20 July 2002

A Declaration of Co-Dependence

Whatever it is, I can make it better. You can count on me. I will always be there for you anywhere, anytime, and sacrifice my time, effort, money, and dignity to maintain you in your delusions. I will even come to believe some of them as if they were my own. I will do and be whatever you need me to do and be, because you have that way of making me feel needed, wanted, and sometimes even loved. I will be your rock and your strength, because you need the stability that I bring to your life. I know how to be and do all these things because I have been practicing them since I was a child. I have been trained by my family of origin and by my culture to give my all for someone. And that someone is you. You have only to be yourself, and to do what comes naturally to you. I will mold my identity to yours because you are now the source of my identity. You give me a way to justify my existence, a reason to be, and a way of being. The meaning in my life comes from serving you.

Editor's Note: Addicts often need a co-dependent to aid them in maintaining themselves in their habit. I first encountered the phenomenon as a Stephen Minister. This is my attempt to "get inside" the co-dependent mindset. Co-dependence is self-sacrificing in a way that damages both the co-dependent and the primary addict. It is also subtly idolatrous.