“No one thing changes everything.”—Steve Arterburn
Let’s face it: There’s no magic pill available to help us escape addiction instantaneously. It takes effort—the real work starts after we seek help.
We hoped that once we stopped using, it would be easy from then on out. But recovery is never a one-time event; we must continue to do the work. If all we do is stop using in the short-term, we’re unlikely to change in the long-term.
If we want to recover for life, we must change the way we live our life. This doesn’t happen overnight. It’s why Life Recovery is not an event but a process that involves an awareness of our thoughts, a desire to change and surrender to God.
Be Aware of Our Thoughts
Feelings and thoughts are constantly bombarding our brains. For example, when we’re stressed out, we may automatically reach for drugs, alcohol, overeating, or porn to relieve the stress. But when we become more aware of these automatic thoughts, feelings, habits, and behaviors, we are more likely to overcome addiction.
How? There are two things we can do to increase our awareness. First, we can see a counselor. Therapy will help us identify dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns that we’re unaware of. Second, we can begin to journal. Writing about our thoughts and feelings makes us more aware of how we’re feeling and why. Journaling requires us to access buried emotions—when we do, we will begin to heal.
Be Willing to Change
Before we can recover, we must desire to change. No one can make us sober—not our spouse, parents, or children. It takes courage and willingness to make it happen. Change not only requires us to stop using, but it also requires us to work on any underlying issues that made us turn to addiction to escape our pain.
We need to find out why we want to be sober. Creating a list can help us. Who or what motivates us? Our kids? Did we get into legal trouble? Do we want a better marriage? Write down why we want to change. We can refer back to that list when we’re tempted, have experienced a relapse, or want to give up.
Be Ready to Surrender to God
In addition to being aware of our thoughts and being willing to change, we must also be ready to surrender to the Lord. Recovering in our power is impossible. The only way we’ll truly recover is to surrender our addiction and—ultimately—every aspect of our life over to God.
Surrendering means we give up control of our life to God. He’s in control of the universe already. Recognize that He is powerful, and we are powerless. Surrendering is scary because it means letting go. It makes us feel vulnerable because we like to feel in control of everything. But are we really in control? No, not at all! Control, after all, is an illusion. Only God, the Creator of the Universe, is in control. We can trust Him; He sent His son to die for us. He can redeem all of our shortcomings and failures.
God longs for us to know Him, surrender our life to Him, and overcome addiction. Would you like to know more? Please call us at 800-NEW-LIFE. We can tell you more about what it means to have a relationship with God, pray with you, help you find a Life Recovery Group, or a licensed Christian counselor in your area!