Archives April 2012
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How To Stop Enabling a Drug Addict
When you’re in a relationship with an addict, it can seem like an impossibility to separate yourself from the problems. You may convince yourself that it would be irresponsible -- that if you’re not right there in the middle to attempt to salvage what’s left of your loved one’s job, reputation, and self-respect, that everything will just crumble around both of you and be destroyed.
It can be difficult to let go and allow the addict to face the consequences of their actions. You don’t want your life to become more stressful. You don’t want your spouse to lose his or her job and leave you broke. You don’t want to admit to family and friends how bad things have gotten. So you do everything in your power to keep the outside world from finding out.
When it comes to the other people in our lives, especially the addict, we must learn to let go and stop enabling behavior. We can’t make their choices for them. We can’t control what they do, and the more we try, the more out of control our own lives become.
Learning to stop enabling is a process, but you can learn to distance yourself from the troubles of addiction. It is about letting the addict handle their own problems. This does not mean that you stop caring. You can show compassion for the addict without their problems becoming yours, you can listen with a loving ear without taking on their responsibilities, and you can offer guidance without belittling.