Loving is different from Enabling.
#drugaddiction #addictionrecovery #NARANON #Enabler #addict
I want to talk about something... and it's not pleasant. If you love a drug addict, it's very possible that you are an enabler, or you have been in the past. You might not even realize it.
Trust me, I know. I've done it too.
As you know, my son is an addict. Sometimes recovering, sometimes not. There have been so many times he has asked me money, he wanted groceries "because mom, I'm hungry," his electric was going to be turned off, he was going to be evicted, his dog needed emergency medical care, his truck needed a part so he could get to work or he would lose his job, he needed to go to the doctor, or the dentist "because mom, my teeth hurt so much I can't think," money for his phone bill, "mom, I won't be able to talk to you and that will kill me," mom, I'm starving, mom, I'm homeless, I'm sleeping under a bridge, I just need enough money for a motel room, mom, please, mom please.
As a mother, (or a sister, wife, dad, brother, friend...) this is hard to hear. Impossible not to break your heart. You are programmed to fix whatever hurts your kid. You are programmed to shelter them, to protect them.
So many times, I gave him the money. Then, I got smarter. I sent Walmart gift cards, so that he could go grocery shopping. Wrong, mama. Those cards can be sold for drug money.
So, I got even smarter. I started ordering him groceries and having them delivered.
And you know that that did? It enabled him.
Yes. You heard that right. In buying him groceries, it freed up his cash flow so that he could still spend his money on drugs.
I know. It's hard. It's hard to worry that they aren't eating. That they are hungry. That they are cold. It's hard to not step in. It's hard to say no when your adult son is crying, and saying he wants to die.
But I listened to this gal. And she knows what she's talking about. If we make it comfortable for them- AT ALL- we're enabling.
We've got to be strong. We've got to want their sobriety more than we want to not feel guilty for not helping.
If they're happy with us, we're probably enabling.
If they're mad at us, if they hate us, then we're probably doing the right thing.
Keep that in mind.