Addictions aren’t always about drugs and alcohol.
You may be here because you can’t seem to leave your spouse or partner, even though they’re physically or emotionally abusive.
Or because you’ve mortgaged your house three times to pay for your daughter’s drug rehab stays.
Or because you keep lending money to your alcoholic brother, even though you know he’ll never pay it back.
You may have tried for years — or even decades — to protect and take care of someone the best you could.
But the person you love keeps behaving badly, hurting you in the process.
Worse, that person may have tried to convince you that YOU were “the crazy one.”
You may not have seen anything wrong with constantly taking care of someone, or trying to control his or her behavior.
After all, it’s easy to be in denial that someone you love dearly will never change for the better… no matter what you do.
Until you finally acknowledge the obvious: you’re in pain.
Of course you’re in pain!
You’ve been living in a constant state of guilt, obsession, and anxiety.
In the 1980’s, best-selling author Melodie Beattie coined a term for this condition: codependency.
“It drains and depletes people,” Beattie wrote. “It puts a blindfold on them, and it spins them around in circles until they’re dizzy.”
But it may feel impossible, from where you’re standing now, to accept that you have no control over this person or what he or she does.
I completely understand. It’s normal to feel sadness and pain at the prospect of letting go of someone we love.
But the problem arises when we refuse to accept reality, and we allow that denial to run our lives, hanging onto that person for dear life.
So the good news is, you’re not crazy.
But you owe it to yourself to reach out for help.
Gone untreated, codependency issues will follow you into your future relationships. It can also lead to conditions like hypochondria, physical and mental illness, and even suicide.
The purpose of codependency treatment isn’t just to reassure you that you aren’t crazy after all. (Although that definitely feels good, after all this time!)
Therapy will help you to start taking care of yourself again, and to identify what a healthy relationship looks like for the future.
Because you deserve to be happy and healthy — even if someone you love is not.
I offer individual therapy to help my clients heal from codependency issues.
I also offer a Life After Divorce Group, where people weathering similar circumstances can help support, encourage, and keep each other accountable for the lifestyle changes that will promote healthy healing and growth.