Book discussion: "Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself"


On chapter 4. I’m in


Maybe @SweetTea has some pointers?

Mine’s on hold till I go into town tomorrow, a newer edition. Will check out the workbook while there (anyone else interested?). Hoping we do a chunk at a time. This guy’s got step work and exercise cooking in his free time, too, though I’m eager to knock out a chapter or two a week.

My interest is from recommendations of kindred spirits around the forum. Y’all haven’t steered me wrong yet! :smile:


And note you can switch from thread Tracking to Watching below if you want notifications. (I overlooked this feature for the lonnnnnngest time. :blush:)


Yooooo, you just changed my game


My copy will arrive tomorrow!


Sweet! Thanks for the tip!


On the workbook (@Lionfish): Flipping through, the workbook looks to take the lessons and stories of the main book and frame them as a more explicit, step-by-12-step guide to working the ideas in one’s life where one should be so inclined. For those recovering from addiction, affected by those with addiction, and of course, those in the mires of codependency, period.

Looks interesting! I picked one up.


Friends! As promised, I’ve developed a plan for this. Completely open to different suggestions, but this seemed to make sense in my brain.

  1. The book we will be reading is “Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself” by Melody Beattie. Here is a link to the book through amazon:

  2. Please don’t fret about whether we all have the same edition/version. I know some have bought the book, I will be listening to audio book and some may get from the library or used bookstore.

  3. Because of the nature of the book (self-help, self-reflection), rather than waiting until the end to discuss, I think it would be helpful to discuss as we go - there is no worry about plot spoilers with this one. I also think it might be helpful to do this as a running commentary, with people posting as and when they feel so moved, rather than setting a designated discussion day/time that some might not be available for.

  4. So I am thinking that we set a timescale for a group of chapters to be considered in that time period. Some will read fast and some slow (I like taking my time with these types of books to really absorb), but feel free to post your thoughts, feelings, perspectives on anything within those chapters in that timescale:

Table of Contents

**Target completion date of these chapters: 30 November **
Preface to the 2001 Fifteenth Anniversary Edition
Preface to the 1992 Edition
Part I - What’s Codependency, and Who’s Got It?
1.Jessica’s Story
2.Other Stories
4.Codependent Characteristics

Target completion date of 15 December
Part II - The Basics of Self-Care
6.Don’t Be Blown About by Every Wind
7.Set Yourself Free
8.Remove the Victim
10.Live Your Own Life
11.Have a Love Affair with Yourself
12.Learn the Art of Acceptance
13.Feel Your Own Feelings

Target completion date: 30 December
15.Yes, You Can Think
16.Set Your Own Goals
18.Work a Twelve Step Program
19.Pieces and Bits
20.Learning to Live and Love Again

  1. For some advance notice, this book does have some twelve step/AA/Al-Anon stuff in it. It’s ok if that is not your thing (when I read it two years ago, i was not into it, but it since has become important to me). However, please be respectful of others who may be finding 12 step programs a useful and important part of their lives and recovery. There is much to take from the book, even if those aspects don’t jive with you.

  2. If anyone gets the workbook and sees anything in there that they find particularly useful, questions or exercises that they would like to share with the group, please do so!

  3. Finally, if we have missed anyone that wants to join, please tag them. There is also a post earlier about changing the notifications for the threat so you get them for any posts (if you wish to do so).

I hope this process helps us all reflect on our own experiences of codependency (either receiving or giving or both) and helps us to grow and become better people.


Thank you for that @aircircle! Definitely will start :slight_smile:


Ironic. I just downloaded the Kindle sample about a week ago. I’ve read through the sample, and liked what I read thus far. Just waiting for payday (thursday) to buy the whole book. Id like to jump in to the discussion too. Never been part of a book club before, but maybe I could gain even more insight through a discussion like this.


I’m down if there is an audiobook version :slight_smile: I’ll look it up.


This is available on audible, which is what I’ll be doing. :two_hearts:


I’m in! Just purchased on Amazon.


Thank you so much!! Also, I have read through chapter 4. I’m compiling my answers to the questions asked at the end of the chapters and will post maybe in a few days.


Yay, so happy you joined, I was just thinking about you earlier-not in a weird creepy way :joy: lol


Good idea. I needed a framework like this.


Woohoo! Ready to start reading :heart:


I don’t have the time to read it right now, but I’m going to be lurking here as my entire family were codependent due to my mom’s alcoholism and prescription drug use. I didn’t hear the word till I was 27 - at which time it hit me, why I was angry but didn’t realize it, and that it might have had something to do with my own drug use at the time. … You know, I’m thinking right now it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get this book for my son to read. I suspect it might help him with some of what he might have been feeling over the years when I used to drink (but never spoke about).


This sounds like a good plan. I’m in.:unicorn:


This afternoon I blew through the prefaces and chapters 1-3 listening on audible, whilst doing some housework. I kept some paper and pen nearby so that when I had some thoughts I could note them down - now I wanted to get them out here whilst they are fresh in my mind.

In brief, my background with this book is that it was recommended to me by a therapist 2 years ago. I had never heard of codependency and was uncomfortable with, but in denial about, my own alcohol use. At the time, I would come back from therapy on a Monday night and then drink a bottle of wine to “relax” after therapy. This book blew open my own behaviour and issues with control. It was a new concept to me. I put this behaviour in me down to having been married to an abusive alcoholic in my very early 20s (I am now 37 and this was when I was 35), though my therapist did pose the question of why I chose to marry an alcoholic in the first place. Fast forward 2 years to now, when I am reading this again with a VERY different perspective, related to a new understanding of my current mental health and honesty about my alcohol use and new sobriety. Here are my thoughts from this new perspective.

Random thoughts on preface-chapter 3

I now realize that my codependency allowed me to ignore my own problems with alcohol (and other substances, though alcohol was always central) by causing me to fixate on others rather than to take a long hard look at myself. I have been thinking about how surprised everyone is that I am now getting sober, because I have always been pretty high functioning and exceptional at hiding, lying, obscuring and minimizing my problems to myself and others. I realize that I have always been attracted to partners who are more wild than me - they drink more and are unstable and find themselves in trouble. This has allowed me to drink heavily, normalise my own dysfunction and pretend to be both a saviour and victim at the same time. I developed a martyr complex that was full of resentment in multiple long-term relationships. I have been operating as BOTH codependent and an alcoholic.

When she talks about the different definitions of codependency, it made me think about how I have always let other people’s feelings and behaviours control me. I have often defined myself by others around me and assessed my feelings and value and self-worth by others. If I was with an alcoholic or addict partner, I drank and drugged right alongside them. Before I made the decision for myself to get sober (and before I really got to grips with my own problems), I felt like I needed to find more sober friends to be a good influence on me. I felt like I had no agency and was only able to operate alongside others. I was always reacting to others around me and completely out of tune with myself. This allowed my own alcoholism to develop in my early 20s, even after my ex-husband got sober, as I had moved on to another relationship with yet another alcoholic and was in denial about me having any problems for a long time to come.

Although my previous reading of this book 2 years ago was important in a lot of ways, I feel like now is the first time I am REALLY taking responsibility for myself and breaking my own cycle of behaviour. I made MY choice (irrespective and not dependent on anyone else) to get sober. I am taking control of myself and my own sobriety, which prevents me from fixating on others because it is hard work to work on myself and I’m just about keeping afloat now that I am thinking about myself. Although I have been seeking and developing a sober network of others and we often reach out to check in on each other, this feels like it is coming from a good place, rather than a place of expecting anything back, or some sort of set-up for a future resentment.

That’s all for now! Happy reading. :two_hearts: