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In this 1 minute book review by Melody Beatie, the focus is on "Codependent No More". Melody explores the detrimental consequences of controlling others while emphasizing the importance of caring for

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself – by Melody Beattie

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This is a book review, not a book summary, but first let’s quickly cover a common misconception, because the word “codependent” gets misused a lot in popular parlance:

  • What codependence isn’t: “we depend on each other and must do everything together”
  • What codependence is:“person 1 has a dependency on a substance (or perhaps a behavior, such as gambling); person 2 is trying to look after person 1, and so has developed a secondary relationship with the substance/behavior. Person 2 is now said to be codependent, because it becomes all-consuming for them too, even if they’re not using the substance/behavior directly”

Funny how often it happens that the reality is more complex than the perception, isn’t it?

Melody Beattie unravels all this for us. We get a compassionate and insightful look at how we can look after ourselves, while looking after another. Perhaps most importantly: how and where to draw a line of what we can and cannot do/change for them.

Because when we love someone, of course we want to fight their battles with them, if not for them. But if we want to be their rock of strength, we can’t get lost in it too, and of course that hurts.

Beatty takes us through these ideas and more, for example:

  • How to examine our own feelings even when it’s scary
  • How to practice self-love and regain self-worth, while still caring for them
  • How to stop being reactionary, step back, and act with purpose

If the book has any weak point, it’s that it repeatedly recommends 12-step programs, when in reality that’s just one option. But for those who wish to take another approach, this book does not require involvement in a 12-step program, so it’s not a barrier to usefulness.

Click here to check out Codependent No More and take care of yourself, too

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