There is something very freeing about saying “No”. There have been countless times I have given into my addicts requests. Handed over money, taken him to court, driven him all over creation, bought him countless articles of clothing, sneakers etc. etc. etc. I have cleaned up many of his financial messes, paid his fines, fees and bills.
To the New Parents to this mess of addiction… I’ve done it all. I’ve enabled and taken care of my adult child. But a time finally arrived (and it will for you too) when enough was enough. When I opened my eyes to what enabling was, stared at it in the mirror and said… No more!
That was nearly 3 years ago. And just like anything else we undertake it takes practice. Saying NO isn’t always easy, but it will become easier every time you say it. There have been times over the last three years that I have caved in and said yes, thinking it was the right thing to do. Sometimes it was, and it helped my son take a few steps forward. But more times than not, its wasn’t the right thing to do for him, or for me.
That’s why the title to this is “The Practice of saying No”… and Not “ I’ve got this saying ‘NO’ thing down pat”. Never mind there are times that saying YES is the right thing to do. Keeping myself in-check is what is important. Knowing in my heart what enabling is and being willing to process the request before I say either yes or NO is what is important. Being the parent of an addict isn’t easy. A parent will always struggle with wanting to rescue their child. But once we start practicing saying No, and begin to see the fruit of it we will be able to say it more and more.
Don’t be afraid to practice saying No!