It's very difficult to know where the line is between helping and enabling.
In this blog, I'm going to give you the formula to solve the problem once and for all...
Enabling vs. Helping
I recently responded to someone's Reddit post about whether or not to help a sibling get a place to live.
Here's the quick summary of the situation.
This person (the person on Reddit) has an addicted brother. The brother is almost 40 years old and had most recently been living with the mother, who had to be put into nursing care. The house was going to have to be sold to help pay for the mother's ongoing medical needs. This was going to force the brother out into the streets.
The brother had recently enrolled in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and had picked up a 1-month sober chip.
The brother found a place to live but would need first/last months rent for a deposit.
Obviously, the brother was facing a big dilemma!
Here's my response to this particular situation:
It's always a battle of the heart and the head.
First, I'll speak from my heart:❤️️
I also have a sibling who struggles with addiction. She's my big sister and I can remember working at 14 years old and giving mom the money to pay for bad checks she wrote. It took me more than 20 years to stop giving her money.
Next, I'll speak from my head:🤔
It's always hard to practice tough love with an addict, but it's particularly hard to do it when it seems like they're trying to do better. You've seen it a thousand times before, and it never goes anywhere, but that tiny voice inside is nagging you. What if he means it this time?!?!
I've rarely (probably never) seen it work out for addicts/alcoholics to be set up in an apartment or house alone with only a month clean. Even worse if they move in with the family!
I might consider helping him get into a halfway house, IF I COULD AFFORD TO DO IT WITHOUT PUTTING MY FAMILY IN JEOPARDY!
Here's my formula for making those type of decisions...
If they take a step, you can take a step. If they take 10 steps, you can take 10 steps. If they take 50 steps, you can take 50 steps. I'm sure you're starting to get my drift...
You can help them as much as they help themselves. By doing it this way, you helping (NOT ENABLING). Best of all, this will help you avoid building resentments.
If you have a loved one addicted to drugs or alcohol, consider joining our closed FB group for Families.