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Codependent without alcohol or drug problems?
July 10, 2004
11:33 pm
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ian
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Can you be codependent without being an alcoholic?

I have been researching codependency and I have all the symptoms: I can never say no, I always believe I can do everything myself (I only ask for help if I feel like I'm failing and I have to), I am constantly looking for approval from others, and if I don't get it I feel like the biggest loser that ever walked the planet, I have no self-esteem whatsoever, lovers don't do what I want them to do and I throw them out, I obsess on relationships (when I'm in one, when I'm single I'm constantly bitching about not having a man, I'm miserable single), my relationships rarely work, and if they work, they fall apart, and I'm depressed a lot.

That summed up codependency.

July 11, 2004
10:51 am
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Anonymous
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HI Ian,
yeah that is many of the codependent characteristics..
The best thing to do is try and get in tune with yourself find out what makes you happy.. Pamper yourself.. take good care of you. The more you can focus on you the less time you will have to focus on others.. I know this is much easier said than done.. Take baby steps and you continue to grow and come here and talk about your progress, vent, ask for advice.. it will work itself out..
Do they have coda meetings where you live?
Also there is a book by Melony Beattie called "Codependent No More" and excellent book with wonderful insight..

We are here to help..

July 11, 2004
8:17 pm
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natty
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Hi Ian, your question is interesting because when a counsellor gave me a copy of Codependent No More by Melody Beattie I dismissed it after the first few pages because the people in it were with alcoholics.

But further reading a few years later, I realised that codependence was not just about alcohol or drug addition. It's about latching onto another person and living your life through theirs, putting their needs above your own, and relying on them to make you happy. It's about not being our own person.

July 12, 2004
10:26 am
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CAMER
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I agree with the above...I thought the book Codependent No More and
Women who love too much, was a book written about my life. I am not alcoholic, but I choose to take men
who have addictions, whether its booze, drugs or gambling. In the
past I lived my life living "thru them", I did not feel complete unless
I had drama in my life, and if I didn't help these men, the wrong part
was I enabled these men, I did things for them that they could have done themselves, thats where my caretaking
came in. I loved it when I helped them, it made me feel proud of myself.
Until I detached and started to get
a life of my own, and focus on my goals and dreams, then my life became better. I am alone now, just dating
men, with no man in particular in my
life, and its good, I have learned alot over the years and can see the
red flags if they are there, and end
the relationship once I see red flags, instead of molding and shaping the man into who I want him to be.
Best of luck to you!

July 13, 2004
11:25 am
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confused77
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I just bought a book even better than codependence no more it is called codependence the healing process. It is really insightful, and I feel it explains more about the roots of an individual's codepedence. I have felt that I needed to know all the things to cause me to fall into the RUT....(patterened behavior)in order to get through this to find my True self. This book was great in doing that. Also, I am new out a of a completely codependant relationship, and It was with an alcholic,that I wanted to change. After 7 years, did not happen, never will even after all the promises. but In my past relationship before him I was codependant in a different way, I was trying to be a healer. He did not have any addiction, he was going through a tragedy. There are many forms

July 13, 2004
11:47 am
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passion
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Thank you I will try and read that book sounds great.

July 14, 2004
4:01 pm
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ian
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There's a meeting tomorrow (Thursday) that I know of. I will be attending it. Thanks for all of your advice. I have newly found out I have codependent symptoms after evaluating my life and realizing I'm codependent in my relationships with men. I'm going to heal now. After years of suffering from low self esteem due to verbal and emotional abuse in my childhood, I'm going to fix my life and become something I've never dreamed would ever happen: normal.

November 10, 2011
8:42 am
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wireless28806
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I am a man, and 44 years old.  I have all my life met, and have been attracted to girls whom are alcoholics, drug addicts, or both.  I have just met a kind, sweet girl, who drinks every night, sometimes starts in the day. She never really gets drunk. her tolerance is very high, which she has told me.   She wants kids, and to be a stay at home mom.  She gets high.  I just now am watching her drink sooner in the day, and get high also.  She tells me she needs a drink when she gets home from work to make herself feel better.  So many red flags.. so many.  I dont want to leave her, because she is kind, and good to me.  I feel my codependence lies in staying with her, because when she complains how much she hates work, I can listen, and she loves that.  She also goes into work late every morning, and sometimes never goes.. I have trouble saying no, even though I know I dont want to do it.  I have let a lot of my life go, only to focus on her.. Yes, I am a male, 44, and still am trying to focus on me.  I am actually doing better than I did years ago.  The number one thing that has helped me was to learn to say no.. and stick to it, without guilt... It is getting easier.  As long as they are happy, we feel better.. than why is it I feel so bad at times, really bad.  It is because I dont want to believe what is real, and am in love with the dream... of what could be.. only if...  Thank You

November 17, 2011
11:24 pm
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ShiningLight
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wireless28806,

 

Keep the spirit. You are actually doing well by practicing not to say yes all the time. You may be codependent but it's something better than being an alcoholic or a drug addict which is worse right?. Upon possessing that kind of attitude, you may be able to help your partner sooner or later to straighten her life away from alcohol. You said she's sweet and kind so it's not really that hard to introduce sober living to her and for sure she'll recover soon.

 

Wishing you well.

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