Codependency

11604229864_8718b32fab_zMy 33rd year of recovery from alcohol addiction began Nov. 24, 2009. Needless to say to anyone living a spiritual quest, many emotions are stirred up during an anniversary.

In taking another 5th step, I realized that I had recreated the home of my childhood. I had the good mommy role and my husband was the bad daddy. As I stated there, he acted out his misery by having an affair and leaving me.

This experience has led me on the path of healing my childhood wounds. I was the oldest child–or rather– I was the youngest parent in that home. I took my duties so seriously that I taught myself to deny pleasure. In return, the power connected to this role of being the boss was my first addiction. One that I am only now giving up.

I believe those of us growing up in violent homes suffer from PTSD. I was particularly drawn to the definition of PTSD. Wikipedia defines it as “Posttraumatic stress disorder[1][2] (commonly referred to by its acronym, PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event which results in psychological trauma.[3] This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one’s own or someone else’s physical, sexual, or psychological integrity,[1] overwhelming the individual’s psychological defenses.”

In reading about Iraq veterans and PTSD, I identified immediately with the social isolation. I have done this all my life. Although I am a loner and am suspicious of anyone not content being alone, isolation leads me to paranoia and discontent. I am learning a balance finally because I am now free to accept all my feelings.

I have also identified the brain chemistry associated with my codependency. So I have begun learning how to reparent myself.

So, you can imagine my delight to read this post: What causes addiction? by Jann Gumbiner. Over my 33 years in addiction recovery, I have read many articles and books about the origins of addiction. I was thrilled to find in this article a mention of Dennis Thombs’s book, Introduction to Addictive Behaviors. What I identified with was his belief that we used our addictions to combat feelings of anxiety (fear) that we never learned to process.

My comment to this post:

“After 33 years of recovery from alcoholism, I am so grateful for your mention of Dennis Thombs’s Introduction to Addictive Behaviors”. It so resonates with my experience. My reaction the first time I drank was akin to finding the Holy Grail. I only ever had the same experience when I had been in labor for 33 hours with a double footling breech delivery. I remember gulping down the pain killer that they could only give me as she was through the birth canal.”

I will continue researching PTSD, codependency and addiction as I know that my addiction began when as a child, I didn’t l know how to deal with anxiety and fear. Instead I used these feelings of power over people to feel better about myself.

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