When you are living with a loved one addicted to drugs, alcohol, pornography or gambling, you will probably find yourself struggling as well. Family members of addicts should seek treatment and education, alongside the addict in treatment, because addicts almost never suffer alone. This is the reason Cold Creek offers a Family Program.
It is important to be aware of how your choices, feelings, and behaviors are affecting your health and happiness. Many family members of addicts feel that they can blame the addict for all their stress and troubles. But, even though that might be true to some extent, the law of individual choice empowers each individual to take control of their own feelings and lives.
How can you know if you are becoming codependent? There are several characteristics of codependency that can help you identify if you are affected.
Caretaking: Codependents feel responsible for making everyone happy and solving the problems in the family. They go so far as to feel anxiety and even guilt when another individual is struggling. They work so hard to please others that they often forget to take care of their own needs and wants.
Low Self-Esteem: Codependents lose themselves in their concern about others, to the point where they begin to feel that they are of little worth, except in how they can serve others. As individuals, they often feel worthless, or like they are failures. They feel they don’t deserve to have things or do things for themselves.
Self-Care and Responsibility: Codependents often let their weight go, feeling unworthy and that their own problems don’t deserve to be addressed. Eating, smoking, or shopping, can become ways to hide the pain that they feel they cannot face. Work and other relationships begin to suffer from neglect, as the individual begins to find it difficult to meet these responsibilities.
Worrying: Codependents are the consummate worriers. They obsess, literally, over the addict. They constantly rehearse past and potential conversations, rehashing and reworking them to death. They live in fear of the next problem with the addict and continually strive to come up with a way to save them. They lay awake at night worrying, fretting, and crying, trying to imagine what they will do if the addict relapses or even dies.
These are but a few of many possible signs of codependency, but the overall picture is clear. If you have become lost in another person’s problem(s), to the point that your life is becoming difficult to manage, you have a problem that you need to address yourself. The Cold Creek Family Program is an excellent support group for people struggling with codependency. Call us today to enroll in our Family Program or learn more 1-877-593-6777.