Codependent? Not me. I sat in a room filled with needy broken people and didn’t have a desire to fix any of them.
Let me tell you about my weekend. While visiting with my little sister and discussing things like cancer, lumpectomies, and medical directives, she decided to take me to one of her Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. As she flitted around the room, she referred to me as someone who “can stop at just one.” Everyone laughed. I guess it’s AA humor.
Yes, my sister is a recovering alcoholic and deep into her second year of sobriety. It’s going to be a difficult road for her with her breast cancer but she’s doing it without her familiar crutch: alcohol. And she quit smoking a year ago, too. For a woman having a crappy year, she’s holding it all together without falling back on past vices.
That brings me to codependency. Husband #2 has hinted before about our “codependent relationship” and my desire to “fix” him. I now recognize that I’m not codependent. If I were, a room full of recovering alcoholics would have me breaking out my emotional duct tape and toolbox to get these people back in tip top shape.
What is codependency? According to Wikipedia:
Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or drug addiction); and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.
During the evening, one of the guys joked with me about how he’s always looking for a future ex Mrs. So-and-So. We bantered back and forth, because I’m a bit of a comedienne. As we were leaving, somehow my sister and I started talking about future dating (for both of us). I told her that even though there were some good looking guys in the group, I had no desire to date anyone with deep seated issues like alcohol addiction.
“Good! Because we’re all screwed up. The people who come to meetings have hit the bottom of the barrel. We’re a mess inside.”
I think that’s the siren call for someone who is codependent.
And I wanted none of it.
I guess it just goes to show that even though I am a fixer, I’m not drawn to fix everyone. I’ll even take that a step further — I’m not interested in fixing people.
Strike that. I’m interested in fixing one person: Me.
And another thing about my lack of codependency. I know that I’m not interested in fixing Husband #2 (or anyone else) because these words never cross my lips:
I wish Husband #2 would __________ (read / hear / see / experience) this __________ (book / lecture / article / movie / whatever).
While I occasionally forward an article to Husband #2, it is usually because I saw something in it that I thought would be useful to me, my healing, or my evolution. It would be fun to discuss the article but if we don’t, then I’ll just talk to someone else about my discovery. It’s like seeing the sunrise and pointing it out to another person because it is pretty. For his part, Husband #2 recommends items to me that he’s interested in as well.
Side bar: the last article I sent to Husband #2 was titled “Which Country’s Economy Is Your State’s Equal To?”. Not exactly the kind of stuff necessary to “fix” anyone.
I guess my codependent tendencies are lacking. Unless it comes to old houses. I’ll fix up one of those any day of the year!