At my Nar-Anon meeting, there was a discussion on enabling. One member asked, “How can I give food, clothing, money, and shelter to a perfect stranger and not help my addicted love one? It is not right if I give to strangers and not to my family. If I love the addict, who is suffering from a disease, why deny him the basics?” Another member stated, “I think giving money, food, shelter, or clothing to the addict in my life is helping to dig his grave. I am not allowing him to experience the consequences of his actions. I am contributing to the prevention of his hitting bottom and seeking recovery.”
Do I love unconditionally when I enable the addict’s using? Am I standing in the way of natural consequences of addictive behavior? Am I acting to eliminate my own fear and guilt? Am I acting to make myself feel better or needed? To release with love does not mean to deny the addict, but to allow free choice to the addict. When I am enabling, I am not allowing the addict to find the dignity and the self-esteem that come from taking responsibility and solving problems.
Thought for Today: I have choices. First, I can consider my motives, and then the consequences of my actions. Once a choice has been made, such as setting limits on my giving or protecting my safety, I try to be consistent. With the help of my Higher Power, I make decisions. I remind myself that things change, even though I may not see it.
“If I stay in the problem, I am not working on the solutions.” ~ Anonymous