Do You Hear Your Phone? A Lesson on Delusion

I was sitting in church one day and right as the Pastor got up to speak I began to hear a really faint ringtone. It wasn’t your traditional phone ringing. Someone had put a long song as their ringtone. At first I thought that I was the only one hearing it and it would just go away. After a few minutes I began to look to try and figure out where it was coming from and began to notice that other people heard the ringing as well. Now generally most people when their phone goes off during a service they notice it quickly and rush to turn it off. It typically catches a person off-guard. (Also just a side-note this is really awkward when you're the speaker.  True story, my cell phone rang from the pulpit before. I have been caught in quite a few moments just like this one.) It seems that someone was really trying to get a hold of them because the phone rang for a good 15 minutes during the service. What was astonishing is that everyone else around them would glance periodically hoping they had realized their phone was going off, yet nobody(myself included) bothered to take a moment and tap on their shoulder to inform them the phone was ringing because they clearly didn’t notice.

So what does any good Christian/Blogger do in a situation like this?  Pull out my iPhone and frantically type notes as this situation began to strike some really key recovery principles.

Did you know that it might be possible your loved one doesn’t even realize they have a problem? Now, I am in no way excusing behaviors by saying this. For someone looking from the outside in, it’s like “HOW CAN THEY NOT HEAR THE PHONE RINGING?!?!?!” This is what is called Delusion in the recovery world.

A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

As a former addict I remember constantly telling myself lies. “It’s not that bad, or I have control of this, or I can quit when I want to.” While the entire time my world was spiraling out of control around me.

On the other hand those closest to the loved one will often react just like myself and my fellow church-goers did to the ringing cell phone. “They will eventually notice, the person will stop calling, it’s not that big of a deal, you can barely hear it ringing.” While the entire time the addicts world is spiraling out of control.

It’s important as those supporting our loved ones that we not allow ourselves to be pulled into the delusion. Speak up and speak up often. We need to be the unshakable voice of truth and reason

I encourage you today, even though it might be uncomfortable, to get up from your seat, tap on their shoulder and let them know their phone is ringing.

They might just thank you for saying something.