In recovery we sometimes think in terms of extremes. When we recognize co-depenent, caretaker qualities in ourselves that we wish to overcome, we often think that we should kiss ALL care-taker traits goodbye. That any form of care-taking is bad. We do this, obviously, to protect ourselves. When we have been carrying around the burden of a personal quality that has been holding us back or getting in the way of our growth, we tend to think it needs to be completely removed. This is absolutely not the case!
What I am learning in my own world is that balance is the answer. The control-freak side of me that wants to do everything for everyone needs to put on the breaks. But when one of my kids or D gets sick, my caretaker traits, when they automatically kick in, are much needed. Not only does it feel good to fall into that role (taking care of others is part of my nature), but my care and support, in this particular instance, is much appreciated.
It’s when we go overboard, or do for others what they could do for themselves that we run the risk of falling back into codependency.
My point? If you by nature are a caretaker, take pride in that, but bring out those awesome qualities only when the situation calls for it. If you are driven to care for others more than the average cold, maybe it might be a good idea to look for a job in the helping profession (nurse, doctor, waitress, service-oriented jobs, etc.)