M.T. asks: My daughter is in rehab but is saying she might not stay. I’ve been paying her rent for a while and I’m continuing to do that while she’s there. If she leaves, what do I do?
The main message here is that you will no longer support her addiction but you will support her recovery. If she leaves treatment against the advice of the staff there, then out of a place of love for her, you can tell her you will no longer be paying her rent. If you enable her in any way, what incentive will she have to do anything differently? She is at a choice point right now – and so are you. We know that if nothing changes, nothing changes – and if you continue to pay her rent (or enable her in any other ways) while she chooses active addiction, then you will actually be assisting her to make the choice to keep using her addiction of choice.
But – don’t set a boundary unless you’re willing to stick to it. When we set boundaries and then cave, the addicts we love just wait for us to keep doing that. Do your best to understand that you play a pivotal, important role here – and we need to love our addicts enough to do what’s right for them, even when it’s uncomfortable for us.