There are many books and discussion all over regarding the hot topic of codependency. For some, the more you study it or discuss it the more confusing one gets. I’ve come to learn that we are all codependent in an unhealthy way to some degree or another. When it comes to my addiction and the addictions of the clients we work with, codependency plays a major role in it, in fact, I feel strongly we are addicted to being codependent in our relationships. That’s right, codependency itself is an addiction. The reason it becomes this way is because it helps us meet our emotional needs and helps us cope.
Many professionals and researchers would agree with this. So with this said, what do we do about it. For me, first and foremost, similar to many 12 step programs, we admit it; we become intensely aware of it. Once we can own it, we will be able to recognize it on a daily basis and make the necessary changes to combat it, just like with a substance addiction. I also don’t think we should be ashamed of it or judge ourselves or others because of our codependency, because why should we? Remember we all have it and do it anyways!
THOUGHTS we may have that tell us we are acting too co-dependently:
“If you are happy, then I’m happy”
“Oh, you are sad or mad, I need to do something to fix that, as quickly as possibly”. Then we may continue to say or do something to help save this person from feeling.
“You are feeling pain, how can I take that away from you?”
“I need to fix myself so that you can be happy”
“I’d like to be able to solve your problems”
It comes down to the ultimate solution, SELF LOVE and COMPASSION. When we are working towards loving ourselves more, we become less and less codependent. When we think loving others is the main goal, we tend to want to fix others and then others well being becomes a main factor of how our well being is. In reality if we are loving ourselves, it puts us in better situation to become interdependent with others and they’ll feel love from us more efficiently. It sounds paradoxical, but if we can learn to connect with and love ourselves more, than we, in return are better suited to love and connect with those around us.
Colby Hassard, MSWi
Mens Outpatient Therapist
Real Stories of Recovery
My sobriety date is July 15 2008. And for that I am very grateful. The ranch has given Me the tools to live a life I never thought was possible. I have never forgotten the feelings I felt when I was there in treatment and that's what gets me through the day, is the feelings and brotherhood that I was so blessed with while I was in the ranch.
Renaissance Ranch gave me a gift that no amount of money can ever repay. Through their unique, caring approach I learned how much I was loved, and that I never had to feel alone every again.
As soon as I walked through the doors of the Ranch I felt hope. My life had spiraled into depths of shame, misery, guilt, depression, sadness, and suffocating darkness prior to reaching those front doors. The 2 months that followed would forever change my life and provide a foundation within that is unshakable.
Renaissance Ranch will always be a special place to me and will always have a special place in my heart. I had already attended one rehab facility. The Ranch truly saved my life by teaching me and allowing me to understand and love who I am.
I had a head full of gospel knowledge and a heart full of shame. I felt like a failure. I hated who I was. That all changed during my stay at Renaissance Ranch. I quickly realized that I wasn't alone and that there were others who felt the same feelings of self-hatred, failure, and shame. This realization, coupled with the nonjudgmental environment of the Ranch, I was able to be completely honest and open for the first time in my life. From the guidance and empathy of my counselors and brothers, I learned it was okay to feel and I started to believe that there was hope.
I have been called to serve a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the Fort Collins, CO mission. I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices and love of everyone at The Ranch. I attribute my recovery to God, hard work, and the things I learned while I was there. I am so excited to go serve my Heavenly Father, it has been a long hard road to get here but I know it is what he wants me to do. My heart is full of gratitude and love for those who have cared for me... Thank you for all you have done for me...