An Open Letter To The Enablers

The article originally appeared on The Huffington Post Blogbfc0e7a8db3f51c6330113095f03e3e8

Dear Enabler:

You know who you are.  You’re that person who truly believes you are “helping” and leading “Bob” back from the waters in which he is drowning.  You pound your fists on your chest and declare yourself “Bob’s” life preserver, because the rest of us are a bunch of “judgmental robots.”  You feel this great sense of empowerment because “Bob” only confides in you, only allows you to advocate for him.  

You are part of the problem.

I wonder if you are capable of realizing that you are causing great distress to “Bob’s” entire family by knowingly withholding valuable, life saving information.  Let’s be totally honest with ourselves, why would “Bob” choose you as an advocate?  “Bob” comes from a family of individuals who have nothing but pure, unconditional love to offer.  A family who has been down this road before, spent sleepless nights worried and thousands of dollars with one goal…to get “Bob” well.

You are an enabler.  And in my book, you are the worst kind of coward on the planet.  You are a narcissist.  You are obstructive.  You are someone who lies for “Bob” and makes excuses for him.  You are destructive.  You are turning blind eye to life altering behavior which is leading “Bob” down a horrific, deadly road.  

I’m sure you believe that your rescuing comes from the depths of your heart. I have seen it; you love to rescue wounded birds.  Many times I have witnessed you trying to “help” someone.  Your actions are actually keeping the addiction alive, even if you honestly believe you’re doing the opposite.  The people who truly love “Bob” do not share your wish to ignore the gigantic red flags. We realize that we can no longer survive with ostrich syndrome.  You see, true unconditional love is honest, even at times when it is uncomfortable and messy.  True unconditional love addresses the ugly little details that you are pretending do not exist.

I have enough experience to know that behaviors such as constantly lending money, rescuing from the non stop epic dramas, and trash talking the people who love “Bob” is only going to make him fall deeper into a harrowing spiral and fuel his fire of fury.  The immediate family (you are an outsider) made the difficult decision to distance ourselves because we do not want to suffer anymore and we do not want “Bob” to suffer anymore.  See, we love “Bob” so much that we are willing to sacrifice our selfish needs. We are willing to risk having “Bob” get “angry” at us just so he gets the help he so desperately needs.

I feel like a fish swimming upstream frantically trying to save the life of someone whom I love and adore. Someone whom I simply cannot imagine life without.  Someone whom in the natural order of life should never, ever die before my parents or me.  And then along came you, out of no place, making a bad situation worse, choosing to chain smoke cigarettes and drink wine rather than behave like a responsible ADULT and take actions on the numerous red flags that were right in front of your face.


You enable poor behavior in your own family, you enable poor behavior in every single person you have tried to “rescue” through the years only to destroy their lives.  You are now enabling someone of major significance in my life, someone who I love and desperately want healthy again.

Your actions are NOT helping anyone most of all “Bob”!  

What you are incapable of realizing, is that responsibility and accountability are NECESSARY factors for all humans.  When a person doesn’t have to be responsible or accountable to anything other than their addiction and/or mental illness, the issue will perpetually deteriorate.

As long as you continue to enable you are part of the problem, and you are obstructing any resolve at all.

So…why am I writing this letter to you?  What do I want from you, because you truly believe that you are helping, right?

Because it’s imperative you start behaving like a responsible ADULT.  Until now, every single time you meddle and enable your actions have set off a chain of life altering events for “Bob.”  Your constant need to be accepted and your thirst for gossip is obstructing your vision to recognize horrific red flags.  Your enabling is causing more harm than good.  If someone has cancer you take them for appropriate treatments and you communicate with loved ones.  If someone has a heart attack, you call 911 and communicate with loved ones.

So why is this situation any different?

Your actions disappoint me, because, you cannot shout “family first” while turning a blind eye to red flags enabling “Bob’s” deadly behavior.  By now you should have stepped up to the plate, acted like a responsible ADULT and taken the necessary steps to save the life of a person whom I absolutely adore.  And if you are truly unable to realize this dear enabler than you too require medical attention immediately.  So please stop meddling and enabling.  I am fighting to save the life of someone I love, someone I hold near and dear to my heart.  I want nothing in return from “Bob.” I only want “Bob” to live a long, happy, healthy life.

I will continue fight to save his life because I refuse to sit back and let him die.  I would rather have this beautiful person with so much potential in his life angry at me for speaking the truth than turning a blind eye allowing “Bob” to play Russian roulette with his life.   

I will pray for you, I will pray that you are able to understand this letter is not an attack on you, but an attempt to save a young, beautiful life. I will pray that your narcissist enabling ways permit you to truly comprehend that you are causing more harm than good.  I will pray that if you show “Bob” my letter this time, you will have the common decency and class to explain to “Bob” how much his real family loves him and only wants him well.


A Desperate Family Member



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