You might be wondering, is that really true? I assure you it is.
See an addict can’t be an addict without help. There’s people in their lives that keep that merry go round going.
There’s the enabler, who wants to “Help” and “Fix” and they think if I was a good enough spouse, friend, sister, brother, etc. then they wouldn’t be like this. I NEED to help them get on track.
One of the first things I learned in Alanon (a meeting for people who have a loved one or friend with a drinking problem) is The 3 C’s.
I didn’t cause it
I can’t cure it,
I can’t control it.
Sweet one, maybe you need to hear that today!
An addiction doesn’t have to be just alcohol or drugs, there are many forms of addiction….food, sex, shopping, pornography, cutting, working, exercise, video games, TV, etc.
I love the example Henry Cloud uses in Changes That Heal, about a dad and his 2 sons. (I have paraphrased this story.) So the Dad is meeting with Henry and says “I need you to fix my son.” So Henry looks to the son sitting there and says “What’s going on, how can I help you?” The son says “No, it’s not me, it’s my brother.” He says “Well where is your brother?” “He’s not here” says the brother. Henry says “Well where is he? And what’s his problem?” The dad answers “He’s flunked out of 3 colleges and he smokes pot.” Henry is puzzled by this and asked “How do you even do that? I understand how you flunk out of one, but how do you get in the 2nd and 3rd one?”
The dad answers “Well, I’m on the board of multiple colleges. The first time he flunked out there was to much partying in the dorm so I bought him a condo, gave him enough money so he could just focus on studying and not work and he still flunked out.” Henry says “Darn those kids!” Love his humor🤣
I’m already chuckling at this point because I see where this is leading too…..
The dad is the great enabler!
Henry asked “Where is your son today?” Dad says, “He’s not here.” Henry says, “I know he’s not here but where might gps find him?”
The dad says “He’s in Vale…skiing.”
Now I ask you, does this sound like the kid who has any problems to you? Not to me.
At this point Henry says, “Sir I’m a psychologist and I help people. I don’t think I can help your son. He doesn’t have any problems. He’s got all the money he needs, a free place to live AND he’s on vacation. He doesn’t have any problems.” Now the dads is confused and getting miffed, saying “Oh yes he does!”
Henry says, “You on the other hand I can help.” The dad is like “I don’t have any problems.” Henry says “Yes you do, you have owned all your sons problems. But I can help you, help your son have some problems.”
I just love that! The dad was busy helping and enabling all his sons issues. The son has had no consequences and has absolutely no reason to change.
Do you have someone like this in your life?
How are you coping?
Are you owning all their mess?
Still trying to fix them?
Learning boundaries is the most amazing and absolutely FREEING thing I’ve ever done.
We all need them, addictions or not. You could have a family member with untreated mental illness. I can relate to this one on such a personal level. A certain family member of mine, has untreated mental illness and ever since I can remember I was always helping, fixing, and rescuing them. Until the last couple of years, I was so burn out. Exhausted! Stressed to the max!
Every time my phone rang I and I saw it was them calling….anxiety would set in quickly! I never had anxiety before. You never knew what was on the other end of the line. Crying hysterically, mad, complaining about their life or someone in it, or the high manic side where everything is beautiful, wonderful, and full of rainbows 🌈 and unicorns 🦄
This was simply ingenious, I gave them a certain ringtone so I would know it was them calling me and at that moment I could decide am I in a place where I can talk to this person? Or do I need to let it go to voicemail and talk later? That simple thing, was life changing for me.
See sweet friend, it’s not your job to fix someone else. You and I are not Holy Ghost Jr. they have a Savior just like you do and that’s his job to work in their lives and change what needs to be changed.
However, we do have a part to do too and that’s to stop 🛑 helping and rescuing them. Let that loved one feel the consequences of their own actions.
If you have a person in your life and they are not taking responsibility for themselves, they don’t have a job or keep losing jobs and now they want to move in with you again….you keep forking out money to “help” and “rescue” them. That’s not helping them be responsible.
They don’t have a car and they want to keep using yours.
You could be taking up the slack for someone with things they need to do but choose not too….but you say to yourself “Well someone has to do it” and so you do it. But now your full of bitterness and resentment when what you needed to do is let them figure it out and you do what your supposed to do.
Or maybe they don’t have groceries or gas because they spent their money on frivolous things and they can’t buy groceries or get gas for the car they’re borrowing from you….but they’ll play on your emotions and say “if you love me then you’d give me the money that I need.”
This sounds ridiculous but it happens every day my friend….you are not helping them.
Sure there is a time when everyone needs help but when you see it becomes a pattern and it keeps repeating itself over and over and over again, YOU are now contributing to the problem and staying on that merry go round. They have no desire to do any different because you continue to fix there issues.
If they are addicted to alcohol, don’t buy it for them. Simply say, “I love you but I’m no longer going to contribute to this, from now on you can buy your own alcohol.” This one, I had to do with someone.
When that person calls you with drama and chaos, things they want YOU to fix….simply 🛑 and say I’m sorry, I can’t do that for you. Tell them you love them and I’m praying for you but you need to figure out this for yourself.
Look, I’m not gonna sit here and tell you this is easy to do because the truth is I have felt like my guts were being ripped out, nauseous to the point of throwing up. It’s hard as Hades and that’s NO JOKE! But it’s necessary for your own health and well-being.
God gave me this verse a few years ago and maybe it will help you too.
EXODUS 18:17-18 AMP
“Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you [to bear]; you cannot do it alone.”
We were never meant to carry these burdens alone sweet friend.
Thoughts to ponder:
Who might you be enabling?
What are you carrying that doesn’t belong to you?
Have you been rescuing people?
What can you do let people in your life feel the consequences of their own actions?
How does that make you feel to even think about doing that?
Ohhhh, I’ll answer that for you, it will FEEL WRONG AND AWFUL! But just because it FEELS WRONG, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
You have to keep doing the next right thing and that “feeling” will catch up with you, eventually.
CHANGE IS HARD but it is a necessary part of life.
“You can suffer the pain of change or suffer remaining the way you are.” Joyce Meyer
That’ll preach! That’s a word for someone.
So my friend just start setting small boundaries, those lead to big victories.
Pray about it, it may take you a while to do it and that’s perfectly fine. I’ve been there too. But you’ve got this, you can do it!
I pray God will give you the wisdom and courage to do what’s best for you and your family, setting those boundaries that brings peace to your heart and mind and FREEDOM to your life!
Have a blessed and wonderful day!