As a family member of an addict/alcoholic the line between helping and enabling is blurry at best. Many of you are asking, “What can I do to help? I don’t want to enable him/her, but I don’t want to throw them out on the street either.”
For just a moment I want you to pay attention to the statement above. Those of us who have been effected by addiction tend to think in black and white. All or nothing, yes or no, good or bad, right or wrong.
This is called rigid thinking. It works great in cases like addiction, but it’s not healthy thinking.
In order to recover from addiction we need to shift into the grey area. To a place found in between all or nothing. Balance and flexibility, exist here.
This is why we family members, and addicts/alcoholics, can’t do it alone. Alone, we only go back to what we know. Which is what got us in the predicament in the first place.
We all want a quick fix. But there are none. It takes work, and a willingness to change, in order to recover from addiction and its effects.
There is no one right answer. Only a series of mistakes and learning. However I can tell you this…..
“It isn’t until the consequences become greater than the rewards of using, that any addict/alcoholic will choose help”.
If you’re getting in the way of those consequences, by protecting, bailing out, keeping secrets, or lowering your standards, then you’re enabling addiction. You have become part of the problem.
The solution? Go to a meeting. Reach out. Tell on yourself. Pick yourself back up, and start again.
The only thing worse than living another day in misery, is living two.
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