Monday, March 21, 2011

Are You CoDependent? (April 2011 Newsletter Content)

Editor's Note: The following article is presented to increase awareness among the members and friends of the congregation about one of the many ways the congregation extends a corporate hand of friendship to the larger Denton community and those in need.

CoDependents Anonymous meets at Denton UUF every Saturday morning 10:30 - 11:30 A.M. in the adult RE room. Look for signs to direct you. At times we may meet in another room.

Meetings are open to anyone in the community. The only requirements for attendance is a desire for healthy and fulfilling relationship with oneself and others.

For more information visit

The Preamble of Co-Dependents Anonymous states CoDa is a program of recovery from codependency, where each of us may share our experience, strength and hope in our efforts to find freedom where there has been bondage and peace where there has been turmoil in our relationships with others and ourselves.

We attempted to use others – our mates, our friends, and even our children, as our sole source of identity, value and well-being and as a way of trying to restore within us the emotional losses from our childhoods. Our histories may include other powerful addictions, which at times we have used to cope with our codependency.

Co-Dependents Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who gather together to support and share with each other in a journey of self-discovery – learning to love the self. Living the program allows each of us to become increasingly honest with ourselves about our personal histories and our codependent behaviors. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions are the principles of our program and guides to developing honest and fulfilling relationships with ourselves and others. In CoDA, we each learn to build a bridge to a Higher Power of our own understanding, and we allow others the same privilege.

*Adopted in 1994 As Amended by the CoDA Service Conference (Edited)

Characteristics and Patterns of Codependents

Denial Patterns: Difficulty identifying feelings. Minimize, alter, or deny feelings. Perceive self as being completely unselfish and dedicated to the well being of others. Lack empathy for emotions and needs of others. I label others with my negative traits. I mask my pain with anger, humor, or isolation. Express negativity or aggression indirectly or in passive ways. Do not recognize unavailability of people to whom I am attracted.

Low Self Esteem Patterns: Difficulty making decisions. Judge what I think say, or do harshly, as never good enough. Am embarrassed to receive recognition, praise, or gifts. Value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings, and behavior over my own. Don’t perceive myself as lovable or worthwhile person. Constantly seek recognition that I think I deserve. Difficulty admitting I made a mistake. Am unable to ask others to meet my needs or desires. Perceive myself as superior or inferior to others.

Compliance Patterns: Am loyal, staying in harmful situations too long. Compromise my own values ad integrity to avoid rejection or anger. I put aside my own interest to do what others want. Am hyper vigilant about the feelings of others and take on those feelings. Afraid to express my beliefs, opinions, and feelings when they differ from others. I accept sexual attention when I want love. Make decisions without regard to consequences. Give up my truth to gain approval of others or to avoid change.

Control Patterns: Believe that most people are incapable of taking care of themselves. Attempt to persuade others what to think, do, or feel. Freely offer advice and direction without being asked. I have to be needed to have a relationship with others. Am resentful when others decline or reject my advice. Adopt an attitude of indifference, helplessness, authority, or rage to manipulate outcomes.

Avoidance Patterns: I judge harshly hat others think, say, or do. I act in ways that invite others to reject, shame, or express anger toward me. I avoid emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy as a means of maintaining distance. I allow addictions to people, places, and things to distract me from having intimacy in relationships.