Are You An Enabler?
You may think you are doing the right thing, but the reality is that you are just putting off the problem. Your decision may just kill them because you ignore the problem.
An enabler is a person who, acting out of a sincere sense of love, loyalty, and concern, steps in to protect, cover up for, make excuses for and become more responsible for the chemically dependent person. This can prevent the addicted individual from a crisis that might bring about change, and thereby prolong his or her illness.
To find out if you may be an enabler, answer the following questions:
1) Do you avoid potential problems by trying to keep the peace? Do you do whatever you can to avoid conflict because doing so will solve problems?
2) Are you in denial about your loved one being addicted? Do you think his or her drug or alcohol use is just a phase and isn’t anything to be concerned about?
3) Do you have a hard time expressing your feelings? Do you keep all your emotions inside?
4) Do you minimize the situation? Do you think the problem will get better later?
5) Do you lecture, blame or criticize the chemically dependent person?
6) Do you take over the responsibilities of the addicted person? Do you cover for and pick up his or her slack to minimize the negative consequences? Do you repeatedly come to the rescue — bailing him or her out of jail, out of financial problems or other tight spots?
7) Do you try to protect your addicted loved one from pain?
8) Do you treat him or her as a child? Do you enjoy taking care of your loved one and feel superior when you do? Do you still financially support him or her, even though he or she is an adult?
9) Do you try to control the dependent person?
10) Are you good at just enduring? Do you often think, this too shall pass?
11) Do you believe in waiting? That God will take care of this?
12) Do you give him or her one more chance, then another and yet another?
13) Do you join him or her in the dangerous behavior, even when you know he or she has a problem?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you may have enabling behaviors, which could be making the addicted person sicker. Educate yourself about addiction and find support for families of addicts, such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon.
Dr. Phil has done many segments on addiction, enabling and interventions. He has spread the word that addiction NEEDS to be addressed and promptly.
Taking the First Step
Taking the first step to reach out when worried and frustrated is the first step. It means we finally see that we can no longer manage things ourselves and we are open to hearing from someone outside our circle. It is often easier to talk to a compassionate and knowledgeable stranger as we do not have to fear being judged. We at True Interventions have been in your seat. Maybe in the seat of one using or perhaps one struggling with and loving someone who is caught in the cycle of alcohol, substance abuse problems, or caught in a new lifestyle, doing things he or she would not have done before. We know what it is like to feel the changes in ourselves, in the family or unit. We may not quite be able to say for sure how far a problem has gone but it is tearing us apart.
By picking up the phone and calling us, you have done more to help yourself than you think.
We listen and we hear. We hear not just words but all the unspoken questions and we hear your distress. At True Interventions, we always start the conversation by listening. What moved you to make the call? We will complete a confidential assessment. We want to learn as much about you as possible, what your life looks like and feels like so we can truly understand what the problems are with options to help you.
We are experts at resourcing and seeing the reality of problems that have created this new norm for you. We know that everyone is unique, as are our histories. Our mission is to find the best clinical fit for the person at the right time and to guide the process to safety and healing. We are experts at interventions– that process that provides the family with direction, help, and solutions. We make sure to find the best possible fit for you or your loved ones at a price you can afford with direct placement at the best facility to fit your needs. We work with only the best national addiction and treatment facilities, ensuring that your loved one has every opportunity to heal. We work with centers that offer various treatment options to cater to your recovery process. One size does not fit all. Ultimately, you the family will make the placement decision. We will offer choices after examining all factors, including best clinical fit.
During preparation to explore the possibilities of directing the Interventions, our Coordinators will do a case consult, examining the full spectrum or range of needs and dimensions of your loved one’s functioning, per ASAMS (American Society of Addiction Medicine). All of our Coordinators are Nationally Certified Family Addiction Coaches.