Wanting your loved one to overcome their addiction is understandable. You have seen them through good times and bad, knowing they have the potential to achieve great things when they are properly motivated and focused.
But can your love and support become toxic?
It seems ridiculous to contemplate this thought, but there are times when the unconditional support you show to your addicted loved one can become too much of a good thing. By overlooking the concerning behaviors displayed by your loved one and failing to hold them accountable when their addictive impulses become evident, you are no longer doing them any favors.
In fact, at this point, your love and support has taken on a darker meaning and transformed into something known as codependency. This is both detrimental to your mental health and the physical health of your addicted loved one.
Understanding the key components of codependency, and how it negatively impacts your loved one’s ability to overcome their addiction, is essential. This can better enable you to avoid certain behaviors to truly help and support your loved one on their road to recovery.
What is Codependency?
Codependency has often times been referred to as “love addiction” or “relationship addiction” because people with codependency form or maintain relationships that are obviously one-sided. A person who is codependent on their addicted loved one will oftentimes plan their entire life around the needs of that person.
Have you found yourself neglecting your own responsibilities and personal needs because you were too busy taking care of your addicted loved one’s mishaps or mistakes? If so, you could be displaying codependent traits and negatively impacting their ability to overcome their addiction on their own.
What is Codependency in Addiction?
Codependency in addiction is rooted in the concept of accountability, or the lack thereof.
Oftentimes, someone struggling with addiction can find themselves relying on friends and family members to provide financial and lifestyle support because their addiction has made them unable to care for their own basic needs.
While providing care and support to an addicted loved one is encouraged, becoming a primary caregiver for an addict is only perpetuating their negative behaviors.
Additionally, an addicted person can rely on their family and friends to provide them love and compassion if they are constantly surrounding themselves with other addicts and maladaptive social influences.
Showing your loved one support during their addiction is commendable, but requiring them to be accountable for their actions is necessary to help them grow. When a person starts to feel the need to overcompensate to be a good parent or spouse or friend, that is when codependency can begin to form.
Someone struggling with addiction unfortunately knows how to take advantage of a loved one who is not holding them accountable and will use those feelings to manipulate their loved ones to perpetuate their addictive behaviors.
Signs You’re Dealing with Codependency in Addiction
Being able to spot the characteristics of codependency is essential to adjusting your behaviors and correcting those actions to better help your loved one overcome their addiction.
Below are a few key indicators that suggest your behaviors have crossed over from helpful to harmful and should be corrected immediately.
- You constantly feel compelled to help your loved one solve their problems, such as offering unwanted advice, giving unsolicited suggestions, or fixing their feelings and mistakes.
- You find yourself saying yes when you mean no, doing things you don’t really want to be doing, doing more than your fair share of the work, and doing things your loved one is capable of doing for themselves.
- Your own needs are not being met because you are constantly trying to please others instead of taking care of yourself.
- Your feelings of worth are dependent on your addicted loved one because you feel safest and most secure when you are helping them handle the ups and downs associated with their substance use disorder.
These are not the only signs of codependency, but they are some of the most common actions associated with someone who is displaying behaviors of codependency.
Codependency and Addiction: How You Can Become More Self-Reliant
Being able to identify the codependent behaviors is the first course of action. Once this is achieved, separating yourself from those reactions and responses is necessary to begin redefining the boundaries of the relationships with your addicted loved one.
Some steps toward improving your own self-reliance include:
- Finding a hobby or activity you enjoy outside of the relationship
- Spending more time with supportive family members or friends who you can confide in and who will encourage your steps toward increasing accountability with your addicted loved one
These simple steps can not only improve your perspective regarding your addicted loved one’s behaviors and their personal responsibilities, but they can also provide you with an increased support base to reinforce the importance of establishing appropriate boundaries within the relationship.
Empowering yourself is key to empowering your loved one. Their addiction is theirs alone to overcome. While you can provide them love and support, they must embrace the responsibilities and obligations associated with their own life to set themselves up for greater success in the future.
Holistic Addiction Treatment and Family Therapy at Ranch Creek Recovery
Offering an alternative to the traditional 12-step program, Ranch Creek Recovery offers a variety of all-encompassing, holistic treatment services. Your loved one’s situation is unique, so their
treatment must be customized to fit their individual recovery needs.
In addition to our comprehensive residential and outpatient treatment programs for those suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol, we also offer family therapy programs for addiction recovery to help loved ones receive the education they need to fully understand the addiction and help the addicted loved one succeed.
Learn more about us or get in touch with us today. We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.
CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607