If you find that you are enabling an alcoholic after rehab after reading this blog, don’t worry. Many of us enable alcoholics without ever realizing we are. We enable because we love the person and we want to be helpful, never realizing that it actually may be hurting. And that is the difference between enabling and actually being helpful:
Helping is doing something for someone they are not capable of doing themselves.
Enabling is doing for someone what they could and should be doing for themselves.
Make sense? Now we are going to give you 5 ways you may be enabling an alcoholic after rehab instead of helping. Sometimes the lines can get really blurred between being helpful and enabling, because often times, it is really hard to determine what an alcoholic can do for themselves after rehab. The truth is an alcoholic after rehab can do much more than you would think.
5 ways you are enabling an alcohol after rehab: You are the bank
If you find that you are rescuing an alcoholic after rehab, repeatedly, by paying for things because your alcoholic friend or loved one isn’t working enough, spent the money on tattoos, coffee, etc. then you may be enabling an alcoholic after rehab. If you also find yourself paying off debt for your alcoholic loved one that they have accumulated while getting high or even early in sobriety, you are enabling. Your alcoholic loved one or friend is more than capable of getting a job and dealing with monetary consequences. Being the bank is one way you are enabling an alcoholic after rehab. This can include loaning money that is never repaid or buying things for them they can’t afford and don’t really need.
5 Ways You May Be Enabling an Alcoholic after Rehab: You are working harder than your alcoholic friend or loved one
If you find that you are having to take on a second job or are working harder than your alcoholic friend or loved one to help them, then you are probably enabling them after rehab. An alcoholic should be doing absolutely everything possible to be self-sufficient even if this means taking on a second job. The extra work should not be put in by you after rehab. If they are spending their days at the beach and buying coffee while you are taking on extra work, then you may be enabling an alcoholic after rehab.
5 Ways You May Be Enabling an Alcoholic after Rehab: You let your alcoholic friend or loved one live with you
Whether you are an alcoholic sponsoring another alcoholic, a friend of an alcoholic, or the loved on of an alcoholic; letting someone who is fresh out of rehab live with you may not be the best idea, and in fact, may be enabling. Alcoholics have many options for living after rehab, and your house does not have to be one of them. Letting a newly sober alcoholic live with you after rehab could result in your things being stolen, destroyed, and/or having an active alcoholic in your house should they relapse.
5 Ways You May Be Enabling an Alcoholic after Rehab: Helping an alcoholic makes you feel worse
If you find that while you are helping an alcoholic after rehab, whether through sponsoring, friendship or relation, and are starting to feel bad about yourself, you may be enabling. Sacrificing your own self-worth to help someone else may sound like the ultimate service, but in all reality, it is enabling. There is no reason that your time, energy or well-being should be sacrificed for someone who isn’t putting the effort in. Just as with any relationship, the energy has to flow both ways, not just one way. For instance, if a sponsee keeps canceling on you, and you don’t say anything about it to them, you are enabling that person to continue on with their behavior.
5 Ways You May Be Enabling an Alcoholic after Rehab: Tolerating Negative or Disrespectful Behavior
Just because an alcoholic has been to rehab doesn’t mean they are well or even healthy in the slightest sense of the word. Many times after an alcoholic gets out of rehab, their behavior is still the same as an addicted person’s. If you find your alcoholic friend or loved one or sponsee is doing negative things, bullying, manipulating, cursing, or anything to try and hurt you, do not tolerate it. Stand up for yourself and explain what you will and will not allow in your life. Allowing them to treat you this way is enabling them to continue on living an addict or alcoholic lifestyle.
If you find that you may be enabling an alcoholic after rehab, remember that enabling is not helping. For an alcoholic truly to recover, they need help, not to be enabled.
If you or someone you love is in need of alcoholism treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.