The only thing worse than losing a basketball game is losing it by one point at the last second.
The reason is that that score is final.
All throughout the game, each team suffers setbacks and enjoys comebacks. It is a back-and-forth journey. But at some point, finality hits.
Loving someone with an addiction is sort of like a basketball game. We experience wins along the way, but we also experience setbacks.
And it is easy to view those setbacks as final. But if the person you love is still alive, the final buzzer hasn’t rung. Setbacks may set you back, but they are not final.
There is, however, something that is final. Something that will never end. Something that will last forever.
That is hope.
Check out this promise from Scripture:
“Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love…” – 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)
When we refocus after a broken promise, an argument, or a relapse, we see that beyond the setback is a fresh hope to cling...
How to Hope Again after Losing All Hope
Imagine how great it would feel if, after swimming under water for a full minute, you came up and gasped fresh air.
The new oxygen of which you had been deprived would refresh you as a cool sprinkle of rain on a hot summer day.
Prefer to listen?
Even though oxygen is essential, we usually use it without realizing it. The only time we truly notice it, is when it’s gone.
Hope during hard times is like oxygen. It is absolutely vital. We cherish it. But we feel it most when we lose it. That’s when we realize how important hope really is.
And when someone we love uses and abuses drugs or alcohol, we start trying to help. At the beginning, we have hope. Our love and trust for the person give us confidence in their ability to change. But when change doesn’t happen, promises get broken, and we pay the price for someone else’s decisions, hope can abandon us to face the trial without it.
But going through a trial...
Have you ever longed for something that was in your power to get but failed to get it?
Perhaps you had the ability to land your dream job. But at the last minute, you did something to blow the opportunity.
Or maybe you played a sport. You had a chance to take the game-winning shot. And missed.
How did you feel?
Would you have wanted your spouse to leave you over the missed job opportunity?
Did you hope your coach would yell at you for blowing the game for the entire team?
Of course you didn’t.
What you wanted was understanding.
What you needed was for someone to be present with you through your missed opportunity.
And walking with your loved one through a relapse is the same.
We must show understanding.
The person wanted sobriety. It was in his or her capability to get it – and keep it. But (s)he blew it. The same way you may have blown the interview, the game-winning shot, or anything else in life that created a missed opportunity.
(S)he needs support at this time more...
It’s been said that dealing with an addiction is one of the most difficult things to deal with in life.
Being an addict surely isn’t easy. But watching your child deal with an addiction is extremely difficult to deal with.
As an addict, you have control. You make the choice of when to change or for how long you will live with that addiction.
But as a parent, you feel hopeless. The situation is beyond you. You’d even change places with your son and deal with the addiction yourself if it meant he could be free from it.
But you can’t. Your son is stuck.
And that is tormenting.
But just because you are experiencing a tormenting situation, doesn’t mean you have to be tormented. You can find hope and peace in your situation.
In fact, there are 3 ways you can experience hope and peace as a mother with a child stuck in an addiction.
Listen to Other People’s Stories
When we find ourselves in hopeless situations, one of the best ways to get encouraged is to...
Imagine yourself flying in an airplane. You’re in the back seat. Suddenly, the plane nosedives and you begin losing altitude. Sitting in the back, away from the controls, you cannot do absolutely anything about the situation. Hopelessness leaves you breathless.
Now consider the same scenario. Only this time, you’re the pilot. The plane nosedives, but the controls are right in front of you. Your willingness combined with your ability to take control of the situation put you at ease. You grab the controls and lift the plane upwards, continuing on towards your destination.
What’s the difference in these two scenarios.
The answer can be found in one word – responsibility.
In the first situation, you were not responsible. It was someone’s else job to fix the situation. Therefore, you were hopeless.
In the second situation, however, you were in control. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault. And since it was your responsibility to fix the problem, you...
Think about how free you would feel if you never allowed yourself to be manipulated again.
How much more of a sense of control do you imagine you would feel?
Perhaps you have been trying to help someone you love recover from an addiction, but in the process the person has manipulated you into frustration.
You always saw yourself as a strong person, able to stand up for yourself. But you love the addict so much that (s)he has been able to use your love against you.
You suspect you’ve been being manipulated but aren’t exactly sure.
In this post, we want to help you recognize if what you are dealing with is manipulation.
But we want to take a fresh approach.
Instead of the typical “5 signs you are dealing with a manipulative person” which are general repeats across the internet, we want to help you identify more specifically if you are being manipulated or not.
And we are going to help you do that by analyzing, not the person manipulating you, but by analyzing...
Recovery programs are excellent.
Countless lives have been saved in them. Families have been restored through them. They truly are helpful centers of hope for addicts and for those who love them.
But they aren’t without their challenges.
When an addict is in a program, the family often wonders how to help.
They don’t see the addict every day. Communication isn’t always perfect. And sitting around waiting back at home while hoping for the best can be difficult.
But that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. In fact, there are several ways families of addicts can help the person they love while in a recovery program.
Let’s look at 4 opportunities together.
Attend Support Meetings
It is not uncommon in recovery programs for family sessions to be held. These are done with the family, the addict, and the program staff. Some of them are even done as open group sessions.
Being present at these meetings communicates several things. One, it lets the addict know you...
Many people enjoy the holidays.
But at the same time, many others do not.
The same season that brings joy, gifts, and fun times for some is the same that brings painful memories, loneliness, and emptiness for others.
Is it possible that you find yourself relating more with those who struggle through the holidays that with those who enjoy them?
If so, you’re not alone.
The key is to learn how to cope with seasonal depression and to rise as high above it as possible.
The good news is that there are 3 ways to do exactly that.
Keep Doing What You’ve Always Done
Just because the season has changed doesn’t mean you have to as well. The key is to keep doing in the valley what you planned while on the mountain.
Take, for example, the man in the Bible known as Daniel.
He prayed three times a day, always.
Then, the king issued a decree stating that anyone who prayed to any god other than the king would be thrown into a den full of hungry lions.
But watch what Daniel does.
Holidays are a great time, right?
Lights, trees, presents, and smiles.
Friends and families gather for warm hot cocoa and fun times around the fireplaces.
But what about for those of us who have lost someone?
It could be that a family member or close friend recently passed away. Or perhaps the person is away. This could be for work or the even more difficult scenarios such as prison or rehab. It’s even possible to have someone physically present but mentally or emotionally distant because of an addiction or other problematic situation.
The reasons why some of us are forced to face the holidays without the one we love vary.
The good news is that the methods for dealing with this dilemma are the same. They involve overcoming the same set of lies those of us who find ourselves in this position often believe.
Thinking that these 4 lies are true is where the battle really lies. Overcoming them and believing what is actually true is how we gain the victory.
Let’s look at each...
“Do Not Attempt This at Home”
Guest Post Written by my Father, Pastor John Franich, Founder of SVTC.
This is a disclosure we often see on TV or newspaper ads when someone is offering medical help or advice on how to solve a problem or repair something. It’s also good advice if we have a family member going through an addiction. Except for this advice, who we all agree is good for others, think it doesn’t apply to us.
I had this very same experience several years ago in the early years of the beginning of Shenandoah Valley Teen Challenge. While trying to build a ministry to help others with life-controlling problems, there was one developing right under my own roof. But of course, with a college degree, I had all the answers. But it is very different when the problem is that close to home. All the education and expertise you think you have when it’s your own doesn’t matter. Even if you have a reasonable IQ your EQ may...