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Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

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Her 24-year writing career has produced fifteen books published in twenty languages and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. She might try to ignore the problem, or try to solve the problem herself, or cover up for her husband--but whatever her behavior, she is actually taking responsibility for his behavior or her shoulders. Lastly, when the problem gets worse and worse, the codependent becomes angry, bitter and dejected as a result of their failed attempts to gain some level of control over a situation that was already impossibly difficult to deal with. I've really loved that because, unlike a book, which I read and then put aside, the app brings up one small idea for me every day. This book is about taking care of YOURSELF, your neglected areas of living and using boundaries, both on yourself (being caretakers we frequently overreach ourselves) and on others.

If any of this resonates with you, I'd definitely recommend any book by this author or "the Language of Letting Go" app. Beattie recounts how, when she was leading family support groups, she’d ask the members what they were feeling. Codependent individuals who have no connection to alcohol or substance abuse, sick family members, or otherwise, are completely elided in the text and it seems as if you can only be codependent if you have some connection to one of these things. These reactions are most likely learned in response to stress – for instance, the constant uncertainty of living with an alcoholic.I want to be very clear, though - I am NOT telling other people to abandon or avoid 12 Steps work if that is what they choose to engage for themselves.

I've read about other approaches to substance abuse recovery that deal more with what underlies it rather than making it the focus.I saw a book at Deseret Book titled "I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better" and was reminded of the codependency angle. Maybe some people would be able to just "stop" doing codependent behaviours - and kudos to them if they can! I have learned that I do not need to immerse myself so deeply in someone else’s life that I lose myself.

In 2007, Hazelden published Gratitude, a beautifully illustrated collection of passages from Melody's earlier work that encourages readers to reconnect with what's truly important in life - the everyday blessings that are ever-present and ever-sustaining. The author also seems to have a very poor view of therapy, and I didn't appreciate the cavalier way she dismisses it, implying it's not as helpful as twelve-step plans. I could have done without so many theistic references, and even though the author states that these references are spiritual but not religious, they felt religious. But I learned from this book and took a step in the right direction in trying to regain control of my life.This ground-breaking book is even more relevant today, as readers confront new, urgent challenges with greater self-awareness, than it was when it first entered the national conversation over 35 years ago.

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