Enabling your addicted loved one could actually be one of the meanest things you ever do. October 5th is Do Something Nice Day, which is a great opportunity to show your loved one kindness and love. However, sometimes doing something nice for someone isn’t the best thing for them, especially when that person is battling an addiction. Whereas you may feel you’re aiding them with their addiction issue to make them happy, you may be hurting them by enabling them. In the spirit of Do Something Nice Day, putting an end to your enabling may be the kindest thing you do to help your loved one fight their addiction.
Stop Your Financial Support
There’s likely been plenty of times where your addicted loved one has come to you for financial support, and you knew it was because of their addiction. As an addict, they’ve developed solid manipulation skills and have even grown to be a skilled liar. You don’t want to upset them, plus you want them to know you’re on their “side”. So, you give them money – constantly. Knowing you will always be there to financially support their habit will certainly not help deter your loved one away from using drugs and/or alcohol. If you continue providing financial support to your loved one, you might as well start going with them to buy their drugs and alcohol for them.
Learn to Say No
Albeit tough, saying “no” is another thing that you must do to put an end to enabling your addicted loved one. They’ll continue to come to you for various favors, request you give them rides, use your residence as an accommodating shelter and even ask you to lie for them. Continuing to give in to your loved one as a means to help them isn’t actually helping, it’s hurting them in the long run. You must learn to say no and realize it is best for their long-term benefit.
Let them see the Consequences
Ending financial support and telling your addicted loved one “no” will only lead to you providing them a way to see the consequences of their addiction and residual actions. This serves as a potential wake-up call for your loved one to realize they need help for their drug and/or alcohol abuse—all from you allowing them to feel and witness the effects of their issue. Not letting them experience this will only continue to blind your addicted loved one from understanding the magnitude of their problem, which isn’t “nice” at all.
Stop Feeling Sorry for them
Part of the reason why you’ve been enabling your addicted loved one is because you feel sorry for them. You obviously want to see them happy, so you’re willing to do anything necessary for them to be just that. Well, it’s important for you to stop feeling sorry for them if you want to end your enabling ways. You have to realize they’re making these choices and only playing on your emotions and guilt for their selfish benefit. Another crucial component to this is for you to let go of the false sense of responsibility you feel for them becoming an addict. You’re not at fault and shouldn’t feel any guilt.
Make Your Life a priority
Among the best things you can do to stop enabling an addicted loved one is to be a little selfish yourself. Make your own life and health a priority, thus you’ll stop worrying about supporting your loved one. Place an emphasis on doing things that make you happy and execute a list of positive things you’ve always wanted to do…and do them all!