“Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself” by Melody Beattie “Codependency” is one of those hot topic buzz-words often thrown around. Melody Beattie, a recovering codependent herself, uses this book to explain what codependency looks like and feels like.
Beattie teaches that codependency does not just exist in relationships where there is an addiction present, although this often is the case. People can be codependent for a number of reasons, and your personality and family of origin can definitely contribute to codependency.
Codependency at its core can feel painful. Codependents often struggle with having appropriate boundaries with others and will find themselves being steamrolled or saying “yes” when they really want to say “no”. After this occurs, they tend to hold a grudge and will struggle with letting go of feelings of anger or resentment.
Codependents often do not take care of themselves emotionally. They will put their own feelings and needs on the back burner in order to take care of everyone else around them. They take things personally that aren’t personal. Codependents believe that how their loved ones treat them is a reflection of their own self-worth. Codependents often experience very low self-worth and need to feel needed.
I feel this quote from the book perfectly sums up what it feels like to be a codependent:
“Ever since people first existed, they have been doing all the things we label "codependent." They have worried themselves sick about other people. They have tried to help in ways that didn't help. They have said yes when they meant no. They have tried to make other people see things their way. They have bent over backwards avoiding hurting people's feelings and, in so doing, have hurt themselves. They have been afraid to trust their feelings. They have believed lies and then felt betrayed. They have wanted to get even and punish others. They have felt so angry they wanted to kill. They have struggled for their rights while other people said they didn't have any. They have worn sackcloth because they didn't believe they deserved silk.”
Beattie gives hope to those struggling with codependency by destroying the lies codependents often tell themselves. She is encouraging and provides information about 12 Step programs, counseling, and other resources available to help codependents.
If you find yourself struggling with anything related to codependency, I would encourage you to read this book. If you feel you need further assistance processing codependency, please seek professional help.
Check back tomorrow as we continue to give you our spring book recommendations!
Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW
Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.
Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.