A Co-dependent is the family - spouse, parent, child i.e. loved one of a person who is using , whose life becomes about revolving around the dependent’s using.
Most times the Co-dependent family thinks that the person who is using is the one who has a problem and has to change. They have done nothing. They are fine. The co-dependent, however, have to look at the traits within himself/herself
Once the dependent comes back home from residential treatment as a changed person, like the Buddha who came home after 12 years - Siddhartha was no longer there, however, his father and wife could only look at him as Siddhartha with old eyes, as they had not been through the process of transformation. Likewise, families who have not themselves undergone the aid of counseling, meditation, and writing, etc . will find it difficult to recognize change as they have not been through that change themselves. In such situations, there can be conflicts and emotional outbursts which is not healthy for the relationships and for both individuals .
They expect the dependent to jump into home and job/business responsibilities as though they have gone through a washing machine and have come out clean and should work now as normal .
This may not happen.
Once the person is back, he can go through mood swings, he can still behave like the person of the past in procrastinating things, in feeling lethargy, not wanting to get back to work due to a lack of confidence.
Going out with friends, who are not using, avoiding family functions that serve alcohol will all happen. The family many times feels he should be able to face such situations now that he has taken treatment, little realizing that this sobriety that he has attained needs to be protected and worked upon every single day till it becomes second nature to not find the need to use. This can be possible by only keeping one’s focus on self .
The family who has not taken treatment themselves to go beyond their co-dependency issues many times continues to doubt and suspect the person’s every move if he goes out if he asks money etc.
They even can create situations to test the person by putting him in situations where using is happening or provoking his anger. These are all petty and unnecessary risky situations that are not required for either and frays the bonds that had already been frayed when the person was using.
A Few Dos and Donts’ For The Co-Dependent Loved Ones