CODEPENDENCY is the disease that friends and family of alcohlics and addicts get, trying to deal with a loved one's unmanageable behavior and the substance abuser's use of anxiety anfd anger, which they provoke to 'gain control,' out of their powerlessness.
Codependents learn that they have to work a 12-step group as well, like Nar-Anon or Al-Anon/Alateen to cope, to focus on themselves and to help their addict or alcoholic by starting with THEMSELVES.
What follows is quoted from Nar-Anon:
The Family group is primarily for you who know or have known a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of someone very near to you. We have traveled that unhappy road too and found the answer with serenity and peace of mind. When you come into the family group you are no longer alone but among true friends who understand your problems as few others could. We will respect your confidence and anonymity as we know you will respect ours. We hope to give you the assurance that no situation is too difficult and no unhappiness is too great to be overcome.
Our program, which is not a religious one but a spiritual way of life is based on the 12 suggested steps of Narcotics Anonymous. We have found that the working of these steps will bring the solution to ractically any problem. We urge you to take this program and its 12 steps seriously. It has been helpful to us as the NA program is to the addict. We only ask for the wisdom and courage to see oursevles as we really are, to do something about ourselves with the help of a higher power as understand this, and for the grace to release our addicts with love and cease trying to change them.
Keep an open mind and attend as many meetings as possible. Feel free to ask questions and to enter into the discussions. You will soon make new friends and feel very much a part of the group.
With the understanding that addiction is a disease and the realization that we are powerless over it as well as over over people's lives, we are ready to do something useful and constructive with our own. Then, and only then can we be of any help to others.
Your role as helper is not to DO Things for the person you are helping, but to BE things, not to try to train and change his/her actions, but to train and change your reactions. As you change your negatives to positives -- fear to faith; contempt for what he does to respect for the potential within him/ her; rejection to relase with love, not trying to make him/her fit a standard or image, or expecting him to measure up to or down from that standard, but giving him an opportunity to become himself/herself, to develop the best within him/her, regardless of what that best may be; dominance to encouragement, panic to serenity; fales-hope, self-centered, to real hope, God-centered; the rebellion of despair to the energy of personal revolution; driving to guidance; and self-justification to self-undesrstand -- as you change in such ways as these, you change the world about you and all the people in your world for the better.
"To Watch is not to love" - Dr.Carl Jung