Having a loved one suffer from addiction is one of the most difficult things to endure. Although they may not be sick in the traditional sense that many think of cancer, heart attack, or diabetes, they are still sick from all the symptoms that addiction brings about. What separates addiction from other illnesses is that those who abuse drugs and alcohol tend to exhibit more self-centered and immoral behaviors under the influence. When it gets to this point with a loved one, walking away from them when they are unable to help themselves can cause a family member to feel conflicted and start enabling them.
If this sounds like something you are going through with your addicted loved one, your compassion is uncanny. The problem is that if you are enabling them, you are also being negatively affected by their addiction. You are becoming just as sick as they are because you are consistently covering up their dysfunctional behavior and keeping them from receiving the consequences that could get them to stop. You are actually causing more harm than good which was the original intention that you can adopt again with a few helpful tips.
Know your role
While you may think you are helping them by giving them money when you know it will go to drugs and alcohol, or covering for them in their legal issues, you have to figure out what is helping them and what is hindering their recovery. Differentiating between the two can help you to let go and let them get the assistance they need for recovery. You can still be there for support. You cannot want a better life for them if they are not wanting it for them themselves.
Set your boundaries
Now that you know your role, you must figure out how to implement boundaries to uphold that role. Establish the rules, guidelines, standards, behaviors, or principles that are expected and stick to them. Compromising your authority will not help anyone and allow them to continue to walk all over you. The best thing you can do for all parties involved is to set the necessary boundaries and stick to them.
Enabling ultimately means that you have become addicted to saving them in their addiction. You should get your own help because ending your enabling ways takes time and effort to achieve. Getting assistance from a therapist or a sponsor in a support group can lead you into becoming stronger for yourself and for your loved one.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Detox Center of Colorado offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Detox Center of Colorado fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463