Seeing another person suffer can be challenging- if you're a codependent (caretaker/ rescuer/ fixer/ people pleaser...) this will be particularly difficult. The thing with the actions of codependency is that they feel so helpful, so natural, so healthy. This is all part of the denial. Only after you've come through this illusion will you be able to discern what is healthy and what is not. Let me give you some examples:
  • Helping your friends by lending them money, and insisting on them not paying you back- kind or people pleasing?
  • Driving your son to buy some heroin, just so that he wont go onto withdrawals: motherly or enabling?
  • Exaggerating about your husbands 'flu' when he has yet another hangover: honest or dishonest?
  • Working flat out at your job: strong work ethic or setting yourself up for disappointment because of your expectations?
  • Staying with your girlfriend, because you just cant be the one to break up with her? Fear or manipulation?
  • Trying over and over to get your boyfriend to commit, to lose weight, to be a little more what you want... Control or unconditional love?

    Perhaps you're thinking, these are just acts of kindness, loyalty, care, love? Or perhaps you can see that if these are the types of choices you're repeatedly making, there could be something you may need to change; there may be another way to live life- codependency can seem subtle and harmless, but it has as damaging effects as addiction.  Recovery from codependency is possible: Get help now.