The term “codependent” is often used loosely and misinformed. Understanding what codependency isn’t can shed greater light to what codependency really is.
Codependency Doesn’t Mean You’re Too Nice And Giving
In a way, that’s exactly what codependency means. The codependent person has a lack of boundaries, meaning they have difficulty defining who they are, what their limits are, and what their limits are for other people. Being “nice” and being a generously giving person is healthy and wonderful, within healthy and wonderful limits. When someone gives beyond their capacity, in terms of finances, time, energy, mental and physical health, it is not longer a positive mark to their personality. Instead, it highlights a deep trouble and trauma which has manifested into a desperate need to please, give, and be liked. More specifically, the over-generosity of someone with codependency is an effort to avoid being abandoned, judged, neglected, and rejected. Chronically putting other’s needs above their own, the moral motives behind being nice and giving isn’t a matter of a bleeding heart, but a wounded heart which needs to be healed.
Codependency Doesn’t Mean You’re Dysfunctional
Typically, codependency means you’ve grown up in a dysfunctional home, with dysfunctional parents or have found yourself in dysfunctional relationships (which may or may not be a result of a dysfunctional childhood). Codependency is not a life-sentence for emotional pain and dysfunctional relationships. Dysfunction in codependency is learned and developed as a means for emotional survival. Being codependent does not make them dysfunctional. It only means they have learned to live in a dysfunctional way which causes dysfunctional effects. Recovering from codependency and learning healthy behaviors for relationships and emotional regulation is possible.
Codependency Doesn’t Mean You’re Too “Clingy”
Codependency can often and does often mean that people “cling” on to other people, afraid to be alone, to act independently, or even think and feel their own thoughts without the approval of another person. However, this is not the only way codependency can take form. Counter-dependency is a form of co-dependency, acting on the same instincts and dysfunction, just in a separate manner. Avoidance, distance, pseudo-independence and other traits which seem to oppose those of the mainstream idea of codependency are codependent in their own right.
Recovering from codependency is possible. If you feel your codependent behaviors are causing your mental health to suffer, help is available. At the primary mental health care program at Avalon By The Sea, we welcome clients with needs for healing codependency. Our trusted residential treatment programs provide trusted results, mind, body, and spirit. For a confidential assessment and more information, call us today at 888-958-7511.