Before I was in recovery I don’t think I ever heard of the word codependent. On my sober journey I asked what it meant. The only answer I recall is — “someone else’s life flashes before your eyes.” At first, I didn’t get it — and honestly it has taken me years to comprehend the meaning. 

Through my personal work on this topic, I am coming to learn we can be codependent in many ways in all of our relationships — not just the romantic ones. From friendships to families — probably all human interactions have a tendency to become codependent depending on the health and boundaries of those involved.
Believe me, I’m no expert on the topic, but I am coming to recognize patterns instilled in me from childhood had everything to do with my emotional development. Since I didn’t come from the healthiest family – my emotional growth was stunted – and that’s why the time has come for me to work out some more of the kinks now.

If I put someone else’s needs or wants before mine, have expectations of them without speaking up on what I need, base my self-esteem on what someone else thinks of me, or put my life on hold to do whatever it takes to make another person’s life easier, I am probably codependent. These are just a few examples.

If I am interdependent in my relationships, then we are mutually dependent on the other.
 Today, I prefer an even playing field; I find joy in giving, yet am still learning how to receive. Life is smoother when truth and honesty are the foundation in my relationships. 

If I am watching someone else’s life flash before my eyes then I am missing the magical moments in my own.

A very special thank you to Mary and Ken Richardson for offering their insights and knowledge on the topic of codependency for this issue.