A message from the Director
One who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (such as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior.
In case you missed it, Amy was our guest on the “Recovery Connection” podcast a couple of weeks ago. The Podcast is live on Facebook on the second and fourth Thursday of every month with the audio only version posted to Spotify a week later. The first monthly episode is where we highlight city partners and people who are passionate about connecting our communities and making our city become a better place. The second monthly episode is dedicated to people in recovery where we talk about the 12-steps and all things recovery. The podcast's aim is to start collaborative conversations where we can begin to share our resources, strengths and ideas but most of all our passion for substance use, homelessness and mental health issues.
Amy and I had a great time as always, but you will have to listen to the podcast to get the full experience. Part of our chat dealt with the word at the top of this article. Often full of stigma and not wholly understood, the one fact that is widely known and accepted is that the person closest to the alcoholic/addict (the “enabler”) may need more assistance and counselling than the alcoholic/addict in beginning an effective recovery program.
No spouse, family member or friend ever made anyone into an alcoholic or addict. They are no more responsible for their loved one’s addiction than they would be if it were cancer or diabetes. We are not responsible for the existence of alcohol and drugs, but we can either assist our loved one’s attempts to avoid getting help or take steps that might lead us all into recovery. The mistakes made by well-meaning family members often make recovery more difficult for the alcoholic/addict. The best help we can give is to seek help and treatment for ourselves, so we do not enable the progressive illness of this disease. Learning about the disease, changing our attitudes and understanding the guiding principles of Al-Anon is a great place to start. From one alcoholic to anyone who loves me, you cannot stop me from drinking. Any attempt to force me to stop will only make matters worse, much worse.
Knowledge of the nature of alcoholism/addiction as a disease, and the courage to live using this knowledge, is essential, otherwise fear will replace love in our relationships. Unfortunately, many family members and loved ones suffer repeatedly from others drinking/using and its consequences, thinking this is required if they love an alcoholic/addict. As a result, addiction is encouraged, and fear and resentment take over. Therefore, family members and loved ones need help if the disease is to be arrested and recovery is to begin. Otherwise, all of us become emotionally and spiritually ill. Make no mistake about it, this is a spiritual disease that requires a spiritual solution.
Please, if you are suffering due to another’s use of substances, reach out to us, call or visit our website. But please do something, there is another way…