Focus on the Solution Rather than the Problem

Solution puzzle piece, ready to be laid inAddiction is a family disease. Wherever there is addiction there is enabling. Addiction is like fire, and enabling is the oxygen that addiction needs to continue to burn. Not only is the addict suffering, but the family suffers as well. It is so easy to stay focused on the problem, and as an addict I did it for so many years. I was focused on my internal turmoil, and I how I perceived I could make it go away. Regardless of the havoc created in my life by my drug abuse, it was what I thought worked. As families we can get caught up focusing on the problem, the addict and their addiction. We will feel our own internal turmoil when we see them suffering and do what we perceive will make the pain go away. If our loved one is arrested we will bail them out of jail. If they give us a song and dance about how and why they need money, knowing it is truly for drugs, to reduce our pain we will give them the money. We are in constant fear and worry about what they are up to; we lay awake at night wondering if they are ok. We might put our lives on hold and isolate, giving our loved one all the attention they need believing that if we love them enough they will stop.

I want you to ask yourself one simple question, is what you have been doing working so far?

The problem in doing this is that we are giving the fire nothing but oxygen. In order to stop the flame we must smother it, we must focus on the solution rather than the problem. The more attention we give the problem the more we keep it alive. Staying focused on a problem disables us from seeing any solution; our entire eye sight is on what is wrong in the situation. We squander hours trying to solve a problem we can’t fix by doing things that only make the matter worse.  When we begin to stop enabling little by slowly the addict has no choice but to look toward a solution. As enablers to look towards a solution might be to begin attending groups like al-anon, family anonymous, or nar-anon. It can begin by setting boundaries, stopping the rescuing, and picking your life back up. Start doing things that you love to do, and continue to live your life. When addicts are out of options they have to 2 choices; to continue what they’re doing living an intolerable situation or seek help. When addicts reach that hopeless place, where the pain of using is greater than the pain of not using, there lies so much hope.

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