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9 Signs You are in a Codependent Relationship

What is up, everyone? Good Morning or Good Afternoon or Good Whatever it is, wherever you are, welcome back to another education and support group for those who firsthand or secondhand have experienced, or are experiencing pain as a result of mental illness, addictions, trauma, or grief and loss. This is the right channel for you if you identify with one, a few, or all of those. And my hope is that you are able to receive some information that may potentially help you in your healing, recovery and transformation journey. My name is Parham. I am your weekly host of this live stream, so if you’re watching this live it is March 30th. It is 2024 and we are here right now. And if you watch this later, well that’s when it was recorded. Good Morning to those who are saying good morning. We got Marilyn, appreciate you and all your support! Just look at that – on time, ready to go! 2024, new you! Bita, thank you for your support always! And whoever else comes on, as you can see I’m able to pull the comments that you write and put them on the screen so if something identifies, if you want to just ask a question, if you want to clarify, put it in there. Whenever I have a chance to look at it I’ll post it and I’ll gladly talk on it. 

So let me give you a quick introduction of myself for those who are new. My name is Parham. Like I said, I teach these live streams because of one thing and one thing only. I believe in the possibility of human transformation. I believe that all human beings, including this guy sitting in front of the screen, is capable and it’s possible for us to transform who we are, how we live our lives, the way we engage, the way we experience this thing called life in any given moment that we choose to. And if you don’t believe me ask those who have transformed their lives and see if it’s something that they’ve been able to experience. This is a really nice community that’s going on for four years now. It was March of 2020, AKA Covid year that I took these groups that I would do in person, and I’m like, I got to put this online because the building’s closed and nobody’s coming in and everyone’s scared of life and I started doing these. And it’s been a really nice journey, and after Covid ended and we got back to the normal or the new normal or whatever the heck is happening in life, I’m like I’m just gonna keep doing these. So I do spend a lot of my Saturday. I won’t be here next week but we’ll talk about that later on. But to be able to show and demonstrate the possibility of transformation and who else popped up here? We got Jaleh, we got Mom, we got some peeps in here, so let’s get right to it.

So my friends, today we’re going to talk about something that for those of you who have loved ones who are struggling with alcoholism or mental illness this talk will probably resonate with you. It’s like a dagger in the heart, or like a wakeup call, and for those of you who maybe even you’re struggling with addictions yourself, codependency is not something that happens to us as a result of addiction. Codependency is often something that we have already inside of us and addiction is one way that we can start to act out in those codependent ways. Oh by the way, I do have a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy so if you’re watching this at some point and you’re wondering who’s this guy talking about codependency, I feel very competent and informed and educated on the topic and I am also in recovery myself. So hopefully that gives some hope to those who have a loved one that’s struggling, or they’re struggling themselves. June 13th, 2008 feels like an eternity ago but it also feels like yesterday, which is weird, is the day that I changed my life around and went from living a way that I was constantly poisoning my mind and my body and my life with mood and mind altering substances, to the point now that I don’t have the need for those things. It’s not that life’s been easy, I’ve gone through a lot of challenges but been able to stay on that path one day at a time, and gotten to where I am right now. So hopefully my professional background, my personal background, creates the platform for you to be able to receive what it is you’re looking for. So I’m going to go through nine signs that you are probably a codependent. Some of you might know you are one but this one will just reinforce it and hopefully I’ll give you a wakeup call to say if you’re not going to change these patterns within that you experience in life are not going to change and then it’s a simple decision, you decide. Do I want my life to feel different or am I just cool with the status quo? Am I cool with just everything I’ve experienced so far? The relationships I have? The quality of them or lack thereof? So all that being said, here we go.


1. Number one: you are overly concerned about what the other person is doing, thinking and feeling. One more time: you are overly concerned with what the other person is doing, thinking and feeling. So the main key here is ‘overly concerned.’ It’s okay to be concerned or to think or to kind of wonder if you have someone in your life that you love, what is it, what are they going through, how are they feeling, what are they thinking. That’s okay. That’s just kind of a natural connection, a human response to life in our relationship dynamics. But when you’re overly concerned that means it consumes you. That means that you do not think about yourself and what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. Because their actions, their thoughts, their words are more important to you than you are to you. That’s a big distinction. So please hear me when I say this. You might be saying I think that’s weird to not think about what someone else is doing or thinking or saying. I never said that. I said if that’s all you are concerned about there is a very very important red flag, and a telltale sign that something’s wrong. And the main reason we do that is because this individual believes that someone else’s thoughts, actions and feelings supersede their own, that they’re more important. When that is unfortunately categorically false. Who says that your thoughts, your actions, your behaviors don’t matter as much as the person you love? And this could even be true to the person you love the most in life and for many of you that potentially is your spouse, your parent, or your child. Even then, your thoughts, your actions, your behaviors are more important. Because without understanding what it is that you’re experiencing you will become lost in this world. It is impossible to show up for yourself when you don’t consider yourself. When your emotional experience is less important than the emotional experience of someone else, you cannot show up in life the way you need to. And so that’s the first one. Alright, so today we’re talking about signs of codependency and that is the number one.


2. Number two: if you are in a relationship that is constantly one sided. Okay now, a relationship, by definition, is the experience that exists between one and two people or a group of people. Fair. Now if that relationship is one-sided, if one person is doing the majority of the work, if that person is doing the majority of the effort, if that person is doing the majority of majorities, it starts to become one-sided and it starts to become very old. A few weeks ago I shared with you a concept that I strongly believe in, and that concept is the following. It’s a simple metaphor that I want you to always remember when considering your relationships. And that metaphor is the following. Every relationship in life has a relationship bank account associated to it. A relationship bank exists in every single account of your life and here are the simple components of any bank account. There are two things. Number one, there are something called deposits, and number two, there are something called withdrawals. So when a relationship is new, when two people meet each other they’re constantly making deposits into that relationship. They’re asking each other questions, they’re finding out what their favorite color is, what their favorite food is, they’re asking what their fears are, what their hopes are, what their goals are, what their dreams are, and both parties are depositing a lot into this relationship bank. And as a result, the account of this relationship bank starts to become nice and full and both people say, “Oh this is a great relationship!” But here’s the kicker. In life if you’re not making deposits you are automatically taking withdrawals. So when that initial excitement and euphoria and motivation goes away the account starts to take withdrawals and when you start taking withdrawals from it the account balance starts to go down. And this is when codependency spikes up. The codependent starts to do all the effort, all the work. They start to deposit, deposit, deposit, but the other person keeps taking and taking and taking. And now the resentful codependent says, “Don’t you see what I’m doing? I’m trying so hard to maintain this relationship, but you’re not doing your part. You’re not trying. It’s your fault.” And they get pissed off. So if you’re in a relationship that is heavily one-sided please don’t think it’s the other person’s fault. Start looking at yourself and saying, “Why am I overcompensating? Why am I trying so hard when the other person just isn’t trying at all?” I can’t tell you how many parents I’ve dealt with over the years that are trying to sign their adult children up to college classes. There’s this one, bless her soul, this one mom that for the past seven years that I know, every fall and every spring, signs up her child for Community College every year. Just two classes, just one class, a full class. One time she signed them up for five classes and this kid has not finished one class yet. And it’s like, “I’m trying so hard to help your educational future. How come you’re not trying?” At some point it ain’t the kids’s fault anymore. It’s like this weird addiction to a one-sided relationship. So one-sided relationships are very, very, very telltale signs of a codependent relationship. Nothing should be one-sided. It’s okay if sometimes it gets a little one-sided because maybe the other person is struggling with something, maybe the other person does need support. But if it’s every day, every week, every month, every year, something is wrong. 

And again, if you have any questions about this stuff, if you feel like you’ve been doing this in your life with your loved one, your qualifier, your significant other, your child, your friend, feel free to write some stuff here and just say how are you trying to work on it. 


3. The next one says, you always sacrifice yourself to make the other person happy. Oh I’m going to talk about this one a little bit. And by the way, I did this talk this morning for our program participants, probably maybe 25 men, women, guys, girls, people sitting in couches listening to me talk. I told them, “Hey, you know a lot of you are codependent.” I told the program participants, “But a lot of your parents and family members, they’re super codependents, like mega codependents.” And I said, “If you don’t identify with this stuff just listen to the talk because that’s probably what they’re going through.” And this one specifically that I talked about, that I’m going to talk about now, is one that I really wanted them to understand. Because I told them I’m going to directly look your parents in the eyes in my family talk, whether it’s this one, or the one I do in person and I’m going to tell them the following. “If you sacrifice yourself to make the other person happy I’m telling you this. It is one of the biggest signs of codependency. And also one step further, it’s one of the biggest signs of a mistake in life.” You might be thinking to yourself this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Being a parent is about sacrifice. Loving someone is about sacrifice. No it’s not. Sacrifice, by definition, means to kill off something for something else. When you sacrifice yourself for something or someone you love you are killing yourself for something or someone you love. And my friends, when you kill yourself you do not exist. Now is there a time that sacrifice is okay? Is there a time that it’s okay to sacrifice yourself for somebody else? Yes when that infant is a child, when that infant is 2 – 5 years old, a young little person, there are times that you must sacrifice specific things about your life in order to help that child grow up. You might sacrifice sleep, you will sacrifice sleep. You might sacrifice social obligations, you will sacrifice social obligations. You might sacrifice your hobbies, your goals, whatever it is for a short period of time. Because if you don’t that little thing, that little person will not grow up. But if you’re sacrificing yourself, if you’re sacrificing your time, your money, your health, your sleep for your grown ass adult child, for your 20, 30, 40, 50 year old kid there is no honor in that. There is no noble behavior or a pat on the back or medal around your neck for that. It is a very toxic and very dysfunctional mode of operating and parenting. If that’s what you’re doing, if you’re sacrificing yourself for your spouse over and over and over and over again, and calling that in the name of love, then you have a very twisted and distorted understanding of what love looks like, feels like, is experienced. So I want you to hear this for the parents that say I sacrifice everything for my kid, stop making this about your kid. Start thinking about why you think that it is either good or noble to sacrifice yourself to kill yourself off for somebody else to live. How somebody else lives by you living, by you not sacrificing yourself, by you not giving up who you are, your goals, your dreams, your ambitions, your desires for somebody else. Because if you do that you want to know what happens? They’re going to find a way in life to sacrifice everything that they are, and everything that they have, either for something else or a drink or a drug. So lead by example. If you notice that this is something you’re doing please, please, please consider looking at that behavior and asking yourself why. And once you get to that why, ask yourself why, and once you get to that why, ask yourself why. Eventually if you dig deep and get to the bottom of it then you will be able to see the truth and the truth is you are only doing it because of fear. You are only doing it because you think that’s the way something’s going to change. And the truth of the matter my friends, is this. If you sacrifice yourself you do not exist in that relationship, nor do they feel your presence because they don’t see the person that raised them. They just see somebody that’s just a perpetual victim.


4. So the next one. This is something I hear all the time from lovely parents and they say the following. If you catch yourself walking on eggshells or like broken glass because you’re afraid that if you share your thoughts, your opinion that it’s going to displease the other person, it’s going to anger them, it’s going to make them pissed off, therefore you don’t. First of all, any relationship in which you walk on eggshells in order to have a relationship with that person, there is no relationship. There is no relationship when walking on eggshells is the mode of operating. Walking on eggshells is highly dysfunctional. Walking on eggshells is highly codependent. Walking on eggshells is highly toxic. There is no need, in a relationship in which you love somebody, to be afraid of sharing your thoughts, your opinions, your words, your internal experience with the other person and having them receive what it is you’re saying. Here’s the thing when you share those things. Share them in the direction of love and truth. Share them with compassion. Share them with authenticity. Share them in a way that you want to make it about you and not about them. And if they freak out, if they lose their s___, if they get displeased with what you said, at least you stayed true to yourself. At least you didn’t shrink and become small in order for someone else to feel okay. Because walking on eggshells, my friends, is a pattern that once you start it is very hard to end because it begins to condition that relationship. It begins to create a power dynamic, a struggle in which you’ll never be able to share your opinions with that person. And you’ll come around and tell people, “I can’t tell them because they always get so mad.” So what does that mean? You got to minimize and you got to withhold who you are because of somebody else’s emotions, what about yours? What about your thoughts? What about your displeasure? But see, codependency doesn’t do that. Codependency says something or someone else is more important than me. 

We got a comment here. Let’s see what it says. Julianne, I don’t know if I know you but what up? Welcome Hossein Jan, welcome. So you know we’re talking about codependency today and nine signs that you are highly codependent. If you’ve identified with the first three or four that I’ve talked about right now you’re already on a very very good path. Oh cool, okay I got you, right on! I didn’t know the whole full name there. What up, what up, Pacific Sands in the house! Doing good work over there! So what we’re doing here now, we’re going through the codependency patterns. 


5. We’re going to get to the next one and see if you identify with this one: You act like a martyr taking care of everyone and everything but resentful that nobody else seems to care about you. Oh what a sad way to be. But I want to extend a little bit of compassion to this person. If this is you as an adult I want to pause it right there before I go in and I want to share a little bit of insight and compassion. Because here’s the thing. This phenomenon in your life did not happen with the mental illness or the addiction of your child. I want to rewind the tape to when you were a child or you were an adolescent, and you were vulnerable. You probably came from a dysfunctional family in which you needed to take care of something or someone else in order to survive at that time in your life. When you were innocent and vulnerable you had to leave your experience and you had to take care of someone else. For example, I had this little kid, his name was Omar. I’m gonna share with you guys right here. I’m going to tell you guys this. Oh I need you to know this one, this is good. I have this kid named Omar. Okay what I’m talking about right here is acting like a martyr, taking care of everyone else. No one takes care of you and this is how it manifested. So if this is you in life right now I want to share this with you. I’m not going to be too hard on you if that’s what you’re doing right now because I know at some point in your life this was an adaptation to what was happening. So are you ready for this? I had this kid named Omar and he had gotten DUI because he was underage and he got caught drinking beer and smoking weed and he got a DUI at 17 years old. I got to know Omar a little bit. I’m allowed to talk about him because this kid’s a phenomenal kid. He became an engineer. So I was able to talk to Omar and do his counseling and I said, “What’s going on with you, man? What happened here?” And Omar told me that “Hey, you know I was actually an honors student at my school in Costa Mesa.” He was a 4.4 GPA student. A little Hispanic kid, first generation to even try to finish high school. 4.4 GPA and his mom had four other siblings and he was the oldest of the siblings. At the age of 16 years old Omar decided to drop out of high school so he can be a financial supporter of the house. He had to get a job to help provide for the family. His mom went to work in hotels and do some cleaning stuff and he would go work in a restaurant, in a kitchen. He would ride his bike there and he would wash dishes and come home and stuff like that. When his mom was at work Omar would take care of the other three children. He would change diapers, he would feed them, he’d clean the house, he’d do whatever he had to do. When his mom would come home he would go to work and be the man of the house. 16 years old and he did this for a while. But he’s getting upset. He sacrificed everything for this family. He did everything for the world and no one was doing anything for him. And then he told me when he smoked weed or he drank alcohol he said “the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.” What type of a world was this little kid carrying that the weight of the world was lifted off his shoulders? I had so much compassion for that kid. I felt so bad for that kid. He was a 4.4 GPA kid, about to be the first kid to graduate from high school from his entire generation, and he had to drop out to be a man. Thank God I got to work with this kid at that point in his life because through the process of working with him during a nine-month program I was able to just make this kid understand that he’s not responsible for all that stuff. He can do his best to show up and support any way he can but he’s got to show up for himself. And this little kid, after he got his DUI, got his license taken away for an entire year, went to community college, went to OCC Orange Coast Community College, got his associate degree, transferred to Cal State Fullerton, became an engineer, a civil engineer. He got a job and when he got that job he was able to support his family and support his siblings and stuff like that. You see, if this kid wouldn’t have woken up and understood that he matters his whole life he would have been taking care of other people, resentful that no one else takes care of him. And that’s what it is for a lot of people. A lot of you family members that just are taking care of the world, but you don’t take care of yourself, and you also get resentful that no one does it for you. Why? What compels you to do so? Where’s the urge coming from? Why do you think that’s the way your world is going to get better? It’s because you probably come from a world in which you had to do all that, like the younger ones that had to take care of dysfunctional parents. Parents with addiction or mental illness that you’re just going to repeat later on. So eventually this whole martyr thing, even though it sounds like it’s an honorable thing, self-sacrificial, it’s a horrible, horrible way to live life. Any questions, comments, concerns, feel free to post them. I will gladly respond. I want this to be collaborative but if not, you all know by now that I gladly like to hear myself talk, and I will talk for the entirety of this session if I need to.


6. So the next one says: Your need to fix or rescue becomes controlling. So let’s look at those words because it’s a pretty intense sentence in a short few words. So it says, your need to fixing and rescuing is usually not a need. It’s something people could do. Like I could go fix something that’s broken even though I’m horrible at it. I’m not a handyman or if I go rescue something or someone that needs help in like a situation I could do that, but it’s not a need. A need means like food, water, shelter, safety. That’s a need. So for it to become a freaking need that means something is significantly wrong. So if you need to fix something or someone, or you need to rescue something or someone, I’ll give you this once in a while. And once in a while means like a few times in a lifetime, that’s what once in a while means. It’s okay to fix or rescue somebody once in a lifetime. Twice in a lifetime it’s okay. But when you have to do it day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, for some of you decade after decade, you got to realize that probably that behavior is your drug. Fixing and rescuing is your drug or else you wouldn’t be doing it all the time. You’re highly addicted to that stuff and might say, “How the heck am I addicted to fixing and rescuing someone? It’s taking over my life, it’s destroying me, I can’t sleep at night.” Well, welcome to the world of addiction. Have you ever wondered how your kid continues to use their drug despite the fact that it’s impacting everything? Yet they continue to do it. Now and only now you might understand that fixing and rescuing and codependency is a drug, exactly the same way the drugs are used by those who use drugs. There is no need to fix someone. There is no need to rescue someone. If you just step back and allow them to be themselves, hopefully they will find a way to fix or rescue themselves out of a situation. See, when someone’s a child again I always premise this. You guys know I’m a family therapist and I understand human development dynamics. There’s children that kind of need this kind of support. A grown ass adult man or woman person does not. 

Let’s see what we got here. Got some comments. Jim, Counselor Jim, hope you’re recovering well! Yeah, by the way this is a good thing and I wanna not only verify what Hussein Jan said here but also say that this is the reason why I’m having this talk. So in his case, “I followed my dad’s footsteps of sacrificing my life for the comfort of the rest of the family. I thought it was the norm.” And this is exactly why people continue doing these multi-generational patterns. I call them multigenerational patterns of dysfunction because if I had a chance to go to your father back in his day when he was a young man trying to raise a family, I would tell him, “Please sir, do not sacrifice all that you are for others.” It’s okay to be giving, and it’s okay to be loving, but I’ll teach about boundaries. I’ll teach him, “If you give up yourself then you aren’t. You don’t exist. And then what if the world doesn’t work out the way you want it to work out?” And this father did it also and he thought it was the norm. See, if you tell a fish in water that they’re in water they don’t know because it’s the norm, and if you tell somebody that comes from a culture or a family of sacrifice that what they’re doing is wrong, they don’t know the difference. And Jim, first and foremost, I hope you’re recovering well. Everybody that knows Jim, give him some love and some shout out. He had between a minor and a major foot procedure done recently and he’s recovering really well. I’m really happy to hear that. Well, I don’t know if it’s really well but he tells me it’s good as well, and we look forward to having you back in action hopefully on April 8th at work. We all miss you, my friend, and look forward to seeing you there. So he said “I’d rather be happy than right.” Which just means I don’t need to control to be happy. Yep, I just need to be free from the need to control. That’s powerful. So when it goes back to what we were talking about there is the need to be controlling. Also remember this my friends, when you control something or someone that is out of control it starts to become more out of control. The more you control and overcompensate the more it grows out of control. And also I want you guys to hear this. You have no control over the thoughts, actions and behaviors of other human beings. You might think you do, you might think that by controlling where they’re going or what they’re doing that you’re actually preventing it. It is completely categorically false. I mean, how many thousands and millions of parents have to control their kid from going to a specific house or a place to hang out with people and they think that they stopped it, come to find out that they went through the window of their room? Or they said they’re going to the library and then ended up there. If it worked it would work but it doesn’t work that way. See, the whole manifestation of control is an illusion that we use to bring our own anxiety down. When you think you know someone’s doing something it’s a anxiety tool but guess what? It’s not even working. It’s working in your delusional mind, or illusion of control and it doesn’t even work. I know that sucks to hear, parents. What do we got here? We got Julian. “Anytime someone would try to control my drinking I would get resentful and it would get worse.” Yeah, they start drinking and the person’s trying to help or like, “Hey stop doing that.” But what do they do? Bam Bam Bam, they start drinking at the person. “I’ll show you. I’ll tell you what’s up.” There’s a good example and thank you for being vulnerable and sharing that.


7. So the next one we got here: You continue the relationship even after the other person has repeatedly hurt you. Now this one again is a little bit tough when it comes to someone you love, someone that shares the same last name with you, someone who is near and dear to your heart. Because we’re taught that when you love somebody or someone is your child, that even when they hurt you, you got to turn the other cheek, or you got to try anyways. And like I said, I think there’s a line. Continuum of age is very important here. Because when somebody’s really young and small and they don’t know any better and they’re just learning life for the first time and they make mistakes and they hurt you, you show up as a human, as a parent, as a compassionate soul, and just let them know that everyone makes mistakes, it’s okay. Like, “Why did you do it? What led you to it?” You kind of have a dialogue, a conversation, you educate, you learn together. But again, when that person’s like 20, 30, 40, 50 years old, or you’re in a relationship with them for 10 – 15 years and they’re continuously doing it, please stop pointing the finger at them and saying, “you keep doing this to me.” Start asking yourself, “Why do I allow them to continue doing this to me?” Once you get clear with that, once you understand that, once you realize that, you have a part in what it is that’s happening to you. You will begin to understand that you can free yourself of needless suffering in that relationship. Needless suffering doesn’t need to happen but you bring it on. By the way, people get good at telling you that it’s different or manipulating or finding reasons that make you feel like it was different. But once, twice, three times, five times, 10 times, 17 times, 20 times, 50 times, how many times does it take to do it? I’ll give everybody some grace in the early stages of a relationship, when people are getting to know each other, people are growing up, people in early stages of recovery. Nobody knows what’s happening. There’s going to be some trial and tribulation and some people are going to say things and do other things, and some people are not going to know how to respond or react. That’s okay. But a couple years later, come on, get true with yourself. 


8. The next one happens to a lot of codependents: You spend more time taking care of others than taking care of yourself. And if that’s the case in your life I will ask you the simple question, why? Why have you decided and why do you demonstrate in your actions that taking care of somebody else is more important than taking care of yourself? If you can answer that to me maybe I’ll consider it. But what are some potential answers that you might have? Well, it’s because I love them. Then my friends, you have a distorted reality and understanding of what the word love means. Love doesn’t mean not taking care of yourself and taking care of other people. What the heck is that? Love always means taking care of yourself because there’s something called self-love. So if you love somebody you say you take care of them, then what about yourself? So that means by definition you don’t love yourself and someone might say, “Well hey, I spend more time taking care of someone else because they’re going through a lot in life.” Okay, what are they going through? “Well, they’re struggling with addiction, they don’t have money, they’re potentially going to be homeless.” Okay so as a result of taking care of all that what’s going to happen to you? “Well, it’s gonna have a financial impact on me. I’m going to lose some sleep. I’m probably gonna eat some food I shouldn’t eat or not eat some food I need to eat, I’ll probably start experiencing stress autoimmune diseases.” Okay cool, so did you solve a problem here, or did you just make a problem? That by the way, is not getting better because you’re trying to take care of them. And now compounded it by adding all of that impact that it’s having on you to the dynamic in the relationship my friends, there is no need to take care of something or someone else above yourself. If you do that it will lead you to a path of destruction. Destruction of your mind, destruction of your body, destruction of your spirit and ultimately destruction of the quality of your life. You choose. I lay it out there for you. I give you a nice binary choice. Either take care of yourself or F up your life. It’s a very nice choice. But you know what the funny part is? Someone says, “I considered what Parham said, I agree with everything he said but I still got to take care of somebody else more than I take care of myself.” Man, human beings, we are a very fascinating species. We know the truth and we know what to do but we don’t do it. Stubbornness. And then we blame it on somebody else. That’s the best part. 


9. Last one here. So this one kind of goes down to the roots of codependency. So I’m going to give you a little dignity and grace and get off your back. You’re afraid of being rejected, criticized or abandoned. Okay so if that’s something that happens inside you I’m telling you, you probably got some roots of codependency in you. And guess what? This didn’t happen with the addiction of your loved one either. Nope, it didn’t. At some point in your life you were rejected. At some point in your life you were criticized, probably over criticized, or critiqued. You weren’t good enough. And at some point in your life you potentially were abandoned. And the fear of all of that is so intense that later in life when you get into relationships yourself, when you have children yourself, the thought of any of those happening again terrifies you to the point that you are willing to do all of those things we talked about in order to not lose it. But I will give you a challenge, that if you have a fear of abandonment and you’ll do whatever it takes not to be abandoned, when you do whatever it takes you actually do something. You abandon yourself. So you have this fear of abandoning and yet you are the one that abandoned yourself. Now can you see the dilemma? When you leave your own experience it means you abandon your own experience. When you leave your own experience, attend to the experiences of others there is no longer you home. You no longer exist. You no longer are present. So in that relationship, in that dynamic, in that world you’re trying to hold on to so dearly, who’s the one holding on? Because it’s not you. You abandoned you. It’s this shell of who you think you are that thinks completely delusionally, that they’re holding everything together. To all the codependents out there and all your attempts to hold things together have they ever been held together? These are serious questions that I really hope that you answer honestly. 

Yeah and this is another thing too that Hossein Jan gave a nice insight into. It said, “It gave me a good feeling and was making me look like a rescuer and was buying their love.” There’s a lot of times when family members with good intentions – I actually know this gentleman – good intentions, does things right, buying with love or does things but here’s the thing. Even though one of the main reasons they’re doing it is for the love of the other person. They also do it because there’s a payoff. It’s like, “I feel good.” I’m telling you, that’s what drugs feels like. I know you think that helping another person or rescuing another person isn’t as bad as drinking some alcohol or doing some drugs but they both make you feel good and they both have consequences. And yep Julie, we got self-sabotage and good! “Trying to start CODA soon.” Yeah, CODA is a wonderful thing. 


So this brings us to the end of the talk and for those of you who identified with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of those, there’s actually 20 of those things. I just didn’t want to go through all of them. There are support groups out there. Support groups just like the ones that people like me find their foundation of. Recovery exists out there for drugs and alcohol. There is also ones out there that are very good for things like adult children of alcoholics. So if you came from an alcoholic or addicted home there’s stuff out there for emotional sobriety, there’s stuff out there for CODA which is codependency, and you go there and you just kind of get faced with your own truth, and it helps you kind of break certain patterns and stuff like that. And please, if you identified with this stuff make a commitment to start looking at it at least because the reality my friends is, if you don’t change it won’t change. If you don’t commit to a different version and approach to life your life will remain the same. I can’t tell you what to do or what not to do – it’s a simple observation. Do I want the same life I’ve had in the past, the same relationships, the same dynamics to continue, not only today but for tomorrow, for next week, for next month, for next year, until the end of this thing called my life? If you’re cool with it then just get on your day but if you’re not okay with it, if you say ‘no more, nah’ do something about it. And support groups are great. Individual therapy is great, journaling is great, direct conversations and boundaries are great. But you know what, and they’re all kind of easy to do. But if they’re easy to do they’re also easy not to do. So the choice is yours. Love and appreciate you. I won’t be back next week. I’ll make an announcement. See you back in two weeks, same time, same place. Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend! Love and appreciate all of you!

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Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.