What is codependency?
Here is the definition that first popped up in Google without giving credit to the source. It just says dictionary meaning, with nothing to click to find out what dictionary.
1. excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction.
It is actually a strange thing, and something I had to come to terms with. How did this happen to me? What happened that a person that is so independent, strong, and a lifter of spirits to other people became so riddled with Co-dependency. It really just sneaks up on you, and I can only tell you that if you are living in a relationship with an addict that continues to hurt themselves, yourself, and your children, that the co-dependency grows in strength as the disease does, unless you spot it, and fight it.
This is much easier said than done. There are many people that are not co-dependent in nature. That is certainly me. I was, and am a very independent person, and have been most of my life, even within the marriage. That is because no one has really understood my internet marketing career in the way of family and friends. It is too hard to explain to people what I do, and when they are not an internet marketer when you do explain it, they just look at you with glazed eyes and you know they are not understanding a thing you are talking about, or they were sorry they ever asked.
So my work has always given me a piece of my life that is completely mine and nobody else’s.
As your partner’s addiction gets worse, a strong person is naturally going to try and use some of their strength to help the other person. It is natural to help your loved one when you see them suffering. The sad part is that you can’t help them. You can support them, and I could have done things a lot better in this area, but as the disease of addiction grows stronger, so in my case did the co-dependency. The sicker your partner gets, the sicker you get in trying to help a situation that sometimes is beyond help. Sometimes a recovery house is the only way and the time waiting for your partner to get into recovery is a very trying period. I have the full story of what happened in my case, as Laura got sicker and sicker, and I through my heart, soul, body and mind into helping her completely neglecting my own health of mind and body.
You go through a gammit of ideas and efforts in trying to help your addict. You first offer condolence because you know they are suffering and battling with it. On the outside though you still feel like what they are doing is a choice, and they need to make a better choice. This is an internal battle that I assure you that every partner of an addict battles with and it is extremely difficult to wrestle with in your own mind.
If you believe it is a choice, you will be hurt and even angry when your partner keeps on making choices that are adversely effecting them, yourself and your children. Knowing what to do becomes challenging.
I always started with compassion first. Then when nothing changed, then you would move to problem solving. You would suggest all the right things to do, and what they could do to get help. If you have been around it long enough you know what these things are. They need to go to meetings. They need to connect with their friends in the program that have years of sobriety. They need to eliminate the triggers in their lives. It all becomes very obvious to the people watching the disease, but the ones that are closest to it, really fight hard to get the addict pointed the right way. Eventually as time progresses if the addict does not do the work they need to, the ones around the addict become very sick. Sick with worry. Sick with hurt, anger, betrayal. Then instead of giving the addict the one thing they need the most which is love and compassion, they “react” to horrible situations with anger.
This was my biggest mistake. I yelled at Laura when she did things that were incomprehensible within the confines of a normal marriage. As much as most people might have reacted the same way in the same circumstances it was not the way that would yield the best results. In my case, it helped drive Laura right into the arms of the one that was using and drinking with her the most. This is where she would find solace in her addiction. Completely in her addiction. Away from the people that loved her.
And at the end of the day, that is where she chose to stay. Even after recovery. The story behind this is my book, which will be ready to download by the end of this week. Its tragic. I lost the the woman I loved, and I truly believe I didn’t lose her to this other man. I lost her to the disease.
And at the end of the day, being as far in and co-dependent as I was, this tore the very fabric of my existence apart. It damn near killed me. When you love someone with all you heart, and you fight a fight that you cannot win, and you try harder than just about any other human would, it really makes you have to re-think your whole life.
Laura and my children were my life. I did not socialize anymore. The co-dependency drove me inwards, and made me a protector of my family. I just needed my family. I stopped taking care of all other matters. Family preservation became the most important priority. When this happened, it was actually what divided the family in the end.
For in order for a family to survive the level of addiction that was in this household and stay in tact, the best thing I could have done is just take care of myself and my children. So in the end that is all I could do. Sometimes you cannot beat the disease of addiction, and I pray that Laura finds the strength to win. She had love, support here and she could not do it. She has love and support now with a surrogate family that she has created by leaving this one. Her kids are alienated away from her because of her involvement with the man that she used the most with. The man that contributed the most to increasing her sickness by being a safe place to drink and use. The man that sang love songs to her while she was completely isolated from her family in the grips of her addiction. The man to this day that Laura thinks helped her the most in her darkest hours. Addiction confuses the addict to the point of making continuously poor choices even after the addict sobers up. I really think from where we are at that it will be a long road for Laura to get well again. I only hope she continues to stay sober. It is the only way her children will see her again. They have given her the ultimatum of not having anything to do with this man, and she chose not to listen.
I lost my wife of 20 years to addiction, and this man that fed it.
And as co-dependent as I was, this nearly killed me. If it was not for my kids, I might have thought suicide wasn’t that bad of an option. 5 years ago, I didn’t understand how anyone could think like that. How anyone could not see past the current situation they are in, to know that better days are coming. Well, when they don’t come, year after year, it starts to seem like they never will. When your wife leaves you to go to the man that stole her away with drugs and alcohol, you really start to question your own self worth.
I took a 3 month break from writing the book, because it was the darkest period of my life or tied to it when I went through the same thing with Laura last year. History has repeated itself.
So at the end of the day folks, here is my best advice to you. If you are living with an addict and they are not changing. Forget about helping them. You can’t. You will need to help yourself. When the addict gets better, there is a wake of destruction left in their trails, and most of the time, it is the people that loved them the most. The addict alienates themselves away from these people, because there minds play tricks on them and turn them into enemies. When you feel like an enemy to the one you love as a co-dependent, it is the worst tragic feeling in your heart, because the perspectives of the addict are completely real truths to them, but such in contradiction to the reality of the situation.
My book is going to be released, later this week. I will be moving on from that point. I don’t want this chapter of my life to define the rest of my life, but I will used this chapter of my life to be stronger, better, faster, and as a motivation to serve people for the remainder of my life. Nobody deserves the hell this family of 4 have went through. Nobody. Not the addict. Not the co-dependent, nor the children. It is truly a huge tragedy.
I pray for Laura’s wellness, but this is on her now. Just like last year when we were apart and she had the worst year of her life with this man, any mistakes, and tragic things that come her way this year, are on her. There is no blame for addiction. It is born, and once you suffer from it, the sole person that can fix it, is the addict themselves. They need to make better decisions. Align themselves with people that can help, instead of just people that want to help but make things worse. I was one of those. Her new partner is one of those. The best thing Laura could do is to be single, and work solely on rebuilding her sobriety and her relationship with her children. Will she do it? Only time will tell. I sure hope so. She was an awesome mother, but has been absent from this role for the past few years. Our children are awesome children not just because of me. She played a huge part of it. We had an awesome life, but Laura’s disease has distorted her view. I hope that she figures this out. As I wrote in this book, Laura is the strongest woman I know.