When Enough is Enough


I watched the movie Country Strong with Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw the other day. I had seen it when it first came out, but somehow had completely forgotten that Gwyneth plays an addict and alcoholic in the movie. I joked to my husband that I was probably drunk when I last watched it – sad, but true.

In the movie, Gwyneth plays a famous country music singer whose career is sidetracked by her alcoholism. Her husband, who is played by Tim McGraw, loves her but enables her behavior by taking her out of rehab early and continuously pushing her to do more, be more, perform more, which ultimately leads to her demise.

The movie is sad on so many levels, but most of all it’s sad because there were so many people around her that continued to play to her addictions, never saying “Enough is enough.”

I was one of the fortunate ones who had someone in my life who finally said, “That’s it. No more.” But, time and time again we see people make excuses for their loved ones, ignoring their behavior, secretly hoping it’s not as bad as it seems. But it is, and more often than not it only gets worse.

In a previous post (here), I talked about needing to establish boundaries with someone I care deeply about. Those boundaries were not received well, and after a heated conversation I finally had to say “Enough is enough.” I realized that despite my love for this person, I could no longer enable their alcoholic behavior. As human beings, we have dignity and rights and one of those rights is to say “No more.”  No more denying your behavior, no more blaming others, no more yelling, no more put downs, no more “I’m sorry.” At some point, despite our unconditional love, we have to walk away and pray – pray hard that they will find their way out of the darkness.

Some of us do come out on the other side and are able to share our stories of survival. Fortunately, I am one of them. But, the only way I was able to make it to the other side was because I had someone who loved me who finally said, “Enough is enough.”