Are you allowing someone else’s addiction to take over your life? It’s easy to do. They need help so you try to give it. Then before you even know it your life has become consumed by the addiction you are trying to save them from.
A few important things to learn here are you can’t take care of someone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself, enabling them only keeps them using, and you didn’t cause, you can’t cure it, and you can’t control it.
Take care of yourself first
It is easy to get wrapped up in someone else’s addiction and neglect yourself. They need help and you want to give it. However, keep in mind that if you aren’t caring for yourself then you will not be able to care for them. You will become tired, stressed, and emotional. No one can think clearly in that state. If you are finding yourself there, it’s time to practice some self-care. Take a moment to go for a walk, read a book, have dinner in peace, turn off your phone so you can rest…etc. Remember it’s their addiction, not yours, don’t give anyone in your life the power to control your state of mind.
Enabling the addict damages you and them
Enabling is when you take care of things for the addict, which gives them the means to continue using. Think about it like this if they spend all of their money on their addiction, so you lend them money for food, you enabled them to continue using without consequence. Addicts need those consequences. That’s what causes them to seek recovery.
Enabling isn’t just about money, it’s doing anything for the addict that makes it easier for them to use. Remember you can say no and still love them. It’s not easy, but it’s not wrong. Tough love is still love.
You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, and you can’t control it
This is known as the 3 C’s. Read that title again, it’s valuable information. You did not cause their addiction, they did. You can’t cure their addiction, only they can. Also, you can’t control their addiction, odds are not even they can. While this may be a hard truth to swallow, it is the truth.
If you are finding yourself struggling with someone else’s addiction you should seek help. There are 12 step programs for families, friends, and spouses, and counseling is always an option.