Am I Supporting or Enabling?
Learning the balance between loving support and enabling a person in recovery is difficult for most. Take it from Nancy Infante, the mother of Infinite Recovery’s own Kyle Infante, in this week’s blog on where she begs the question, “am I supporting or enabling?”
It’s a natural human instinct to want to help our loved ones when they are battling with heroin addiction. We do anything we can to alleviate the pain that our loved ones endure, often times unintentionally at their expense. Unfortunately, these enabling behaviors ultimately allow the addict to avoid consequences and therefore continue to use. My experience with my son Kyle was excruciating – I never k new when enough was enough or if I had given too much. I did my absolute best, but the disease of addiction was smarter than my best sense. Although motives of a parent, spouse, or other family members who have a loved one suffering from heroin abuse are often good, it is important to consider the question am I helping or am I hurting? Understanding the difference between supporting and enabling is the best way to be there for your loved one who is suffering in a productive manner. This week, I’m posing a question to parents that I once had to answer myself – Am I supporting or enabling?
The line is so fine between helping a heroin addict to recover and enabling his or her addiction and it gets crossed very frequently. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, enabling occurs when another person, often a co-dependent, helps or encourages the addict to continue to use drugs, either directly or indirectly. With many of us, it is the indirect enabling that we struggle with – lying to others to cover the addict’s behavior, providing for them financially, bailing them out of jail, providing means of transportation, etc., the list goes on. Huffington Post writer Candace Plattor says it plain and simple: “addicts need their loved ones to make it as uncomfortable as possible for them to remain in their active addiction. If you have an addict in your life, this is actually the most loving thing you can do for them.”
I couldn’t agree more with this statement, as the obvious ultimate goal is to see our loved ones recover. Had I known that years ago, perhaps we could have stopped the cycle sooner. I felt compelled to write this article around Thanksgiving and the holiday season because I found myself at my worst each year. I gave Kyle everything I had to make him feel okay, not understanding how I was fueling his addiction all along. I couldn’t stand watching my youngest child clearly dying from addiction, but I didn’t know any other way to help. Once he sought help at an Austin, Texas drug detox center for heroin addiction, he began to get well and so did we. I started learning how I was contributing to the problem. With lots of lessons learned, boundaries upheld, credit cards closed, and effective communication patterns cultivated, my relationship with my son is better than I could have ever hoped for. I have my family back.
The fact is that the more we care-take, the more the addict we love will continue to suffer. However, the team at Infinite Recovery believes that there is hope to ending this vicious cycle, by taking action now. Here at their Austin, Texas drug and alcohol treatment they believe that through therapy, family sessions, 12-step groups, and full commitment to attend treatment, the road to recovery is possible for both families and those suffering from addiction. Their trusted team of clinicians specializing in opioid dependence treatment, provide the love, support, and passion necessary to provide solutions for families and heroin addicts suffering.
Your family can experience the same freedom and happiness that we have. Call Infinite Recovery today at (844) 206-9063 for a free 30-minute consultation with a licensed heroin and opioid specialist or reach us online today.