.LESSONS FOR THE ENABLER
A PSYCHOLOGIST SPEAKS
For me, as a psychologist, I often gather lessons in strange situations and circumstances. Some of this often applies to the work I do.
Each flight starts with the stewardess giving instructions on what to do in case of an emergency. One point that is always made is what steps should be take in case the oxygen mask needs to be engaged. Without fail, the instructions always say that the mask should always be placed on you before taking care of someone who might need help with theirs. That makes good sense because it wouldn't help the incapable one if you become incapable yourself.
Unfortunately, this thinking doesn't work with the enabler. If you are one, then you know the pattern. An enabler gives and gives, trying to fix or take car of others without regard for them.
Before long, this behavior begins to take its toll on the enabler. Not only do health issues occur, but so does the emotional ones. Anxiety and depression are common. When one gives and gives without getting their needs met in return, one can feel emotionally empty.
The enabler is often not willing to see how their behavior is hurting them, nor do they see how not exercising self care can prevent them from giving good care to others. How can one be good at one without the other?
If you are struggling with the role of enabler, I encourage you to reach out for counseling to help learn healthy behaviors. A psychologist, such as myself, is trained to provide therapy to accomplish this.
Dr. Nona Owens
580 Springridge Rd.
Clinton, Mississippi, 39056
Psychologist who provides individual and couples therapy, serving the Clinton, Jackson, Vicksburg, and surrounding areas. In network with Blue Cross Blue Shield.