Someone in your life is in recovery and it may be you (note- this is a good thing, not a bad thing!) Recovery is healing, from some kind of addiction, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be destroying your life. Addiction is using a tool to escape the pain from past trauma. You may be ready to be on a new path of healing from codependency, which is a prevalent behavior in families with addiction within the family tree.
People may become addicted to perfectionism, food, sugar, work (accepted in our society), their phone, video games, alcohol, pain killers, to name a few. When someone in your life is working toward recovery (or you wish they were), you often end up being codependent (which really can be just as harmful to yourself and your family- it is the “disease of the lost self”- Nikki Myers). Many people have heard that word before but don’t really know what it means.
Some of the most common traits that I experienced myself and that I see with my clients are:
- Inability to put yourself first- always taking care of others, no time for your self-care (when someone asks you how you are, do you immediately start talking about a loved one? Your partner, a friend who is struggling, your child?)
- Attempt to control every (or most situations) in your life- how other people feel, act, what they say- you keep trying to control others even though you are the only one you can control
- Difficulty setting boundaries– with family, friends, clients. You don’t know how to say no and energetic boundaries are not in place, so you may feel drained or might be super sensitive to the energy and mood of others
- Underlying feeling of anxiety, worrying about other people (how will he/she/they act or react, will he/she/they be present when I see them, what kind of mood is he/she/they in today)
- Feeling unloved, judged, ignored, causing you to be judgmental of others
- It is hard for you to be clear about what you want in your life as you are always worried about everyone else
I find that so many people do not realize what addiction does to them or to families. A marriage is not the only place addiction affects other people. Patterns built in an alcoholic home can affect adult co-workers, for example. The disease and behaviors run deep in families and these codependent behaviors are passed on for generations- it is often considered “normal” behavior. If you do happen to live with someone working toward recovery (or not) or be married to one, it can make life even more challenging.
I know it may be hard, but I am offering you a possibility to COMMIT TO YOUR SELF-CARE . The person labeled as “the one with the addiction” is not the only one who has healing to do (and you can’t make them). You can only heal yourself. I am here to guide you in this process, if you are ready.