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Is this enabling?

Old 04-06-2013, 08:38 AM
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Is this enabling?

I posted in the past about this same subject, I'm still just trying to find some peace in the matter.

My brother, heavy drug user for 10+ years, got "sober" at the end of 2011. I say "sober" because he still drinks, to me sober is stark sober 100% off any intoxicants. Anyway, I learned that my father provides beer to him whenever my brother visits for holidays or what not. I find that very inappropriate and borderline enabling.

To my knowledge (brother lives 8 hours away) he hasnt had any trouble with drinking yet but I still think he is just replacing one intoxicant for another.

I feel like I'm just trying to control everyone but I just want my brother to have the best chance of being truly sober. It is my belief that alcohol drastically increases chances for either A, relapse on drug of choice or B, becomes new drug of choice. I am not alone in that belief because that belief isnt a theory it has been witnessed by the majority of those who have tried it.

Anyway, would you consider my dad an enabler?
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:59 AM
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No. I would consider your Dad a drinking buddy who is unaware (or doesn't care) that he is undermining his son's recovery. Although your Dad isn't pouring the beer down your brother's throat (and your brother has the responsibility to say no), I believe that drinking (or drugging) in front of a person new to recovery is insensitive. Offering them beer is beyond insensitive.

Addicts/alcoholics thrive best if they surround themselves with:
1. Other users.
2. Codependents.

I agree with you. Going from drug use to alcohol is the same as switching seats on the Titanic.

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ke
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:04 AM
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My dad doesnt drink its just if he is expecting company he will buy beer for them. He still finds no error in doing so even though I tried to explain that my brother should not drink, he just says he cant control him which I agree with but I don't believe that means just go provide booze for someone in recovery. Maddening is what this is! I like your titanic analogy
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:08 AM
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Your brother is going to be exposed to alcohol for the rest of his life. Alcohol is legal and even advertised on television. If he wants to drink, he will drink. If he doesn't want to drink, he won't drink, even if there is alcohol in the refrigerator. Your brother is responsible for his own recovery.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:13 AM
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Right, but the question wasn't whether or not my brother should drink
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:23 AM
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you can't control what your dad does, anymore than your brother. regardless of your views and opinions on what he SHOULD or should NOT do, it's not your call. it's not the world's job to protect your brother's sobriety, it's HIS job. that he chooses to drink is his thing. is it a good idea???? probably not! is it good that at least right now he's off the hard drugs? most definitely. might he need to stumble and find out that drinking is just a slower path to the same train wreck? he'll have to find that out for himself.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:27 AM
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THanks anvilhead. Sound advice. I just know I would feel guilty providing something to someone that has a great possibility of causing them to relapse. Even IF they were using it without my providing. At any rate, I must accept my inability to control the potential downfall.....
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:35 AM
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this is when the Serenity Prayer can come in handy:

Grant me the Serenity the ACCEPT the things I cannot change (Others)
The Courage to change the things I can (me)
and the Wisdom to know the difference (boundaries!)

that you care for your brother and want the best for him is evident. I hope he ends up half as happy as YOU would like him to be! meanwhile....What about BOB???
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:36 AM
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Just shy of 6 months sober here.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:41 AM
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bob8619 View Post
My dad doesnt drink its just if he is expecting company he will buy beer for them. He still finds no error in doing so even though I tried to explain that my brother should not drink, he just says he cant control him which I agree with but I don't believe that means just go provide booze for someone in recovery. Maddening is what this is! I like your titanic analogy
Well I guess your Dad's right in a way.....he can't control him. If he's providing a range of beverages (alcohol free as well) to a group of company (and your brother just happens to be one of them), he is being a host and your brother will drink or not....it's up to him. The best thing you can do is continue on your own path of sobriety. Sometimes people pay more attention to our actions than they do to our words.

To re-answer your question about whether your dad is codependent, perhaps not but I still stand by my answer that he is being insensitive to a person in early recovery. But there's not really anything you can do about it.

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Old 04-06-2013, 12:20 PM
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Hi Bob8619,

It's awesome that you have 6 months yourself. I know that is hard work.

It's dysfunctional for sure but not what I would describe as enabling. Not quite as bad as my Dad sending my Recovering Addict Brother to pick up his pain killer prescription, but definitely would set me off on a tangent of trying to control Dad.

I do think your worrying about it is codependent.

I'm finding with my brother who has 19 months sober that he has the tools he needs to keep himself clean but now he needs tools to understand how to be healthy when dealing with people he cares about that aren't yet sober. You sound like you might be in the same boat. We have similar dynamics in our family and I've had to learn that I can't control my brothers drinking/using nor can I control our father's behavior. He does alot of things that I think contribute to our family issues, enabling among other things. But I'm powerless over him and trying to effect change in another person has been like ... ordering my cat to do the laundry.

This Friends and Family forum is a great place to start learning about all of this. Develop healthy boundaries and stop contributing to the family problem. It's been a great help to me.

Glad you are here and hope you will keep reading and posting.

Peace,
Hanna
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bob8619 View Post
Just shy of 6 months sober here.
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