It’s always easy for someone to tell someone else what they’d do in their situation. Especially when they aren’t in the situation themselves.
The all too familiar, If I were you I would…, is common in these scenarios.
But honestly, if they were us they don’t have a clue what they would do.
And that’s why they don’t understand that we love someone who struggles through an addiction.
Sure, the addict hurts us time and time again. We forgive them. They do it again. All the while, our friends and family witness the cycle and wonder whether we’ve lost our minds or not.
They tell us to quit, to move on, and to stop living in this situation. Our friends tell us the case is hopeless and that the addict will never change. Our family says we should stop allowing this person to hurt us so much.
And all of them tell us we’re crazy.
But the truth is that we aren’t crazy. We just believe in some things that seem crazy from the outside...
Could there be something greater than winning a million dollars?
What about the likelihood of finding something better than a treasure chest full of gold under your house?
Would it be possible to think of anything greater than being granted endless health forever?
Some people may say no. But a certain group of people would say absolutely, yes!
They would say that there is something better than riches, health, and anything else you could think of combined.
But who would say such a thing? Grandparents. The grandmother or grandfather would tell you that having a grandbaby is better than all of that and more.
And sometimes, these grandparents have the opportunity not only to love their grandchildren but to raise them as well. However, this is typically the case in less than favorable circumstances. Raising the grandbaby no doubt is a wonderful experience, but typically this happens then the grandparent’s child (the grandbaby’s parent) passes on before his or her time.
Have you ever heard a word so often that you almost forgot its meaning?
Some words are tossed around and used in so many different contexts that it becomes easy to lose sight of all the ideas wrapped up inside of a single word.
Additionally, words also have implied meanings. Consider, as examples, terrible tragedy, future plans, and true facts. These words are redundant because the elaborated meanings added by the additional words are already contained within the words. Let me explain.
A tragedy is terrible. No need to call it terrible. Plans are for the future, no need to call them future plans. And facts are true, no need to call them true.
You see, words have meanings contained within them already. And taking those meanings away would actually change the word. For example, if we took “true” away from facts we’d no longer have facts, just opinions.
But what does that have to do with helping someone we love who is dealing with an addiction?
Actually, a lot.
Consider how much easier it would be to love an addict through their addiction without ever losing peace again.
That sounds like a bold statement, but it is actually very possible.
We sometimes think peace is based upon external circumstances. But really, peace is based on what’s happening inside of us.
Let’s look at a promise God gives us regarding peace. In Isaiah 26:3 (NLT), the Bible tells us that God “will keep in perfect peace all who trust in [Him], all whose thoughts are fixed on [Him]!
That’s a promise that keeping our thoughts fixed on Christ will give us peace through hard times. When addicts we love tell us they’ll quit but use drugs again, we can still have peace. When they use our household money to buy drugs instead of groceries, we can still have peace. When addicts accuse us of “making them” use, we can still have peace.
And here are 5 ways we have that peace based upon the promises of God’s word.
1. Think More...
Have you ever flown on a plane and noticed the safety instructions to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting someone else with theirs?
There is an obvious reason for this. If you yourself are not healthy, you cannot help someone else get healthy.
But ask any mother what she would do if the plane starts going down and the masks drop. Would she put her mask on or her child’s mask on first?
Inevitably, she would put her child’s mask on first. In spite of being told not to. Even though doing so actually harms both her and her child more (because if something happens to her, both her and the child are harmed). It doesn’t matter. The tendency when it comes to helping people we love is to put them before ourselves.
The problem with this, however, is that if we aren’t doing well, we really aren’t much good to those we love.
But we are told to love them. We hear that not doing so is selfish. We feel obligated to love them. The truth is that loving...
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...