responsible for another’s actions, even if they are self-destructive. Today, millions of people struggle with codependent behavior, whether they realize it or not. 

For example, if you have a partner struggling with addiction, you may feel the need to cover up their problem or make excuses around friends and family to try and undermine your partner’s addiction. Unfortunately, this behavior only enables your partner’s addiction and hurts you in the process. Keep reading to learn more about codependency and the signs you need to look out for. 

At The Bridge to Recovery, we are a leading Kentucky mental health workshop that has helped thousands of individuals and their families lead a healthier, happier quality of life. No two recovery journeys are ever the same. That’s why our Bowling Green mental health workshop offers a wide range of programs to best support your recovery needs. Contact us today to get started on your journey to recovery.

What is Codependency?

So, you may be wondering “What is codependency”?

Codependency is like a “relationship addiction” in which one person feels responsible for another person’s destructive behaviors. While the codependent person may feel like they are helping the other self-destructive person, typically they are only enabling their behavior rather than helping them.

Going back to the example detailed above, if you have a partner struggling with addiction, making up excuses for their behavior to friends and family only enables their behavior. This is because rather than experiencing some sort of consequences for their behavior, you as the codependent person are masking their issues and making up excuses to cover it up. Ultimately, this only delays the process of your partner getting the help that they need to quit abusing drugs or alcohol. 

Signs of Codependency 

Sometimes it can be difficult to spot the signs of codependency. Many people confuse being a codependent for helping another person in the relationship. However, codependency not only continues to enable the other person’s self-destructive behavior, but it also hurts your own mental health and self-esteem.

Below are several signs of codependency to look out for: 

  • Feeling unlovable and the need to be responsible for the other person’s destructive behavior to maintain a sense that you are loved and worthy.
  • People-pleasing or caring too much about other people’s opinions of yourself so much that you have difficulty setting healthy boundaries.
  • An inability to set healthy boundaries to protect your physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being.
  • Needing to care for others, even if it is at the expense of your own health and happiness.

How to Break Free of Codependency 

If you are a person struggling with codependency, it’s critical to understand that protecting your mental health and well-being is not selfish. By continuing to stay in a codependent relationship, you are hurting your self-esteem and happiness. 

If you have a friend, family member, or partner struggling with self-destructive behavior, like drug addiction, rather than enabling their behavior, it’s important you set boundaries with them. It is also important to vocalize their need to seek professional help and be a supportive person as they progress along their road to recovery. 

Help Is Available 

Now you know the answer to the question “What is codependency” and why being codependent can negatively impact your own mental health and well-being. It can be difficult setting boundaries and speaking up against someone you love and care about. However, by continuing to stay in a codependent relationship, you are only hurting yourself and the other person who needs help. 

It’s critical to realize that you are not responsible for someone else’s destructive behavior. You should never feel the need to make excuses or undermine someone’s damaging behavior, especially when it’s hurting your own self-esteem and well-being. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it’s critical they seek professional help to overcome addiction. 

At The Bridge to Recovery, we are committed to helping people heal and transform their lives for the better. Your mental health and well-being can impact your overall quality of life– for better or for worse. That’s why we offer a range of programs so you can receive the right care for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you lead a healthier, happier life.