The Practice of Saying No…


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!

4 comments on “The Practice of Saying No…

  1. LLewis says:

    As usual your writings are everything so many of go thru. I have three children, one older, one younger then my addict. I have financially helped him so much more then his brother and sister. I always worry about his stress triggering his drug urge. His grandparents do the same thing I do. He is 11 months clean this week. I am so proud of him, but it is always in the back of my mind worrying. I’ve come a long way , but still have a long way to go. Thanks for sharing

    • susanjsilva says:

      Our Journey thru Recovery is life long, just as theirs is, of this I am sure. We will have many opportunities to put into practice that which we have learned from each other, from the books we read and from the voice of God in our hearts that tells us to let go and Let him do what He must to bring New Life to our loved ones…

      Each day if we dare to listen we will find a new lesson.
      Because of Hope

  2. Joie Lake says:

    We all learn at our own time, but I sure wish I’d applied the law as it had been up until the time when the ante upped and he was arrested. “You got yourself into this – how do you plan to work a solution?”

    Rather, he put his fingers into the fire and I felt my skin blister.

    Had I let him spend that first and perhaps fifth night in jail he might have felt the pain enough to not repeat the performance. Rather, I reacted as I would if it were me, and could not imagine he wasn’t sorry, afraid, terrified and repentant. I knew he felt the shame that I did with his antics and would never do it again. They don’t learn if we don’t let them have the entire experience and the lessons, pain and ramifications of what they got involved in. Is it comfortable? Not likely, but why spare them learning not to touch that burner a second and third time while we wear the bandages. Very expensive lesson and one that was difficult and painful for sure. Only when it rose to where I could not save him did he “get” the impact of what had happened, and seems to have emerged whole and taking responsibility for all he had experimented with. I concur.

    • susanjsilva says:

      Isn’t it ironic that we must come to “a” place where we cannot save them. And that place will look different for all of us. Whether its financial hardship that hits us, and we barely have the resources to care for our household, never mind the messes of our addicts. Or the child(ren) of our addicted love one is placed in our care and we can no longer allow our addict in our home because Child Services says NO, Not until they are safe…

      I find it eye opening, that God, (or the cosmos or destiny/fate whatever you happen to believe in) always seems to provide a way to forcibly make us LET GO!

      And I know I am thankful to my God who has provided the way for me to do so, cuz He knew… I would hold on with a death grip if He had not one finger at a time lifted my fingers off my addict’s life and taught me how to say No!

      Because of Hope

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