More often than not, an addict is in a relationship with an enabler. This person might be your mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, your best friend or any person in your life that makes a way for you to continue your addiction. Enabling is defined as, “A person who makes something possible.” Enablers remove the natural consequences that you, the addict, would face if they were not in your life.
For instance, when you run out of money prematurely due to purchasing your controlled substance of choice, but you still have to pay rent, you probably turn to one of your enablers for a quick cash front. If the person providing the funds was not in your life, you would lose your home due to your addiction. This relationship prevents an often crucial step towards sobriety—hitting rock bottom.
Though your enabler may be a strong hold in your life and you probably care for them deeply, as the addict, you must pinpoint this person and distance yourself while you are seeking sobriety.
Who is your enabler?
The Safety Net Enabler
As previously described, some enablers act as a safety net when your life is falling apart due to addiction. This person often takes over the addict’s responsibilities, covering for them in all circumstances. Just because they provide this “support” does not mean that they do it without opposition. Most people who are enablers begin this position with good intentions and only want to help, but end up frustrated as they are worn thin emotionally, physically and financially. You might find yourself butting heads with your safety net enabler over your slip-ups. In the end, they always come through—but, that is a part of the problem.
There are many situations where the enabler is also an addict. This is a particularly dangerous combination. Unlike an enabler who provides a safety net, you might not receive nearly as much obstinacy or negative speak about your addiction, nor will you receive encouragement to seek sobriety. This enabler might very well have been the person who introduced you to drugs and alcohol to begin with.
You might have said over and over again, “this is the last time,” only to have your provider bring more drugs or alcohol into the home the very next evening—and it is nearly impossible to resist temptation without professional counseling services for your addiction. If your enabler is a provider, you might not notice that there is an issue at all. For instance, many couples who are both alcoholics continue their path under the guise that they drink together recreationally.
Nobody makes your choices for you, but their actions can certainly pave the way for you to continue your addiction. People who spout negative comments, such as “you will never be anything but a drug addict,” can cause you to use more and more. You are in need of positive support that disables your addiction.
Seek Addiction Therapy
If you are an addict who is ready to seek sobriety and enter recovery, addiction counseling services can help. For more information, visit our addiction therapy page or contact a representative with South Coast Counseling today.