What will a person battling addiction do to stop using? The first thing they may do is try to correct their behavior. Therefore, they will white-knuckle it, try another weight loss program, read self-help books, or turn to another addiction.
Most programs, self-help methods, and diets often only focus on one thing: correction. While correcting behavior is very important—including lifestyle changes getting enough rest, exercising, and growing spiritually—very few focus on the one key element that needs to occur for all the other steps: connection!
Without connection with other people, it is almost impossible for anyone battling an addiction to change their daily routine behaviors that have become rituals and patterns. Connection is more important than correction because it brings accountability, support, awareness, and growth and deepens a person’s relationship with God and others.
Unfortunately, fear usually keeps a person stuck in addiction from connecting with others when they need it the most. A broken individual needs help from others to heal. But if they grew up in an atmosphere of shaming as a child, they might have learned to shut down when hurting.
A person suffering from addiction or dependency may attempt to correct their behavior. As a result, this leads to a vicious cycle of try, fail, try, and eventually going back to addiction. Often, this leads only to taking up another addiction. So, if they stop using drugs, they may start smoking or overeating. This is a vicious cycle. Connection is the only way to break this unhealthy pattern.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
What someone who is working to beat addiction needs the most is a genuine connection with another person. It seems scary at first. However, the way to start is with individual therapy. Connecting with a counselor may help gain the courage needed to seek relationships outside of the therapy office.
Going to a Life Recovery Group and seeing a licensed counselor are great ways to start connecting. Check out the New Life Counselor Network and find a counselor that is the right fit. The goal is to focus on connecting with others. When a person develops strong connections, it will be easier for them to change their behaviors.
by Julie Davis