An addiction is a lot like being on a merry-go-round, but with the exception that it’s not fun.
You turn to food, gambling, shopping, one-night stands, codependency, hoarding, or something else. The more you turn to your addiction, the more shame you feel and want to numb that feeling. So you go back to the very thing you don’t want to do. Now you’re stuck in the vicious cycle of addiction. And it’s going so fast that you don’t know how to stop.
The apostle Paul put it this way “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t” (Romans 7:18). To interrupt this cycle of addiction, you must break free from pain, acting out, shame, and relapse that keeps you in bondage.
Here is a more in-depth look at each phase.
Pain — Before you even realize you are dealing with an addiction, you’re in pain. You feel emotional, physical, spiritual, and relational pain. These painful feelings create a longing for you to get rid of the pain. Pain and addiction go hand in hand—they feed off of each other. As your pain increases, your desire for relief increases. Recognizing you are in pain and in need of help can be the first step in recovery. (more…)
You’ve been sober for months. Everyone in your Life Recovery group says you’ve made significant progress. You’re seeing a counselor once a week, working your recovery program and from the outside, everything seems to be going great. But deep down inside, you wonder if life will ever go back to normal and you doubt that long-term restoration is possible.
Restoration is possible. But first, you must make restitution. Step 9 in Life Recovery states, “We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” When we make restitution, it can bring restoration, if not for the relationship but for you in your recovery. Restitution is making amends to those whom your addiction and behavior have hurt. (more…)
When it comes to making changes in our lives, some of us act as if we’ve got our heads buried in the sand. For example, after years of struggling with addiction, we finally admitted we had a problem. But that was several months ago. We probably even looked into going through treatment, seeing a counselor, and attending a Life Recovery group.
However, we still haven’t made any changes in our lives.
If this sounds like you and you’re struggling to make changes in your life, the truth is, admission without change is meaningless. While you needed to admit you have a problem with addiction, recovery doesn’t stop there. That’s just the first step on your journey! (more…)
We made a list of all we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. – Step Eight
It’s easy to feel like we want to give up when we get to Step Eight in Life Recovery, right? Many of us struggle in recovery when it comes to forgiveness. Whether we struggle with chemical dependency or codependency, we all need to work through forgiveness if we want to find healing.
Forgiveness is a choice. No matter how much someone hurt us, we can still choose to forgive them. But forgiveness is a one-sided decision that does not have to involve the other person. So we can forgive someone for hurting us, but that does not mean we have to reconcile with them. (more…)
“Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today.” – Alcoholics Anonymous
Has reality sunk in?
If not, you might be out of touch. Are you wondering why your spouse has left and filed for a divorce? You tell yourself you don’t have a problem and so, you continue to drink.
If this sounds familiar, you are out of touch with reality. Acceptance of reality, after all, is the key to recovery from an addiction. What’s the opposite of acceptance? Denial. In denial, you’re unwilling to acknowledge the truth. In spite of many consequences, you continue to turn to your addiction. (more…)