Archives for Codependency


Can codependency kill?

I have a friend who says her codependency will kill her before her alcoholism. I am so codependent that when I do, I'm afraid someone else's life will flash before my eyes.

I am completely consumed by a dear friend's terminal illness. I don't like the way his caregiver is handling his care. I desperately want to jump in and tell his caregiver how to do things because in my spare time - when I'm not leaping  tall buildings in a single bound - I am an oncologist, a child psychologist, pain-management specialist and super-model.

That's how sick I am. I have the best intentions but my execution is a little off. It is obsessive caretaking. We form one-sided relationships with people who need care - such as my friend, who has cancer. The caretaking becomes compulsive and pathological.
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Depression Prayer: “Give Us This Day Our Daily Feelings…”

I don't think about David Funchess much anymore. I watched him die on April 22, 1986 in Florida's electric chair. He was the first Vietnam Veteran executed in the United States. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder had yet to be discovered when Funchess, a highly-decorated combat Marine, fatally stabbed a couple during a hold-up in Jacksonville in 1974. I was a cub reporter and was morbidly thrilled to have the opportunity to cover an execution. The little motel where I stayed in Starke, Florida was excited to see me, too, and had posted "Welcome Christine" on its roadside marquee. This story would be the crown jewel in my growing collection of clips - mostly stories of last night's school board meeting and car wrecks. That's how I looked at it.

On a personal level, I was hoping the execution would finally settle my doubts about the death penalty. I was brought up Catholic but having covered a few murders, I was not convinced that the death penalty was unjust. I was on the fence. I had heard of reporters who had fainted or barfed covering executions. I did not know how I would react.

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The “L” Word (layoffs) Strikes Again…But Not My Mania

"Brace yourself," she said.

It seemed like any other Friday morning. I went to the gym, took Dog to the park, made lunch and drove to work. I parked in the same spot. Swiped my security card at the same door and said "Mornin'" like I do every morning.

My co-worker, Carol looked like she had been crying.


Three in my department - 24 overall.

The layoffs and buyouts began at my company about three years ago. The company has offered generous severance packages and had always let us know when layoffs were looming. Not this time. Although they still offered generous severance packages, we had no warning.
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Depression, Codependency and My Cape

My phone rang at 4:45 am on Thursday morning. I didn't recognize the number so I didn't answer it. Then I heard that little voicemail alarm and I was like, oh man, what now?

It was a friend who was about to be arrested. The deputy was kind enough to let my friend use his phone and make a call. An arrest warrant had been issued because my friend had failed to pay the court costs from a DUI 18 months ago. My friend performed all the other conditions of probation except the court costs of $373.
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The Bipolar Journalist: Oil and Mania Do Not Mix

Did someone scribble my phone number on the bathroom walls at university engineering departments? I have people calling me with the solution. I have blueprints of contraptions that will allegedly stop the flow of oil coming from a hole in the ocean floor. I have people wanting me to pass along their idea to BP. I have people wanting me to write a story about their invention.

People, I am a newspaper reporter, not Obi-Wan Kenobi.

I have a short fuse and I cannot tell if it is attached to my mania or my stress. Whatever it is attached to, I am afraid it could blow and I am not sure my blowout preventer is working right now.

When I get manic I get righteous and sarcastic. I want to raise my eyebrows, cock my head  and say: "When my clone gets in I will  have her give Tony Hayward a jingle and check on that."  "If I knew when they were going to plug it I would be planning my summer vacation, now wouldn't I?" "Everything I know about dead fish I learned from a worm." "Do I look like I know where the Loop Current is going to be next week?"

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My "Exquisite" Mania: Thank You, Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison

"... my finely wired, exquisitely alert nervous system."
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of my mania. Unfortunately, I didn't write it. Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison did. It is in the first paragraph of the prologue to her brilliant bestseller An Unquiet Mind.
I like the word "exquisite" because it implies a sense of refinement and elegance and I am neither when I am manic. I envision a chaotic mess of synapses frantically trying to keep up with a torrent of hormones. Some explode like a blown transformer and sizzle like a live wire.
It feels like a primal part of my brain has taken over. Every cell attached to my senses -- smell, touch, sight, taste, sound -- is ready, like a racehorse in the gate, snorting, pounding a  hoof and waiting for the race to begin.
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Pilots with Depression: The Not-So-Friendly Skies Get a Little More Friendly

Good news! The Federal Aviation Administration is lifting its ban on allowing pilots to fly while on antidepressants.

Bad news! I still can't be a pilot.

While lifting the ban on antidepressants made for great headlines today, it's not until you read down into the story that you learn that under the new policy, pilots who take one of four antidepressants -- Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa or Lexapro -- or their generic equivalents will be allowed to fly "if they have been successfully treated by those medications for a year without side effects that could pose a safety hazard in the cockpit."

That's cool, but they are all SSRIs. What if a pilot needs more, like Wellbutrin, an NDRI, along with an SSRI? That's my regimen. I take Lexapro AND Wellbutrin. Does that mean the pilot cannot fly? Yes.

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