Codependency is a scary place to find yourself and yet it happens far to often and more than we care to admit. When a person is co-dependent it tends to go unnoticed as something harmful. A great dose of denial is present in both the addictive person and those who tolerate their life choices. Codependency is characterized as an unhealthy relationship often mistaken for love by those who are co-dependent. The tendency is to over look the addicts harmful behavior, remain passive and exhibit excessive care and support so much to the extent to rationalize and over compensate for the unacceptable behavior, underachievement and lack of participation in normal adult roles. This behavior is harmful to both the co-dependent and the addict.
Avoid Co-Dependency The War on Addiction
Regardless of the addiction it is extremely hard to live with someone who is addicted to anything. The role of co-dependent is an easy role to fall into, learn how to avoid it now.
There never seems to be a shortage on things addictive things.
The latest addiction in our city is the growing addiction to prescribed pain pills. I personally know a woman who's been on a prescribed pain medication for over ten years. She's an addict, denies it vehemently, but she is. I've warned her, told her and yet she claims, "If the doctor prescribes them I can't be addicted."
How sad, this abuse of prescription medication has lead to a sweeping problem in our society. It seems as long as there is money to be made there will be people pushing such substances either legally or illegally. We do face so many addictions, there is food, behavior, drink, prescriptions and non prescriptions, smokes and on and on the addictive list goes.
Society and Addiction
Society in general has a powerful role to play in the war on addiction it is all to important that we don't over look our civil obligation to stand up to this problem.
It could be said that we as a society have been guilty of codependency ourselves. Maybe we should ask ourselves if we do enough, say enough or stand up to the denial sweeping the addictive many growing in numbers. Are we becoming out numbered?
We tend to talk about people who eat, drink, smoke, play to many video games or any other harmful behavior behind their backs, pretending we don't notice or it's not a problem when around the offending person. This in itself is codependency is it not?
Responsible Actions Against Addiction
The Right Response - Speak up and out when you suspect, know of or have heard about a teen or friend abusing any substance.
The Wrong Response - Turning a blind eye to obvious substance abuse or addiction when you could take the more difficult path and tell loved ones, parents or friends.
The Right Reaction - Nip it in the bud, if your son or daughter, friend or loved one plays to many video games, eats too much, or begins to do anything unhealthy say something. Let them know they need to stop and get involved in something more beneficial. Don't just stand by and let harmful addiction develop, say something and do it till it works. Addressing early onset addictive behavior prevents life threatening addictions from taking hold.
The Wrong Reaction - Avoid conflict and confrontation instead of speaking up about someones developing or full blown addiction. Speak out against it and never ever support or go along with their delusional thoughts of controlling the abusive behavior.
What is Addiction
An addiction is the reoccurring over indulgence of anything.
Doing anything to extremes or doing it all the time is addictive behavior. The guidelines to addiction are very straight forward and need little common sense to determine once addiction sets in. We all know what is bad for us and yet many people simply have an addictive personality. They cannot stop themselves. It is best for these such personalities to avoid the things they are prone to abuse all together. It is when we as a society over look addictive personalities and warrant their over indulgence as something of a rarely as we ourselves occasionally over indulge. The key word rarely, the addict plays on this occurrence comparing our occasional behavior to their abusive behavior.
What is Abusive Behavior
Abusive behavior is repeatedly doing or using something on a regular basis which is other wise intended to be used or done infrequently and to a much lesser degree or perhaps even rarely or not at all.
Using something to extremes, in a manner in which it is not intended is abusive to it's purpose and therefore abusive behavior. The addicts overuse of things or behaviors to the point of being harmful makes the excuse it naturally occurs in others, so their behavior is not abnormal at all.
Note: This is not rational and yet the addictive person uses any reference they can to excuse their behavior as normal.
Breaking News on New Addictive Substances
Mladen Reports on the New Addictive Drugs Threatening Modern Society.
I subscribe to the work of Miaden, a great Wizzley author I respect and look to for an honest take on many topics. We share similar interest. After reading his moving article about the devastating advances on drugs in our society I was moved to write on the topic of addiction.
I know a bit about addiction as I've dealt with a few addicts in my time. I've lost a uncle who died of alcoholism, feel the reflecting pain from a sibling who's an alcoholic in denial and have watched a few good friends eat themselves to gigantic per-portions. I mentioned my friend who's addicted to pain medication and in the most intense of denial. It amazes me the degree to which an addict will cling to that denial, I often wonder if they themselves don't honestly believe their lies. The point being addiction is something we must condition our children to avoid and address as it rears its ugly head, all the while noting it can happen to anyone and they are empowered to deal with it.
Read Miaden's amazing article to stay abreast as to the latest in addiction threats.
How to Avoid Co-Dependency
The cycle of co-dependency can be avoided by taking a firm stand against any behavior that is not acceptable.
A Simple 1 - 2 Guide
- Don't pass up honest teachable or boundary setting moments.
- People with addictive personalities constantly push boundaries, it is up to us not to allow them to do so.
It would be a perfect world in which none of us had to deal with addictions, addicts or the like, but this is not a perfect world. People with addictive personalities have a way of sneaking up on us, not to say they are bad people they are not. Addictive personalities should be treated with the same respect as any other medical condition. People with addictive personalities should not be considered a person who can handle what the non addictive person can. They have issues with certain substances and or behaviors and we must always keep this in consideration.
To avoid adding addictive personalities to your life consider the reality of the people you choose to associate with. Don't imagine a person who's behavior is over the top will change. This sort of behavior may serve as a warning. It's not that difficult to avoid addictive people, the first step is not to exercise denial yourself.
How to Make a Difference
Deep down it eats at us all, we want to stop addiction and point out the addiction others feel they hide.
Examples of Change
If you realize your teenage daughter eats an entire box of Twinkies you would undoubtedly want to stop buying Twinkies. Talk to her about the dangers of overeating, adding anyone can fall victim to such binge eating and the way to deal with it is to avoid the foods you binge on all together. This is a really natural healthy way to address such habits and prevent them from occurring again.
Your friend drinks to much one night while you are out. Point out they in fact did over do it and you don't expect that to happen again. Never ignore unhealthy addictive behavior yet discuss it instead.
If your alcoholic or substance addicted friend or relative thinks their addiction goes unnoticed, don't pretend with them, in fact set them down and tell them you notice they have a drinking or substance problem and should get help to stop. Have an intervention!
As long as we, the society, over look this problem or choose not to get involved we contribute to the pains it creates. It truly takes a village in more ways than one. Stopping the epidemic of addiction stops the demand, thus the supply.