Am I CoDependent?

What is CoDependency?

 Welcome to Co-Dependents Anonymous, a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop and postive, healthy relationships. The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and loving relationships.   CoDA does not offer a specific definition of Co-Dependency.  We recommend periodically reviewing the Patterns and Characteristics, a kind of a subjective "Am I Co-Dependent?" meter. 

The Only Commitment is Your Happiness

The CoDA meeting is where healing takes place by relying on the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, and a program adopted from Alcoholics Anonymous.  These principles include assuring a safe environment of love and acceptance where the only commitment is you working the program at your own pace.

Patterns of Co-Dependency

Symptoms of co-dependency appear in our lives in various ways; co-dependence is not a singular or well defined condition. Being co-dependent is recognized by mental health providers as a significant contributor to various forms of health and psychological distress. Just as each person’s life follows a unique path of accomplishments and disappointments, the challenges we face in our relationships at times can become overwhelming.

The following is a partial checklist is offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation. It may be particularly helpful to newcomers as they begin to understand co-dependency. It may aid those who have been in recovery a while to determine what traits still need attention and transformation.

Denial Patterns

  • have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
  • minimize, alter, or deny how I truly feel.
  • perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others.
  • I can take care of themselves without any help from others.
  • mask pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.
  • do not recognize the unavailability of those people to whom they are attracted.

Low Self-esteem Patterns

  • have difficulty making decisions.
  • judge what they think, say, or do harshly, as never good enough.
  • value others’ approval of their thinking, feelings, and behavior over their own.
  • do not perceive myself as lovable or worthwhile persons.
  • need to appear to be right in the eyes of others and may even lie to look good.
  • have trouble setting healthy priorities and boundaries.

Compliance Patterns

  • are extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
  • compromise their own values and integrity to avoid rejection or anger.
  • put aside their own interests in order to do what others want.
  • accept sexual attention when they want love.
  • make decisions without regard to the consequences.

Control Patterns

  • believe people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
  • freely offer advice and direction without being asked.
  • become resentful when others decline their help or reject their advice.
  • use sexual attention to gain approval and acceptance.
  • have to feel needed in order to have a relationship with others.
  • pretend to agree with others to get what I want.

Avoidance Patterns

  • act in ways that invite others to reject, shame, or express anger toward me
  • avoid emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy as a way to maintain distance.
  • use indirect or evasive communication to avoid conflict or confrontation.
  • suppress my feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable.
  • believe displays of emotion are a sign of weakness.
  • withhold expressions of appreciation.

Read the entire Patterns and Characteristics

What can I expect by working the program?



What to Expect by Working the CoDA Program

Recognizing you may have identified some of the traits of being co-dependent, there is good news that perhaps the long journey may lead to healing.  The 12 Promises is a reminder of what CoDA has to offer by attending meetings and being active in your recovery to the extent that works for you.