Recovery from alcoholism is a lifelong journey. Unlike many other vices, alcoholism impacts others, and this can be a good thing when it’s brought to your attention.
Addiction and the family have a direct relationship, and it’s up to you to ensure you’re doing everything you can to stay clean and sober.
Along with discovering sober activities in which to engage, a great way to ensure long-term success is to learn about easily-overlooked aspects of addiction. Codependency and alcoholism go hand-in-hand, and, when allowed to continue, this concoction can throw you off the right path.
Put the power back in your hands by understanding the relationship between codependency and addiction and how you can control it.
What is Codependency?
Before we can learn how to prevent something, we have to know what it is. So, just what is codependency? In a nutshell, it’s a relationship pattern in which one person continually puts the needs of another person ahead of their own.
When codependency and addiction coexist in a relationship, they reinforce each other and can cause serious issues in the family dynamic.
Addiction and the family is a touchy subject. When an alcoholic is codependent on a family member, just some of the behaviors they begin to pick up include:
- Allowing someone to make big decisions for them
- Feeling like they are unable to think on their own
- Feeling they are unable to achieve financial independence
The trouble with codependency is that it tends to allow the addict to continue in unhealthy behaviors that contribute to further alcohol abuse.
As you well know, alcoholism hinders your ability to maintain responsibilities of daily life. While the caretaker often feels they are doing the alcoholic a favor by helping them make decisions, offering them money, and providing them an outlet, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
A few signs that someone in your life is enabling codependency include:
- They put aside their own personal needs to cater to yours
- You always know you can get money or support from them even if you have to lie about your intentions
- They are always willing to abandon their plans to come to your aid
- Others have pointed out the possibility that they’re enabling your bad behaviors
How to End Codependency and Enjoy a New Normal
Your codependent relationship has become normal to you. You may have even broken off contact with others who care about you for questioning your behaviors and the relationship you have with the caretaker in your situation.
The great news is that, now that you’re armed with knowledge, you can take measures to fixing this problem. The following steps can get you back on the right track without severing the relationship:
- Get sober and stay sober. You have to have a clear mind to stay focused on the goal and fix the problem for the long-term
- Both parties acknowledge that a codependent relationship exists
- Each person accepts the fact that they have contributed to the problem and changes are needed
- Take action to improve communication and end behaviors that contribute to addiction
One Life to Live
You only have one life to live. The past is the past, and there’s nothing you can do to change it. The future, on the other hand, is up to you to forge. Codependency and alcoholism can be a dangerous combination, and it can easily creep into your life.
Now that you understand what it is and how to address it, you are just one step closer to long-term success in your sobriety.
We’re here to help! If you’re ready to take action and end codependency in your relationships, we can help you explore solutions. If you have questions or would like to learn more about sober activities and actions that can keep you on track, contact