Dear Friends and Family of Codependents3 min read

Try not to run. We know it may be hard, and honestly, we wouldn’t blame you if you did, but we still need you. It may not seem like it when we are constantly making excuses for our actions and the actions of our significant other, but we promise we want you to stay.

Please don’t take it personally. When we lie, it’s not because we don’t respect you or trust you with the truth, we just don’t want to talk about the truth ourselves. If we have plans and cancel because of our codependent, it’s likely their addiction is the reason, but we lie because we don’t think you’re going to understand.

Don’t tell us what to do. We don’t care for your advice on what to do because unless you’ve been a codependent in a relationship with an addict, you likely don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. We aren’t saying that to be mean, we are saying it because it’s the truth. Addiction is a disease and simply saying they just need to stop drinking or using is not feasible advice that has any sort of meaning. Addiction is a disease. Addicts can’t “just stop.” So please, don’t keep telling us that.

Stop judging. It’s hard not to, we get that, but try, for a second, to understand that we can not control our loved one’s actions even if we say we can. It’s not up to us. When we work Step One, we come to understand that we are powerless over alcohol/drugs and that our lives had become unmanageable. We need you to understand that as well. We can tell from the way you look at us and talk to use that you are judging us, even if you don’t think you are.

Be Patient. When we begin our recovery, it is difficult and emotional, and it does not happen overnight. Recovery is a long and hard process, rebuilding your mentality and self-esteem and learning self-love and self-care. If we work our program, whichever program we may choose, in whichever way we chose to work, we will get better, give us time to do so.

You can’t help. It hurts and it’s hard to grasp. Friends and family members always want to help, and we greatly appreciate the sentiment, but you can’t help. Again, we aren’t saying that to be mean. We are grateful that you want to help, but our codependency and relationship with the addict are ours and ours alone.

Codependency forces us to put our loved one first at the expense of ourselves. Some of us see that it’s wrong, some of us deny we are codependents. Regardless of our understanding of our own problems, our recovery is a long road, one that may face many setbacks. We will clue you in when we feel ready. We will address our past issues with you when we feel ready. Until then, give us time to heal.