Open Letter to Codependents

Frank Vaughn
3 min readNov 30, 2017

Change your tune, or the song will always suck…

Dear Codependent,

Stop it. Now. I don’t mean for you to end your relationships, but I am calling on you to end the addiction to them that robs you of who you are and forces you to take a back seat in your own life. Step back for a moment from the prison you are living in and realize a couple of things.

First, this prison is a self-imposed one that deprives you of fresh air to breathe and the space to discover your true, creative, valuable self. I’m not saying the person you depend on is doing that; I am saying that YOU are responsible for finding you. The BEST you. This does not mean that you shouldn’t be in relationships; it means you need a healthy concept of you in order to be in healthy ones. Your codependency likely means you lost parts of yourself somewhere along the way and came to depend on others to fill in those empty spaces.

Second, the door to this cell is unlocked. Go ahead. Push it. When it swings open, have the courage to walk through it and see what’s on the outside. Seek help for the institutionalization that may have set in and tricked you into thinking that the only safe place for you is in depending on others. Once you find the courage to walk through that door and into the wide open spaces of self-determination, you may find it a bit scary at first. However, there are a few things you can do to find your bearings and discover yourself.

Make time for only you. Again, this isn’t about completely eliminating others from your life, but you need to invest in YOU. If you don’t even know who you are, then use this time to search your soul and discover your talents, desires, passions…

Make time for others, but not at the expense of the time you make for yourself. Other people need you. You need others. When you get to a place where the need on either end is so great that the other end is completely abandoned, you have lost balance and risk teetering into soul-stealing codependency.

Create. Art, music, writing, ideas, fantasies, desires…just CREATE. You are good at SOMETHING, so find out what it is and get after it! If you already know what it is, then get back to it! If you are already about it, then see what freeing yourself from codependency can do for the quality of your work.
Get to know YOU. Realize that you cannot be made whole by anyone else. Your relationships with others will be so much better if you AND they are already whole and simply push each other and encourage each other to set the world on fire.

I can’t wait to see what you do with your life, and I can’t wait to celebrate the successes that you bring to this world with your creativity, passion and ability to own who you are and what you do.



A Former Codependent

Frank Vaughn is a regional Emmy Award- and AP Media Editors Award-winning writer and columnist who attempts to describe his view of the world from the cheap seats. Frank is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. and the Defense Information School at Fort George G. Meade, Md., where he received training in journalism and public relations.



Frank Vaughn

Regional Emmy- and AP-award winning journalist and writer. Everyone’s brother.