I couldn’t sleep for the concern on my mind tonight.
I spent some time today on the phone and messaging with the family of a young friend (whom I will call Bea – to protect her). Her family knows basically what the problem is and they are beginning to understand addiction, but they can’t fix it and they don’t know how how to act with her. Why do some of us end up acting out with addictive behaviors? It’s because the wiring of our brains got crossed and we don’t know how to fix it. We know that hurt people hurt people, and reacting to hurtful comments with more hurtful comments just keeps the wheel spinning. I suggested unfriending Bea on social media. When a loved one is in their addiction, we only hurt ourselves by trying to see what’s going on. Snooping is a destructive action for everyone involved. If Bea wants or needs her family, she knows how to reach them without relying on social media.
Offering our love and our prayers is the the very best thing we can do for the addict. We talked about money and bank accounts and personal belongings. I believe that by withholding those things, at least any funds, is important to prevent them being used to support the addiction. As for disposing of clothes or personal items, I wouldn’t. At some point, she may be able to return and the presence of those things could be important for her to know she wasn’t unimportant or cast away.
Accusations, demands, and ultimatums against the addict, more often than not, backfire on us. Think about the definition of the word ultimatum: “a final, uncompromising demand or set of terms issued by a party to a dispute, the rejection of which may lead to a severance of relations or to the use of force; or, a final proposal or statement of conditions.” From my own experience, anytime I have been offered an ultimatum, it goes directly to the severing of that relationship. Addicts, especially, don’t like having demands or accusations or ultimatums.
I’m so thankful for having parents who never gave up on me. As my mom told me after I wrote my amends letter to her, they never stopped loving me or praying for me – but they didn’t like me. Thank you, Mom and Dad.
Bea’s mom asked what it took for me to stop my addiction. The answer is something of an oxymoron. It took 40 years of ups and downs, being in and out of church (but never really surrendering), and tremendous amounts of spiritual and physical pain. Being told by others, even counselors, didn’t make it real. My saying it didn’t make it real. Admitting it to God first, then to myself, and finally to others…. that’s when the reality of it hit me. I had to acknowledge that I did not have control of my addiction (or my life), and then I had to hand over control to God. How do you hand something over if you don’t have it in the first place???
Ah, therein lies the rub! Reality. The catalyst for my behavior was hidden in my subconscious for years. When the buried memories would try to surface, I denied them. I had to accept the truth of what happened to me, and then I had to forgive ME (it really wasn’t my fault!) so that I could forgive the perpetrators. By denying the realities, I lived in a fantasy. I KNEW I was worthless and no good because of what was done to me. That was the enemy, Satan, telling me that and selling me a bunch of garbage. I bought into it when I was young, so my sham of control was just that. In addiction, the enemy is in control. We have to deny him, and give God permission to take it.
Pray, pray, pray, and pray some more. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
My prayers will be for the protection of the whole family. I can visualize God’s angel army standing guard over each of them! When a member of the family is under attack, everyone is vulnerable. When people ask if they can pray or how they can pray, or if you ask someone to pray, give no details. It’s private. It’s not for discussion. Even, it’s none of their business. We have to be willing to PRAY and not gossip. God loves us. We need to love His children.
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.” – 2 Thessalonians 1:11 NIV
(All scriptures: http://bible.com/111/NIV)