When I first got sober, and probably (by probably I mean definitely) still today I have been a very co-dependent person. For me, I have always had co-dependency within friendships as opposed to with my boyfriends. But I wrote this blog to help you see within your friendships or any type of relationships if there are signs you are co-dependent.
7 Signs You Are Co-Dependent: Seeking Validation or Low Self-Esteem
Having low self-esteem and seeking validation from others can be a big hint that you may be co-dependent. If you use your relationships with people to define and validate yourself and how you feel about yourself, you may have a co-dependency issue.
7 Signs You Are Co-Dependent: Can’t Do Anything without Your BFF or Significant Other
Some people have a problem even going to events or everyday places without their BFF or boyfriend or girlfriend. If you literally feel like you can’t do anything without this person by your side, this is a huge sign you may need to take a look at your co-dependent issues.
7 Signs You Are Co-Dependent: Pleasing Others
A very common form of co-dependency is simply based on always having to please others. For me, a lot of my happiness is dependent on if I can make others happy or not. Through sobriety I’ve learned that to make others happy, I have to be happy with myself first. Pleasing others ultimately won’t make you happy.
7 Signs You Are Co-Dependent: Poor or No Boundaries
Creating healthy boundaries is a part of everyday life; people who are co-dependent really have trouble with this. You can take on the feelings and problems of others and also have a hard time with money, belongings and emotions and separating them from other people. I’ve always had a problem with over-trusting people when it comes to certain boundaries.
7 Signs You Are Co-Dependent: Obsession
Due to being dependent and all the anxiety and fear that comes along with it, co-dependent people spend a majority of their time focusing and obsessing on other people. They can end up become overly obsessed if they think they’ve made a mistake or on the approval of another person for the simplest of things.
7 Signs You Are Co-Dependent: Taking Care of Others and Not Yourself
Co-dependent people typically are always being caretakers of others and end up lacking taking care of themselves. If you are helping someone to the point that you have completely given up on yourself and putting others needs before your own then this is a problem.
7 Signs You Are Co-Dependent: Reactivity
A negative side effect of co-dependency is you react to others feelings and opinions. You either believe the opinions or thoughts of others or you argue with them on whatever your firm beliefs are. If you had proper boundaries, you would be able to realize that this is a just someone’s opinion and not a reflection of you.
Overall, being in a co-dependent friendship or any kind of relationship can end up potentially not being good for your sobriety. In some cases, it can lead to relapse. In recovery we learn to be god-dependent (or higher power) and not people dependent anymore. People are only humans and at some point or another they will let you down. Don’t put all of your faith in another human, re-direct that energy towards your program and don’t hold onto those expectations of others. Whether you’re a parent, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, sibling or whatever of someone and you have a co-dependent relationship with them, you have to focus on you and make sure you are healthy first! If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.