On the surface enabling actions look like a good idea.
As parents we want to help our adult children find the best path for their lives.
And so, we roll up our sleeves and do what seemingly is in their best interests. We provide money, shelter, advice (usually unwanted), and as their addiction gets worse, just about anything to keep them afloat – from an alibis to an attorneys.
But the fact is these enabling efforts merely prop up our adult children struggling in the storm of substance use disorder. These props, helpful as they may seem, prevent them from facing the truths of their addiction: they have a terminal disease that needs treatment.
As parents we need to see our role in the devastation of enabling and find the courage to change, so that those we are enabling can change, too.
A DEEPER LOOK
How is enabling part of my relationship with others?
What solution am I seeking in engaging in enabling behavior?
How does enabling hold back my relationships with others, and with myself ?
What steps can I take to begin the process of disabling my enabling?