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Co-dependent no more
 
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Published on: January 4, 2011 |

10 Ways to Tell if You've Crossed the Line By: YourWebMom
Are you caring or codependent?
10 ways to tell if you’ve crossed the line into unhealthy caring
 
There’s nothing wrong with helping people in need! YWM’s Holy Book requires it! Women are natural helpers and nurturers. However, many well-intentioned women THINK they are helping, when they actually engaging in unhealthy behavior, with the result of making that person’s underlying problems worse, or lengthening their recovery time.
The difference can be subtle but here are 10 signs you’ve crossed the line into unhealthy co-dependency:
  1. I must please other people regardless of the cost to my person or my values.
2.     I help out of fear of what will happen if I don’t, rather than from free choice
3.     I help because I feel I have little or no value.
4.     I react to help without thinking, rather than intentionally choosing to help a person or situation. Service is to be an active choice. The healthy person acts; codependents react.
5.     My helping seems to be addictive rather than balanced. (I can’t stop even when obviously inappropriate or unhealthy.)
6.     I help others inappropriately (when it creates dependency on the part of the other person rather than moving that person toward independence, or when you cannot afford to help them but you do sovanyway). Codependents have trouble setting limits for themselves and they allow others to invade their boundaries.
7.     My self worth depends on helping others. The Holy Book says you have worth simply because you are created by God. (**See the YWM Truth Room for more information on this.)
8.     I neglect my own well-being and health at the expense of others needs or demands. (Example: giving money to someone when you are in debt
9.     I help but I don’t feel joy. (Healthy service brings joy.)
10. I am driven by some inner compulsion(s). Healthy helping is God-directed and can be free from compulsiveness, knowing that God brings the ultimate results.
Note: we’re talking about older teens and adults here, not young children.
*Although a good rule of thumb for parents of young children is not to do anything for them that they are able to do (or learn to do) for themselves. Otherwise you run the risk of creating a little codependent monster!
If you need help dealing with codependency behaviors, find a good local counselor or Celebrate Recovery group. Find a Celebrate Recovery Program near you (You may need to visit more than one). Commit to sticking with the CR program for at least a year, or as long as necessary. Great learning, freedom and support can be found there!
 
 
Source: Celebrate Recovery materials
 
“Enabling” is closely related. Read more about enabling elsewhere in the Recovery Room.