Let’s say you have an adult son or daughter who is harmfully involved with drugs or alcohol. You want to help so you have paid the rent or other bills, given him money, bailed him out problems or let him move back home.
Sure, he’s promised to make things right, but things don’t get better. Every time your child denies using, provides reasons for the situation or tells you he is going to quit, you believe him and give him another chance.
The stress on everyone is taking its toll. Your thoughts continue to focus on the state of your family, everyone seems on edge and you can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep. Your energies all go on trying to “fix” the situation.
In an effort to help, friends, family neighbors, keep offering advice. They tell you to stop taking care of him, stop giving him money and to take care of yourself. From your point of view everything would fall apart if you did that. He would end up on the street, in jail or worse. “He just needs to get a break or get past this rough patch” you think. Besides he said he is going to quit using, and he really means it this time.
This is an incredibly difficult situation, but you are not alone. We know “enabling” is when we do something for someone else that they should and could do for themselves. But, are we not supposed to help out those we love? That’s what families do, right? What if you are the only glue holding what little there is together?
These are hard questions and the answers can be difficult to determine. It can take the guidance and support of others to help sort this out. Al-anon, Families Anonymous and Lost and Found Ministry are all here for YOU. The important things to remember are: don’t do this alone, things can get better, and there are people out there who can help. Call us today at 218-287-2089 to talk to someone who understands or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lost and Found Ministry Blog
Beth Brantner: Counselor at Lost and Found, Special Advisor to reGROUP. Loves to kayak and garden. Has a therapy dog named Piper. Over 20 years helping youth, families, and individuals with life's struggles, especially around addictions and their fall-out. A licensed professional clinical counselor and addiction professional (ND).