Enabling is a term that refers to behavior when dealing with an addiction. Helping somebody when they are down and out may seem natural along the lines of human compassion. Addicts, however, can take advantage of situations by maneuvering conditions to their favor. People that are codependent, are in the business of trying to solve other people’s problems. This is how addicts and codependents can form in the union of enabling. The behavior usually starts out with the best intentions of trying to help, but then turns into pure desperation of trying to keep the addict from having the outcome that should follow their actions.
Codependents usually take the brunt of the responsibility by an over-performance in comparison to the addict’s under-functioning. The truth of the matter is that a codependent cannot alone want a better life for the addict. The addict must want it for themselves first and foremost. Trying to figure out what is enabling and what is true help, can be deceiving at times.
Are you compelled to to solve an addict’s problems?
Taking over for someone in need is quite common, but the effect can be negative in continuing the cycle of distress in addiction. Addicts should solve their own problems or else they will continue to rely on the person enabling them because then they do not have to deal with what they have created through their addiction.
Do you make excuses or lie for the addict?
Calling into work for an addict so they do not lose their job, screening phone calls, cleaning up messes the addict generated under the influence, or executing any responsibilities the addict fails to accomplish are all ways of enabling an addict through excuses and lies.
Are you preventing the addict from dealing with the consequences of their actions?
Bailing an addict out of jail or letting the addict get away with something they have done can prevent them from hitting their “bottom”. Having consequences may be the one thing that is keeping them from getting sober. Many recovering addicts have stated that they continue to remain sober thanks to hitting rock bottom.
Do you provide the currency the addict needs to prevent unpleasant circumstances?
Giving an addict money or anything that can lead them to pursue their addiction is putting off the inevitable, that they need to get sober. The angry tirade of an withdrawing addict is not pleasant, but the addict continues to be in control if they are able to continue to get the currency they need to keep their addiction alive.
To keep from getting manipulated by an addict, it is important to take a look at what is really going on the relationship. Gaining autonomy from the addict is the best way to help them during their times of peril.
You deserve to be ADORNED in your recovery. Life skills, coping tools, education, holistic healing, and a sober support system will help you gain long term sobriety. Serenity Oaks Wellness Center offers a comprehensive treatment program for recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. Call us today for information: 844-720-6847