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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Enabling vs Helping

It has been a word on my mind for a while...ENABLING. I am now hearing that word in my mind a lot more loud and clear. YES, I have enabled my son's drug addiction and therefore poorer mental health, to continue over the years.

I thought I was kind, liberal, supportive, understanding, peace maker etc.....well, yes to a certain extent I was and still am, but now I know that some of my behaviours especially in regard to be understanding and keeping the peace in our house, was actually ENABLING.

In this link below on alcoholism "Enabling-When 'Helping' Doesn't Really Help" it speaks of a relationship with an alcoholic, yet it fits for any addictive or dysfunctional behaviour. I could completely relate to what the enabler does, and yes, I am guilty. Especially when I answered the 12 questions "to help you decide whether or not your actions and reactions to the 'alcoholic' might be enabling"!! The out come of those 12 questions...ready?

"You answered 9 items out of 12 Yes.
Your score is 75%. If you answered Yes to any of these questions you may have enabled the alcoholic or addict to avoid the consequences of his or her own actions.

Time to start facing up to the consequences of your own actions my son, I am going to as well.

Funny thing is, I was at first almost ashamed to admit it to myself that I was an enabler, and felt guilt and disappointment in myself. Now, the more I think about it and read about it and own up to it, the less my feelings of frustration, anger and resentment are. This is because, although my enabling my son, under a rosy coloured blanket of presumed "help" of course, was actually harming him and the entire family, it is something that I have the power to overcome and change...and that is most definitely a good thing, a very good thing!