We have talked about the balance of enabling vs helping

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, May 27, 2016.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    So we did a reading the other night at our Alanon group that I find really helpful and gave me clarity. It is out of the book "Courage to Change" by Al-anon family groups. I thought I would share it here.

    "I thought if I stopped enabling the alcoholic in my life, the drinking would stop. When the drinking seemed to get worse instead of better, once again I thought I had done something wrong. I was still the tying to control alcoholism and its symptoms. Al-Anon helped me to learn that I am powerless. I cannot stop an alcoholic from drinking. If I choose to stop contributing to the problem, I do so because it seems to be the right thing to do, something that will help me feel better about myself.
    When I change my behavior, the behavior of those around me may also change, but there is not guarantee that it will change to my liking. Today I am learning to make choices because they are good for me, not because of the effect they might have on others."

    This was helpful to me as my son starts on a path that I am very unsure about.... However I have to let him go and figure it out and love him in the process.

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  2. worried sick mother

    worried sick mother Active Member

    That is very helpful!!! Thanks for sharing!! I hope your sons path works out for the absolute best for him!!
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am dealing with this very thing, TL.

    Thank you.
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I am struggling. I just want mine to be ok. I know it is his journey. I know I can't do it for him. I just want him to be safe. I pray that all of our troubled loved ones are safe.
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  5. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    It's so hard to let go. However "we have no control" is the most honest quote we could ever grasp. We all need to realize this to have some peace. Hoping for your sons journey to be a success toughlovin!
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I think being in that place where you know you have no control does help with serenity. Right now I know there is nothing I can do so I am not stewing over it as much as I do when I think there is something I can do!!
  7. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    It's amazing what certain 'self-talk' (verbiage) can do to give us some short-lived peace. I say short-lived because to be honest, I think about my son often throughout the day. Some days more than others. And, so I now find it somewhat helpful to tell myself...'there is nothing I can do, it's on him.'

    I am my person, he is his. I make my decisions and he makes his now, he's 23 almost 24. He is just over 60 days clean, in sober living and has this fresh start. What will he do with it? Not sure and it's out of my hands. Last night, he had a 1am curfew. Had gotten his car back 2 days prior. I guess has 'cabin fever'. So, he drove 30 minutes north to see a 'friend'. This friend was one of his druggy friends a few yrs back and I know just several months back, they were together at the beach having some beers. :cautious: I expressed concern at his plan and he told me 'don't worry, he's been clean and he's living with his dad now..I needed to get out, I've been cooped up for 2 months.'

    Today, I have been obsessing a little bit, but for me, it's improved. Still. I don't like this feeling.

    It DOES give me serenity to remind myself that there is nothing I can do, it's on him. He's 60+ days clean, if he wants to keep it that way, he can. If not, then he won't.
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  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Al anon says you did not cause it, you can not cure it and you can't control it.

    All we can do is wish them well and be there for extreme cheerleading if they do the right thing.

    Helicopter moms, many of my and the next generation, wanted them to have the best and some of us (not all but some) were too involved in their activities, choice of partners, choice of activities, pushing our dreams on them. Pushing maybe causes rebellion and resentment?

    I think our grown kids best chance of doing well is to let them decide what is best for them and to do it without our interference and to not take it personally if they fall short of what we want for them.

    Every single parent here has given his/her child chances,experiences and education that can lead to thriving. I'd say the majority of grown kids who are given these advantages, DO thrive, but maybe 20% decide to walk to the beat of their own drums and we can't stop them.

    Rebel, I hope this is your sons difficult days are behind him. If not, you are right...his behavior is not on your shoulders. You did MORE than your best and it's his turn now.

    Hoping for good times to come.
  9. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    So true. I finally realized what I wanted to happen wasn't happening. I was miserable and didn't want to be miserable anymore. I learned that at times I have to push myself to do something but once I am doing it, my mind is occupied on what's going on at the moment and I have fun.
  10. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Rebelson can he have beers in sober living?

    My son had a breathalyzer every night where he was.
  11. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    Absolutely not! He sounds great but I'm taking one day, one hour at a time here.