Saturday, August 6, 2022

Addiction: Day 1


Addiction:  Day 1

Today, I'm adding a new plan to my studies.

I don't really "need" one more thing on my plate, but I will fight for those I love.

I've been down this road before - It was hard.  It was hard to travel; it was hard to watch my loved one struggle; and it was hard to overcome.

So - I do have a little experience here.  But experience isn't always welcome, is it?

As I shared recently, God pulled back a curtain for me a few days ago and let me take a peek into a loved one's time away from me.  What He showed me was a little shocking.

I say "a little" because it wasn't really shocking.  Just the depth of it was shocking.

Finding out your loved one has been leading a "double life," so to speak for ten months is shocking. Seeing their personality transform - shocking.  Having mutual friends approach you and say, "Well now that you know, we need to share something with you that we didn't share before because it would have hurt you."  Shocking.

But - I am doing the anti-Debbie, anti-Italian temper thing and sitting on my hands.  Keeping my mouth shut.  Praying, studying, asking for wisdom.

I need wisdom.  I need God to lead.  I need that person to lead and come clean (which probably will not happen). Once I am in a right frame of mind, I will move my chess piece - but for right now, I am seeking God's face.

So, I found some Biblical studies to dig into for this moment in time.  Here's what I am learning - and yes, it reflects our family's situation:

  • Addiction affects our spirit, mind, and body.

    • Spiritual effect—An addict ultimately replaces God as the center of their life with something or someone else.

    • Mind effect—Repeated patterns of poor decision-making makes their addiction stronger and disrupts their thinking.

    • Body effect—Consequences from our poor decisions cause stress and anxiety. SPECT and MRI scans show how this disrupts and rewires our brain circuitry.

  • Regularly choosing something other than God is a defect in mind and body and is sin. It becomes an addiction when it becomes a regular pattern.

...a regular pattern.  Yep.

Listen, those of us watching our loved one - we are not FREE from sin.  I am not without defect or free from sin. I sin, I fall.  I cuss; I get angry; I judge; I gossip.  I am FAR from perfect.  

But I do like to think those around me keep me in check.  I do like to think I'm not addicted to anything.  Maybe I'm wrong - maybe there are things I need to examine in my life.  Maybe I caused our loved one to find this "addiction."  Maybe the hole from my lack of attention pushed them to attention elsewhere.

Addiction is funny like this.  You question everything.  Is it my fault?  Did I do this to them?  What is causing this addiction?  Is there an emptiness in their life that they need filled?  How can I swoop in and rescue?  How can I open their eyes?

Addiction is tough and an upward battle.  I'm not relishing the conversation; the ensuing, "You just don't understand!"  I'm not looking forward to the anger, the hurt, the tears.  I'm not looking forward to a possible separation of our loved one.

But, as I said, I've been here before.  I've watched a loved one struggle, and even myself I have struggled - and that is a whole other story.  I didn't struggle with a physical addiction.  Mine was emotional and mental.  So - I feel I have the entire compass of experience here...I can see addiction in all its glory and forms, and I can recognize the brutal ugliness of it.  It's destructive nature; it's trickery; and it's trail of brokenness it leaves everyone with.

One of my all time favorite Bible verses I memorized as a young Christian is James 4:7-8, "Submit yourselves then unto God.  Resist the devil and he shall flee.  Draw near unto God, and He shall draw near unto you."

Pretty simple and straightforward.  I'm glad it came to my path this morning.  Welcome Holy Spirit.  I am here with you, listening.  

Jesus, you led me to the curtain and gently pulled it back to show me what was behind it.  Ouch.  What do you want me to do now?  I'm listening.  Hear my prayer and show me the way.

Addiction SUCKS.  But I won't back down and let evil win.  I'm here for the battle if necessary and warranted.  Amen.

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