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Am I promoting addiction by always forgiving?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by pineywood, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. minderbender

    minderbender Member

    I guess the confusing question we are looking at here is that fine line between forgiving and love --- and enabling. Enabling seems to be the big 100 dollar word that all substance abuse counselors dislike strongly. Enabling is when the addicts' loved ones allow and support the addict to continue his or her toxic lifestyle that infects the entire community with a dysfunctional environment. It seems virtuous to forgive, but the forgiveness as states above, must have boundaries.
  2. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    I think just blatantly equating forgiveness to enabling is reductive reasoning. No good can come from that type of thinking. You don't have to be a door mat or even let a person back in your life to forgive them.
  3. Apollo545

    Apollo545 Active Contributor

    No, when you let them back into your life you show that you care enough about them that you are willing to help them work through their issues. It's important that you continue to voice your opinion and quite literally harass them in every way possible to give up their addiction for their own sake. People who are addicted to drugs are depressed and care very little about themselves. Quite like a hero, they need to draw strength from those they love.
  4. Well, I can't say that my situation is a success but I can say that I am absolutely in love with a man who has been a meth addict for about 13 years... I met him at a time when he was trying to quit fully and had "slowed down" his use. Basically, every 3-4 months he would relapse for a few days, turn into a narcissistic *sshole sex junkie and would disappear into porn and whatever else he got himself into. Then he'd be sleep deprived, start hearing voices, get into all sorts of trouble (he broke his foot once jumping off a roof, walked into a police station, broke into peoples homes for no reason). Next, he went into the crash - felt guilty, preached about how I didn't deserve this and how he wanted to be better. He tried, each "reuse" (in treatment they say relapse doesn't start until 6 months, we never made it that far) he would do more to "change" in order to keep me. It started with "I can do it myself," then AA for the next reuse, then out patient, then intensive outpatient, then in patient. Recently, he relapsed again... After over a year of the roller coaster I couldn't take the heartbreak anymore. The emotional abuse that I endured with each reuse, the shattered hopes and dreams eventually made me realize that I didn't deserve the abuse and that's what it was, abuse. Also, I deserved to be with someone I could rely on, someone who had the capacity to actually BUILD a life together. He is a wonderful man and every part of me wants to be with him as he exists as a sober man. But the sociopath that meth turns him into is not something I am willing to live with. I made the choice that meth would not be my future. I was prepared to live a sober life. I quit weed, alcohol, everything that I was using in order to support him and be the best, strongest version of myself. I go to alanon, ACoA and MA in order to be better. In the end, my recovery was not just from my addictions but from choosing him over me. I decided to choose me. To have faith that he will either meet me when he's ready and been able to maintain his sobriety from meth for an extended period of time, or that I will meet someone who has all the beautiful amazing things he gave me and I revered in him AND does not do meth. The point is I chose me and in the end that may be what he actually needed. A "rock-bottom". It may get worse before it gets better, it may lead to more reuse but there is always hope. You staying or going is up to you and should be for you not him, or just like him you will never be able to quit. I'd like to consider myself a success story because I was able to find strength enough to go, genuine strength. It's not easy and it is sad and I do miss him every day (just like an addict misses their drug). But, by taking it one day at a time, talking at meetings and continuing my sobriety it does get easier and I am (and you are) worth the peace of mind. Good luck to you. Hugs and love.
    Mary310 and deanokat like this.
  5. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Great insight, @PrincessPuzzles. Thanks so much for sharing. Sometimes there comes a point when someone has to choose themselves over their addicted loved one. And that's okay!
  6. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener

    @PrincessPuzzles hello there! Thank you for sharing your story.... The fact that you practiced self-care is inspiring for sure.... I'm sure you do miss him... but what you want and need in a relationship matters... I hope you are having a great day!
    deanokat likes this.