Are Sobriety and Codependency Connected?

Are Sobriety and Codependency Connected?

Sobriety brings more to life than recovery. It can bring codependency, too. When sobriety starts, maybe you used drugs for five years, maybe for ten or longer. Maybe you only used a handful of years but are tired of how it makes you feel. One of the first things you learn in sobriety is that the problem is never just the substance, it begins with you. Whether you believe in the disease model or distorted thinking, the problem is rooted in both thought processes and the brain-not the action itself. Find out why sobriety and codependency are connected.

What is Codependency

Codependency is  learned behavior, passed from one generation to generation, that affects a person’s ability to have a healthy, satisfying relationship with themselves or others. It is also a type of ‘relationship addiction’ because people with codependency often form or maintain one-sided relationships. These can also be emotionally destructive or abusive. The disorder was first identified about ten years ago as the result of studying interpersonal relationships in families of alcoholics. Codependent behavior is learned by watching and imitating other family members who display this behavior.

Why it Happens

We are codependent because we allow the behavior of others to impact us so we become consumed with that person and their problems. This obsession with the issues and problems of others becomes debilitating to us as we exhaust all mental and emotional energy stores, leaving little, if any, energy for ourselves. Often, this includes a chaotic childhood and environments so out of control, we learned ways to escape to find peace. As we grew, we worked hard to control our outside environment. We believed this to be the key to happiness and inner peace. Our family of origin was dysfunctional. Sometimes we even blame ourselves for our parent’s problems. Anger was to be avoided at all costs. We learned to appease and rescue. We knew each others’ feelings before they did and we lost touch with our own feelings. We made ourselves responsible for the happiness of others. When they were not happy, neither were we.

How to Heal

We do not have to continue living this way in codependency. There are choices to be made that free us of the obligation. Through God’s help we learn to take responsibility for our own lives and allow others to take responsibility for theirs. We learn how to apply the recovery principles are learning and focus on our willingness, integrity, and honesty to supply us with the tools necessary for success in recovery. When we have loving relationships, we learn to recognize our dependence on God. We can look at ourselves, take inventory, and contribute to one another’s lives to see how we got here today. When we seek to restore what addiction took away, it will take time to rebuild a life that feels and looks right at this time in recovery. We will draw closer to ourselves and others when we recognize the negative ramifications of codependency and start to find healing in recovery.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.