Enabling is typically a factor in someone’s recovery which can come in many different forms. From the police officer who lets a driver under the influence go to the store clerk who sells someone who is clearly intoxicated more alcohol, enabling happens all the time. The family is known most commonly as the prime enablers since they are the closest ones to them. Their family sees more than they should with a front-row seat to their drug and alcohol abuse and the constant begging for funds and resources.
At this point, the family is probably at their wit’s end trying to figure out what they should do next to help them into sobriety. What most do not realize is they are standing in the way of them hitting the rock bottom they need to get sober which ultimately stands in the way of them getting into recovery.
You are enmeshed in the chaos
Once enabling begins, it is really difficult to see how far you are going to help them. Many people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol do not get the help they need because they are protected from whatever bottom they need to hit.
You are addicted to their addiction
Consider that drug and alcohol addiction affects everyone who comes around it. This especially means you if you are giving them money, a place to stay, or anything that helps them meet their needs in their addiction. Enabling and becoming codependent are common in most families when it comes to their addiction. You become just as invested in keeping up their addiction for the sake of not having to deal with withdrawal, their backlash, or getting them in trouble with the law. In a sense, if you are not careful, you can easily become unintentionally addicted to their addiction.
You are scared to let them fall
Understanding what they are capable of terrifies you because you know they could go to jail, develop mental health issues, or worse, they could die. You will do anything to prevent any of those measures because you just do not want to see them go down. In the process of you keeping them above water, you are losing yourself along the way. Sometimes letting them fall in a hard place can be the best thing for them, and for your own serenity.
If you are unsure of whether you are enabling your loved one or if you are codependent on their addiction, get some help for yourself. Al-Anon and Codependents Anonymous (CoDA) are excellent resources for you to learn how to deal with your loved one’s addiction and to set healthy boundaries.
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