“This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it,” the psalmist wrote in Psalm 118:24.
Being joyful during these turbulent times is a challenge. But it’s easier said than done. After all, the world is brimming with trials, difficulties, and sufferings—not to mention addictions, habits, and toxic relationships. So, it’s no wonder everyone is stressed.
When a person is in recovery, what’s an excellent way to respond to the stressors of everyday life? Start by turning things over to God. In Martin Luther’s favorite Psalm, Psalm 118, verse 24 is a good reminder that “the Lord has made” every day. Every day is a glorious gift from the Father. And the best way to use the gift of today is to surrender it to God.
Step 3 of Life Recovery says, “We made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God.” This third step in recovery involves surrendering. (more…)
“There’s no crying in baseball,” said Tom Hanks’ character (Jimmy) in the movie, A League of Their Own. Sadly, it’s not just baseball where people are encouraged to be strong and push their emotions down but in all areas of life.
For example, in recovery, help is a challenging word. Why? Most people see asking for help as a sign of weakness. The fear of the H-word goes back to the Garden of Eden. Adam told God, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so, I hid” (Genesis 3:10, NIV).
From the world’s perspective, a person who asks for help is weak. But from God’s perspective, a person who asks for help is brave—after all, they are courageous enough to admit they can’t make it on their own. (more…)
Denial is a loophole that leads a person stuck in addiction to avoid the light of God. Denial provides them a way of alleviating the stress of their shame by refusing to face it. Shame is an intense fear of being—it is a corrosive belief that one is fatally flawed, unlovable, and deserving of rejection from others who are deemed worthy and perceived as merciless all at once.
If a person with an unhealthy habit does not face the pain that their addiction has caused themselves and others, they will not confess or own up to it. As a result, they will continue to turn to their addiction to find momentary relief from the burden of their shame.
Shame, however, may allow a person struggling with addiction to focus attention on the welfare of God and others above their own. (more…)
When limits are imposed on a person, they may feel suffocated by their lack of choices or feel that they are losing their sense of individuality. For someone struggling with addiction, this concept is especially true. Someone who struggles with alcohol addiction, for example, does not want their choice to drink taken away from them. In fact, their physical body, along with their emotional state, has become so dependent on alcohol to deal with life that they feel like they have no other options but to continue the cycle of addiction.
After a while, many of those caught in this cycle begin to understand that using more of a substance to deal with life has stopped working. But they have to come to this perspective shift for themselves. People looking in from the outside, even with good intentions, will not be able to create a set of rules that will stop someone’s addictive habits, no matter how destructive they may be. (more…)
A person in recovery from addiction tends to experience feelings more intensely. Why? Now that they are no longer medicating their feelings with drugs, alcohol, or fantasy, they are fragile. They’re more acutely aware of their own painful feelings rather than the pain they’ve inflicted upon others. It’s not a surprise, then, when they move on too quickly. Expecting others to trust them too soon is unrealistic—trust is to be earned and takes time.
So, individuals in recovery need to remember the years of pain, deceit, broken promises, and hardships created in their addiction. These events have hurt their loved ones more than they realize. Their loved ones require support throughout the healing process. No one can fix their loved ones or undo the damage they have done. But through recovery, there is an opportunity for healing in relationships. (more…)
Part of what can make a tempting situation worse is the condition of one’s mental and physical state when stressors occur. It is common for tempting situations to occur with more intensity at the early onset of sobriety, along with when someone is physically or mentally drained. And this can seem more intense because sobriety is the healthiest option regardless of what has occurred. It is easy to get tired of recovery—but don’t give up!
Here are some options to consider to help when a person is tired of fighting this fight and wants to just give up because of the stressors of life.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” A person must ground themselves spiritually. Do not rush through prayer. (more…)