TM.3 (1)A mother wrote to me: Webster’s dictionary says, “Enabling: 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. Terri Gorski says that society gives us no rules to follow with addiction. For me, I always ached to know the line between enabling and helping. The difference between the two seemed confusing and ambivalent. The hardest thing I’ve ever done as a mom was to get out of the way and allow my son to face the consequences of his addiction.

Today’s Promise to consider: We parents often want step-by-step instructions to help our child. The problem is that there are no silver bullet solutions to ensure our children will live a sober life. Today, I’ll step back and allow my son to contend with the results of his behavior, both good and bad. I will stay close, but out of the chaos of his addiction.

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6 years ago

Thank you for this reminder. I too have a difficult time discerning the difference between helping and enabling . I am trying to step back and let my son deal with the consequences of his behavior. I have hope for him ,but he is likely to face some pretty harsh legal consequences in the near future. My hope and prayer is that maybe this is what it will take for him to turn his life around. I know he can do it. Thank you again each week for your opened and encouraging words. Bless you and your family.

Anja Sigurdsson
Anja Sigurdsson
6 years ago

Rules were something we never followed much. But we were good kids at school, at home,functions (most of them) because we had love coming from somewhere. And that helped us to be truly good people. As I review what I’ve done wrong in my life and my remorse overwhelms me. And forgiveness has helped me to grow. I now watch my son and and pray everyday that he finds himself again.His smile is infectious and his big blue eyes will melt any heart. For my birthday this year I had to pump his chest until the ambulance arrived. He has been in and out of mental wards and rehabs .Now the isolation has taken over. Sure he takes his meds and goes to therapy but his smile is gone and his heart is just pumping . We are breathing today. However in this addiction there are no rules just try and live. Once I can make him understand that I want him alive maybe then just maybe we can have something to understand like rules.so today I “Stay Close” and pray and let him know he is loved.

6 years ago

Addiction is so confounding, and I, too, believe, all we can really do is, ‘stay close and out of the chaos.’ Our hearts hurt and we can’t breathe, but we also know that it’s up to the addict to make the decision to change. Jeff once told me, “You believe in me more than I believe in myself.” We’ll keep hope, one day at a time.

Love to you both, Ann and Anja. I’ll stay close.