How to do something about the addict we love is our personal choice for our personal recovery — no matter if the addict is interested. So,
Learn about the Disease
Take Care of Your Symptoms and
Offer the Hope that Helps You.
We might prefer learning about anything other than addictions, especially if an addict is breaking our hearts.
We don’t think of ourselves as playing a part in their dysfunction – we sure are not forcing them to use! But, how we choose to rescue our sanity from the craziness they create is important.
Understanding addiction for folks who don’t struggle with booze is hard; generating compassion for the drunk, or addict may be harder. Sometimes explaining it to the church, where we should understand idolatry is just as hard.
Addiction is diagnostically labeled a disease not because we catch it innocently like the flu, but because it is a physiological condition, it’s often hereditary, and it tends to get progressively worse. Left untreated, it’s fatal . . . (Heather Koop, Sober Boots, page 194)
Some folks can stop drinking.
But millions cannot just snap out of it! (An Encouragement)
A quote from Brennan Manning in Sober Boots describes why some of us just can’t quit drinking; why some of us won’t. Maybe this will help you overcome the dark place someone’s addictive behavior has led you?
In praying for chronic alcoholics, I’m frequently overcome by a surge of compassion that I don’t ordinarily experience in healing prayer, perhaps because of my own struggle with alcoholism (which is well documented elsewhere). The damnable imprisonment of not being able to quit, the obsession of the mind and compulsion of the body that paralyze the freedom to choose, the terror of human bondage, the nagging sense of hypocrisy, the guilt, the shame, the loneliness . . .” from The Wisdom of Tenderness (Sober Boots, page 186)
Alcoholics are a bit like a fly caught on flypaper we thought we could avoid. No matter how we wrestle, we only get more stuck.
Remember, prayer is a great solvent, and God is a gracious rescuer. What’s more, the Twelve Steps are proven path off the “rosin.”
Recovery is like a flight to freedom we never thought possible.
The solution to addiction or alcoholism is not permanent; it is treatment. Meetings, by the way are free. (Page 194)
Families of addicts might need to be the first to seek treatment if they hope for the return to a healthy family or relationship. “A changed attitude on our parts may bring about recovery,” is a promise worth pursuing – no matter what our addicted loved one chooses.
Working Steps One, Two and Three put our family’s problems into the hands of a competent Counselor; Steps Four, Five and Six show us how to mind our own business, while loving our struggling family member. Step Seven gets the log out of our own eye!
Getting through Steps Eight and Nine means we have given up our roles as “the injured party” in family dynamics, especially dysfunctional ones.
Here, half-measures avail nothing –
No qualifiers of “if” or “but,” when we make amends. I heard a person at a meeting say of how they spoke to someone they had harmed:
“You didn’t deserve what I did.”
That’s a better beginning to making an amends than the ones I made. It’s a better way to view my part in many misunderstandings and conflicts that bubble up today, drinking or not. (Philippians 2:3 )
“Here is the rule: the way you live reveals what you really think about God,”
― Edward T. Welch, What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care?
Thanks for reading. I pray God restores you to serenity and sanity, dear reader, if addiction is wrecking your life. It’s worth it!
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful