This post was in my in-box this morning from parentpathway.com. I thought it was a good one and may be helpful to many. I know that I struggled with this mightily. Finally, I realized I was continuing to do things for my son that he should do for himself because it made ME feel better. I had not been willing to bear the pain of stopping and I was still trying to control him and his life by doing everything for him. I had good intentions, of course, but I didn't realize that by taking care of his business I was crippling him. Smothered by love (is how I think about it today). Stopping is so hard. It takes a lot of tries and there are a lot of slips. I think that is okay. We are all just doing the best we can every single day. "Early in my grieving process, when I realized my love could not save the ones I love, a stranger handed out a reading at one of the support groups I was in. The printing does not reference an author. It touched me greatly and I kept a copy. Reading it made sense, but I just wasn’t sure I could do it – it seemed counter intuitive to my mother instincts. Here it is reprinted: To protect our own integrity and peace of mind, we may have to redefine the word love. Sometimes no is the kindest word we can say to a family member or close friend who’s in serious trouble with alcohol, drugs, or any other ravaging obsession. Their suffering pushes all our “rescue” buttons. What we feel like doing is straightening out their messes and protecting them from farther harm. If we could, we would banish all their miseries with the touch of a magic wand! But we can’t. Often the only thing we can do to help our self-destructive loved ones is to sop helping completely. As hard as it is, and as unnatural as it feels, we may have to make some or all of the following declarations of love if we want to shorten our loved one’s path to the recovery turnoff. I love you, so I won’t buy your groceries or pay your rent. I love you, so I won’t loan you money or the uses of my credit. I love you, so I won’t call in sick for you at work. I love you, so I won’t cover your bounced check. I love you, so I won’t let you move in with me. I love you, so I won’t listen to your excuses or accept your lies. I love you, so I won’t make your bail. If we know down deep that these words need to be spoken we need to practice them until we can get them out. Many recovering people only got turned around because someone loved them enough to give them a cold shoulder instead of a helping hand."