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Co-dependency

S

*Sapphire*

Guest
Hey look, this is merely a fascination of mine a question that has arose many times before with people I know who have suffered, are suffering and recovered with addiction issues.

I know some people who have recovered from addiction who say that if they were to have a relationship their partner must not indulge in their addiction in any way whatsoever to any degree (even if it is not a problem for them at that time). Many say it is because they fear that one day their partners indulgences might tempt them and their relationship may become co-dependent if that person was to develop an addiction.

However some people i know successfully have relationships with partners who indulge occassionally in their former addiction and say that it comes from their strength and will power and resolve not to do it.
Although they may not like to see the adverse results that can arise from their partner indulging in their former addiction.

I know professionals and organisations disagree to an extent. But the majority of opinions I have heard say that to be completely 'danger' or 'temptation' free you need to avoid those situations and people who indulge in your former addiction.

But I am unsure as to whether I agree with that in theory. Because in my opinion that would put these people in a very vulnerable position. Is avoidance of your former addiction actually the solution? Is it true recovery from it? What if you were unexpectedly exposed to it? Wouldn't it restrict your social life severly?

I know this argument is very complex and probably not so black and white. But I have noticed that co-dependency and relationships don't seem to have been discussed here very much and i often wonder why? (Please correct me if I have blatantly not noticed a thread that has talked about this recently!!!).

Look i'm not being judgemental, or even offering an opinion it is just a merely philosophical (is the right word??!!) question that has arisen from my observations of life.
 
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A

Apotheosis

Guest
Hi sapphire

In what regards are you relating this to co-dependency?

I am no expert on co-dependency; but a simple explanation as to a basic aspect of it is - basing your happiness & well being on the behaviour & actions of another - i.e. If you won't do 'this or that'; or don't stop doing 'this or that' (i.e. behave in the way I want you to); then I can't be happy, or I will be upset. To a degree everyone is co-dependant in some regard. But often co-dependency is confused with dependence - which is largely healthy & natural - we are all dependant on others to a degree, we are social creatures. You only have to look at the circumstances of childhood, illness & old age to bear out this fact.

We all have our faults. But there does need to be a distinction, I think, between recreational drug use & drinking, as opposed to alcoholism, addiction, & substance dependency issues. Place anyone, (recovering alcoholic/addict or Not); & they will be severely effected by a relationship with someone in active alcoholism/addiction; it doesn't matter whether they suffer the same issues, or are recovering from the same issues - they will be severely effected - that is the nature of these things.

Maybe love is blind, & if the person loves the other person; then it shouldn't matter what ails them?

However. If someone has undergone a recovery process from severe addiction/alcoholism issues, then why on earth would they want the very real risk of relapse; & all the consequences entailed with close association with practising alcoholics/addicts? That doesn't make rational sense.

I sometimes go into pub's & clubs; but not often; I don't like them; but the truth is that I have never been too keen on them anyway; & I don't feel like I am missing out on anything by not going to them. I was in active addiction for 17 years. & although an addict myself, I can't say I really enjoyed the company a great deal of other addicts & alcoholics; in truth I dislike them, not being judgemental of them as people; but rather based on their behaviour & actions; the lying, manipulation, deceit, self delusion, & all the rest. I don't like being around drunks (sober or otherwise). Why would I seek out their company now in sobriety; when I wasn't even that keen on them to begin with?

I still associate with people with substance misuse issues. But I far more focus on the relationships with people who are either in recovery; or who do not have such issues.

What am I missing out on? I don't see it.

Saying that - I am strong around people drinking & taking drugs. I have a friend who is a heroin addict, & I have known him a long time; he has shot up in front of me, people have sniffed coke, smoked joints, & taken all kinds of drugs around me. On my last relapse I had been spending the majority of my time around people habitually using drugs & heavy drinking - sure enough, after a while I joined in. I was able to not descend completely back into the way I used to use alcohol & drugs, thank god. But I learnt from it; that it is not healthy for me to be in the company of such people too much; I need to be around sober & straight people the majority of the time; & I focus my energies to that end, & am happier doing so. Addicts & alcoholics are at odds with themselves, & everyone & everything around them - they are not conducive to good health, & peace of mind; far from it.
 
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kikid

kikid

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
172
Location
devon uk
hey i am your stereotypical co dependant! i have lived with, supported and generally wiped the backside of my partner of 10 years through heroin abuse. how did i core? good bloody question! how do i feel second best to it! what keeps me going? god knows its just a daily thing. am i broke yep. has it effected me yes! that's why Im here and that's probably one of the reasons i have post traumatic stress disorder and also depression and anxiety!! its a scary world of a co dependant. heartbreaking really
 
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22vince22

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 8, 2012
Messages
182
"Is avoidance of your former addiction actually the solution? Is it true recovery from it? What if you were unexpectedly exposed to it? Wouldn't it restrict your social life severly?"

If 'avoidance' means not having x within your proximity, then:-

Initially a person ought stay clear of the substance. This means they ought not have it within their proximity. Once their Will becomes strengthened then they should be fairly comfortable.

However, they ought not try to test themselves by needlessly by exposing themselves to it. They should reduce the liklihood of using the substance again and this means removing themselves from its proximity until they are satisfied they are comfortable.
 
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0RRHH1

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2012
Messages
237
I would have to agree with Vince on this one. If proximity to a substance puts you in danger of using then you are still a recovering addict and not a recovered addict (if there is any such thing as a completely recovered addict but that's a different argument for another thread). As Vince suggests needless exposure is is probably unwise whilst still at the recovery stage but at some point it is probably a good thing to test yourself with some degree of exposure, if you survive that encounter without relapse then you will be the stronger for it because then you know you can't be tempted. Of course everyone is different and what works for one will not necessarily work for the next person.
I have been in both positions, i know i can get strong enough to be able to be put in any situation and stay strong and not relapse but equally i know i have been in positions where i would fall prey to temptation if it was put in front of me. At the moment i know i don't have the strength to avoid direct temptation but i'm avoiding that by looking out for compromising situations and walking the other way before i come face-to-face with them.
 
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22vince22

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Joined
Jun 8, 2012
Messages
182
Brilliant Orr.

It takes so much courage to admit one is weak, like you have shown in your admittance of your limitations.

This, incidentally, is one of the great paradoxes you find coursing through all great works of art and literature. The word for it is Humility. It's obverse is Pride and, as I'm sure you know, the saying is:

"Pride comes before a fall."

Hope I can grow in humility ...what tiny bit I have, that is.

Thanks for your example Orr

Vince :)
 
S

Sabrooksc

Guest
^ thank you for not shouting.

@Co dependent. Yeah I started AlAnon and it helps but doesn't fix it. But it helps with coping.
 
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0RRHH1

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May 14, 2012
Messages
237
Yes i would have to admit that at times i'm weak and not as strong as i'd like to be. I seem to get it wrong so often and i just wish that i didn't. If i could go back four weeks and do things differently then i'd be a lot happier. But even if i did i'd only go and mess it all up somewhere else. I suppose i have at least avoided making some of the very worst mistakes i can make but it seems small consolation at the moment. I think in some ways i have never grown up properly and fail to see things with an adults grasp of a situation. I do my best but i work with inadequate tools at times.
 
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