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Helping? Enabling? Who Knew the difference?

Posted by on Dec. 17, 2008 at 2:19 PM
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As the widow of an alcoholic/addict (twice), I had to look at my behavior and actions, in retrospect. When did helping become Enabling? The buzz word of many rehabs.. the finger pointing, "it's all your fault!" I remember those days well. All the liquor mysteriously disappearing.. but funny thing, after he passed, the liquor kept disappearing! When it was gone, more came into the house! HOW could this be? I never drank as a kid, or did drugs. I drank very little in my adult life. Then, something happened. When did i cross the "imaginary line" as they call it?

Reality isn't always fun or easy to accept. I've done alot of growing since those days and I'm a better person today. Oh yes, recovered myself! How often did i "do for him what he should've done for himself" as they say in the meeting rooms. I HAD to do so many things or else, WHO would do them?? I remember those days, very well. Always trying, trying, trying to help him stop, keep away from, not think about, ignore, talk about drinking...   Controlling all situations so he wouldn't get angry, upset, lonely, tired, depressed....   AND if I tried really really hard and was really really good, he'd love me...choose me...for SURE. It was a full time job, actually.

I was told, living with an alcoholic is like living with a rattlesnake on the loose in the house. I was always searching, on guard, frightened I'd find.. I always knew that rattlesnake was in that house, somewhere!

Having recovered from this horrible terminal disease, I now know how he felt. The shame, guilt, frustration, bewilderment, terror, hopeless, helpless on and on and on....

All I can say is, there is hope. There is a way out. I could've NEVER fixed him, like no one could fix me. BUT, I could have done things differently. I could have had a life free of control. I could have let him feel the consequences of his drinking. I could've stopped waving my finger yelling, and saying horrible things which I wish now, I never said cause I cannot take them back. I could've taken the focus off his drinking and focused more on my own life, my own issues. I'm at Peace today and full of Joy.  It's never too late. 

God Bless you all


by on Dec. 17, 2008 at 2:19 PM
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by Group Admin on Dec. 18, 2008 at 7:13 AM

 I am glad to have someone with the" alcoholic prospective" in the group!

I wouldn't worry too much about the things you said that were cruel, my husband doesn't remember 99% of the stuff I said, I even nailed him with a full caN OF BEER  in the face( which I am NOT proud of ) and he doesn't even remember that! ( I couldn't believe that I was SO out of control that I would assault him).

  There are many things he will never remember that I will NEVER forget!!

 The only help I ever gave my husband was to talk him into rehab and drive him there, the rest was all enabling him so he could continue to drink, but at the time ,I had no clue that this was the case!

I am glad you are in recovery :)

by on Dec. 19, 2008 at 3:43 PM

Thanks for sharing your story.  It really spoke to me.  I have realized just recently that I am as sick as my DH for letting his drinking get to the point it got too.  Why did I stick around?  I don't know, but what I do know is that I need help and to change just as much as he does.

by on Dec. 21, 2008 at 9:12 PM

Hey I was the queen of enabling and co dependency so.........................

Check out my group for Refom Jewish Moms
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