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Sober Nation

Putting Recovery On The Map

10-08-11 | By

Addiction and Codependency

Addiction and Codependency

Addiction and codependency often seem to go hand in hand. Many times the codependent makes it hard for those addicted to drugs or alcohol to recognize their addiction and makes it easy for them  to remain addicted.  However, if you are afraid that you are addicted here are some symptoms that most addicts share.

Addiction and Codependency: Addiction

•    A feeling that you have to have that substance whether that is once a day, several times a day, or just a few times a week or a month.
•    Failing in your attempts to quit the substance.
•    Increasing use of the substance to help calm you or a way to deal with problems or hide from them.
•    Doing high risk activities while under the influence of the substance
•    Feeling as though you need more and more of the substance to get the same feeling as before.
•    Spending more and more of your time and energy thinking about ways of getting that substance.
•    Lying about the amount you are taking or how often you are indulging.
In most cases if you are worried that you are becoming an addict and cannot quit on your own despite numerous efforts then you are addicted.  If you feel you need help and are willing to seek it then don’t allow your spouse, an adult child, or a friend to talk you out of getting the help you feel you need.  If they are unable or unwilling to see your problem then they may have a problem of their own and need you to be “sick” in order for them to feel needed.

Addiction and codependency: Codependency

A codependent may or may not be a substance abuser themselves but, their behavior in it’s own way is just as addictive.  A codependent usually suffers from extremely low self esteem and needs to feel needed in order to feel good about themselves.  While they often resent the addict for being sick they fear if the addict beats their addiction they simply won’t need them anymore and they will lose their identity because they have spent all their time seeing to the addicts needs while ignoring their own.  There are some signs that indicate that someone is codependent.
•    Resentful attitude.  Though they want to feel needed and taking care of the addict and keeping them out of trouble fills that need they also often are resentful that they are giving that care.
•    Tying your identity to the need to be needed and forgoing building any kind of outside life of your own. Centering your entire world around someone else is never healthy and in the case where one person is suffering from addiction centering your life and your reactions based on their good days and bad days makes you just as addicted as the addict themselves.
•    Codependents don’t trust their own feelings about themselves and need others to tell them they are a good person and worthwhile.  Not ever feeling good enough and constantly feeling the need to feel as though you are “helping” someone else in order to have moments about feeling good about yourself.
•    Constant feelings of depression, anxiety, or lethargy. Being a martyr is tiring and depressing and a codependent often feels like a martyr sacrificing their owns needs and wants for someone elses

Addiction and codependency are both very real problems and the codependent needs to seek help every bit as much as the addict does.  Even if the addict is not ready to get help for his or her problem getting help for yours will enable you to live a better healthier life despite their addiction.

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