Have you FINALLY hit your “enough’s enough!” point?
The relationship wasn’t like this in the beginning. Once upon a time the two of you – you and the addicted person in your life – truly connected. Talked to each other. Had fun together. Shared your thoughts and dreams. Knew exactly where you stood with each other. Maybe sometimes those things still happen. But more often than not….
You really, really miss those days.
Now? They’ve lied to you one time too many. Maybe they’ve asked you to cover for them at work or school after they’d promised you wouldn’t ever have to again. Perhaps they’ve wasted the money you’d given them for essentials on yet more drink or drugs. Maybe there are children involved and you are starting to worry a little about their safety.
If you are:
- Beating your head against the brick wall of trying to have a one-sided relationship
- Focusing on the consequences of the other person’s addiction
- Rationalizing and making excuses for the bad behavior of the person you love
- Living in fear of upsetting or angering the person you care about
- Feeling depressed, get headaches, or have problems sleeping or eating (maybe even experiencing more severe health issues like high blood pressure or ulcers)
It’s time to get help.
You might have heard the term codependency before and shied away from the label. Or perhaps you secretly wondered if it applied to you.
The key to understanding codependency is realizing that it can show up differently for different people. Some of the more common signs are listed above – but specifics can look very different in different relationships. In all cases, though, what makes your behaviors unhealthy is that you are caretaking of others and trying to solve all the problems at the expense of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self.
What if the addicted person won’t go to counseling?
It’s hard to realize you can’t fix someone else’s problem or change the other person. Even if you have found over time that if you just say or do the right thing, you can change the way the other person responds, it isn’t changing the current situation over the long term. It can be difficult to acknowledge that the only person in your relationship you can change is yourself. But here is the interesting thing…if you start to make changes, other things will start to shift as well.
BUT… what are you supposed to do?
I know it’s almost impossible to imagine taking a step this big right now and getting into codependency treatment. But with counseling and the right tools; you can make changes that will start to help to improve your mental and emotional health even if the other person won’t go to counseling.
I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a long history of helping people who struggle with co-dependency issues related to friends / family members with addictions. I can work with you in codependency treatment to help you improve your relationships as you learn to:
- Treat your own needs, opinions and values as important; and learn to communicate them to the person you love
- Trust yourself enough to set boundaries and say “no” to the things that don’t support you
- Find ways to cope with the very real problems you’re having now, and the ones you worry will result from making changes
- Fight past your inner fear and find your own internal strength to sustain you
You can stop living your life walking on eggshells, trying to figure out what the “right” things to do and say are. You don’t have to define your life in relation to the addicted person.… However, the reality is that the situation you’re experiencing now can’t change until you start to make changes.
If enough really IS enough, it’s time to take action
You might be scared of hurting the person you love. Maybe you’re worried about losing them for good. I won’t lie to you. There’s even a possibility that you’ll decide you can’t accept the cost of staying in the relationship, and decide to leave it yourself.
I want you to know, though, that many of my clients choose to maintain their relationship with the addicted person they love. Through codependency treatment, they learn to change what they do within that relationship so that it becomes less chaotic, and they become happier people.
You can access a world of possible futures that are different to – and better than – the reality you’re living in now.
And all of them start with a single call.