What is Co-dependent or enabling behavior? Co-dependent behavior fuels alcoholic stinkin’ thinkin’. Enabling behavior enables stinkin thinkin. Co-dependents care-take, ignore the elephant in the living room and excuse crazy behavior. Co-dependent behavior unwittingly fuels the flames of alcoholic stinkin’ thinkin’ and alcoholic behavior. Enabling behavior enables the alcoholic to continue his behavior, as an active drunk or dry drunk. Co-dependent behavior excuses, in his distorted thinking, his crazy behavior.
Co-dependent behavior walks around the elephant in the living room: If there was an elephant in your living room, it would take up a lot of space. It would be impossible to avoid. Addictive behavior is the elephant in the living room. Co-dependents go out of their way to avoid it rather than addressing it and getting it out of the living room. Co-dependent behavior ignores addictive behavior and pretends it isn’t there. The motto of co-dependent behavior is ‘don’t see, don’t hear, don’t talk’ about addictive behavior.
Co-dependent behavior buys in to alcoholic addictive behavior. Co-dependent behavior allows sick behavior to determine reality. The alcoholic is acting crazy, making crazy statements, doing crazy things? Co-dependent behavior refuses to acknowledge the craziness and accepts unacceptable behavior as normal and healthy. The co-dependent may ‘reason’ with the alcoholic (impossible because alcoholic behavior is unreasonable). The co-dependent may rely on the alcoholic to follow through, believe his promises, trust his judgment. All of these are dangerous because alcoholics break promises and don’t want to be relied on. They may have good judgment, but they choose not to use it. Alcoholics are inconsistent.
Co-dependent behavior may rely on the addict for self-esteem. So long as he stays drunk and needy, I have someone to care for. This is stinkin’ thinkin’ because we all have someone to care for already: ourselves. If you are caring for someone who is using you, taking advantage of you and unwilling to help himself, than you probably don’t have time to take care of yourself.
Co-dependent behavior makes excuses for alcoholic behavior. Co-dependent behavior smoothes over rough spots, cleans up messes made by alcoholic behavior, puts out fire started by stinkin thinkin. Co-dependents are help desks, support staff, fixers and crisis management teams all in one. Co-dependents are miserably unhappy, have chronic low self-esteem and are understandably furious, but they won’t admit it. They smile and assure you that nothing is wrong.
There is more to alcoholic, addictive and co-dependent behavior. To read more about it, visit the blogs linked.