So, maybe you are lucky enough to not be on the addicted side of things…
But, do you know someone who suffers from addiction? It could be a close friend, family member, or even a long-time co-worker.
Addiction affects everyone involved – those suffering from addiction and those who are around the addict. It can be depressing, exhausting, and stressful. You might find yourself feeling hopeless like there is just nothing that you can do.
But, in the midst of all of the emotions, the one thing you don’t want to find yourself doing is enabling the person’s addiction.
While this might sound like such an obvious thing and something that would be so simple, it is much easier said than done. Unfortunately, you might even be enabling someone without even knowing it.
What is an enabler?
Well, it is just as it sounds – someone who enables the individual, specifically with addiction it means you are enabling them to continue their addiction.
Enabling takes place in many shapes, forms, and sizes. So, this is why it is important that you can easily recognize the signs of enabling someone.
Look in the mirror and see if you notice these warning signs that you are an enabler:
Signs of Enabling
- You willfully ignore the addiction.We get it, sometimes you might think that it isn’t your problem, so if you just ignore it, surely it will go away, right?
But, just ignoring that there is a problem is leaving a major elephant in the room and therefore, you are enabling that elephant to keep growing.
Addiction most often happens in secret, so the more you ignore it, the worse it gets.
- You find yourself acting out of fear.An enabler most often experiences fear – as opposed to several other emotions. It might be a fear they are losing their child to addiction or fear of their child’s behavior.
While this is natural, it is the actions that are a result of the fear that is dangerous…
A fearful parent might keep cleaning up their child’s mess: they might keep bailing them out of jail, paying their bills when they lost their job or other various acts.
- You are projecting blame.While their friends might have introduced them to drugs, it ultimately is not their friend’s fault. But, an enabler might blame the issue on their friends, life experiences and the like. Instead, you should be encouraging the addict to take responsibility for their own actions.