Jeff told me, There is a difference between enabling the addict and supporting his recovery. Active addicts are great liars and manipulators – they have to be because those behaviors help protect the using, the one thing we’re most afraid of losing. Addicts are not trying to hurt their families, but parents are typically the easiest places to find money. It’s helpful when parents support the sobriety process, but often the addict manipulates their desire to help and those resources (money, places to live, cars, etc.) are used to continue using.
My reflection: Jeff’s addiction lasted fourteen years. While it is true that he was in love with drugs, it is also true that I was part of the problem. We once spoke in Oklahoma, and a man in the audience asked Jeff, “If your mother had quit paying for everything, do you think your run with addiction could have been shortened?” Jeff answered, “Addicts need money and we can find it in lots of places, but my mom made it a whole lot easier.”
Today’s Promise to consider: There are times when it’s difficult to see the clear line between enabling and supporting our loved ones. I will allow my sons to feel the consequences of their choices because fixing their problems doesn’t help them. I will give them the opportunity to learn without my interference, but my emotional support is unwavering.