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What is Codependency?

Codependency is a term we hear often but not everyone truly understands what it means. The term was originally used to describe a person who was in a relationship with an alcoholic.Codependency can happen when you take on the task of fixing someone else's issues that they should be fixing themselves. Your identity becomes entwined with theirs and you lose a sense of who you are. This is called enmeshment.You get to the point where you believe you mean nothing if the other person doesn't need you. In most cases, the codependent person is a hard worker, dependable, and an excellent caretaker but these things are overshadowed by the unhealthy need to be needed.

Here are the top 3 that I have personally dealt with:

1. Feeling responsible for solving others' problems.

Someone who is codependent feels that they need to step in and clean up any messes the other person gets themselves into. They will make excuses, try to get the person out of trouble and feel that if they can make the person happy, they will stop their bad behavior

2.) Poor communication regarding feelings, wants, or needs.

A codependent person has difficulty expressing their own wants and needs. This is because they most likely grew up believing their needs weren't of importance . In the codependent's eyes, the only one who matters is the person in need.

Very often, the codependent person gets to a point where they can't separate the feelings of the other person from their own. You can't communicate what you don't recognize.

3.) Difficulty making decisions.

When a person isn't in touch with their own emotions and doesn't feel that they deserve to have needs of their own, they can't make decisions. This is especially true if they feel the decision may cause the person they live to please to be upset or disapprove in any way.

Codependent traits include not trusting your own thoughts and feelings, so this makes it difficult to know if you are making the correct decision and hesitation is common.

Learning to become interdependent is a journey, but is one that is worthwhile to have healthy mutually beneficial relationships. I encourage you to seek out a mentor and even a professional counselor to walk you through this.

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