It’s easy for those close to a person struggling with addiction to find themselves in a codependent relationship. In codependent relationships, people take responsibility for the extreme needs of another person to the detriment of themselves. In relationships involving people struggling with substance abuse issues, this codependency can often become enabling behavior, with people taking responsibility for the actions of another, attempting to solve their problems, and turning a blind eye to harm their loved one may cause in their struggle with addiction. Stopping codependency can be a complicated process, but it’s essential to addiction recovery. Here are three tips to help you start untangling codependent relationships.
1. Set healthy boundaries
Boundaries establish what you are and aren’t comfortable with. Setting and honoring boundaries takes time and practice, but begin by taking some time to meditate on what makes you anxious and uncomfortable and what you can tolerate. Codependent people tend to struggle with saying no, so practice being direct and staying firm in refusals. It will take time, but this is key in shedding your people-pleasing behaviors.
2. Offer support without sacrificing your needs
People in codependent relationships often attempt to “fix” their loved ones, but in recovery, the desire to change needs to come from the person struggling: forced stints in rehabilitation rarely stick. Practice offering support and compassion without taking responsibility for your loved one’s issues or covering for problems caused by addiction. Discuss solutions and treatment plans with your loved one, but allow them to ultimately to make their own decisions. Consider attending family therapy to prepare for the changes that occur during the recovery and commiserate others in the same situation.
3. Take care of yourself
It’s easy to lose yourself in a codependent relationship as you become wrapped up in caring for your loved one. Spend time caring for yourself by focusing on your emotional, physical, and mental health. Eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep are more important than ever considering the disruptions to our lives due to Covid-19. You can’t take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
If you or a loved one are seeking help with recovery in Connecticut, contact us today to take the first step in transforming your life.