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There’s an old saying that “there’s no such thing as a stupid question.”  I believed that until someone asked me why it is that we always find what we’re looking for in the last place we look.

No comment.

However, I did receive an intelligent question today, forwarded to me by “Admin.”  One more person wanted to be the exception to the rule that I absolutely do not have the time to reply personally to emails sent to the site.  I just don’t.  I have three sites going, and I reply to all the questions myself (unless it’s a technical one – in which case I forward it to Chip).

Besides, there is magic in a group – even if the group meets online.  Sharing the question and the answer on the forum means others get to learn from the answer too.  It means that the person asking the question will likely learn he or she isn’t as alone with his or her problem as that person thought.  It also opens the question up for other comments, too, bringing us back to the magic of the group.

This post is solely to answer the question:  “Do you have to have alcoholism involved to become codependent?”  Group, what do you think?  No, what do you know?  One issue that surprised me the most after the release of my first book on codependency was the huge number of people who lived in families without any alcoholism or addiction, but codependency had still set in.

This isn’t to “sell books,” (mine are available at libraries for free)  but in one of my more recent releases – The New Codependency – I define codependency more by “which of these issues is causing a problem, and how much does it hurt?”

Let’s look deeper.  Codependency is a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances.  That’s what I wrote way back when.  I still stand behind those words.  Everything written is true.  It works.  But like others, I’ve learned more and seen more with the passing of time. More has been revealed.

Initially I thought that loss comprised about ten percent of codependency.  Now, I’m coming to believe that codependency is often people stuck in one or more stages of grief.  The loss may be living with an ongoing illness for which there isn’t a cure; not receiving something we needed to become full human beings as a child (like love and protection); or losing an important relationship now – as adults.

If you add obsession and guilt to the five stages of grief, as outlined by Elizabeth Kubler Ross – you have what we’ve come to define as codependency.  Denial; anger (lots of that); negotiation (a/k/a manipulation); sadness; and finally acceptance or surrender to what is.

Listen, guys and gals – people young and old – obsessing isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  We need to tell our story, sometimes over and over, to integrate it into our life experiences.  And the guilt we feel?  It’s not authentic (most of the time). It’s a symptom of other losses that have cut into our heart.

Recently the Mayo clinic labeled Broken Heart Syndrome as a true medical condition that occurs when we suffer a deep loss.  A deep loss isn’t limited to having someone we love die.  It could be, say, having our child develop an incurable illness that he or she will live with likely as long as the person is alive.  Control sets in when we do our best to make the problem go away, otherwise known as denial, and sometimes called resistance.

Sometimes natural and normal situations can imitate codependency, such as when we have a newborn baby and we need to center our lives around the child and forgo what we need.  The difference there is that the behaviors that resemble codependency are temporary responses to a temporary situation in our life.  It’s when codependent behaviors become a way of life that it’s likely codependency has set in.

We think who we are isn’t okay.  We don’t trust what we feel.  Usually in homes where codependency has set in, feelings aren’t discussed much or at all.  People dig a rut, move furniture in, and call it home.  They’re miserable but they’re okay with that – at least they know what to expect:  not much at all, and surely not a full life.

While none of us are promised the proverbial bed of roses, some of us get unnecessarily enmeshed in other people’s problems.  Their problems control our lives.  Our emotions control their lives.  It’s an ugly dance of quietly or loudly pulling the other person’s strings.

See – this is the deal.  It’s not what we do that makes it codependent.  It’s how what we do makes us feel.  It’s why we’re doing what we’re doing.  Are we acting out of obligation, fear, and guilt?  Or are our actions motivated by clean choice?  Are we doing what we do because it’s what we choose to do, no matter the outcome?

You can have two people doing exactly the same behaviors and one person is making healthy choices. The other is doing the codependency dysfunctional dance feeling victimized, separate from life, likely unloved and unlovable, and perpetually not good enough.

So many people are suffering from chronic depression.  It takes two weeks of feeling terribly sad to receive this label.  After my son died, I’m certain 99 percent of the doctors around would have labeled me depressed. I wasn’t.  I was going through that heart-healing process called grief.  Feeling extremely sad when a son you love with all your heart dies qualifies as a normal response to an abnormal situation.

We live in a time where more and more people resist feeling uncomfortable.  We expect all problems to be immediately and easily solved.  When that doesn’t occur, we may consider our lives a hopeless waste.

Not so.  We’ve been dealt a challenging hand.  How we’re going to play that hand is up to us.  Recovery isn’t about rules (except for two).  It’s about tools – accessing them, using them, and freely making our choices.  The only rules I have are don’t hurt yourself (which includes don’t let anyone else physically hurt you.)  And don’t hurt (physically) anyone else.

It’s not unhealthy to love people, to care about them, and sometimes to sacrifice for them.  That’s what can bond us to others and create that feeling called “love.”  Again, it all goes back to our motivation.

I cannot judge another’s heart.  Can there be codependency without alcoholism?  Can there be loss without alcoholism?  I’m coming to believe that many if not most cases of chemical dependency began as a survival behavior to self-medicate emotional pain that became too much – more than we could handle without support.  Then the “cure” became an illness of its own.

Something else not publicly discussed much are the benefits from growing up in a dysfunctional home.  Studies quoted in an article in the New York Times show that in later life situation, such as at work, people who survived heavy dysfunction and then learned to administer self-care and began to thrive make the best employees – and not because they’re codependent and never say, “No.”  It’s because they can withstand stress, chaos, problems, and situations that others find overwhelming.

They know how to deal with less than ideal situations in life and they don’t need to live in a bubble to survive.  (I’m not doing footnotes in my blogs but if you want more info on this see The New Codependency.)

I now believe that too much loss and grief can cause the beginning of alcoholism and chemical dependency in a family.  It can also create codependent responses – responses made out of obligation, guilt, and fear whether alcoholism and addiction are present or not.

The reason we call recovery “an inside job” is because it’s true. We don’t change the circumstances around us to feel better.  We deal with what’s inside us, usually the things we most don’t want to look at, expose to the light, or feel. People don’t like to feel pain.  They don’t like confusion, not being able to make sense of life, or feeling like life is random — a disorderly, chaotic thing.

We also don’t like it when we realize how vulnerable we really are to all the problems, pain, and situations we used to believe we had immunity from.

While Life is chaotic and often makes no sense at all, many of us have experienced Dnana – a word that means learning or knowing that’s inseparable from an experience.  We aren’t what we eat but we are what we’ve been through.  We aren’t our problems, but our problems are ours to solve, live with, let go of, or endure.

Underneath the chaos an underlying order exists.  The world we live in?  A vital universe.  One that’s truly alive and will guide us to what we need, if we listen to that still, small voice within.

Another statement in Codependent No More I stand behind one hundred percent:  There is no situation that can’t be made worse by severe self-neglect, and it’s opposite, “Self-love and self-care will benefit any situation we need to get through, go around, or endure.”

Self-love isn’t narcissism, over-indulgence, or extreme pampering.  In his book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle defines love for others (paraphrased) as not being something we get and need desperately to fill up the big empty hole within.  Loving someone means being present for and aware of another in each moment.  To that I add that love means giving what we want to give, and what the other person wants to receive.

That would mean, if accepted as truth, that self-love means being present for and aware of ourselves.  Living a “Day at a Time” doesn’t mean waiting to get through today so tomorrow can come.  It means, being present for and aware of who we are, how we feel, and what’s taking place within and around us right now.

I hope my reactions to and thoughts about your question help.  But remember – I’m a writer not an expert, guru, psychiatrist or spiritual adviser.  I’m stumbling my way through life too, just like anyone else. But if I shared all the stories with you (the person who asked the question about codependency) about family situations where codependency ruled but no alcohol or drugs caused the pain, it would take about five more books to write about them all.

To engage in codependent behaviors isn’t a bad thing. In most cases, it means we really care but aren’t sure what to do.  Somewhere along the line, we forgot we could trust ourselves.

“Don’t force it,” my friend said, when I tried to open a container.  “You’ll break it.”  He summed up the effects of control.  The other behaviors – taking care of others and neglecting ourselves, repressing and denying important feelings, resisting reality, feeling separate from people and things in the world we live in – and many other traits connected with codependency – are on a continuum.  They’re normal reactions that anyone would do, given a similar situation.

Codependency occurs when we cross a line. We’re stuck.  We can’t stop doing what we’re doing, even though what we’re doing hurts the other person and us.  So now I have a question for you:  How much do you hurt?  How much does what you do hurt?  Or have you become so numb you’re not sure how you really feel?

Not to worry.  Most of us step across that line at times.  You don’t need to have hope for a better tomorrow.  Instead, trust where you are today because that’s what true faith is.

While I’m at it, I’ll answer another question I’m often asked too.  “Can you become codependent on another codependent?”  Answer:  Yes.

It’s the worst.

Good luck,
Melody Beattie


  1. Sue

    May 15, 2012

    Years ago I had listened to a cassette tape (yes, a while ago) of yours. I thought it was called ‘Journey to the Heart’. I was wondering if this is available in an mp3 version. I listened to that tape over and over and it so inspired me in so many ways. I actually journeyed to Chimayo because of that tape. And I believe the next leg of my journey is also connected – but it’s been so long since I’ve heard it…

    Anyway, I would love the mp3 version if you could tell me where it’s available.

    Angel Blessings to you.


    • Melody

      May 16, 2012

      I didn’t grant digital audio rights to the publisher of that book because what they offered was so meager as to be embarrassing. I’ll check. Maybe I can record it myself, and sell it as an MP3. The Union says that within two yeas, publishers are going to have to come around and pay what they’re supposed to –ethically and contracually — for digital rights. Until then — all I can say is, “read a real book?”

      Melody L Beattie
      Melody & Company, Inc

      • Liz

        May 19, 2012

        It would be great if you could make some mp3 resources. I love them because I put them on my iPod and if I am having trouble sleeping I will play them and they settle me or give me wisdom to see things in a new light. I loved your reading of Making Miracles – your voice was rich and interesting. Also love listening to things that enrich my spirit while I’m exercising. Just feel like I am working on all of me. Also have loved your radio interviews also. Sorry about all the loves. But you get the point. I think it would be popular internationally.

      • Sue

        June 11, 2012

        Which book was it? I didn’t even realize it was the recording of one of your books. I was thinking it was Journey to the Heart, but that is a book for 365 days so that doesn’t sound like it would be it.

        So which book is it? I searched my house hoping I still had the cassette.

        • Melody

          June 12, 2012

          I think the audio book you’re talking about is “Lighting the Path.” It is a script of its own, although it was written to accompany “Codependents Guide to the Twelve Steps.” It has all original material. My copies of it are old and ruined by the salt air — I’m hoping I have one decent one that I can get typed up (as I no longer have the script). I plan to record it, and release it myself, as the deals offered by the audio book houses (bluntly put) — suck. It’s an audio bok that fell between the cracks when I changed agents after my son did. Best, Melody

  2. B

    May 15, 2012

    Wow. Thank you for the quick response.

    And I apologize for not knowing/reading the rules. Obviously we can add reading comprehension to the list of my woes, hehe… I just looked at ‘Contact Melody’ and there, right above the e-mail addy is the note section.

    And that makes a lot of sense – about it being a spectrum from healthy to unhealthy. Because most things are unhealthy in excess. I will ruminate on that.

    And again, thank you very kindly. I don’t think many author’s who have been as successful as you would respond to every communique, from every person. But then I only know one author, and she writes math textbooks… So I doubt she receives a lot of fan mail. All the same, I think it is exceptional.

    • Melody

      May 15, 2012

      Thank you for your kind response to my response to you — and you’re welcome. However, I don’t think that “doing the right thing is exceptional.” It’s what we’re meant to do — but thank you for the compliment anyway. You’re not “going to be okay.” You are okay right now. When you understand that, life will feel better for you and your loved ones. Best, Melody PS — You have a unique role in life and the world to play today. You may not understand it — or even like it (I never intended to be “The Codependency Queen”), but that’s why I call my blog, “Living in the Mystery.” It means, trusting what we don’t know, instead of trusting what we do.

  3. Anna A

    May 16, 2012

    I’m happy to be at your site. I’m from Russia and your ideas are so popular now here. I’m just at the very beginning of CoDA step program but I’ve already felt much better. I’m learning more and more to have reliance on spiritual force. Thanks a lot for your efforts to the benefit of everyone.

  4. Sharon

    May 16, 2012

    I just finished reading this entry. Thank you. It’s so rich that I plan to read it again and then maybe again. It is speaking directly to where I am right now. I am especially grateful for the new word – “dnana.” What a perfect word, and it distills in five letters what my life has taught me, and what I hope my children are learning.

  5. Liz

    May 17, 2012

    Thanks Melody,
    It was just the right post I needed to hear today. Today I had to stand up and say no -“i can’t do that.” What I was asked to was not professional or responsible. But , I found it so hard to say no. Even though I knew saying no was the right thing to do, I still wanted to please this person. I wanted to give into the demands just to get this person off my back, Why is it so hard to grow up sometimes even when you are 45. I felt like a little girl wanting this person’s approval – but at the same time I didn’t. The thing is – that it is not over yet. This person is determined and won’t give up without a fight. I don’t plan to fight but I do plan not to change my mind. Anyway thanks for your timely blog – it was just what I needed to hear. Thank you.

  6. Irma Fernandez

    May 17, 2012

    Melody: Can you tell me more about the orce out there.. whether destiny or something else that brings people together that are suppose to be together…. you know.. the butterfly story..

    • Melody

      July 1, 2012

      This is in reply to the questions about second and third generation codependency. If you slow down whlie reading the book, I don’t describe second and third generation codependents as having an abundance of self-esteem. What they have is low self-esteem, covered with layers of entitlement. It’s all about how each generation of parents wanted to make sure their children didn’t suffer the way that they did — so in essence what we did was help them suffer in another way. While the manifestations may differ somewhat, it’s not the outside behaviors that matter — it’s what’s going on inside that counts and that identifies someone’s actions as “codependent” — or not. I hope that helps to answer your question. I just found this email/comment today, hiding in the backroom. Another response: it felt to me as if your questions are generated by your head, not your heart. Usually, when I do that it’s because I’m afraid to get down to the emotional level. Just a thought about something you might want to look at. Best, Melody Beattie THIS RESPONSE IS TO THE COMMENT PRIOR TO THE ONE DIRECTLY ABOVE THIS.

    • Melody

      July 1, 2012

      You have two questions mixed together. The butterfly story relates to cause and effect — the causal nature of things. Beyond everything happening for a spiritual reason, things happen for a physical or behavioral, causal, measurable reason. The result is the “effect.” The Butterfly theory (not mine) is discussed in detail in Choices, but in essence (and it’s someone else’s theory — not mine — it states that enough butterflies flapping their wings in China can cause a windstorm in the US. The smallest causes, united with comon causal forces, can create big consequences. That’s what that theory is about. Regarding your question about soulmates — and this is my personal and prejudiced opinion — if we’re meant to meet someone we will; if not, we won’t. I’ve seen people who rarely leave their home or socialize have their future bride (or groom) almost come to their door. People do so much looking, seeking, forcing — to put a relationship together, to find THE right one. The right one will appear in our path, when and if that’s meant to happen. People say there are many fish in the sea, but for me – when it comes to romantic love — I don’t want to embrace a wet fish. LIve our lives. Do what we’re led to do, with no ulterior motives. If we go out looking (attending events because HE or SHE might be there, chances are great we’ll end up disapointed. If we attend an event or do something because we want to attend that event or we’re genuinely interested in doing that activity, we won’t be let down. And anything else that happens is the proverbial gravy. It’s een said that the right person comes along when we’ve let go and aren’t looking. I’ve found that to be true. In my life – and this is just my path, though — I’ve found that the deeper and more profound the connection, the less time I have with a deeply loved person. The most powerful relationships in my life have, to my great sadness, also been the briefest. But their impact on me has never left. Hope this helps answer your question. Best, Melody

  7. Irma Fernandez

    May 17, 2012

    Melody: Can you tell me more about the force out there.. whether destiny or something else that brings people together that are suppose to be together…. you know.. the butterfly story..

    • Melody

      May 17, 2012

      It’s another one of those things we can’t control; we experience it — dnana. The minutes we actively try to figure it out or make it happen, we lose it. The best way to make contact with anything though, is to meditate, pray, and listen to our inner voice. I’m sorry I can’t help you — but there are many mysteries in life that we know exist, but can’t touch, feel, or see. This is one. Sometimes the people that come to us, come to teach us the next thing we’re to learn. Some come to mirror something else we’re doing, and some come fr other reasons. Some people say that our thinking”creates” every single thing that takes place but I don’t know that I subscribe to that believe. What we think can bring certain situations to fruition, but essentially that saying places blame on people for tragedies in their life that are beyond their control — and I don’t like that. People shouldn’t feel guilty if they get sick, etc. Best, Melody

    • Melody

      June 12, 2012

      The butterfly story is in Choices — I used the metaphor of climbing the four mountains in China to discuss the attitudes or beliefs we learn that surround the hundreds of big and small decisions we make each day, and to encourage consciousness of these chocies instead of going on “automatic pilot” and then wondering why we did what we did. You should be able to get it anywhere, and it’s in paperback now. I don’t believe that it’s digital, although it might be, as I didn’t agree to the publisher’s offer of royalties on it — but who knows? Many of them just do what they want to do, anyway. Melody

  8. ken tuvman

    May 17, 2012

    Dear Melody – thanks for writing on this terrific topic:

    I don’t believe alcoholism be present to become codependent – to me, the root of my codependency was being powerless and clueless about owning my own feelings. I became dependent in my relationships with certain people (mom, dad, grandpa (who weren’t alcoholics)). I became indentured or joined at the hip – I’d found someone to “dance” with. Example: grandpa gave me $5 – I said thank you. A few days later, he’d ask me about the money. When I told him I went to the movies with a friend, and bought candy, he’d scold me for being frivolous. He’d emigrated to the United States from Europe, worked hard, and would add, “you’ll never be a businessman.” Mom (grandpa’s daughter) didn’t drink either but she was moody, often grouchy and sometimes nasty – when she got in a sour mood, she’d put me in the backyard and lock the door to the house or just told me to go away – from that, I learned how to be a pest and seek negative attention. Dad didn’t drink but his dad was a chain smoker and a workaholic who died at 60. Dad left the house early to go to work and usually came home late. This left Mom feeling insecure, and she was often mad at Dad. If I asked my dad questions about going somewhere, his usual ambivalent answer was “we’ll see.” When I had cub scouts, he was always late getting me to the functions, which was embarrassing. I’d fight a lot with my mom – I was angry because she never gave me the attention I deserved. When I’d tell my Dad, he’d always side with mom. Dad’s sister was a-chain smoker and a overeater who died at 60. When I got older, Dad’s sister (my aunt) compared me to her son, the golden child who could do no wrong in her eyes and was smarter than any of us – that created animosity and jealousy and severed the nice relationship I used to have with my cousin.
    I learned to seek unhealthy relationships – some teachers understood me and were kind, while other people would just tell me to get lost. I was a curious kid and asked a lot of stupid questions.
    Until getting sober and going thru the 12 steps, I could never give myself credit for the good things I was doing in life – everyone else was better > resentment was like putting an addition onto my codependency. As a codependent, I leaned on others to the point where -they recoiled and rebelled – like it says in the AA Big Book.
    I think you Melody coined it right when one time you called me a double-winner. A double winner is someone who is both alcoholic and codependent. I know by the time I was introduced to alcohol and pot (age 13) my level of pain and self hate was swelling and overflowing inside of me. So I began a 25-year journey, numbing my pain with drugs & alcohol, which did help for a long time – in a temporary way.
    Today, I’m sober almost 15 years, and although I’m not sure if I’m really an alcoholic or addict I know I’m powerless over many things. Sobriety, meetings, and working with my sponsor have served me well. I’ve got 2 boys and have had many challenges that my Higher Power has helped me walk through – today, my biggest burden is 89 year old dad living in a nursing home, paralyzed, completely dependent on others for every human need, including being fed with a feeding tube – his mind is sharp and we can talk on the phone but being 2,000 miles away is a burden.
    I’m still codependent in some ways – there isn’t much I won’t do to help my kids, as long as what I do doesn’t wreck my spiritual foundation – that I protect!!! While I do my best to help others, I have outlets, like writing, restoring/fixing old motorcycles, and riding off into the sunset – all these activities help me regroup and re-center.
    Life isn’t exactly fair. Some of us got parents who shouldn’t have been parents and didn’t protect us. Some of us get involved with some very sick people and have to experience a lot of hurt and loss. Some of us get bullied and constantly criticized. All of those things happened to me.
    So, I don’t believe you have to come from an alcoholic family to become codependent but agree, that an overload of loss and grief will cause us to seek relief from the pain and the easiest thing to grab for our pain is alcohol and drugs.

    • Melody

      May 18, 2012

      Thanks for your input Ken. Good to hear from you again. I hope things are as good as they can be with your dad. Best, Melody

  9. Mary

    May 17, 2012

    Could you recommend which of your books addresses how a worn out parent of an adult mentally ill child can ‘let go or detach’. I am not understanding how I can let go when I have to deal with this problem daily and it will never go away and indeed grows worse. I have to clean up the messes from her decisions made.. ie: having children. She gets committed to the state mental hospital annually because she goes off her meds but will not get tubes tied and cannot take hormones of any type. If I could run away I would.
    This is not like having an adult child on dugs etc and just not bailing them out of jail.

    • Melody

      May 17, 2012

      Ome thing I know is this: you’re not alone in your problem. I received an email recently from someone living through/with a similar situation. I know there are many more. Have you sought out a support group, a good one, for people in similar circumstances? Also, the definition of letting go isn’t just “dropping something” the way we would a hot potato. Letting go involves grieving, feeling all our feelings (sometimes hundred or thousands of them) about what we’ve lost, what we’re losing, and about future losses. It’s the process of surrendering to our authentic emotions instead of hiding behind denial or resistance the comprises the act of letting go. That process — not me — will lead you to where you need to be. Please keep us updated on your situation; you could help many people. Best, Melody

    • Melody

      May 18, 2012

      It’s so hard to say without knowing your background. Maybe Codependent No More. Maybe Language of Letting Go. Maybe the Grief Club. Maybe Make Miracles in 40 Days. Or maybe the book you need to read isn’t one of mine … I do know this: there is a way through or around this that will bring you peace and respite. If you’re open to it, you will find it. Melody

  10. Sheri

    May 17, 2012

    Every time I read something of yours, I get a little “catch phrase” that is so profound to me and helps me center and remember to take care of myself. In your book “Codenpendent No More”, you said “the only thing thats the end of the world IS the end of the world.” Those words helped me a great deal and I often repeat them to myself. Today, I read on this blog “Don’t force it, you’ll break it”. The next time I try to control someone because of MY condependent tendencies, I am goiing to have those words to bring me back to center. Thank you so very very much!

    • Melody

      May 17, 2012

      Thank you. The words were a gift from the webmaster Chip. I was trying to “fix” something by “making it happen.” When I heard the statement, I knew I had heard a winner. It all comes through us, not from us. Thank God. Best, MelodySubmit Reply

  11. EileenMarie

    May 18, 2012

    I am grateful I found your website and I am practicing telling myself I am okay not I will be okay thanks to you :)I am the oldest, and the only adopted child in my family. I grew up in a home with a mentally ill emotionally absent mom. My dad was awesome but a functioning alcoholic however his drinking was only really apparently bad when I was in my late teens so I really don’t think I suffered from his drinking. I could go on but for time sake :) I do know though I was the caretaker because my dad worked and was only home at night and weekends. I believe my Co-Dependency came from being a complete and utter emotional mess growing up in fear of what my mom would be on any given day. So I know I am 100% Co-Dependent and its because of the dysfunction of growing up with a mentally ill mom, who btw was diagnosed depression, then bi-polar, then just anxiety. God got me to a friend who sent me to this website and all your books and now I go to a Co-DA step meeting every Tuesday and I am finally home :) Thank you for sharing all you have, I know I needed it!

    • Melody

      June 12, 2012

      I forgot to mention that we also have an ongoing “forum” online 12-Step meeting at There are a lot of great posts from guests about how they work the steps. One caution: sign in using a “made-up” name to protect your anonymity. Best, Melody

  12. Melody Beattie

    May 19, 2012

    Sounds like the perfect setting to create codependent behaviors — which by the way are normal responses. We’re not crazy; the situation is dysfunctional. Also, once we get through all our emotions of loss, etc., it’s important to remember that having come from a dysfunctional family can truly be an asset (this according to w study published in the New York Times). We cn get the job done; we keep going when others fold; we handle stress better than others (not from a stance of codependency but of knowing ourselves and coming from our strengths.) Good luck on the journey ahead. Melody

  13. Will

    May 20, 2012

    I recently wrote the following questions to Melody via email, but I thought I’d also post them here because I’m interested in the thoughts of other people on this forum.

    In The New Codependency, she briefly mentions “second generation codependents” and “third generation codependents”. I would benefit from a more in-depth explanation of these new breeds of codependents and why we can call codependents in the first place. They’re described as sheltered, coddled, self-entitled, and even narcissistic, with abnormally high levels of self-esteem. It sounds like “second generation codependents” and “third generation codependents” are more concerned with themselves than with other people. But that’s just the opposite of codependency. (I see a codependency as self-neglect combined with an excessive preoccupation with or sense of responsibility for other people and their problems.) Are these new kinds of codependents really codependent at all? If so why?

    Also, does having been born in the late eighties make me a second or third generation codependent even though I feel like a classic codependent?

    • Melody

      May 21, 2012

      You are still “in your head” instead of living through the experience and finding the lesson at the end — for yourself. Having another hand you an intellectual experience does not equal growth. As for the second and third level codependents, each is the parents’ reaction to what they went through. But whether you look at the “heads” or “tails” side of a nickle, it’s still a nickle. Right?

    • Melody

      May 21, 2012

      You rushed through the words in my book, didn’t absorb the meaning — didn’t relate it to your own life. I do not mean this in a painful way — but the magic of groups is that often people act out their “issue” in the group — right before your eyes. I had a mandate on my website — that people not send personal emails. Convinced you were the exception to the rule, you wrote to me (personal letters) there despite the sign not once, not twice, but three times. Please, please, get out of your head and into the experience of your life. Find the lesson you’re looking for not in words but in experience. Melody (And the rest of you, chip in.)

  14. Eileen

    May 20, 2012

    Hi Melody,
    Having trouble with, \trusting what we don’t know, instead of trusting what we do.

    I am VERY literal…thinking that trusting WHAT I don’t know is impossible.

    Trusting WHEN I don’t know is doable…trusting THAT I don’t know is also doable.
    Trusting that I MAY NOT KNOW WHAT I THINK I DO is wonderful.

    Trusting that I AM OKAY WHILE I LEARN is glorious…


    • Melody

      May 21, 2012

      Trusting whave we think we know (and how we think we have thing figured out) leads to controlling. Living in the moiment, trusting what we don’t know yet — that there’s a lesson at the end of the experience — means we continue to be a student, and it’s the heart of living in the mystery. That’s when we start learning, and seeing first hand the magic of life despite the pain we go through. We can endure any suffering and pain and heartache if we know there’s a reason; we cn get through the most uncertain of times if we know we’re being led. Learning to shift from “living a day at a time” when what we’re really doing is “waiting for tomorrow to come” is a much different faith then trusting enough to relax into each moment in our lives, feel whatever we feel without judgment, and then learning to stay in the moment. That’s when we align with our power. That’s when we switch from “surviving” to “thriving.” Melody

  15. Karin

    May 20, 2012

    Melody, your encouragement to always continue in self-love and self-care is such a desperately needed message for all of us. Thank you for continuing to emphasize the practices that make so much difference and bring healing every day. Last night I had a conversation with my 15 yr. old daughter who is going through a deep grieving process. She asked me when she would feel better and when it wouldn’t hurt so much. I told her I couldn’t tell her when she would feel better but that she could help herself heal by taking good care of herself every day. As I told her those words I realized how much difference that truth has made and is still making in my life. Focusing on loving myself does make a big difference every day, one breath at a time. Your voice is a strong, loud reminder to all of us who need to remember to take care of ourselves in order to heal, no matter what our age. Thank you. Blessings and peace, Karin

    • Melody

      May 21, 2012

      Again, I say, I’m only the messenger — passing on messages brought to me. You are the one who listened (and listens) and continues to do the hard work. Taking care of ourselves — in the true meaning of the word — is a huge and ongoing job.

  16. Yendry Delgado A.

    May 21, 2012

    Dear Melody,

    My name is Yendry Delgado Aguilar, I am from Costa Rica, I am 34 and I am single… I just read your book “Codependece No more”(Libérate de la Codependencia, in Spanish) and I want to thank you for venturing and writing about you experience´s life… I am alcoholic´s daugther and after read this book I underestend more about myself… Now I underestend why I decide to do the things that I do in my life… I felt the responsability of the World, imagine! When I finish my studies at the Univerrsity, I was 2 years as volunteer in Africa… This and a lot of another things… But, I like your point of view about the benefits to be codependend, of course, thinking in Self-love first…

    I cried a lot reading your book and I fell better now, accepting my reality I guess healed many of my wounds.

    One more time thank you, I decide today to sart my first book… Thanks for you inspiration…

    God bless you!


    • Melody

      May 21, 2012

      You are the one who did the hard work. Congratulations. Melody

    • Melody

      May 24, 2012

      Yendryw, it sounds like you’re working hard on yourself. I’m just the messenger — you’re the one doing all the necessary work. Congratulations. And stay in touch. Best, Melody Beattie

  17. Amanda Toussaint

    May 24, 2012

    Dear Melody,

    I am sorry to say I am also one of those people who emailed Admin but had the pleasure to be contacted by
    Chip who was more than kind to direct me to the appropriate place.

    11 years ago I picked up your book “Co-Dependant No More” from my father’s bookshelf and could not put it down, not knowing why I was so attracted to it at the time and unaware that the next 11 years I would be immersed in this type of relationship.

    It began 13 years ago at the age of 19 where I was involved in a very twisted co-addict relationship.
    I started to journal towards the ending of this time as everything was falling apart and happened to
    share a few entries with a trusted friend who is also a writer/editor. He was surprised I could write
    so well and insisted I had to make this into a book and started editing it for me on the spot. Writing
    a book was not my intention. My inention was to try and cope with what was happening.

    I wrote a very detailed journal and adapted it into a memoir that I know would help so many people
    in my situation. I am not sending you an unsolicited manuscript rather I am asking for you advice.

    My memoir is an account of my relationship with a “High Functioning” cocaine, pill, crack addict, sociopath and con artist that, at the time I began this book, had lasted over twelve years, including six years of marriage and the raising of our five year old child.

    My husband’s pathological behavior and addiction to all kinds of highs were the main factors in his ability to lead a double life. He manipulated and committed financial fraud to everyone around him including my own family. He had everyone believing he was something he was not. My husband destroyed the lives of so many innocent and good people. The reality of my life and my partner’s deceptions took me a long time to accept, to understand and to reconcile. Having the ability to explain this to others, at a level that can fully convey what I actually lived through, was quite a challenge. I work in the helping profession, and although I knew I had resources and the knowledge to help myself, I still felt so alone, scared, unloved and mentally battered. I covered up these feelings of inadequacy with the illusion that I was in control. I told myself that being in control—in control of me, and in control of my husband–would fix him and the problems his sickness created in our lives.

    Everything that transpired towards the end of our relationship was predicted by those closest to me. They were able to see what was really happening without emotional blinders,but it didn’t matter what they said; I could not believe it even though it was happening in front of my own eyes. Although our life and our relationship was not perfect, I could never believe that someone who claimed to love me so much could hurt me, and our child, so deeply,without any remorse.
    I still have trouble wrapping my head around this.

    I tried everything I knew—counseling, talking, crying, ultimatums, nutrition, cleanses, anger, love, staying, leaving, pleading, explaining, moving forward, forgetting, forgiving, forgiving, forgiving. It was only when I had exhausted every outlet and realized that no amount of love and no amount of control could make this man stop.

    Only when I began letting go was I able to come to grips with my situation, and the healing process was able to begin.

    The love I have for my daughter is what guided me through everything I had to overcome. I may not have made it through in one piece however my daughter was the glue that helped put me back together.

    The entries in my journal are the most vivid description of my life and how it felt to live with a man I had once cherished but who was putting me through an emotional hell.

    I finished it 1 year ago and didn’t want to try and publish it but now I feel now that by letting people see this, I am no longer alone in it. I can let it go and I don’t have to keep it all to myself anymore. I will be able to help someone in the process feel understood and less isolated.

    And I guess I am asking your advice on publishing something so private and if I wanted to what is the best way
    to go about it?

    Thanks so much for all you do.

    • Melody

      May 24, 2012

      You need to go to the bookstore — either online or a real one — and get (you can rent on Amazon) books on how to market your book; how to decide if it’s ready; etc. Self-publishing is an option now, but it uually only works for established writers who already have a readership — and memoirs are a tough sell. But don’t let that stop you. If you feel led — read the how-to books. I can’t tell you in a forum what you can learn from an entire book on the subject. You’ll need to learn to write queries, search out publishes accepting manuscripts — and no, you don’t need an agent. Many first time writers make a sale just fine without one, and in some cases get a larger advance than first-time writers who have one (an agent).

      Good luck to you — and maybe all of you who have writing questions should start a thread of the forum devoted to that.

      • Amanda Toussaint

        May 24, 2012

        Thank you!! I truly appreciate your time.
        I recently remarried an amazing man, have a happy and healthy relationship, and a 6 month old son. I now have an amazing career doing what I love in Health and Nutrition.
        At that time I was going through this I felt stuck, scared and paralyzed. I truly believed I would never be able to move on. I was embarressed and wished I had someone to understand and give me hope. Once I was forced to change my behavior and thoughts everything fell into place. I feel compelled now to share this with others and let them know you can heal yourself and that there is life after devistating circumstances.
        Thank you for responding because other than the book info I think I just needed to realize what I am doing is not sleezy but genuine and comes from a good place.

        My editor and friend said I should find an agent because publisher’s don’t normally accept unsolicited work and I know self publishing is not an option in my case. Your knowledge is extremely helpful. Thank you for the well wishes.

        • Melody Beattie

          May 26, 2012

          Not true that publishers don’t accept manuscripts from unagented authors. Just not true. While some don’t, many do — especially the smaller ones, which is what you want. You’ll get more attention, well your book will. Think of it this way: if a first-time publisher writer gets an advance of 4,000, and the agent gets 10 percent, that’s $400. How hard do you think that agent will work to get a booksale? Even if the agent gets 25%, that’s $600, which isn’t a fantastic motivator today. Besides — botom line — you do not need one. Study how to query publishers, find ones open to unagented authors, and sell the book yourself. Writing isn’t just the act of putting words on paper. It’s learning to differentiate between a thought and a good idea; learning how to research; learning to rewrite and edit; and then learning how to market your book to a publisher. That’s what writing is. After you learn how the entire process works, then you can delegate some of the responsibilities to others. The NWU — writers union at, has, for its members, free (I think) contract advice. Most people just don’t want to be bothered learning how to market their own work, be their own agent. It seems too overwhelming and hard, and they want to do “the fun stuff.” I’ve walked many people through this process. Some didn’t listent — and then wondered why they could never get ahold of their agent again. Some had decent luck, at first. But most don’t realize that an agent’s only job is to get as big an advance as he/she can for the author — and the advance isn’t going to be that big for a first time writer unless you’re a celebrity or the Pope. Melody Beattie

  18. Roxanne Luane

    May 25, 2012

    Melody…you just plain ROCK, woman!


  19. Amanda Toussaint

    June 5, 2012

    sometimes the universe does align and everything falls into place at the right time.
    after rewriting and editing my query last week I just sent it off to my first publisher directly
    and then I read your comment.

    I work as Director for the biggist online nutrition school and I deal with attorneys, compliance,
    state boards, contracts and negotiations all day long. I excel at this for work, there is no reason
    why I can’t use my talents for me. I was intimidated because I am not a writer in the traditional
    sense and thought there was something special I didn’t know.
    If I can help run a multi million dollar school, I can take on the role of literary agent.
    My only limitation is lack of time but I think that will also align shortly because this is just something
    I know is right. Sometimes you just know.

    I let two colleagues recently read my memoir who know nothing about my personal life, one has 3 masters and 2 PHDs and he just responded yesterday “I could not put it down and read it in one sitting.”

    thank you Melody for givinng me the extra push to empower me to do this on my own.
    I learned the hard way long ago that if you want something done right you have to do it
    yourself. Your information is invaluable. Thanks again!

  20. Dottie

    June 8, 2012

    I have read your codependent books, and struggle with was I codependent or just trying to keep a family together. My ex developed and acquired narcissistic personality disorder 20 years into our marriage. We were a team then it all change. I saw changes that creeped in like a fog and before I knew it, I was loosing myself. I left after 34 years of marriage. The divorce was very ugly. 2 of our 3 children have not spoken to me in 3 years, and will not allow me to see my grandchildren. I have had to work through court battles, loosing my home, job, insurance. I often wonder if I have post tramautic stress disorder. I have always loved being a wife, mother and grandmother, and now find myself alone. At 55, I can’t find a job. I do keep trying. I smoke and that is my addiction, food used to be but I lost 150 lbs. I knew that the loss of my husband was hard, but nothing like loosing my children. I am trying to find my way in the world alone, and that has been very hard. I didn’t realize that a parent could alienate grown children. I feel like I am living in the Twilight Zone. I hope to find some comfort from this website.
    Thank you,

    • Melody

      June 8, 2012

      Hi Dottie. I’m glad you found your way here — sounds like you just had your entire life explode and have been left with very few pieces of it after the dust settled. You’re in a major life transformation; likely the largest you’ll go through. Trust me — the issues with the children have potential to resolve themselves over time. Right now, it’s time for you to learn how to truly care for yourself in a gentle and loving way, and be open to the guidance you receive as you go on a treasure hunt for the next part of your life.

    • EileenMarie

      June 12, 2012

      Hi Dottie,
      I hope you don’t mind me chiming in :) I am a 47 years old and I am divorced from a Narcissist. He was always a Narcissist I just didn’t see it because I was so Co-Dependent living by the philosophy if my ex was happy I was happy so I did my best to keep him happy! I suspect you had a very similar experience and didn’t realize it, until maybe you started trying to be more independent. Anyway I started attending Co-Dependent Anonymous meetings this year and WOW has it helped. We use Melody’s Co-Dependents guide to the 12 steps as the book. You should see if there is one in your area. has a list of area meetings. I read Co-Dependent No more, started working out and TRYING to find a positive spin on the negative. I also come here to read what Melody has written. It isn’t easy but I know its worth it! My kids are teenagers and I haven’t lost them but it is very trying at times because he is still around.
      Good luck, surround yourself with the positive and you will feel the blessings that Melody talks about!!

  21. Anastasia

    June 11, 2012

    Melody, You’ve been on my heart the past few days. I’m praying for you.

    • Melody

      June 12, 2012

      Thank you, Anastasia. Things are going well. I’ve moved from being angry, to being grateful — although this is a huge burden for my daughter to bear the rest of her life. She has surprised me with her courage and strength — she is incredibly braver than I thought and I love her deeply. Melody

  22. Pauline Victoria Thomas

    June 13, 2012

    I was married to an Drinking person 30 years ago we were married for 13 years and we had quite alot in common when we first met he hardly drank and one he reached 21 he drank for England, I stayed 13 years trying to put it together with no luck he finally had an afaair with someone he said ” he did not admire” my cousin so that split my family good and proper. it was so painful, but I now look back and would this person now put up with it NO SHE WOULD NOT, I have found joy in a new marriage and love – my codepandancy was I thought this is all that I can have, but I did follow the next step and got out – and we had a meeting in a famous store and I ask him and my cousin to go out of my life – I told him I am letting you both go. and too this day I have never seen him. and then the rebuilding of me took place, do I have problems yes I do – but I know that this too shall past.

    • Melody Beattie

      June 14, 2012

      Thank you for sharing. You are so right — this too shall pass. May you find the Peace that Passes all Understanding along the way. Best, Melody Beattie. I’m sorry you had to go through your pain, by the way. You might find comfort in the site at It’s completely free, and there is good support, understanding, and freedom to express yourself exactly the way you are there.

  23. Sue

    June 13, 2012

    Oh wow, I’ll have to look in re-sale shops to see if I can find a copy then. If I find an extra, I can most certainly send it your way. I will let you know.

  24. Darlene A Steinemann

    June 14, 2012


    How does one go about contacting you in regards to the possibility of you speaking on a teleconference call about your story. The Parking Lot as it is known operates from 1 AM – 6:30 AM EDT and is a discussion group for all 12 step groups to help get them throuh the nights. There are numerous topics shared on or read from 12 step literature. The standard topics are Higher Power, gratitude and one that is escaping me at the moment. The members of the group sugest up to 3 topics and your books are read from every night.

    The teleconference number is 712-432-3900 ID 6508933# and this is not toll free but if you have unlimited long distance it is free. The moderator is Irene and she does a terrific job. There is also a line that has recorded speakers, workshops and other readings. Normally, the 2nd Sunday of the month at 2 PM there is a speaker which is recorded. The number for the recorded lines is 712-432-3903 ID#6508933#. It would be wonderful if you could call in and share – all of you actually if you are up during the night or ifnyou couldbe one of the guest speakers Melody. I am unsure about how to contact you by mail so will trust that if it is in the stars or the cards that I will receive some information.



  25. Samantha Heng

    June 15, 2012

    Hi Melody,

    Someone I know has mentioned one of your books ‘Codependent No More’ to me recently. I was at a bookstore earlier today and found some other books of yours and one of them is ‘Codependents’ Guide to 12 Steps’.

    I want to know what ‘codependent’ means as I have never heard of that term before. What are the differences between these two books? If I only want to get one of them, which one would you suggest (doesn’t have to be limited to these two)?

    Thank you,

    • Melody

      June 15, 2012

      Hi Samantha. I’d love to answer your question about what codependency is succintly, but I can’t. The definition they put on the cover of Codependent No More isn’t entirely correct, nor is it up to date. I take an entire chapter in the book and devote it to answering that question. The difficulty with answering the question is this: codependent behaviors are usally normal behaviors that everyone does. It’s when we cross a line that the behaviors bcome dysfunctionl and cause prolems in our lives. Also, codependency is something called “an inside job” — meaning that two people can do the exact same behavior and in one, it’s a healthy, normal act. In the other, it’s a dysfunctional behavior that’s guaranteed to cause suffering and pain. It’s not WHAT we do as much as WHY we’re doing what we do — our motives and intentions. Most of us make a decision to identify (or no) as codependents from hearing other people’s stories — how they felt, why they did the things they did. Essentially, codependent behaviors are what we call “survival behaviors” — things we do to protect ourselves when we don’t know we have other choices about what to do to take care of ourselves, and learning to “take care of ourselves” is the key. I don’t know how much you know about recovery, how much exposure you’ve had. It’s hard for me to say which book you need, but off the top of my head I would recommend Codependent No More. The New Coependency is out in soft cover. That’s a recent book that breaks the problem (I personally don’t call codependency an illness) down into singular behaviors. Plus it has a lot of tests — but because denial is often a part of codependency, we can take the tests and decide “we’re fine” — or worse yet, take the test for someone else. (If you do that, for sure you’re codependent.) I hesitate to judge or lael anyone; it’s a decision each person needs to make for themselves. So — I hope that helps. Maybe some other people on the forum will have feedback and personal experiences that might also help you too. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask. Best, Melody Beattie

  26. Roxanne Luane

    June 16, 2012

    Hi Samantha….for me, my ‘co-dependency’ (and I really dislike the word…I’d love something simpler!) has come to mean this: whenever someone else’s welfare (real or imagined) becomes so important that I sacrifice my well being, becomes MORE important than my welfare or becomes how I measure my happiness, I’m living in “co-dependency” and it’s going to hurt. Not only me but whomever I’m sacrificing myself for…whomever it is that I think I’m “helping.”

    As a child, it was necessary survival behavior for me – I grew up in an abusive home – and I learned nothing about living any other way. As an adult, it never, ever is, in the normal course of life. There are those in my life (my children, for example) whose welfare is AS important as mine but never more important….unless we’re in a truly life threatening situation where I have to die in order for them to live. That almost never happens in real life…even the stewardess on the airplane will tell you to put your oxygen mask on first or you will be unable to assist anyone.

    Recovery is my Oxygen Mask for life.

  27. Joey Shyloski

    July 1, 2012

    Have any of your wonderful books been translated into Japanese? I think my dear Japanese daughter-in-law would greatly benefit from them. Thank you so much.

    • Melody

      July 1, 2012

      Hi Joey. Yes — and your question comes at a great time, as I’ve been invited to come to Japan and “spread the message” around the country. We’re planning a trip for early next year (2013). The country lacks enough treatment, espcially for women. Even treatment for men is new and the Japanese are opening their arms and hearts to help. So answering your question, Hazelden licensed foreign rights to Codependent NO More and Language of Letting Go to a Japanese publisher, but I believe this happened prior to the first treatment center in Japan being built. The books didn’t take off. However, since the first treatment centers were built (about five to seven years ago) for mean only (until now), recovery books, including mine, are catching on. The New Codependency by Simon and Schuster and Codepndent’s Guide to the Twelve Steps are two that are seling in Japan. It’s my hope that by the time I visit the country, we’ll have more than that available in the language (which by the way, I’ve begun learning). Thank you for asking. Melody Beattie

  28. Melody

    July 5, 2012

    Hi Scott. Congratulations on how hard you’re working on yourself. I wish I had specific leads for you — but I don’t. Maybe some other forum guests might. Or, another thought is call 211. It was a free resource (with every single kind of resource information) for every state. I don’t know if they still have their funding through United Way or not. If you don’t get any results, I suggest going to — it’s my “Grief Club” site for people going through all kinds of losses, including codependency. You could post your question in the forum there, and you might want to check out the twelve-step online group in addition to one you find in your area. I know this — if you keep looking, you’ll find the right group for you. The key is working the Steps, and you may want to read the online posts on the steps for inspiration. There’s a good group of people online. Best — and please let me know how you’re doing. Melody

  29. Marjorie

    August 11, 2012

    Hi Melody,

    Your books are amazing. I went to a bookstore yesterday and i’m thankful i found your book, Codependent No More and The Language of Letting Go. The first time i browse pages of your books, i fall in love with them right away. I’m not involve with an alcoholic but still i can relate so much about this Codependency problem. I realize that codependency can happen to anyone in different situations and experiences in life. Thank you for opening my eyes that i’m one of those codependent people and i will never ever be ashamed of admitting it. Thank you for showing me that i’m ok and everything will be alright. Thank you for showing me that i need to love myself first and i am important too. Thank you so much Melody, you touch my soul big time <3 More power to you and hope you can touch more souls :)

    • Melody

      August 14, 2012

      I appreciate your kind comments, but you’re the one who did the work of reading, relating, and letting go of resistane — and I know from experience that isn’t easy. Best wishes and let us know how you’re doing. Melody Beattie

      Also — to all guests on this site: I just spent five days organizing and automating my emails as I was responding to between 500 and 1,000 a day. The author site alone gets 1,000 new visitors every day. Don’t get me wrong — I love connecting with my readers this way, but I had to pare down the inbox and organize it — should have done it a long time ago. Meanwhile, I’m starting a writing project and I wanted to let you know that I’ll only be responding to comments and messages once or twice a week — at most – to give me time to do my other work. I ask you for your understanding. Best, Melody

  30. teena

    September 3, 2012

    For years i didnt know what was happening to me or what i was doing in this life.. i must admit that it took me a long to come to decide whether i will buy ur book which was advertised on google while i was doing self help research. it took me three months of struggle to reach to that book codependent no more-…i finall y found that book in the store in london when i was on vacations last month as i live in saudi arabia////// i dnt knw how to thank you enough….for awakening me…..least after reading i realized that i am not crazy….this book was the first step… congratulations….there are many things which bothers me still..i am hoping to write more later…

    • Melody

      September 4, 2012

      Hi. I’m glad that you’ve begun this journey — it takes courage to change and it’s much easier to stay the same (even if we don’t like the way our life is). If you have the courage and strength to begin, you have the courage and strength to follow through. Let us know how you’re doing. Best, Melody Beattie

  31. Michael

    September 18, 2012


    God has truly blessed my life, and your book presented itself to me at just the time that I needed it. I was in severe depression and anxiety when my wife told me that she had enough, and was leaving. I immediately went to my Police Psychologist for help as the panic attacks were getting unbearable… more than anything I had ever experienced. I have never had an issue with my line of work, but relationships, and the thought of losing my wife and child (in my mind) was enough for me to feel like my world was collapsing in on me. I have been trying to figure out what was wrong with me for years, and went to a psychologist after my first wife left me.

    The therapist performed a series of treatments of E.M.D.R. (Eye movement desensitization reprogramming). That was a critical turning point that allowed for me to recover from my past traumas much quicker. When I was able to release the pain from the trauma event, I felt much better, but still had anxiety and felt I was going crazy.

    Your book, Codependent No More, absolutely changed my life! I didn’t put the book down for two days! At the end of the book my life made sense, and all of the therapy and hypnotherapy began to “process” through. It was an absolute enlightening experience as I felt peace for the first time in my life. It felt like I was in God’s hands and felt the warmth of his presence. I had always heard of that kind of peace… but to feel it was incredible. I wrote my wife a long letter of my experiences, and how I have treated her, and she broke down crying and embraced me. We have started over with a clean slate and it feels like we are falling in love for the first time! Everyday I feel better and better, and want to reach out to others that have suffered like me.

    Thank you for guiding down that journey! My therapist, my wife, and most importantly myself, cannot imagine the transformation within me in such a short period of time. I am inspired to continue my growth and read your other books.

    Thank you and God bless you. You have truly changed my life forever and I feel so blessed.

    • Melody

      September 19, 2012

      Hi Michael. What a beautiful, thoughtful thank-you note, and an even more beautiful story. I’d like to be able to take credit that you so lovingly gave me, but YOU are the one who became open to, and did, all the work. It truly takes an open, willing, and “beginner’s mind” to embrace a new way of looking at relationships and love — and ourselves. It’s not easy, at first, and then it becomes so much easier than the other way we lived. I did sessions of EMDR therapy too, after my son’s sudden and traumatic death. That therapy helped me enormously, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has been traumatized. I believe (but I could be wrong) that when a large tragedy occurs, they send out teams of EMDR therapists to the site, to help people deal with the initial shock and PTDS (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It sounds like you may be exposed to a lot of it in your chosen field of work.

      Thanks again, for writing, for your kind words, and for sharing a story that will surely inspire others to take that first step towards healing their hearts and lives.

      Melody Beattie
      (BTW, we’d love to hear from you again so you can keep us updated on how you’re doing. A kind community exists here of people who unintrusively give and receive support from each other as we each go through te experiences in our lives. Also, it’s good to hear a story about a marriage healing, where people didn’t need to leave each other to achieve healing in their lives.)

  32. Sandra

    September 27, 2012

    Hello Melody,
    Thank you for being such an inspiration in my recovery (15 years). I would be honnored to be added as your friend in facebook.
    Sandra C.

    • Melody

      September 27, 2012

      Hi Sandra. Facebook won’t let me add any more friends. In all honesty, It became impossible to keep up with all the correspondence there, plus put thought and time into the correspondence on my three web sites. Ultimately, I opted to do my best on my sites instead of spreading myself too thin. So know that if I could, I would add you on Facebook, but you stand a much better chance of actually connecting with me on any of my three sites — the Grief Club (for going through any of life’s losses) at; Making Miracles at; and the main author site (with meditations posted daily from my books in the meditation room plus my blog) at Copies of all posts come directly to my personal email, and I’m the one (not an assistant) who replies to every post. Thanks for reaching out and I hope to hear from you again, soon. Best, Melody

  33. Kaya

    May 7, 2013

    Hi so I have been suffering with codependency for many years.. i could not even leave my house… or get a job and basically go about my life… it was very hard. Thank G-d is all i could say for where i am today.. though i am still suffering from a really big problem.. obstacle… I have this blockage in my brain… i cannot think clearly its like i don’t know brain fog… its like my brain cannot just process information.. or thoughts… now being that our brains is who we are… and our thoughts define us… i am having a hard time.. having any really deep conversations.. and connecting to people..! Please any advise would be a real help! Thanks soo much for all the info and books you have its amazing! Really you are so amazing!


  34. Olga

    January 4, 2014

    Hello Melody, I am reading your book now and I like it a lot. My mom got a really strong codependency and I wish she could read this book. She does not know English though. Was your book ever translated into Russian? I cannot fing Russian version. Thanks

  35. Kim

    June 12, 2014

    Hi Melody,
    I haven’t read through all of the comments on here so I apologize if the answer is already here. I was married to an abusive alcoholic for 10 years and currently married to a man for less than 2 years to find out I believe I am a lesbian. I am workig through a lot of stuff and going to counsellors and one suggested your book codependent No More so I have it an the workbook. What I am wondering is the best way to work through the books. Would you suggest one before the other or the two of them together? If the two of them together how best would that work? I want to make it as affective as possible, so I thought the best way to do that was to go straight to the source. I look forward to working trough these books and healing myself. Thank you

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  1. In-Between

    Sometimes, to get from where we are to where we are going, we have to be willing to be in-between. One of the hardest parts of recovery is the concept of letting go of what is old and familiar, but what we don’t want, and being willing to stand with...


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