Being in a codependent relationship is when you enable the behaviors of someone struggling with addiction or a mental health disorder. They may rely on you to bail them out of trouble all the time, and you may depend on them for feeling loved. In order to take back control of your life, you must find recovery for codependency to ensure you put your own care before anyone else’s.

Codependency Defined

A codependent relationship is when you feel like you can only thrive if another person is okay. If this person is angry at you, you need their approval back. You may need to help this person excessively, thinking you are saving their life. The truth is that you are only allowing this person’s drug addiction or mental health symptoms to grow worse. If you want to put the needs of your loved ones first, it starts with helping them find the treatment they need from professionals at a center for alcohol and drug treatment.

Negative Thoughts From Codependency

The negative thoughts that come from codependency can be that you do not think much of yourself. You could have been raised in an emotionally abusive environment where your parents did not value your opinions. Because of this, you were taught that other people’s opinions matter more than yours. Without that person there to value you, you feel like you have no one. You may feel the need to rescue your loved ones because you are afraid of what your life will be like without them. However, there comes a time when the two of you need to think of what is best for yourselves.

Put Yourself First

The time has come for you to start thinking about your own needs. Of course, you do not want your loved one to struggle. Addiction and mental health disorders are nothing to ignore. However, you could be sacrificing too much of your own needs for someone else. For example, maybe you had a job interview lined up, but you had to cancel it because you got a phone call about having to bail your loved one out of jail for drunk driving. Codependency can make you believe that you do not count when you most certainly do. Think about what you want out of life, and do not be afraid to speak up.

Codependency: Can EMDR Help?
Codependency: Can EMDR Help?

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Admit Your Helplessness

You may think you know what you are doing when it comes to protecting your loved one. You do not want to see your loved one overdose or endanger themselves. At the same time, what you are doing for your loved ones is not truly saving them. Sure, you are saving their lives at the moment, but they will continue the same unhealthy habits that can cause harm in the long run. This is the time to admit that you do not know how to help your loved one. You need to seek a center for alcohol and drug treatment that understands the impact of codependency. 

Learn to Say ‘No’

When a person struggles with addiction, they often act out of character and exploit the people around them. For example, your loved one may call you numerous times asking for you to take them to the hospital or for money. While you may feel the urge to help your loved one to make sure they are safe and okay, extending yourself so far for one person can cause burnout

The first boundary you need to set with your loved one is saying “no.” You are not a bad person for doing so. Constantly saying “yes” to your loved one facing addiction or mental health struggles can leave you fatigued. By finally saying “no,” your loved one will have no choice but to take care of themselves.

Let Go of Control

At this point, you have cut the cord from your loved one. However, you may have a pool of thoughts wondering if your loved one is okay. You could be afraid that they will not survive without your help. You need to trust that they do not need you rescuing them all the time. Focus on yourself instead. Get in touch with your own thoughts and feelings. Accept that you cannot control every aspect of a person’s life or their choices. Only you can control your choices. Choose to put yourself first.

Prioritize Your Needs

Now that your needs are no longer focused on trying to save your loved ones or making sure they do not cause harm to themselves, focus on you. You could have given up your career, family, or dreams to be there for your loved one. Now, take that dream of yours back. Find a job that will make you look forward to getting up in the morning. Get back to hobbies that felt good for your soul. Pay more attention to the relatives or friends you pushed aside in the recent months or years. There is a whole world out there waiting for you to grab it.

All You Can Do

Remember that just because your sole focus is not on your loved one does not mean you no longer care about them. The best thing you can do is admit your loved one to an inpatient treatment facility. Let them get the help they need with round-the-clock specialists who know precisely how to show your loved one that life is possible to live without drugs or alcohol. Love and support are all your loved one needs from you to help them recover.

Codependency can drain everything from you. Constantly worrying about your loved one and whether or not they are okay is a taxing and draining experience. While you may believe your actions are helping your struggling loved one, you may be causing more harm. Now is the time to let yourself heal from codependency. Learn to put yourself first and find professional care for your loved one. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we can help your loved one recover from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. As a Big Island substance abuse center, Hawaii Island Recovery also has the tools you need to heal from a codependent relationship. We can provide your loved one with individualized and group therapy, holistic practices, and dual diagnosis treatment. We also offer family therapy to help you heal alongside your loved one. Call Hawaii Island Recovery today at (866) 390-5070 for more information on our program.