What do codependency and addiction have in common?

They’re both rooted in fear.

Codependent behavior comes out of fear and addiction comes out of fear or unresolved feelings. 

For an addicted person, there’s all that rationalizing, minimizing, and denial happening. It’s the same process for the codependent as well.

According to Sarah Michaud, clinical psychologist and author of the book, Co-Crazy: One Psychologist’s Recovery from Codependency and Addiction: A Memoir and Roadmap to Freedom, a major underlying issue for a lot of recovering addicts is unresolved codependency. 

How Fear Fuels Codependency

When you’re living with an addict, you try to take control of the situation and their behavior. Whether that’s taking away or hiding the substance, monitoring them, or forcing them into treatment, you think your behavior is going to keep them alive. But that’s a lie. 

The biggest fear is the person dying, and the delusion is that you’re controlling the other person’s behavior because you can only control your behavior. 

The consequence of codependent behavior is that the people around us start to believe they can’t take care of themselves. Things will only improve if you focus on yourself and reconnect with yourself. 

Managing Your Fears

Every human has fears. It doesn’t matter who you are, whether you’re addicted or not. We all have fears, and we all manage them differently. The key is to not be operating from the past, which most humans are, and we just don’t know it. 

Fears are from the past. The problem is they continue to get activated and played out in the present. It’s therefore important to identify where your fears come from and why they’re still operating in your relationships. 

Detaching from Codependency 

Codependents end up being the classic “victim.” Until you can focus on yourself to get better and start figuring out what to do, you won’t be able to change the situation. 

Therefore, make sure to check in with yourself even just for five minutes a day. Ask yourself what you want, what you need, and what works for you because recovery is all about getting more in touch with yourself.
If you want to learn more about recovering from codependency and addiction, check out https://theaddictedmind.com/189.