Thursday, August 17, 2017

getting sober

I had the good fortune of speaking to the wife of my dear friend today.

She told me about what it was like for her as her husband struggled with getting sober.  She was really happy he was committed to the process, she said.  She was very proud of him.  But she felt unhappy.  “I’m always waiting. I’m always second. Before it was to his addiction and now it is to his recovery. I’m as imprisoned by his addiction as he is.” 

My friend's wife was beginning to understand the meaning of co-dependency; when you enable someone just by waiting for them to change. She came to the conclusion that she couldn’t do it anymore, “I will lose myself”, she said, “I have lost myself. I cannot wait any longer.”  She wasn't going to leave him, just stop waiting for him to get on with her life.

Often codependents are reenacting something learned in childhood, maybe a struggle for independence which leads to a lifetime of waiting for others to set us free.  The funny thing is: when you stop waiting for others to change, they start taking more responsibility for changing themselves. You leave the prison together.

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