Though it is often done with love and the best intentions, enabling a loved one struggling with addiction can have long-term consequences. When we enable, often unwittingly, we do not allow the person to be held accountable for their actions, thus making it difficult for them to reach the depths of their condition.
Seeking help and understanding when a loved one is struggling with an addiction is vital in helping them recover. We should never be afraid to reach out for help if we feel that our loved one is in danger of succumbing to their addiction; many resources available can help you both get through this challenging but essential process.
The first step of recognizing a problem can be hard to admit that a loved one has an addiction, but it’s essential for their recovery. It’s also necessary to understand the differences between enabling and supporting; while enabling can prevent someone from facing the consequences of their actions, being supportive can help them without being overbearing.
What Can Enabling Look Like?
Enabling a loved one struggling with addiction can take many forms, from providing them with money or a place to stay and ignoring their behavior to making excuses or trying to cover up the addiction. It can be hard to recognize that you’re enabling, especially if someone does it out of love, but it often does more harm than good. Recognizing when you are enabling is a crucial step in helping someone recover and letting them take responsibility for their addiction.
Does Enabling Lead to Co-Dependence?
Codependency is when a person becomes dependent on the behaviors of another, often in an unhealthy way. Enabling a loved one struggling with addiction can often lead to co-dependence, exacerbating the situation and making it even more difficult for their recovery. By enabling, someone can become dependent on the addicted person in the sense that they cannot cope with the idea of them facing the consequences of their actions.
Codependency can create a situation in which an individual struggling with addiction relies on the enabler while the enabler becomes increasingly more involved, thus creating an unhealthy dynamic. Recognizing this dynamic and understanding how it works is vital to helping a loved one on the path to recovery.
How To Break the Cycle
To stop enabling a loved one struggling with addiction, you must recognize your enabling patterns and let go of taking responsibility for another human’s actions. Educating ourselves on addiction, including the associated risks and treatments, is also essential to make informed decisions about how best to support our loved ones. Finally, setting healthy boundaries with the addicted person is an integral part of allowing them to take control of their recovery. By setting these boundaries and holding them, we can provide a safe space for our loved ones to recover in an environment free from enabling behavior.
Healthy Ways to Support Your Loved One:
While it is essential to understand the differences between enabling and supporting a loved one, knowing how to be a healthy source of support for them during their recovery is necessary. Be available to listen, provide them with resources, such as counseling and support groups, and help them build a positive support system. It is also essential to be understanding and compassionate while holding them accountable for their actions. By providing a safe and loving environment, we can help our loved ones on the path to recovery and create a space where they can heal.
At Welwyn, we provide discreet care to high-level professionals and their families. We appreciate Family members and encourage their active participation in specially designed family groups and counseling sessions. Get in touch with us today to get the help you and your loved ones deserve.