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Friends & Families of Addicts Information for coping, dealing & living with a loved one's addictive behavior.

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Old 03-26-2011, 01:52 PM
PTO-189145 PTO-189145 is offline

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Exclamation What does Codependency and Enabling Mean?

What Is Codependency?

To keep it simple, I would sum Codependency up by saying it is a behavior that forces you to push aside your own feelings. It is said that Codependent people put the feelings of their addict ahead of their own. According to Mental Health America, codependent inviduals experience an "exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others".

The above link will provide you a wide range of information reguarding this type of behavior.

I think its only normal to push aside these feelings, and say "no..its not me"... but I think the more we learn about our own behaviors..as opposed to just the addicts...we'll discover new ways to cope, and in return it will further help us on our road to emotional freedom.

Another term used frequently is Enable.

What does Enable Mean?

This is a term you may see used frequently throughout this forum. When you enable somebody, you do something for another person that they are capable of doing themselves. For example, when you enable an addict...it could be providing shelter or clothing, making excuses for poor behavior, paying rent, etc. By enabling you are keeping the addict from experiencing the consequences of his/her own actions. The person who is doing the enabling may mean well, but the behavior can wind up being destructive.

I encourage you to read all the information you can on this topic.

and through it all...Please know...that you are not alone.

Last edited by PTO-189145; 03-26-2011 at 10:52 PM..
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:05 AM
nycgal nycgal is offline

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I have had many counselors and people that I spoke with regarding my bro in law who is doing life. They all over use that word and tell me constantly, Let him do his own time. I am far from co dependent he is doing life and I write about once a month, visit once a year its so far away and take phone calls, is that co dependent?

There is a good book called Co dependent no more by Melody Beatty. Co dependent means a lot of things usually its avoiding your feelings for the other person. Prisoners have a bad rap of being master manipulators and find women who are lonely and needy and con them out of anything an everything and when they get out drop them. The staff is aware of this going on. there are women out here that are not to bright, they give up their own life and just "live" for a guy often times they don't even know because they get tons of mail, love letters, etc and its exciting, but its not real. I am not saying love isn't real if you knew your loved one before he went in, its just there are women who change their entire life for an inmate, they are usually needy and its filling some void. Always remember keep the focus on yourself first, your bills, your kids your feelings matter, its complicated to describe. To keep it simple the guy or loved one actually becomes their drug, they actually become addicted to a person it can and does happen. Always remember healthy boundaries many of us have never been taught.
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:37 AM
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Grad0507 Grad0507 is offline
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You might also want to check out Melody Beattie's other books because she revised her definition of it to make it even broader. In later editions it's almost like saying it applies to anyone with an addiction. In the case you're thinking of it's more like a love addiction.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:39 AM
georgiagrama georgiagrama is offline
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I read the article on the link above on enabling and want to comment on one thing. It cited 'a mother who covers for a truant child instead of letting him face consequences". My experience on the horrible journey with a child ( starting at age 14 ) with addiction problems has been that the entire system in Georgia is set up to cause academic failure. The immediate punishment for any infraction is to put the child in the local detention center for anywhere from 3 to 30 ( or more days). Education is null and void in those places. The kid comes home and struggles to catch up his school work. Often he's placed in alternative school, with others who have worse problems than he has. No chance to interact with any role models who don't get into trouble. Our son was eventually sentenced to 7 months at the youth alcohol and drug treatment center. The education was minimal there. Most couldn't read, discipline was impossible. He emerged with an extremely high GPA that resulted in being placed in advanced classes he couldn't pass in college. My point is sometimes 'enabling' can prevent a real problem when the system treating our loved ones is so flawed it causes further damage rather than helping.
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