Co-Dependency

is a chronic, progressive primary illness that stems from negative childhood experiences and results in a self-defeating personality and lifestyle which forces affected persons to live feeling as though they were an alien in their own life.

CHILDHOOD ENVIRONMENTS THAT LATER FOSTER CO-DEPENDENCY INCLUDE:

If left untreated, Co-Dependency seriously interferes with intimate relationships, prevents healthy self-acceptance, deeply decreases one's quality of life, and often promotes stress-related physical illnesses.

Classically, Co-Dependency creates pathological longing in the affected person who, in a treadmill fashion, seeks one route after another searching for freedom from within. This freedom, once experienced, exchanges the future Co-Dependent economy of hope without a means to the concrete understanding of Psycho-Spiritual competence.

SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS OF CO-DEPENDENCY ARE AS FOLLOWS:

THE A B C'S OF CO-DEPENDENCY - PART ONE

THE PROBLEMS OF THE ADULT CHILD

Adapted from CION, Inc.

As Adult Children, we have several characteristics in common as a result of having been brought up in a Co-Dependent household.

THE A B C'S OF CO-DEPENDENCY - PART TWO

YOUR PROCESS TO A WHOLE LIFE

Adapted from CION, Inc.

By attending Al-Anon, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Naranon and Experiential therapy groups on a regular basis, we learn that Adult Children/Co-Dependents are not alone, that we can learn new thinking and become whole-living beings. We can learn to grow new attitudes, realize and change old, hurtful patterns and habits to healthy, positive lifestyles and experiences, step by step--ONE DAY AT A TIME.

God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the Wisdom to know the difference.

PROFILE OF A CO-DEPENDENT CARETAKER

ADAPTED FROM CION, INC.

1. Co-dependent caretakers have usually grown up with a strong parental injunction that tells them: "Don't be selfish." Consequently, they go through life masking their self concern. They turn all their attention to the concerns of others and largely ignore their own emotional needs. They live in the constant fear of being indited on the charge of selfishness."

2. Co-dependent caretakers are usually lonely and emotionally undernourished. They operate in an emotional trade deficit. They give enormous amounts of compassion to others and never get enough emotional nurturing in return. They may have many acquaintances but few intimate, nourishing relationships.

3. Co-dependent caretakers are subject to depression as a result of their "Stroke deprivation". Stroke deprivation results largely from the Co-dependent's unwillingness to receive compliments or care from anyone else. They are afraid to accept care from others for fear it would jeopardize their role in life.

4. Co-dependent caretakers are predictable, steady, useful and safe. They are sensitive to the needs of others. They are also boring! They are not particularly enjoyable because they only smile and rarely laugh. (A spontaneous, raucous, belly laugh is of great therapeutic value.)

5. Co-dependent caretakers have much difficulty remembering names, even the moment after an introduction. They are so preoccupied with their own self-consciousness ("How am I doing?") that they can't pay attention to others.

6. Co-dependent caretakers wear sweatshirts with a message on front and back. On the front we see the slogan: "How am I doing?" On the back we read: "I'll try harder!" All emotional transactions of the Co-dependent are designed to gain approval.

7. Co-dependent caretakers are usually very harried. They over-commit their time and over-promise themselves. They are usually running late because they cannot break away from a "commitment"--and they are all crucial, commitments--for fear of encountering disapproval.

8. Co-dependent caretakers are afraid of their own anger as well as the anger of others. They avoid conflict at all costs and direct all their anger toward themselves where it is safely converted into depression.

9. Co-dependent caretakers are only able to exercise assertiveness when they are attacking social injustice or acting as advocates for their clients. They rarely assert themselves in direct self-interest.

10. Co-dependent caretakers are almost paralyzed when it comes to asking for what they need emotionally. They would much rather withdraw or pout than ask for nurturing.


JUST FOR TODAY

JUST FOR TODAY I will try to live through the day only, not tackling my whole life problem at once. I can do things for twenty-four hours that would appall me if I had to keep them up for a life-time.

JUST FOR TODAY I shall be happy. This assumes that happiness comes from within; it is not a matter of externals and accidental circumstances. I shall be happy therefore in spite of them.

JUST FOR TODAY I will take care of my body. I will exercise my mind. I will read something useful and something spiritual.

JUST FOR TODAY I will try to go out of my way to be kind to someone I meet. I will be courteous. I will refrain from criticism. I will in no way try to change others.

JUST FOR TODAY I will do something for someone else without expecting to be repaid. I will also try to do two things I know should be done but I have been putting off.

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry. One is YESTERDAY with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control, and all the money in the world can not bring it back.

TOMORROW with it's possible adversities, burdens, large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow's sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is as yet unborn.

This leaves one day -- TODAY. Any person can fight the battle of one day. It is when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities, yesterday and tomorrow that we break down.

It is not the experience of today that drives individuals mad. It is the remorse or bitterness of something that happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.


Click here to read a poem about Co-Dependents

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LET US THEREFORE, LIVE BUT ONE DAY AT A TIME.