Son-in-law has returned from 2 weeks in jail. He will face a prison term for burglary in the future. He admits he is addicted to prescription pain pills and went to his first Celebrate Recovery meeting last night, and my daughter went to her first codependent meeting at the same place. He is not living in the home since his arrest (2 children ages 3 yrs and 8 months)per my daughter's request. She says he needs to get sober and she needs to stop the codependency before he comes home.

What do I do to stop my enabling? I have helped with money in the past, let them use my car, etc. My daughter is the consistent provider (she is a LCSW).

Thank you.

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Jul 10, 2011
Cutting me loose
by: Anonymous

When I was 19 years old and throughout the deepest throughs of my addiction. My father kicked me out of the home, He had worked in drug prevention in the past and knew that giving me a place to stay would be detremental to my recovery. Though it pained him not to help me He did what was best for me in that situation and let me face the world on my own. This lack of help at the time eventually brought me to a point where I needed to face the facts of my addiction. In turn it helped me to grow up and be a man responsible for my life. I've been sober for over four years now by the grace of God and I am incredibly happy that my father did what He did in not enabling me to use anymore. Good post's Angie and I look forward to seeing more of them.

Jul 09, 2011
Co dependancy
by: Anonymous

Thanks, Angie, for the very helpful words.

Jul 09, 2011
To Codependant
by: Angie Carter

Thanks for posting about your situation and inquiring about how to not enable so that your daughter and son-in-law can work towards a healthier lifestyle.

There is a definition that I go by when I do not want to engage in enabling behavior. It simple states: Helping someone is doing something for someone that they cannot do for themselves. Enabling someone is doing something for someone that they SHOULD be doing for themselves.

Example, grown healthy adults should be paying their own rent, buying their family food, paying the electric bill, providing their own gas for their car, ect.. To pick up the tab for these things while active addiction and codependency are happening is called enabling.

Helping someone would be to assist them with resources in order to get help for their addiction (phone numbers, information, contacts) Sometimes family members help individuals get into treatment, provide support and participate in their treatment by attending Family Day or Family Sessions". They might provide child care while they are away at treatment and even afterwards when they go to meetings.

Some family members will provide some financial support when people are first getting into recovery, as long as they can prove they are actually trying to help themselves and get on track.

Some ways to provide financial support when individuals are first starting out is to actually put the gas in their cars so they can get to meetings, or go buy the groceries for them, instead of giving them cash.

There is an are a couple articles in "Angie's Blog" that you might want to read. One is on the chaos of codependency and one is on Enabling.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Angie Carter

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