A mother wrote to me:What is enabling? Webster’s dictionary says, “to make possible, practical, or easy.” How simple this sounds. Why would a parent want to make it easy for a child to destroy himself? My aunt said to me yesterday, “You need to have guidelines and discipline in your house.” I just thought to myself: I would love to have that. I am a mom trying to raise three kids and one is an addict. I am not so sure what rules I am to follow.
My reflection: Dr. MacAfee says enabling is anything that maintains the status quo, the pattern of behavior that’s currently in place. Trying to break the status quo required me to step back and allow Jeff to face the consequences of his addiction, which was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Saying ‘no’ to my son and staying close without withdrawing love took me fourteen years to learn.
Today’s Promise to consider:Today, I will not enable my loved one to maintain the status quo, the patterns that are destroying his life. I will let him feel the consequences of his addiction. I will stay close, but out of the chaos.