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Codependency was a term presented to me in the summer by a good friend of mine. At the time I rolled it around inside my brain, musing on the word – it’s meaning, it’s definition – and pondering how codependency relates to me. I began to read another book on the topic (can’t recall the title of it) and I hated the book. After the first chapter I returned it to the library and left codependency there.

Until now.

When searched Victoria’s library it turned out I was fifth on the waiting list. I was like, “gosh, its gonna take forever until I can read that book.” So I put my name on the list, thinking I’ll get to read the book when I need it most. Lo and behold, it came to me just after I began a romantic relationship with someone and during a period where I had a lot of time to read. I happily delved into it’s content.

Beatties book is clearly organized and flows well. We go through with her what exactly is codependency and what shapes and flavours does it take? What are the ways that we can begin to take care of ourselves, relax and become undependent? What caused this to happen to us?

Coming from personal experience, Beattie is able to speak directly to the reader, addressing the thought patterns that many codependents have easily as she speaks about each topic. Stories are used to illuminate the points that she is making. At the end of each chapter there are a couple of simple exercises that allow more insight to come into the readers life, exercises that can be used more than once in all areas of life.

I do have to warn you though; this book can make you feel like you are a crumpled ball of paper in a trash can. As much as the author writes it is okay to be where you are and self-acceptance is necessary in order for a person to move forward (and I agree), it doesn’t make me feel the happiest about myself to see myself so clearly as a codependent person. Self-acceptance can be hard. On the same note, I am so grateful that there is this help available to me.

After reading this book I can clearly identify many different behaviours that now reek in my awareness of codependency, not just in me but the others that I have in my life (codependents generally attract other codependents). I was able to see, using her clear list of characteristics of a codependent, that I am indeed healing and becoming a better person, I’m just not out of the woods yet. She gave me more tools in the toolbox of life to help deal with codependency and know that it is okay, and it is fairly common.

As the book goes on, the book seems to become more and more geared towards those who are living with alcoholics rather than codependents in general. The information is still highly valuable, so this is not something I would take personally and put the book down because of.

Overall this book was very helpful to me in my current state of life. I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with codependency, or if you want to know what codependency is or just even how to deal with it. It is full of pointers and tips – giving me plenty to work with on my own. It can be a valuable resource for those living with alcoholics, or dealing with codependency and wanting to understand it further.

You can purchase your own copy here!

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