What’s the key to overcoming addiction and anxiety? Acceptance! Let’s say someone is trying to self-medicate from anxiety using drugs, alcohol, or something else. They must accept that addiction is not the answer for their anxiety and get into recovery. Dr. Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, put it this way, “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.”
Once in recovery, an individual must also accept anxiety and learn how to deal with it in healthy ways. If not, fear will destroy their efforts to recover completely, and they’re likely to relapse. Scripture confirms that anxiety can wreak havoc when it says, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up” (Proverbs 12:25, NIV).
Anxiety can be such a burden that it’ll cause a person to do anything to find relief. One central fear is that of the unknown. (more…)
Healing and recovery are often progressive because it requires changes in a person’s character and actions. The way to cope with emotional pain must change if the decision is to no longer eat (drink, or any other addictive reaction) through the pain.
Keeping a record of what one does when one becomes emotionally upset is an excellent way to watch progress occur, perhaps in a journal. The journey to finding new alternatives to eating might look like this: “I received an upsetting phone call from my ex. This made me feel hurt, so I went to the refrigerator and opened the door to eat.” Now, think of a new way to cope with that feeling. What could be a substitute for eating? One recommendation is calling a friend to pray. Here’s another example: “I heard someone gossip about me at church. This made me feel angry, so I stopped for fries at a fast-food restaurant.” A good alternative would be to gently confront the person who did the gossiping rather than feed the feelings. (more…)
“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…)