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Supporting vs. Enabling - need advice


Juliett
55
supporting vs. enabling, need advice
Hi everyone.
I really need advice.
Last weekend my addict actually opened up and said, he wants to clean up his life. It was different this time, sounds like he really means it. He was very loving and sweet, just a big break through.
But, I know that sometimes there is a gap between wanting and making it happen. It's a very hard thing to do, and I have an immense admiration for the addicts on this website.
This week, I think, he is coming  off still a "little slip" on the weekend, while working too. He is house-sitting at his mother's and last I stopped there he was in bed at 8:30, supposedly with asthma, the Mom said, but I know better.

Right now he is probably just happy to make it through this week.

Should I leave him alone completely, or wait a few days and call, see how things are? I realize there is a huge self esteem drop every time he uses, but am I the one to reach out or not????
     Replies...
silly
veronica
Re: supporting vs. enabling, need advice
This is my opinion .. my advice, based on my own 3-year experience with an addict.
 

Quote:


Last weekend my addict actually opened up and said, he wants to clean up his life. It was different this time, sounds like he really means it. He was very loving and sweet, just a big break through.
I went through this a lot of time, each time thinking, "This time is different."
But then you say:

Quote:


This week, I think, he is coming  off still a "little slip" on the weekend
Slips will happen ... but how does that fit into your statement above that he's really wanting to get help.

For me, it all came down to ACTIONS! He needs to take the steps to get recovery, he needs to do the work, and then you will SEE it. I've learned that words mean nothing - addicts lie. Wait to see actions.
hussie
dors
Re: supporting vs. enabling, need advice
From what I have learnt on here... He is talking the talk... now he just has to walk the walk.. Good luck to both of you... we can only live in hope...
Juliett
55
I totally agree about the action part. It's just that he is almost never open about himself with anybody, and it is a huge progress that he can even spit the word AA out of his mouth. I really wish to encourage that.
I feel like for the addicts, talking is part of the healing; kind of like a beginning.
silly
veronica
Re: supporting vs. enabling, need advice
Quote:
it is a huge progress that he can even spit the word AA out of his mouth.

Absolutely, I agree ... and the next step is physically GETTING TO an AA/NA meeting.

Quote:


I feel like for the addicts, talking is part of the healing; kind of like a beginning.

Could be. But it could also be manipulation. Maybe whatever he was doing or promising isn't enough so he needed to "switch his game" by offering you some other sort of hope.

I hope I'm wrong ... and I hate being such a pessimist. I've just been there - time after time after time. And until he's ready for his own recovery, doing the work himself, it's all just words.

Continue to encourage - absolutely ... just don't set yourself up for disappointment by putting too much emphasis on his WORDS. ACTIONS!

Juliett
55
Re: supporting vs. enabling, need advice
Thank you again Veronica.

Your last words were very true.
Do you know how long I should leave him alone if he is coming off of the drug??? Even for a little encouragement????
I'm afraid of being raged at....
silly
veronica
Re: supporting vs. enabling, need advice
Quote:
Do you know how long I should leave him alone if he is coming off of the drug???
It was different for my addict every time - a few days? A lot of times, my addict would use again so I never knew where in the cycle he was.

Someone in recovery can probably better answer that question. Anyone?

Quote:


I'm afraid of being raged at....

Then don't be around him, separate yourself as much as you can. How long have you been together? How long has he been using? More information would be helpful.

Jamie
J79
Re: supporting vs. enabling, need advice
I too agree that actions speak louder than words. Talk is cheap in my book. Addicts can be very manipulative and cunning. Whenever I was ready to seek help I did so on my own, no parents or friends helped me out financially or physically be calling and setting up appointments to get into treatment or anything like that. My brother always says he's ready to get help when he feels lonely, is hungry, has no money for dope, or got caught using red handed. He told me he only says these things when he needs something from someone. Maybe not money but attention. He has yet to really walk the walk. My Mom feel for his game again two days ago. He was kicked out of the house on Monday and he called saying he needed money for transportation and food. Mom gave him about $30 which he immediately spent on dope. He told me this later that night over the phone. Sad really not being able to trust a single word that comes out of their mouth. I told my myself and my mother that he needs to help himself and start showing us he is taking steps to get his life together. No more mom or sister bailing his butt out. We've given him so many chances. He got caught using right after we let him back in our home and we decided to give him a second chance by letting him stay this month so he could he his affairs in order. Well he got caught using once again and I had to kick him out. He alternates between calling and whining about his situation and begging for money and calling telling us he's serious about wanting help again. He just got out of a inpatient treatment center a couple weeks ago where he went to a clean and sober house after getting released. He used right after moving in there and got caught. Right now we are not really trying to bend over backwards for him because he needs to show us he is willing to put all his energy into getting his life together. I feel for you. Dealing with addiction sucks. I'm a recovering addict and I often say that I feel being a strung out addict was way easier than dealing with loved one's that are addicts. I'm codependent so it makes it worse, although I'm getting better with the help of meetings and lots of research. That and sticking to what I say.
Rizzay
271
Re: supporting vs. enabling, need advice
As an addict and someone who was enabled, this is my opinion.

completely cut him out. he has already done the damage so it's time for him to do the repair work. repair work does not start with words. It starts with actions. He needs to get some clean time under his belt before you should associate with him anymore.

Try to remember by staying attached you are contributing to his sickness. You are helping him kill himself. The best thing you can do is do nothing at all. Trust me, he will thank you later down the road for it. Then you will receive the reward of all your pain.
Penel0pe Re: supporting vs. enabling, need advice
What you do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you say.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

*************************************************

Action is better than lip service. When he SHOWS you he's trying, it'll mean a lot more than his just SAYING he's "going to try."
Juliett
55
Re: supporting vs. enabling, need advice
Thank you everyone.
I'm not together with him. He actually told me that he couldn't be with me until he is way well.
I did cut him out for 16 month, after he told me that I make him feel too much and it throws him back in to unhealthy circle, but it did nothing.
Now, that we are talking from time to time, I feel like he is starting to think as he is talking, that there is something better for him in the future. Also very hard growing up, not an excuse, but he is at least talking about it.
I just see quitting is like going on a diet; one more last piece of cake......

See also:

A plan for helping a loved one who uses meth

Son off meth two years, am I enabling or helping him now?

How can we, as loved ones, help meth addicts?

What is Enabling?

Enabling Methamphetamine Users - Question about my son


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