Everyone in the field of recovery knows that when an addict modifies his/her behavior and stops using whatever the drug of choice, that the disease of the disease is CODEPENDENCY. When the codependent issues are addressed, this is the beginning of change. The process begins with abstinence, followed by treating the root cause: CODEPENDENCY.
Most of us grew up with the back drop of our culture to songs promoting the concept of codependency, and had no inkling to the mess it wove in our adult lives. Whether it was Ella Fitzgerald’s, Wild Again, Beguiled Again, a simpering whimpering child again, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, (with phrases like, “vexed again, perplexed again, and over-sexed again,” or Willy Nelson’s “I’m a little guy who’s lost in the woods, waiting for someone to watch over me, or Barbra Streisand, People, Who Need People, they all send the same message. We need someone to feel whole. A part of this theory holds true today with the Neuro-biology studies that we are learning about; that the brain is the only organ in the body that needs another brain to regulate itself. All the other organs can self regulate. But with books that Daniel Seigal has published on brain chemistry it is true that people do need people, BUT….if they solely rely on another human being for their sense of self worth, that is a classic definition and understanding of CODEPENDENCY.
According to Martin Buber, the famed philosopher, it is well understood that we are wired for connection, and when we disconnect, we go into crisis. However, when our whole lives are dependent on another for emotional survival, then we are in polluted space that clearly leads to a static, unhealthy relationship. So what is love and what is codependency? This has been the talk of town since Melodie Beattie came out with her first book, CODEPENDENT NO MORE, and has followed an intriguing saga that another generation is still participating in without any conscious awareness.
Joan E Childs, LCSW is a renowned psychotherapist, inspirational speaker and author of I HATE THE MAN I LOVE: A Conscious Relationship is Your Key to Success to be released October 11, 2020. To learn more about how Encounter-Centered Couple Therapy can renew and restore your relationship, contact Joan