Tips to Avoid Enabling an Addict
It’s not easy to avoid enabling an addict. Being skilled in manipulative techniques and using emotional leverage is just a part of being an addict, even after they get out of a low cost rehab program. Some really don’t even realize they are doing it. It has become an integral part of their personality, which has an underlying need to always feed the addiction in some way.
Just about everyone the addict associates with has enabled them in some way or another. Otherwise, the addict wouldn’t likely associate with them. Some people don’t realize they are enabling, because they just think of it as “helping out” or “being nice,” but the reality is that those who continue to enable the addict might be doing more damage than providing help to the addict, because they never offer an opportunity or motivation for change.
Set Your Boundaries
Until you set firm boundaries and stand by them, you are going to continue to enable your loved one. Consider what you have offered in the past, whether it was a place to stay or cash. Now think about how that helped perpetuate the addiction, or how it impacted your life. Even if you think it didn’t perpetuate the addiction, but it did have a negative impact on your life, it needs to stop. Part of addiction is imposing on someone else’s happiness in order to get what you want. This is your life. Own it and own the responsibility it takes to hold those boundaries.
Don’t Offer Second Chances
If you’re dealing with an addict, you’ve already given them more than one chance to deal with you in accordance with your established boundaries. Second chances are not an option now, because they’ve already been used up. Yes, this is tough love, but it may also be the thing that saves a life.
What do you expect from your loved one? Consider that question yourself, then share the details with him or her. Be realistic. You can’t tell an addict that you expect them to have a six figure job by the end of the week, but you can tell them that you expect them to be up and ready to go job hunting every day by 9 a.m. Write your expectations down if you need to, so that you can refer to them as needed.
Learn how to say and mean the word “no.” Stop taking on someone else’s issues, or they will never learn to deal with them on their own. For more tips, or to learn more about how to help an addict, call Yellowstone Recovery at 1-888-897-1455.