Curtailing enabling behaviors does not require complete inaction on our part.
We often confuse doing anything for enabling, while what enabling covers are only those actions of ours that make it easier for an alcoholic or addict to continue using.
- We do not enable when we take steps towards getting someone into treatment.
- Running an intervention is not enabling, it is a proactive and positive step towards a solution.
We are told that the alcoholic needs to come to terms with their own addiction, needs to decide for themselves when and where to turn for help.
Waiting for an addict to decide for themselves to get help is nothing more than inactive enabling. The addict wants to be left alone to drink or drug, they want nothing more than that! Which would be fine, of course, if that was their decision alone, if we didn’t care for them, and if their actions did not have profound and negative implications for our own quality of life.
But we do love them, we live with them, and when they abuse drugs or alcohol, even if they consider it a matter of personal choice, they harm those that must live with them in deep and sometimes lasting ways. Does an alcoholic have the right to subject children in a household to drunkenness, poor role modeling, drunk driving, abuse etc.? Does their personal decision to drink affect them alone?
Family has a right to get involved, inaction is enabling.