Co-dependents and drinking

Co-dependents drinking is a huge black hole.

Addicts are impulsive..fact. Doesn’t matter whether you are an alcoholic, drug addict, co-dependent or any other addict you can think of. We are impulsive. We think little, often have to say sorry and explain our behaviour when actually there is no explanation we just didn’t think.

It is common for alcoholics to finally seek help, only to realise that they are in fact co-dependent. Their constant feeling of inner turmoil surrounding their thoughts, feelings and subsequently behaviours led them to seek solace in drink. If you think this sounds a bit off beat, try being in a co-dependents body when turmoil strikes, it’s horrible.

Luckily for me I realised I had the propensity to develop a drink problem and alarm bells went off when I started to want a drink at three in the afternoon. That was the call for me to lay off the drink, I would ease up a bit and that was my cycle…I was in control. (but obviously not)

From what I understand the term Co-dependent was coined as a label for the partners of alcoholics and drug addicts. With the birth of Alcoholics Anonymous there came a sudden realisation that the people who loved these people also had an addictive disorder. Constantly in turmoil with the on/off life of an addict the co-dependents calm and control is only when their partners are calm and in control. If they are an addict, this happens very rarely.

So, drink is in fact, for a co-dependent an incredibly easy to access way to calm the crazy. It’s cheap, easy and legal. That is literally how easy it is. Having a tough time time coping with this weeks turmoil? Get a drink, you just need some help to cope with this situation, you know it wont last, it never does (that’s the ups and downs). But drink does more than help you calm the weeks crazy. You cry easier, it helps the pain, you reach out more than you would, you reach out less than you would straight. Who cares, it’ll all be better in the morning. The washing can wait, the cleaning can wait and invoicing and contacting your boss can definitely wait until you’re in a better place….tomorrow.

The worst thing is, you don’t realise that’s addiction. You’re going along, seeing through the ups and downs of life with a drink. I like to define addiction as a lack of choice. If it is a knee jerk reaction to drink, it is not a choice. If it is helping anything, it is not a choice it is a medicine. In the turmoil of co-dependence you think it is a choice, it is not. If you think for a minute and say out loud “i am never going to drink again” and you feel worried about how you’ll cope without it, or get anxious it is a pretty sure sign it’s not a choice, it’s a need.

It sneaks up and bites you in the ass. As with any addiction if you feed it, it will grow. Co-dependents are so focused on the other person there is little room to think about their problems and how their drinking has gotten out of hand. For the co-dependents who are shacked up with alcoholics it’s even worse, the comparative approach kicks in. They have a problem and they drink this amount..every day. So you definitely don’t because you only drink this much, and not every day and only when they kick off, or are unhappy and you’re just riding the storm, you don’t need it. Before you know it you’ve talked yourself into being fine – only drinking when the storm hits, or to fully get over the last storm. Up and down, up and down…..

Generally, if you are a codependent you will have impulsive tendencies, that may lead to or from alcohol. The impulsive behaviour means you’ll get the drink before the brain kicks in and questions why you’re doing it. Co-dependents fix the short term, they can’t see long term, short term “yeah fuck it, I’ve had a bad week” long term “thanks but I need take some time out and see why I am reacting this way”.  Short term “yeah” long term “actually it’s lunch time, I’ve got work in a bit”. What does matter is co-dependents drinking takes the choice and ability to cope. Numbing the shitty feeling is not feeling your feelings and giving yourself what you need.


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