Our enabling of our loved ones’ addictive patterns often has a lot to do with our own pain around their addictions. It is excruciating to see our loved ones in pain, and sometimes our enabling is a coping mechanism for us. Sometimes we cope with our own pain by enabling our loved ones and their addictive patterns, because it can make us feel better to care for them. We avoid confronting our own feelings around their addictions because it’s too overwhelming and too painful, so instead of facing our emotions, we manage by taking on their burdens and doing their work for them.
Sometimes we enable because we blame ourselves for our loved ones’ addictions. We feel as though we caused their hardships or contributed to the development of their addictions. If the addict in our lives is our child and we ourselves struggle with addiction, we worry that we are to blame for passing on addictive traits. We fear that our own mental health issues and our own difficulties around healing are the cause of their addictions. We think we failed them. If we mistreated or even abused them, we assume it was our actions that created their addictions.
We enable our loved ones because we want to protect them. We want to shield them from guilt and shame. We want to prevent them from suffering any more than they already have. We want to prevent them from having to incur any further repercussions. There are countless different reasons why we might be enabling our loved ones and their addictive patterns, and to help ourselves stop doing so, we want to finally address the emotional reasons and motivations behind our own patterns.
Riverside Recovery understands all of the emotional challenges of addiction recovery and is here to support you and your loved ones. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.