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In it's simplest definition, co-dependence is putting the needs and feelings of others ahead of your own.

What's that you say, 'you think that makes you a good friend, person, mother, daughter, son, father, employee', guess what, that's just not true.

Remember you are responsible for taking care of yourself first.  Of course there are exceptions to the rule, however I am speaking about a way of living.

Do you worry about what others think about what you say or do?  Do you often say 'yes' when you mean 'no'?  Do you try to control everything, believing that if you don't do it, it won't get done or not 'properly'?

Was the family that you grew up in abusive, was an adult an alcoholic or a substance abuser?  Did you have to take care of siblings?  Did you grow up too fast or not have a childhood?

Do you run all over the place taking care of everything for everyone?

If so, you are behaving in a co-dependent fashion and you have developed an abusive relationship with yourself and maybe others.

You wonder onto other people's paths in an effort to help, when in reality you are avoiding responsibility for your own life and often insulting those you are trying to help by doing things for them that they can do for themselves.

Often this behaviour is developed as a result of being raised in an environment that caused you to become hyper aware of others and their needs so you could remain safe or out of harm's way.

You meet your needs or sense of self by attending to others and in effect you become unaware of what you need or feel.

It will take a long honest look at yourself to understand fully how this has affected you and you are worth every second of time and effort you put into you.

Start by focusing only on your life and ask yourself several times everyday, 'what am I feeling?'.  Practice this and there are two good books I know of that will help - 'Co-dependent No More' by Melody Beattie and 'Dance of the Wounded Souls' by Robert Burney.

Take care of yourself and keeping putting your energy into Your Life!