Addiction…

As it was referenced Sunday:An unhealthy habit or action that is repeated. As an addictions clinician I could write forever on the reality of addiction, the stereotypes people face, the obstacles, the lack of support, lack of empathy and assumption that recovery is not possible. These things create shame and fear to seek help, fear to ask for support from loved ones and it keeps famlies in twisted, unhealthy cycles of addiction. Trust is lost, lies eat you up, anger festers, all to keep addictions secret, to “protect” the family, the addiction. 

This cycle is toxic. At some point the truths come out, they cannot be undone and loved ones are hurt.  

This pain, this hurt, it can be healed. Sunday we were told that an addiction starts with desire, then we entertain the desire, we develop an appetite for it, we become trapped in it, we are now helpless. Of course being at church it was emphasized that we can be set free from addictions, through and with Jesus. And addictions were referenced ranging from addiction to body image to drugs. As a Christian, God, worship, prayer, reflection, comfort of church family, these things all help to heal; they are how I find comfot and peace with things I cannot control, things that devastate me and hurt my heart. 

In addition to Sunday morning service we had a re-fresh evening of worship. We worshiped through music, prayer, thanking God for what we have, asking for forgiveness and taking communion. These times of reflection for me heal my soul; they radiate Gods love for me as tears streak down my face and I pour out my soul to God.  These are vital parts of my everyday life; and if everyday life is not balanced “addictions (exercise, cleaning, reading for me)” can take over and that time for God can wither away. 

I remember during college, psychology of human development, reading in my text book that psychologists are unsure why Christians report an increased satisfaction of life.  I could answer this instantly, at least for myself; faith in God gives me hope, reassurance of a greater purpose, a community of support, I don’t fear death, I put my uncertainties into God’s hands. He does not fail; each Sunday, each time I worship through music, singing, I feel God in my heart, in my veins.  These things all help me heal on a regular basis; when I am being consumed with something; I find my balance in God. These things are why religious based support groups are so common in recovery. I know that it is also possible to find recovery without God, for those who do not idetnify as Christian; I know this to be true through my career. But for me….. God means I am not doing it alone; I am healing from the pain of addictions with support, community, love and faith. 

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