Codependency, Addiction, And The Victim Mentality
Codependency is defined as an unhealthy attachment to another person. There are many characteristics associated with codependency, such as caretaking, people pleasing in order to feel appreciated, enabling, feeling insecure, fearing abandonment, controlling, manipulating, unable to accept reality, and more.
Another characteristic of codependency is having a victim mentality. This is quite common for those who are in a relationship with someone struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction. Somehow, underneath the surface, they think that they deserve to get the short end of the stick and feel like a victim.
What is a victim mentality?
If you have a victim mentality, it essentially means that you walk around much of the time acting like a victim. You tend to blame others for your unhappiness and have the “poor me” attitude deeply ingrained in your psyche. It’s actually a fairly common attitude in the world and especially common in codependency.
Here are some characteristics of those who have a victim mentality:
- Negative mentality
Now, regarding relationships where substance abuse is playing a role, the addict or the non-addict could be struggling with a victim mentality. The addict may feel like a victim and drink or drug to try to numb the pain associated with that feeling. The partner who is not the addict might have the feeling they are a victim and don’t deserve a healthy relationship.
You might act like all is well on the outside, but inside you feel worthless, sad, and victimized. You think thoughts like, “Life is so unfair. Nothing ever goes right for me. If Mom and Dad had raised me right my life would be so much better….” Due to such thoughts, you might suffer from depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, poverty, addiction, and mental health disorders. You might not even realize that you have this mentality, but if you do, it is my hope that you will recognize it today and do something about it.
A victim mentality is rooted in trauma
Many times, those with a victim mentality have had some sort of trauma or abuse in their past. They’ve been hurt or angered and can’t get past it. Codependents especially have a victim mentality and have a difficult time taking responsibility for their current situation. It’s easier to stay down than to fight and rise up.
Codependency and the victim mentality go hand in hand
A negative mindset can be a root source of victim mentality. Seeing things from a negative perspective, low self-esteem, and thinking the worst contributes to this. If you don’t think much of yourself, you will begin to carry around the mentality that you do NOT deserve anything good. This often happens when one carries around a lot of guilt and is common in those that hate themselves.
What happens is that the codependent person gets attached in an unhealthy way to a partner who can prey on this mentality. The partner “confirms” the low self-worth of the codependent in various ways, such as verbal abuse and the codependent cowers in fear and depression, knowing that the partner is probably right.
Codependency and a victim mentality can be healed
There is good news. Healing is available for codependency and those who have a victim mentality. Many people have walked through the steps to attain it. The first step is to recognize that you have a victim mentality and resolve to make a change. There has to be a radical shift to view yourself differently.
Whether you’re the addict or alcoholic, or you’re the partner, there is hope available to begin to change this mindset and adopt a new one. Healing will entail that you begin to tell a different story. Even if you don’t feel like it, you must begin to see yourself as valuable. You must dig deep to get to your authentic self, which is full of light and love and move into passion and grace. You must begin to take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and life.
Begin to think of yourself as worthy. Take a look at your good qualities. Make a list of positive affirmations and recite them out loud daily. Listen to encouraging messages. Do things that make you happy. You want to increase your self-esteem continually.
Codependency and responsibility
Taking responsibility for your life is essential. This means that you must do something about the negative thoughts and feelings you have been carrying around for so many years. You may be dealing with extreme guilt, fear, anger, frustration, hopelessness, and more. The healing process will require you to take a look at the root causes of such feelings and deal with those issues and then LET GO. Yes, just let go of all the negative emotions that have plagued you for years.
You might want to consider going to therapy or seeing a Life Coach for a while. It really helps to bounce your thoughts and ideas off of another and professionals have techniques that can help you change your mindset and let go of negativity. They can also help you to set goals and create an action plan to attain those goals.
There are also support groups that are helpful. There’s Codependents Anonymous for those struggling with codependent characteristics. There are also 12 Step recovery groups for those struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction. Look into Alcoholics Anonymous if you’re struggling with quitting drinking. Look into Narcotics Anonymous if you’re struggling with stopping the use of drugs.
There you will be among others who have struggled with the same types of things as you. Understand that you do not have to walk this road alone. No matter what you’re struggling with, someone else has struggled too. When you can get with others who have been there and are open to receive input and advise, it can open up so many new doors for you when it comes to getting your life back and creating the kind of life you really want.
For the struggling alcoholic or drug addict
If you’re really struggling with addiction, you may benefit from attending an alcohol or drug addiction rehab. So many people continue to struggle because they feel ashamed for becoming addicted in the first place. But what they don’t realize is that addiction is a disease of the brain. It does not mean they are weak-willed or just don’t have the gumption to change their behavior.
As a disease, struggling addicts need to realize that there is treatment available. Just as if you were struggling with the disease of diabetes, and you’d go to a doctor for treatment, you can see a substance abuse professional for treatment for the disease of addiction.
Types of treatment
There’s inpatient treatment for those who are able to pack up and leave their residence for treatment. Typically, people stay at an inpatient rehab center for about a month. They’re able to meet with substance abuse professionals for an assessment and can co-create a treatment plan together. This is especially helpful for those who are having a tough time stopping drinking or drugging due to their immediate environment. Getting out of your home and into a safe space for a period of time can be quite helpful in making that final break from your drug of choice, learning effective coping skills for when you do move back into that environment.
If you cannot attend an inpatient alcohol or drug treatment program, you may consider attending an outpatient rehab. Outpatient rehab consists of individuals attending a certain amount of sessions or classes per week. You’ll get to meet with a substance abuse professional and have an assessment done there as well. They’ll want to know things like how long you’ve been abusing your drug of choice, and perhaps some of your goals. While you’re attending your classes, you’ll get to learn quite a bit about the disease of addiction, as well as how you can cope with life without resorting to drinking or drugging. This might seem like an enormous task, but many people have gotten free from the grips of addiction by attending either an inpatient or outpatient rehab.
You’re not alone
Whether you’re struggling with codependency characteristics or an addiction to alcohol or drugs, know that you’re not alone and that help is available. You do not have to navigate this path alone. However, you do need to take some steps in the right direction. Think about what treatment path you would like to begin navigating. Make some phone calls to see what your options are in your community.
Are you able to see a substance abuse counselor? Do you think it would benefit you to attend inpatient or outpatient rehab? How do you feel about attending a12-step support groups like AA or NA?
No longer a victim
You are not a victim any longer. The past is the past and your future begins anew today. Give yourself a brand-new start! Resolve to draw a line in the sand and no longer allow negativity and the victim mentality to have any rule in your life. Here at Elite Rehab Placement, we believe in you. We believe in your potential, and we are here to assist you to create the type of life you desire by helping you find the best treatment options for you. There is freedom on the other side of codependency and/or addiction!