Tag Archive: Codependency



H – Hungry

A – Angry

L – Lonely

T – Tired

Being too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, are conditions that leave us more vulnerable to the temptations that lead us away from our program of dual recovery. Part of recovery is learning to pay attention to these inner signals and practice appropriate ways to meet our needs and resolve issues in a manner that will enhance our abstinence and serenity.

Why am I so upset?  Why did I say that?  Why did I do that? Whats wrong with me? 

What I should be asking myself is “halt?”  Am I Hungry?  Am I Angry?  Am I Lonely?  Am I Tired?  If I said yes to any of these than what comes out of my mouth may not be the nicest statement.  I might hurt someone with my harsh words, I might hurt myself by letting someone belittle my own feelings, I might let all that bad stuff in because I forgot to take care of my self.  I have to take care of me.  I can not be of any help to anyone, especially myself if I have not taken care of me.

Next few posts will be more on remembering to take care of ourselves first.


If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!


Codependency – Part 5

This is a 5 part Post on Co-dependency.

Part 5 of 5

Control patterns:

Codependency: The Game

Codependency: The Game (Photo credit: jasonEscapist)

  • I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
  • I attempt to convince others of what they “should” think and how they “truly” feel.
  • I become resentful when others will not let me help them.
  • I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked.
  • I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about.
  • I use sex to gain approval and acceptance.
  • I have to be “needed” in order to have a relationship with others.
  • I demand that my needs be met by others.
  • I use charm and charisma to convince others of my capacity to be caring and compassionate.
  • I use blame and shame to emotionally exploit others.
  • I refuse to co-operate, compromise, or negotiate.
  • I adopt an attitude of indifference, helplessness, authority, or rage to manipulate outcomes.
  • I have obsessive, compulsive thinking patterns and cannot focus on daily activities.
  • I use terms of recovery in an attempt to control the behavior of others.
  • I pretend to agree with others to get what I want.

This goes over most of what I have already talked about.  I didn’t trust others to take care of themselves, I didn’t trust them to take care of me and I wanted to be involved in everything.  I wanted full control but had a had time making decisions.  I wanted to think I had it all together and wanted others to see that too.  But when necessary to get what I wanted, I would use it to my advantage and use the sympathy card.  I would help my husband cover up with drinking to make sure others didn’t think bad of him.  I would take the blame for things vs letting him take the fall.  If he was too “under the weather” to go somewhere, I would just tell them I had a head ache.  Most the time that was not dar from the truth, I did so much while in pain that it had just become a normal state for me.

So in a way – while everyone just wants to be mad at the person with the addiction, it’s a family problem and a lot of us enable or are co-dependant and will never see the signs.  Or even if they do see them, they are unwilling to admit to them.  Remember – that is step one.  Admitting that we have a problem and that our lives had become unmanageable.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

Codependency – Part 4

This is a 5 part Post on Co-dependency.

Part 4 of 5

Compliance patterns:

  • I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others’ anger.
  • I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.
  • I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
  • I value others’ opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own.
  • I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.
  • I accept sex and/or sexual attention when I want love.
  • I am afraid to express my beliefs, opinions, and feelings when they differ from those of others.
  • I make decisions without regard to the consequences.
  • I give up my truth to gain the approval of others or to avoid change.

I knew that what was happening between my husband and I was getting bad, but I was at a loss as to how to fix it.  I would just avoid him rather than talk about what was going on in my head.  I could never talk about my feelings with him because it always was a fight or he would say what I was feeling was stupid.  I was told by a few people that I should just leave him, I said you know what I took a vow.  I took a vow to stay with him through sickness and in health, through good times and bad.  I was willing to stay in a bad situation that was unhealthy for all parties due to that fact that I loved the other person and could not bear the thought of not being with him.  When I reached my breaking point it had gotten so bad that I was not sure there was any way out of the hole we both had been frantically digging.

To be continued…

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

Codependency – Part 3

This is a 5 part Post on Co-dependency.

Part 3 of 5

Avoidance patterns:

  • I act in ways that invite others to reject, shame, or express anger toward me.
  • I judge harshly what others think, say, or do.
  • I avoid emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy as a means of maintaining distance.
  • I allow my addictions to people, places, and things to distract me from achieving intimacy in relationships.
  • I use indirect and evasive communication to avoid conflict or confrontation.
  • I diminish my capacity to have healthy relationships by declining to use all the tools of recovery.
  • I suppress my feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable.
  • I pull people toward me, but when they get close, I push them away.
  • I refuse to give up my self-will to avoid surrendering to a power that is greater than myself.
  • I believe displays of emotion are a sign of weakness.
  • I withhold expressions of appreciation.

I hated to cry in front of people, I was always told not to cry when I was growing up.  I can cry at the drop of a hat though.  I cry at TV commercials, songs on the radio, movies and books.  I cry when I talk about something that i am passionate about, I cry when I am happy, sad, angered and just plain upset.  My Migraines will make me cry and its more from frustration then pain sometimes.  As a child I would sometimes act out just to get attention.  My parents were always so busy with work or my sister, I would crave the attention – even if it was negative.  I would act out to get the attention, then tell everyone how mean they were to get yet more attention.

I think that some of that carried over into my marriage.  My husband had become so consumed by his drinking that he no longer cared to spend time with me.  I would do little things to set him off so at least I could justify why he was ignoring me with his anger.  All the while he was doing the same thing, he would find the smallest thing to be upset about so he could justify his anger and drinking.

To be continued…

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

Codependency – Part 2

This is a 5 part Post on Co-dependency.

self-esteem, groups and hate

self-esteem, groups and hate (Photo credit: Will Lion)

Part 2 of 5

Low self-esteem patterns:

  • I have difficulty making decisions.
  • I judge everything I think, say or do harshly, as never “good enough.”
  • I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise or gifts.
  • I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires.
  • I value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings and behavior over my own.
  • I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.
  • I constantly seek recognition that I think I deserve.
  • I am jealous of the relationships between others I would like to have as my own.
  • I have difficulty admitting that I made a mistake.
  • I need to appear to be right in the eyes of others and will even lie to look good.
  • I perceive myself as superior to others.
  • I look to others to provide my sense of safety.
  • I have difficulty getting started, meeting deadlines, and completing projects.
  • I have trouble setting healthy priorities.

I used to have a big issue with making decisions about the smallest things – where to go eat – what to eat after we go there – what movie to go see – what to wear – what to buy.  It was horrible to live that way.  Or I would make a decision too quickly and then regret it later.  I would buy something and then freak out about it, even if it was just a few bucks.  I even did that for items that were needed.  I always needed to pat on the back for things I did and when I did get it I would not know what to do with myself.  I also would go into this “are they really happy with what I did or are they just saying it to make me happy?”  But truth was, I was never happy – even when I got the approval I was looking for.

I would make things sound like a much bigger deal than they were just to get someone to look at me differently.  I felt like if I didn’t have an interesting story then no one would want to talk to me.  Not realizing that the real me was just as interesting as anyone else.  The problem was that even I didn’t know the real me to be able to talk about her.  I am just getting to know the real me all over again, and you know what I found?  I like the real me, she is a pretty cool chip in her own right.  I am just going to stick to being me from now on, life seems so much better when I have the real me on my side.

To be continued…

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

Co-dependency – Part 1

This is a 5 part Post on Co-dependency.

Part 1 of 5

Every time I mention to someone that I had a Co-dependency to my husband’s drinking they try to talk me out of thinking that way.  I found a list of patternsto help figure out if the co-dependency is there.  I was a little amazed looking through the list.  I had a few of these patterns, OK more like a lot of these patterns.

Panic attack

Image via Wikipedia

Denial patterns:

  • I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
  • I minimize, alter or deny how I truly feel.
  • I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others.
  • I lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others.
  • I label others with my negative traits.
  • I can take care of myself without any help from others.
  • I mask my pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.
  • I express negativity or aggression in indirect and passive ways.
  • I do not recognize the unavailability of those people to whom I am attracted.

I can say that I would try to hide my pain and I would isolate myself and then have anger and sadness for being alone.  I would take care of others before ever taking care of myself and didn’t want any help taking care of myself either.  I never wanted to feel helpless or that I needed someone that much.  I sure as heck didn’t want my husband to know the extent of the pain I was in all the time.  I never wanted him to think I was getting sick and then leave me.  I remember him saying a few times to me that my Dad was a strong person being right by my mom through all of her illness and that he is not sure he could do it.  Well hello panic!  I would have anxiety attacks about having to go to the hospital or the Dr for something cause he was going to run at any time, I would think to myself.  So instead I would just spend all of my time taking care of him and make sure he never knew I was in pain.

To be continued…

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

By volume

“When I was drinking I was 100% ass hole by volume.  Now i am only 5% ass hole by volume.”

This is what hubby and I talked about last night, the second he said it I wrote it down.  He laughs cause I carry a note pad all the time to jot down ideas or little says he comes up with.  He had his last class for substance abuse on Tuesday and had to write a closing letter.  It was truly touching and very heart-felt.  He really got a lot from the class.  We were talking about a few things from the past.  Not that we dwell on the past, but there was a lot there that was never talked about due to his drinking.  So every once in a while we touch back on ways that we both have changed.  I feel to know that I am moving forward I have to remember where I have been.  Learn from my mistakes and move on.  So that’s what we did last night.  We talked a little bit about how it used to be.

I can see this light in his eyes and a smile in his face that shows over his whole face, not just his lips.  We laugh and joke and teas each other, but in a nice manner not the mean bully teasing or our past ways.  I think now we are a couple.  The past we didn’t know how to be a couple, I think now we are finally learning how to be a couple and how to live and love one another.  I have always loved him, but the tools we used to leave with each other were being used improperly.  The instruction manual had been translated poorly and was missing some pages.  We did the best we could with what we had, but that wasn’t good for either of us.  Now that the tools have been dusted off, repaired and we have been shown how to properly use them life has been the way it should be.  Our life might not suit you, but that’s cause it our life.  I can only live life on life’s terms, and I can only do it one day at a time.

So was I just sweet and innocent in all this mess?  absolutely not!  I was allowing myself to sit on my pity pot and i was allowing my guilt and my fear transpose into resentment for who I thought was the cause.  and It was not a person, it was a thing.  Alcohol stole my happiness, my self confidence and my love for life in general.  How can an inanimate object steal something from you?  Alcohol is a drug, and drugs can steal more from you that you can imagine.  I lost my husband, it almost took him from me for good.  I fear that if he would have continued down that path he could very well been on a road to death.

I am not sure if it would have been either from health reasons, a fight or some other alcohol related incident – but I feared the worse.  I was also at risk of some health issues, I was in a sever depression, my blood pressure was so high the dr was messing with all my meds and food intake, I did countless tests the summer.  I have chronic migraines and they were out of control with all the stress.  I either didn’t want to eat or could not stop eating.  All the stress and panic I had hidden inside was starting to take its toll.  I blew through my PTO at work due to everything and was not happy with any aspect of my life.

Now when stuff is thrown at me, I ask for some help.  I ask help from my higher power, my husband, my friends and my family.  I would always try to do it all for myself.  I needed people to think of me as this strong person who could take it all on with a smile on her face.  I think that I felt that if everyone thought I was strong, I would too.  I would not feel the pain, physical and emotional that was ripping at my body and soul.  If everyone saw the iron hide then it must be there, right?  Truth was, I was a frightened, panic-stricken lost little girl who was in so much pain it scared her to death.  I was convinced that after some tests I was going to have something incurable.  well not incurable, but unmanageable is what my co-dependency had become.  So I got through step one, and now with step 2 – I can talk to my higher power and let them restore me to sanity.

So he may have been “100% ass hole by volume” But I was 100% co-dependent and insane by volume.  So now I look forward to a life with a lower proof on my bottle of insanity and I higher lever of understanding and faith.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

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