Seeing Blake Fielder-Civil talk about his relationship with Amy Winehouse on the Jeremy Kyle Show this week I was moved to hear him take responsibility and talk about his recovery.
It was clear to see the vulnerability of this young man and the sadness he felt.
As someone who knew Blake before he started using drugs I was glad to see him in recovery and willing to share his experiences. I was also glad that people had the chance to see the person behind the media demonisation and for people to start to understand that a recovering addict is not a bad person trying to get good but a sick person trying to get well.
Hearing Blake’s admission on Jeremy Kyle on how the pair could not truly part and even considered remarrying at one point. I was struck by the co-dependent nature of their relationship and how codependency will often go hand in hand with substance addiction.
Some codependent relationships like Blake and Amy’s will end in tragedy. For many codependency will stop them from having healthy relationships and leading the life they deserve.
Codependency is sometimes known as relationship addiction. It means that the codependent puts the relationship above their own needs and will be preoccupied with the relationship to an excessive extent.
In codependent relationships the couple may be mutually dependent (as was the case with Blake and Amy) or one member may be in a relationship where they are unhealthily psychologically dependent on someone with self destructive behaviours or a pathological condition. Co-dependency is a real issue.
The 5 core symptoms of Co-dependency
The author Pia Mellody described the core symptoms of co-dependency as:
- Difficulty experiencing appropriate levels of self esteem: the codependent gets a false sense of self worth from other people and trying to please them.
- Difficulty setting boundaries: the co-dependent does not have boundaries. As Mellody describes the codependent lack of boundaries may cause them to take responsibility for another’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
- Difficulty owning heir own reality. The codependents enmeshment with others means that they do not have a true sense of identity. The codependent is fixated on who they think they should be.
- Difficulty realizing and meeting their own needs and wants. Often the codependent is martyr like ‘needless and wantless.’
- Difficulty experiencing and expressing reality moderately. The codependent is very extreme in terms of thoughts, feelings and behaviours they do not have a middle ground or grey area. Moderation is very difficult for the codependent.
You can find out more about co-dependency and it’s signs by reading books such as “Co-dependent No More” by Mellody Beattie and “Facing Co-dependence” by Pia Mellody. Both are a good place to start to become more familiar with the addiction and how it works.
As for Blake I hope he brings his new found awareness in recovery to his new relationship and continues to work not only on his recovery from drug addiction but also from codependency.