Archive for January 24th, 2013

teacherI wrote an article today about enablers.  For those who don’t know, enablers are those relatives or friends of an alcoholic who, through their actions and words, make it possible to continue drinking, or who give their silent approval of the drinking.

Who would do that you ask?  Well, you might be surprised to learn that most will do it, although at the time they don’t think they are doing any harm.

The fact of the matter is that alcoholism is exhausting and frightening for those who live with an alcoholic.  They usually live in fear and they are never quite sure what they should do.  Their loved one is acting irresponsibly, and shows huge mood shifts, and other times they are so pitiful and sick you just want to wrap them in a blanket and protect them.

They will make excuses, they will manipulate, and they will lie, and as long as you accept that behavior you are enabling them.

The bottom line is this:  if you know or are related to an alcoholic, you must set boundaries and stick with them.  It goes something like this:  I love you, but I will not help you. I won’t make excuses for you, I won’t give you money, and I won’t do your work for you.  You are choosing to drink so you need to live with the consequences.

Tough love for sure but tough love is necessary.  Why?  Because if you do not set boundaries then you will become as sick as the alcoholic.  Alcoholism is a vicious disease, and it not only harms the alcoholic but the loved ones of the alcoholic.

You can choose to be a victim or you can choose to be proactive.  Stop enabling!

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