A person with codependency believes their well-being depends on controlling and changing another person’s behavior. Attaching their identity to others, they lose control of their own ability to think, feel, act, and take care of themselves. They are addicted to the other person. Until they realize their recovery lies not in the other person (no matter how much they believe it does) but in themselves, they will never change.
Another part of codependency is the people pleasing and enabling. The codependency person actual believes they are being selfless but in reality, the enabling is all about them and their inability to confront their feelings of guilt or shame or inferiority.
The roots of codependency are usually formed by childhood traumatic experiences of an alcoholic or abusive parent or another authority figure. Sometimes the origins of codependency are from later in life, perhaps from an abusive adult relationship as one example.
Detaching from the person of our obsession is the first step in recovery. Only they can work on themselves and connect to Source (God). The Bhagavad Gita, a work central to Hinduism, says, “Detachment is not that we own nothing, but that nothing should own us.”
Another word for detachment and one that I prefer is non-attachment. Non-attachment means we are all responsible only for ourselves. It’s not our job to fix, solve, or worry about problems that are not our own. It’s about loving those we care about without enabling them by setting and keeping boundaries with ourselves and them. Self-love and self-respect come to us when we take care of ourselves.
“When we can’t stop thinking, talking about or worrying about someone or something; when our emotions are churning and boiling; when we feel like we have to do something about someone because we can’t stand it another minute; when we’re hanging on by a thread, and it feels like that single thread is frayed; and when we believe we can no longer live with the problem we’ve been trying to live with. It’s time to detach! You will learn to recognize when detachment is advisable. A good rule of thumb is: You need to detach most when it seems the least likely or possible thing to do.” ~ Melody Beattie, self-help, addiction and recovery author
As they say in the recovery rooms, “Put down the magnifying glass and pick up the mirror.” Our efforts to control or cling only create anxiety. To enjoy life and its pleasures, we must let go, and let it be.