Archive for Enabling Vs Love

Addiction: Dealing With The Non Addicted Siblings!!!


 In 1979 Sister Sledge released the song, We Are Family.  As I began to listen to the lyrics I began to think we are all connected in one way or another.  This connection has been made stronger because of the website, which was started by Barbara Theodosiou, a mother who knew she was not alone when dealing with having addicted children. She developed The Addict’s Mom to give mothers of addicts a platform to share without shame, find resources, and to see that they are not alone. In visiting I came across a question, how do you deal with the non addicted siblings?

 The beginning of dealing with the non addicted siblings is to acknowledge that there is an addict in the family. One way to acknowledge this is to gather the family together and accept the fact that there is an addict in the family. At this family gathering it is important to formulate a plan of action to deal with the addict and all that are affected by the addict’s actions.

Setting boundaries is a very important step in dealing with the addict and your non addicted siblings. Believe it or not most kids want rules and regulations. It is when you set boundaries and explain consequences and stick to the plan that you can positively affect your non addicted siblings.

 It is important to talk to your kids especially the non addicted children. Take an interest in your children, know who their friends are, know what activities they are involved in, make it a point to show interest in your children. Remember you made a conscious decision to bring a child into the world and you have a responsibility to nurture and guide the child the best you can. Be aware they are going to do things where you will have to discipline them and make tough choices, Many times by being strict from day 1 and setting and sticking to boundaries you set in motion the behaviors that lead away from drug and alcohol use. The biggest thing you can do for your children is to speak to them and make time for them. The best words you can ever tell your child is I am here for you. This doesn’t mean financially it means emotionally and spiritually. Read More→


Addiction: Moving Right Along!!!!

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Addiction: Moving Right Along!!!!


 Today’s post was inspired by The Muppet Movie and the song Moving Right Along as it speaks of the adversity that Kermit and Fozzy Bear faced on their travels but they just kept moving right along. This lead me to reflect on all the posts I read at and in The Addict’s Mom groups on Facebook and I discovered that everyone has a similar challenge when it comes to addiction and that is dealing with the addict and the addicts behavior. As you face the challenge of having an addicted child you must understand that you did not create the problem, you can not control the problem, and you will not cure the problem and thus you should commit to moving right along. Now the question is how do you keep moving right along? The answer is accept there is a problem, face the problem, do the best you can with the resources you have, and understand that until the addict gets that rude awakening that their choices are not serving them in a positive manner they are not going to change. Once you begin to come to grips with the fact that your child is an addict and there isn’t really much you can do you will begin to have the ability to move right along. A recent study shows that 1 in 3 (33%) of families are dealing with addiction. Unfortunately because of the stigma associated with having an addicted child not many parents come forward to share and when they do many times they are ostracized from the community.  In an ideal situation a parent would recognize that their child was using drugs and/or alcohol and would be able to sit down and have a rational conversation about where the use of drugs and alcohol often lead and the child would have the where with all to understand that the parent is doing what is in the best interest of the child. The reality is that it doesn’t work that way because the parent is so concerned about being right and the child feels like they are being picked on that communication breaks down. Then there is the parental factor that you want your kids to like you so you give and give until you can’t give anymore thus putting stress on the parent-child relationship. Understand that most children lack the capacity to fully comprehend what is happening as the brain is developing and their judgment is flawed as the critical thinking elements of the brain have not been fully developed.  Think back to when you were a child and some of the things you did without thinking then you can relate to what your child is doing. Children tend to be impulsive and just do and this makes parenting very challenging especially when the child is not respectful and does things that are morally contradictory to the values of the family. The question is what to do and how to move right along? Read More→

Addiction: Wiping Away The Tears and Moving Forward!!!!

Glee actor Cory Monteith has died at the age 31, it has been confirmed ... The news of Cory Monteith’s death from an overdose came across the TV the other day and I immediately thought another lost to drugs, Why? Cory was 31 and seemed to have it all, but that didn’t stop him from using and overdosing. I then thought of all the parents who have lost a son or daughter to drugs or alcohol and how they are wiping away the tears and moving forward. It takes a lot of courage and strength to come out and say my son or my daughter was an addict and overdosed or my son or daughter had too much to drink and decided to drive and was killed in a car crash.  The first step to wiping away the tears and moving forward is coming to grips with the loss of a child and then turning the tragedy of losing a son or daughter into a positive by educating others and stopping their children from getting caught up in the cycle of addiction.  In her book Turning Loss Into Joy Vashon Marie Sarkisian gives the reader seven steps to heal the pain.

Accepting the loss and not blaming yourself is a step to help wipe away the tears and move forward. Understanding that you did what you believed in your heart to be right is the only solace that you need. By moving forward you do not erase the pain but you find ways to ease it, be it volunteering at  a local rehab center, starting a scholarship in memory of your son or daughter,  Sharing your stories to help others, or sitting in prayer will assist you in the process of dealing with the loss of your son or daughter. Read More→

Addiction: The 3 Rs – Reflect, Relax, Rejuvenate!!!

 This Michael Jackson song, Man In The Mirror, is the first song I think of when I think about reflection as it all starts with ourselves. It is when we take a deep look at who we truly are and discover our authentic self and embrace this that we can be of assistance to the addict. In order to be of assistance to the addict the addict must be open to receive. If you want to change the situation you must take steps to reflect and then commit to change.  It is through reflection that we can find the root cause of the situation and then begin to plant new seeds and create a harvest of joy and abundance. This is not an easy thing to do as it takes courage to recognize your own faults and to work on being a better person when dealing with the fact that you have an addicted child.

 It is through reflection that you can move forward to improve the situation that having an addicted child has created. In many cases it is when we stop blaming ourselves and forgive ourselves that we are able to detach with love from the addict and realize that when they are ready to heal themselves they will. Hopefully the decision to get help will come in time so they can turn things around and have a productive life. The fact of the matter is that when you reflect and realize that you did the best you could with the tools you had you will be able to move forward and help yourself and your other family members.  As you do your reflection exercises be it through meditation, keeping a journal, saying prayers, writing forgiveness letters, attending support group meetings, or sharing at, you may want to suggest to the addict that they do the same. Keep in mind the addict will only do the reflection exercises when they are ready and see the value of doing the reflection exercises. Read More→

Addiction: Love Is Thicker Than Water!!!


 This song was written and performed by Andy Gibb, who died of what appeared to be a heart attack on March 10, 1988. It was believed that his abuse of cocaine led to his heart failing. Andy Gibb was 30 years old. This got me to thinking when are we as a nation really going to take on the issue of drug abuse? When are we going to stop glorifying celebrities like Lindsey Lohan and those who continue to make poor choices?  When  are we going to begin to focus on prevention? If your child never started using the problem of his or her addiction would not be interfering with your life and having a negative effect on your other family members.

 Andy Gibb wrote about love however as you read interviews that he conducted you would see that he didn’t love himself and felt his accomplishments were minor. This could explain his turning to cocaine for like most addicts they turn to drugs because of their lack of self-worth. They do not believe they are deserving of the best and thus they get into a self-destruction  mode and one day they are gone. May parents reading this blog know to well the feeling of loss as they have experienced it first hand and when they hear these songs they bring memories of better times.  Tracking the life of an addict that is still deep into their addiction  brings many answers but also leaves many questions?

 Parents who are dealing with an addict know this cycle all too well and do their best to break the cycle. The question is how did this start? The answer is that your child was lacking a sense of belonging and turning to drugs gave him or her what they were seeking. The next question is why did it continue? It continued because they didn’t feel a need to stop and did not realize the problems their drug use was creating. In some cases what a parent thought was loving became enabling and thus never forced the child to fend for themselves. In some cases it was just the simple fact that it was easier to blame everyone else instead of being accountable for their actions. The question remains how do you break the cycle? The answer is you do not break the cycle the addict must break the cycle. When the addict is serious about recovery then and only then is progress made. You can not guilt your child into getting better, you can not continue to through money at the problem because that doesn’t help, you can’s make excuses as that worsens the problem. The best thing you as a parent can do is to set boundaries and keep to the boundaries. The worst case scenario is that you get that knock on the door saying your child is dead can you identify the body. This happens everyday in America and it is sad because in many cases the loss could have been prevented. The best case scenario is that the addict decides that his poor choices as a result of using no longer serve him or her and they make an effort to stop and get sober and remain sober. Read More→


Addiction: The Fine Line Between Enabling and Love

  Recently The Addict’s  Mom has been exploring the subject of enabling through its FRRE membership site,, and through its monthly conference call at 605-477-2199 pin 131099# reference #36.  In a recent post at, Barbara Theodosiou the founder began her entry Titled Enabling Is Not Loving with the following,

My child I fixed it when you broke it, I replaced when you lost it, I protected you with my life, I didn’t want you to hurt so I fixed it and fixed it and fixed it. Now who is going to fix you?

Enabling is not love!! Love is fostering independence in yourself and others. I believe that is the single greatest gift you can give anyone …their independence. To read her entire entry please visit the FREE Membership Site. Read More→