Enabling is simply a behavior that provides an opportunity for a person to do something. For the sake of this article, enabling would be an activity that provides a means for the addict or alcoholic to continue in their addiction. Enabling has the power to kill. It’s crucial to understand the difference between enabling and supporting an addict. Here are 4 ways you can avoid enabling, so you can help your loved one recover.
How To Stop Enabling
Stop providing a means to pay for their addiction, their financial obligations, or paying off their consequences. Providing money for treatment or help would be showing support; buying your loved ones drugs/alcohol or paying for them to get out of jail again could be considered enabling.
If you are covering up or lying for your loved one, you are enabling their behavior. Making excuses for their behavior is also causing them harm and allowing them to continue their habit. By protecting them in this manner you are really telling them that what they are doing is OK. Not being honest about their actions or their addiction could prevent them from getting help.
Set boundaries with your loved one. Make sure they know that if they continue on their path of destruction that there will be consequences. Do not allow them to walk all over you and take from you. The addict/alcoholic is the one suffering and they may not even know it; it’s up to you to be the rational thinker so they can get the treatment they so desperately need.
Stop trying to “rescue” your loved one. If you are always protecting them and bailing them out of jail, financial issues, situations, and even treatment, how do you expect them to get well?
Related: Understanding Co-Dependency
Dealing with a loved one in active addiction can be confusing, terrifying, and over whelming because you love them and you want to see them get better. As time goes on, you may even become sick not knowing what is real or false anymore. You want to believe them, but deep down in your heart you know you are being taken advantage of. It’s normal to want to save your loved one, and it’s normal to want to protect them and try to fix their problems, but it’s not normal to continue doing it when you know they need help that you can’t provide.
Instead of locking your loved one out, send them to treatment. Stop making excuses and stop protecting them – we can help. Addiction is treatable but it should be done in a drug rehab program where professionals know how to help an addict/alcoholic recover. There are tools and resources that are provided in an addiction treatment center that can help when all other options have failed. Please don’t rob your loved one of recovery. Get them the help they deserve today.
Are you enabling an addict/alcoholic that is clean/sober but out of control? Click here: Enabling The Personality of an Addict or AlcoholicTags: codependent, enabling