By Melody Beattie
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In Codependent No More, Melody Beattie introduced the world to the term codependency. Now a modern classic, this book established Beattie as a pioneer in self-help literature and endeared her to millions of people who longed for healthier relationships. Twenty-five years later, concepts such as “self-care” and “setting boundaries” have become entrenched in mainstream culture. Now Beattie has written a follow-up volume, The New Codependency, which clears up misconceptions about codependency, identifies how codependent behavior has changed, and provides a new generation with a road map to wellness. The question remains: What is and what isn’t codependency? Beattie here reminds us that much of codependency is normal behavior. It’s about crossing lines. There are times we do too much, care too much, feel too little, or overly engage. Feeling resentment after giving is not the same as heartfelt generosity. Narcissism and self-love, enabling and nurturing, and controlling and setting boundaries are not interchangeable terms. In The New Codependency, Beattie explores these differences, effectively invoking her own inspiring story and those of others, to empower us to step out of the victim role forever. Codependency, she shows, is not an illness but rather a series of behaviors that once broken down and analyzed can be successfully combated. Each section offers an overview of and a series of activities pertaining to a particular behavior-caretaking, controlling, manipulation, denial, repression, etc.-enabling us to personalize our own step-by-step guide to wellness. These sections, in conjunction with a series of tests allowing us to assess the level of our codependent behavior, demonstrate that while it may not seem possible now, we have the power to take care of ourselves, no matter what we are experiencing. Punctuated with Beattie’s renowned candor and intuitive wisdom, The New Codependency is an owner’s manual to learning to be who we are and gives us the tools necessary to reclaim our lives by renouncing unhealthy practices.