How I Came to Understand the Term "Co-dependence" (Co-dependent)

Codependence and Alcoholism

"When I first came into contact with the word "Codependent" over a decade ago, I did not think that the word had anything to do with me personally. At that time, I heard the word "co-dependent" used only in reference to someone who was involved with an Alcoholic - and since I was a Recovering Alcoholic, I obviously could not be Codependent.

I paid only slightly more attention to the Adult Children of Alcoholics Syndrome, not because it applied to me personally - I was not from an Alcoholic family - but because many people whom I knew obviously fit the symptoms of that syndrome. It never occurred to me to wonder if the Adult Child Syndrome and Codependence were related.

As my recovery from alcoholism progressed, however, I began to realize that just being clean and sober was not enough. I started to look for some other answers. By that time the conception of the Adult Child Syndrome had expanded beyond just pertaining to Alcoholic families. I started to realize that, although my family of origin had not been Alcoholic, it had indeed been dysfunctional.

I had gone to work in the Alcoholism Recovery field by this time and was confronted daily with the symptoms of Codependence and Adult Child Syndrome. I recognized that the definition of Codependence was also expanding. As I continued my personal Recovery, and continued to be involved in helping others with their Recovery, I was constantly looking for new information. In reading the latest books and attending workshops, I could see a pattern emerging in the expansion of the terms "Codependent" and "Adult Child." I realized that these terms were describing the same phenomenon."

continue story below

next: Alcoholism and Co-Dependence

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 11). How I Came to Understand the Term "Co-dependence" (Co-dependent), HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 13 from

Last Updated: August 7, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

More Info