If You're O. K., I'm O. K.

Definition: The denial of the real self based on an erroneous assumption that love, acceptance, security, success, closeness, and salvation are all dependent upon one's ability to do the "right" thing.

Kinda deep, hugh? Well, here's a more simple description, definition: "I don't feel good about myself till I make you feel good about yourself."

Here are some statements the typical codependent person might use in a conversation:

  1. "I'm sorry"
  2. "I have to…" or "I can't…"
  3. "… made me … "
  4. "If you don't mind …"
  5. "I will find a way no matter what"
  6. "I have no time for me"
  7. "Sure. It's no bother"
  8. "I don't mind" (When you do)
  9. "Never mind" or "Oh well"
  10. "I'll try to…"
  11. "Whatever you say"

It may be that none of these statements in and of themselves are particularly unhealthy. When the codependent person uses them, they are another indication that we are putting other's wants and needs before our own. And, many times, the codependent person decides for the person they are codependent what that person wants and or needs.

I believe fear drives most codependency. Fear of what? How about being afraid that if you don't take control of the person you are codependent with, then they will not be O. K. In reality, you are enhancing the other person's "weaknesses". You are not allowing them to grow. You are afraid that somehow, if you don't make them do it right, and they don't do well then you are at fault. The really nasty thing about this is that even if the codependent person does everything "right", the other person is likely to continue to use drugs, make poor decisions, be lazy, etc.

Signs of a Codependent

  • Preoccupation with the other person.
  • Sacrifice other's outside interests for the relationship
  • Use substances to avoid true intimacy
  • Caretaker and rescuer
  • Become resentful, angry, and depressed
  • Lack of trust in other people, themselves, their own feelings or decisions
  • Lose faith in God
-- Rick B.

Five Essentials for Long Term Recovery

  1. Believable Hope. Surround yourself with people who have a lot of recovery time. Whether it is via NA/AA, church, or any other support, routinely be around folks who talk the talk and walk the walk with joy in their hearts. To me, there is nothing sadder than someone who is clean and sober…and miserable.
  2. Visualize the life you want.
  3. Make a realistic plan for acting on your vision.
  4. Maintain a balanced life based on what you love and what nurtures you both on the inside and the outside. Balance is so important. Most of us have to work pretty hard to put food on the table. Remember to have fun too.
  5. Stay focused. Anything that gets in the way of your recovery life is in the way. Remove it, or side step it and keep moving.
Adapted from Memorial Human

"If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes."

St. Clement of Alexandria

Dr. Candace McDaniel
8021 East Thornton FWY, Suite A
Dallas, Texas 75228

Call (214) 328-4848 or 

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