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Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by flinds, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. flinds

    flinds Member

    How do you guys detach with love and support your loved one without enabling? Sometimes I feel like I'm falling back into codependent tendencies. Would love any feedback
  2. craig22

    craig22 Member

    Flinds I'm dealing with the exact same problem. I want to love and support my 19 year old son but not enable him.

    I just cannot subscribe to the thought of kicking him out of the house. I just don't see how that can help him.

    Toughest thing I've ever dealt with in my life. My thoughts right now: surround him with positive support but be clear about expectations. I don't have any real repercussions for unmet expectations but I demand a meaningful conversation around it. Not as a blowout but an opportunity to reflect, learn and improve.

    I believe we can support and not enable. Keep the lines of communication open.

    Honestly I'm winging it myself. I go from extremely angry at him to broken hearted an hour later. It's a roller coaster.

    Stay strong and do what your gut thinks is best for your loved one.
    flinds and deanokat like this.
  3. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @flinds and @craig22... As the parent of an adult son who has struggled with addiction since he was 15, I know exactly what you two are going through. Believe me: It's not easy detaching with love. But I believe it's necessary, even if you don't kick your child out of the house. You have to have some separation between you and your child's addiction, otherwise you will be consumed by it and everyone will suffer immensely. I spent several years being addicted to my son's addiction and it was no fun.

    If you haven't read Melody Beattie's book Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself, you definitely should. It's full of incredibly helpful information. Like Beattie says in the book, detaching doesn't mean that you stop caring, loving, and supporting your loved one; it just means that you learn to do those things without making yourself crazy.

    And as far as "winging it" goes, let me tell you that that's perfectly okay. There is no "owner's manual" for being the parent of someone struggling with addiction. I always tell other parents: Do the best you can with what you know at the time and try to learn more and do better as you go along. And you can never go wrong with love.

    I'm sending positive vibes and lots of hope to both of you. I know what you're going through isn't easy, but you can get through it. Just take things a day at a time, or even an hour or minute at a time. Whatever works best to keep you moving forward. And remember: Love the addict, hate the disease.
    flinds likes this.
  4. flinds

    flinds Member

    @craig22 @deanokat Thank you both. Its difficult to set boundaries and actually enforce them as I hate them being mad or angry with me, and god knows he can hold a grudge.

    I'm going to definitely look into the book. I've found some of my favorite messages from books about recovery.
  5. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @flinds... It's okay if they're mad or angry with you. Your their mother, not their best friend. They have to learn to suffer the natural consequences of their behavior. If you don't let that happen, then you're enabling.

    I know it's hard. Just do the best you can and try to get better. Progress, not perfection.