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WHAT IS AN ENABLER?

Enabling is a kiss of death to the recovery process of an addict. Often times, an enabler desires to deny all the facts blatantly in front of them, for the sake of protecting their loved one and holding onto them. They believe that denial helps everything to remain the same when in reality they’re putting their loved one in even more danger by ignoring the facts.

1. Ignoring Bizarre Behavior

If your loved one sneaks out at all hours of the night, (especially if they’re not a teenager) it’s the first red flag. No one uses drugs with pride; people only brag about heavy drug use when they feel it’s just recreational and controllable, or in the company of other addicts.

2. Resentment

It’s possible to enable the addiction while simultaneously harboring resentment for the addict. This is called a self-fulfilling prophecy; the enabler is helping the addict pursue their addiction while increasingly resenting the addict because they’re continuing behavior.

3. Blaming Circumstances and Others 

When trying to mask the fact that someone in your family is an addict, you’ll ignore the signs, such as withdrawn behavior, physical changes, and mood swings. Ignoring the facts will always lead to ruin. In some instances, an enabler may also decide to blame another relative or the addict’s close friend for their behavior.

4. Being Unable to Express Emotions

An enabler who understands what’s taking place but still makes excuses for their loved one’s behavior is unable to effectively express their emotions. There may be thoughts of confronting their loved one, but they’re quickly swept away by the want to keep them safe. It’s more than just not telling their loved one their true feelings; it comes out in the form of making excuses, whether to others or even themselves.

5. Letting Fear Control You

When an enabler comes up with excuses for their loved ones, it mainly stems from the fear of losing the addict to rehab or conflict. When fear controls you, you lose yourself.

6. Prioritization

Enablers elevate the needs of the addict over their own. For example, if the rent is due, but you give a large chunk of money to your loved one all while knowing that they’re going to use it to get high, you’re condemning yourself and those around you. Many feel that there isn’t a right way to approach an addict and openly speak to them about their situation, so instead, they enable.At Asana Recovery, we understand how difficult recovering from these addictions through our daily work to help those struggling most from this disease. While some may believe they can make it alone, rehabilitation programs are essential in the fight to break the dependency. The road ahead is not a smooth or easy one, but you can traverse it if done so with the support of the right team. Counseling and aftercare processes can assist you by addressing the psychological facets that led you to addiction and help you build a structure from which to better cope with life without succumbing to addiction. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.

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