Overcoming Codependency

Codependency is sometimes thought of as an emotional addiction which adversely affects not only the codependent, but the addict as well. Some define it as a psychological condition in which the person puts the needs and wants of another before their own well-being. A person who enables, ignores, or justifies another’s drug use is labeled as codependent. However it’s defined, it’s a good term to describe one of the ways in which drug addiction affects others.


A codependent feels anxiety, pity, and guilt when their help is offered but ineffective. The perception that they are unable to help someone they love instills feelings of shame and loss of self-worth. It’s important to note that codependency is a relationship problem within the self, and the only way to overcome codependency is to overcome the fear of letting go. Overcoming codependency is as much of a healing process as overcoming addiction, and often requires professional help.


The first step toward overcoming codependency is the willingness to address one’s own issues outside of the issues of the addict. It is okay and necessary to accept help in order to end the cycle of addiction and codependence. Changing the coping mechanisms that have been used over a long period of time is a difficult and often painful process, but help is available. Many codependents successfully overcome their emotional addictions by attending 12 step groups affiliated with a particular addiction. There is also a dedicated group called Codependents Anonymous that focuses on teaching participants how to achieve healthy and satisfying relationships.


It can be very frightening to seek help for behaviors that have anchored a relationship for so long, and nobody wants to risk hurting the ones we love. However, when a relationship is damaging to one’s self worth, well-being, and happiness, that person must take the necessary steps to protect themselves. At Florida Recovery Group, we offer family counseling in order to address the damaging relationships that have come about due to addiction. We are firm believers that healing on all sides begins with honest communication and work, and we understand that maintaining a healthy dynamic within a relationship is important to everyone- both addict and codependent. If you or someone you know is struggling with codependency, please contact us to receive help.