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What is Codependency?

One word you will hear repeatedly in recovery is codependency. Many people, especially addicts, find themselves in a repeated pattern of unhealthy relationships despite a desire to want to change. Without proper treatment, this behavior may go on for years. Codependency means having an emotional or psychological reliance on someone else. While the “someone else” is usually a romantic partner, this may also refer to other people, such as family, friends, or even a therapist.  

Codependency is prevalent in the recovery community. During our using days, we normally had people around us (partners or family) who enabled our behavior which is why the standard narrative for a codependent relationship is between the alcoholic and their partner. There is a back and forth in dysfunctional behaviors. The “healthy” partner normally controls and nurtures the other person while unconsciously placing their own well-being in the hands of the addicted persons behavior. The “sick” person then relies on being cared for by their partner and starts to expect this positive reinforcement. Through this continuum of unhealthy boundaries comes a unintentional power dynamic between both people. We know that this cycle sounds impossible to stop, but with awareness and therapy it is possible to fix these relationships in recovery.

The psychological reasons why a codependent relationship happens is much deeper than we can go into here. To summarize, it normally stems from childhood trauma on both sides of the addicted person and their partner. Treatment is possible for both sides by beginning to dig into childhood issues and their emotional connection to these patterns. If you think you are in a codependent relationship, it is important to try to look at the relationship as subjectively as possible. Are you able to find satisfaction in your life outside of the relationship? Do you have a good sense of self?

Once you get sober and start working a recovery program, the signs of a codependent relationship will become clear. You may also start to see a shift in the power dynamic with those around you. While we understand the difficulty of change, you will start to feel better and more independent with time. Recovery brings a better quality of life but there are many changes and adjustments during this period. We want to make sure you are ready for these changes. Your individualized treatment plan will include everything you need to know so you feel well prepared. We are waiting for your call.

Villa Tranquil Recovery stands as a new staple in the women’s treatment community, offering gender-specific services for women between the ages of 18-65. Our beautiful home in Jupiter Farms, Florida provides a transitional living opportunity for women to continue their treatment process while regaining the skills they need to thrive in sobriety. Owned and operated by clinicians, we offer exceptional care so women can build exceptional lives of recovery. Call us today for information 214-799-3080.