In 1986, Melanie Beatty published a book called “Codependent no More” that changed the addiction recovery landscape. The original definition of a codependent was people whose lives had become unmanageable as a result of living in a committed relationship with an alcoholic.
According to Melanie Beatty, the definition for codependency has expanded since then. “Professionals began to better understand the effects of the chemically dependent person on the family, and the effects of the family on the chemically dependent person. Professionals began to identify other problems such as overeating and undereating, gambling and certain sexual behaviors. These compulsive disorders paralleled the compulsive disorder or illness, of alcoholism. Professionals also began to notice many people in close relationships with these compulsive people developed patterns of reacting and coping that resembled the coping patterns of people in relationships with alcoholics. Something peculiar had happened to these families too.
A codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.
The other person might be a child, an adult, a lover, a spouse, a brother, a sister, a grandparent. He or she could be an alcoholic, a drug addict, a mentally or physically ill person, a normal person who occasionally has sad feelings or one of the people mentioned earlier.
The might be a child, an adult, a lover, a spouse, a brother, a sister, a grandparent. He or she could be an alcoholic, a drug addict, a mentally or physically ill person, a normal person who occasionally has sad feelings or one of the people mentioned earlier.
But, the heart of the definition and recovery lies not in the other person – no matter how much we believe it does. It lies in ourselves, in the ways we have let other people’s behavior affect us and in the ways we try to affect them: the obsessing, the controlling, the obsessive “helping,” caretaking, low self-worth bordering on self-hatred, self-repression, abundance of anger and guilt, peculiar dependency on peculiar people, attraction to and tolerance for the bizarre, other-centeredness that results in abandonment of self, communication problems, intimacy problems and an ongoing whirlwind trip through the five-stage grief process.”
At Renaissance Ranch, we use the work of Melanie Beatty to understand the issues of codependency and begin the process of recovery.
What is Codependency?
A codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her and is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.
Am I a codependent helper?
Codependent caretakers may:
From Melody Beattie, “Codependent No More” 1987
I had a head full of gospel knowledge and a heart full of shame. I felt like a failure. I hated who I was. That all changed during my stay at Renaissance Ranch. I quickly realized that I wasn't alone and that there were others who felt the same feelings of self-hatred, failure, and shame. This realization, coupled with the nonjudgmental environment of the Ranch, I was able to be completely honest and open for the first time in my life. From the guidance and empathy of my counselors and brothers, I learned it was okay to feel and I started to believe that there was hope.
Renaissance Ranch will always be a special place to me and will always have a special place in my heart. I had already attended one rehab facility. The Ranch truly saved my life by teaching me and allowing me to understand and love who I am.
As soon as I walked through the doors of the Ranch I felt hope. My life had spiraled into depths of shame, misery, guilt, depression, sadness, and suffocating darkness prior to reaching those front doors. The 2 months that followed would forever change my life and provide a foundation within that is unshakable.
My sobriety date is July 15 2008. And for that I am very grateful. The ranch has given Me the tools to live a life I never thought was possible. I have never forgotten the feelings I felt when I was there in treatment and that's what gets me through the day, is the feelings and brotherhood that I was so blessed with while I was in the ranch.
Renaissance Ranch gave me a gift that no amount of money can ever repay. Through their unique, caring approach I learned how much I was loved, and that I never had to feel alone every again.
I have been called to serve a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the Fort Collins, CO mission. I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices and love of everyone at The Ranch. I attribute my recovery to God, hard work, and the things I learned while I was there. I am so excited to go serve my Heavenly Father, it has been a long hard road to get here but I know it is what he wants me to do. My heart is full of gratitude and love for those who have cared for me... Thank you for all you have done for me...