We've all done it. Seldom, if ever does it work. We make deals, we are willing to sell our soul, our dignity and our future to an addict in an effort to stop the madness.
My efforts to negotiate recovery involved buying things, providing gifts, paying for medical treatment, rehab and rents. All this in a fruitless attempt to bargain away the addiction from my son. This all happens while we enable our addicts and deny the reality.
Then we begin to get smarter about enabling and stop wasting our treasures. But all that does is lead us to a new phase of negotiating. We begin negotiating with our self. We whisper inside that if I see this and this and that then I can do this and this and that.
How do you negotiate with an addict that has no sense of justice or fair play? How can you negotiate with an addict that suffers from a disease that results in behaviors a sane person would deem insane? An addict will not and cannot negotiate away their addiction. As long as you indulge in negotiating with addiction you have everything to lose and there is nothing to gain.
So what's the answer? You must live in the world of a reality that involves seeing the picture as it is not how you want it to be. Stepping back and taking in the holistic nature of this disease and how it not only affects the addict but all those that they touch is the first step. From that place I was able to see that negotiating was hopeless. Then it came down to figuring out where I actually stood in relationship to the disease and my relationship with my addict.
At that point I began to understand what boundaries meant. At that point there is no negotiating. The only thing left is deciding where you can go and where you cannot go.