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What is Codependency?

So, what exactly is codependency and how do you know if you have it? And, furthermore, how do you know if you need help?

In simple terms, codependency is unhealthy attachment behavior resulting from flawed thoughts and belief systems about yourself and your worth in relation to external entities. These external entities can be family, romantic partners, friends, work, bosses, etc. As a codependent, we measure our worth based on the success of these relationships. When the relationship fails to measure up to our vision of success, either through our own actions or the actions of the external entity, we internalize this as our not being enough.

Codependency can manifest in many different ways. Some may experience codependency in just one area of their life , but typically the pattern is repeated throughout several areas. This is because codependents are not generally aware of their needs and/or wants and how to set healthy boundaries around these needs and wants. Therefore, their needs and wants are usually suppressed, resulting in weak and often violated boundaries. A hallmark of codependency is the underlying desire to control through people pleasing, managing emotions of others, and 'giving to get'. This desire to control is typically unconscious and those new to the world of codependency are often unaware of this desire driving their behaviors until it is brought to light through further study of codependency.

Some codependents may feel worthless and lost without their external entities to validate their worth. Some may experience addiction, depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. In fact, codependency is often underlying addiction as alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc. can be used to numb the feelings of not being enough.

If you are experiencing any of the following, you may need assistance working through codependent behaviors and belief systems:

  • Feelings that you are not enough

  • Low self-worth related to relationships with others

  • Lack of work/life balance, resulting in feelings of burn out

  • Repeated patterns of weak or no boundaries

  • Feeling like a victim

  • Lack of clarity around wants and needs

  • Feeling angry often, but also feeling very uncomfortable with anger

  • Addiction

If you need help, please feel free to book a discovery call with me to discuss your options further.

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