Could you be enabling the addict in your life?
Love can be a very complicated emotion in many ways. Many times because of this deep heart-felt emotion we look past what we know to be right in our gut and react with our heart.
Whether you are living with an alcoholic or drug addict or have one in your life, it’s so easy to get caught up in the enabler role. Life has become so chaotic, traumatic, depressing, stressful and devastating that you don’t even realize you’re enabling the alcoholic or drug addict and their addiction.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I pretend sometimes that everything is alright; it’s just my imagination that he or she has a problem with drug or alcohol addiction?
- Do I make excuses for their behavior to yourself and others?
- Do I choose to believe their excuses even though my gut tells me otherwise?
- Do I financially support their drug or alcohol addiction convincing yourself that’s not what you’re really doing? Enablers not only make excuses for the addict but make excuses for their own behaviors.
- Do I cover for them when it concerns work, school or legal drug or alcohol related issues?
- Do you avoid the addict and stir away from confronting them most of the time concerning their substance abuse and addiction?
Drug addiction and alcohol dependency not only destroys the addict, but tears down anything and anyone that gets in the way. When an abuser is living day to day going through the motions there is only one thing on their mind, their next fix, high or drink and many times both. It doesn’t matter what drug of choice the substance addiction is to, the end result is the same. The drug addict not only stops living for themselves, but the people in their lives that once meant the most to them have now become second or third in their lives. Loved ones and friends are not what are important anymore due to the psychological and physical extreme need for the substance.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the role of an addiction enabler, we innocently believe that we need to take care of the addict and protect them not only from others but from themselves. Because this is done out of love, we don’t see that we are just making matters worse while feeding into the addiction. Not only does the alcoholic or drug abuser need professional help, so does the enabler. This cycle can be stopped but most of the time, we can’t do it alone.
You have to understand and except the fact that until the addict is ready and wants help; their negative behaviors will continue and get worse as time goes on. You have no control over that, only he or she does. What you don’t realize is that you are contributing to their addictions and negative behaviors. Not causing them, contributing to them. Many times the alcoholic or drug addict blames the ones they love for their addictive behavior and dependency, because of denial and it’s easy. Until they’re ready for help, they have to blame someone or something and loved ones are safe to them.
You have stayed with them until now knowing full well they are a long road away from helping themselves so they’re pretty sure they can place blame on you and other loved ones and friends and you will not only cover for them, but you’re not going anywhere. Love is blind though, it’s easy to get caught up in this role because we truly love and care about that person. It’s hard enough for you to see them destroy themselves let along let the world around them see it so we cover for them and try to cushion the behavior making excuses to ourselves as well as everyone else.
If you want to truly help them, then you have to help yourself first. That’s next to impossible most of the time without counseling, therapy and support from family, friends and a support group. No more excuses, say this to yourself over and over again and out loud if you have to. This habit can be broken but takes a conscious effort daily on your part to free yourself of guilt and make them responsible for their addiction and behavior. It’s important to remember that you can’t fix something that’s not in your control, you can only fix yourself. Seeing you help yourself many times eventually leads to the alcoholic or drug addict helping themselves.