Enabling Behavior

Many times when family and friends try to “help” alcoholics and addicts, they are actually making it easier for them to continue in the progression of the disease. This baffling phenomenon is called enabling behavior, which takes many forms, all of which have the same effect — allowing the alcoholic and addict to avoid the consequences of their actions. This in turn allows the alcoholic and addict to continue merrily along their drinking and using ways, secure in the knowledge that no matter how much they screw up, somebody will always be there to rescue them from their mistakes.

What is the difference between helping and enabling behavior? There are many opinions and viewpoints on this, but here is a simple description:

Helping is doing something for someone that they are not capable of doing themselves.

Enabling Behavior is doing for someone, things that they could, and should be doing themselves.

Enabling behavior, put quite simply, is the actions someone takes or doesn’t take that allow or help an alcoholic or addict to continue drinking or using.  Often times, with the best intentions through love and caring, we inadvertently strengthen the addiction of a loved one when what we really intended to do was “help them to stop”.  This process usually begins slowly over time and almost always with the intention to help.  As untreated alcoholism and drug addiction progresses, so too can our enabling behaviors progress.  We find ourselves putting up with more and more outrageous behavior that we never would’ve tolerated years or even months ago.  We begin to compromise our own sense of morals and dignity.  Our focus becomes more and more on the addicted one and we begin to lose ourselves in the process.  Emotionally, spiritually, mentally and financially we end up drained.  At later stages, the addict’s behavior can even begin to affect us physically after the anxiety and stress of a hundred sleepless nights begin to add up.  In the end it is usually only anger, frustration and hopelessness that are left.  Sometimes we become so frustrated we leave, but some of us hang on to the bitter end, always asking them and ourselves, “Why won’t they quit?”

As long as the alcoholic and addict has their enabling devices in place, it is easy for them to continue to deny they have a problem — since most of their problems are being “solved” by those around them. Only when they are forced to face the consequences of their own actions, will it begin to sink in how deep their problems have become.

Some of these choices are not easy for the friends, families and employers of addicts and alcoholics. If the alcoholic drinks up the money that was supposed to pay the utility bill, he’s not the only one who will be living in a dark, cold, or sweltering house. The rest of the family will suffer right along with them.

HEALing sea turtle gives the families the power to stop the enabling behavior and to become helping. HEALing sea turtle will teach the family or employer how to break the cycle of enabling. HEALing sea turtle will allow the family or business to start their own HEALing process so that not only the “User” is getting help but the people being “Used Up” feel life again.

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HEALing sea turtle, LLC and its staff do not provide Medical Treatment and are not Medical Doctors, Counselors, or a Treatment / Recovery Center. HEALing sea turtle, LLC is a Drug and Alcohol Intervention and Consulting Firm, and its advice does not replace the advice of Medical Professionals, Counselors, or Treatment / Recovery Centers.