I think co-dependency is something most of us have heard about at one time or another, especially when it comes to being around those who are addicted to a substance , action, or drama. There are so many things an individual can be addicted to, but those who are also dependent with the addict are the one’s who generally hurt the most from what is happening around them. In fact, the drama addict can cause more pain than can even be imagined to someone who is connected to that person. More on the drama addict in another post.
The co-dependent is the one who lives in the shadows of the addicted person. Although, not addicted to the substance of choice themselves, they are addicted to being with the person who is. I know this sounds strange but it is true. The co-dependent will enable the addict to get their fix of whatever it might be just to try to maintain balance in a relationship. They will also allow the addiction to continue right in front of them, keep the secrets that are held about it, and become the scapegoat or reason the addict decides they have a problem so they will not look at themselves.
It’s very hard for an addicted person to admit they have caused their own chaos, so the co-dependent gets to be the target. Unfortunately it is also the co-dependent who ends up with most of the emotional and physical problems in the beginning. As an addicted person continues within their addiction they will be the one who will suffer the most from the addiction. No one who is out of balance as much as an addicted individual will be healthy forever.
I remember listening to those who smoked cigarettes all of their lives, coming to a place where they wished to God they never touched them. They made all the excuses possible to use them at the time, being in denial that any damage will ever be done. It’s a very sneaky thing. Damage lies deep within the recesses of the emotions and the body and eventually it will surface, guaranteed.
For the co-dependent getting balance and maintaining their own life is the key to keeping sane. Self care, and focus on what is important to maintain good health and sanity is a life saver for those who are connected to an addicted person. It takes a lot of faith and healing for the co-dependent to break the chains that an addict has upon them. They might not see them but they are there. They are held captive emotionally, physically, and financially to just name a few things.
Breaking a pattern is not easy but it can be done. God’s ways are not the ways of the world. He created a universe that acts according to positive belief and faith. There is a power that is greater than what any addict can enforce upon a co-dependent. It is the power of God’s love and grace within the individual and the commanded forces that God gives in support of the one who calls upon Him for action and guidance.
If you are connected to someone who has an addiction problem of any kind. Take heart, because there is healing and freedom midst the storm. You can be released from the power hold addictions have had on you. You can escape them and when you do you will feel the freedom that soars like an eagle just as God has spoken. You might be broken, but not for long. You might be consumed but not forever. All you need to begin a new phase of living and healing is the desire to have it and to spiritually ask. “Ask and it shall be given unto you.”
Loving you from here,
Dr. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD