Making amends is painful. Doing nothing is painful. But nothing is as painful as keeping everything a secret.
In Life Recovery Step 8, it says, “We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”
Unfortunately, individuals stuck in addiction try to do damage control by trying to hide their addiction and not making amends to those they’ve hurt. Full of shame and self-condemnation, they avoid making amends at all costs because they think it’ll spare themselves—and those they love—from more hurt.
Here are four core shame-filled beliefs that keep a person stuck:
- “I am a bad and worthless person.”
- “If you really knew me, you wouldn’t love me.”
- “My addiction is my greatest need.” (more…)
“At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.
So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” – Genesis 3:7
One of the blessings that came from the fall of man in the Garden of Eden was brokenness. How can brokenness be a blessing? As a natural outcome of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, shame caused Adam and Eve to want to hide. When God discovered Adam and Eve’s sin, they ran from Him. Adam and Eve moved out of the light and into the darkness to conceal their sin and shame. But God sought them out to redeem their brokenness.
Adam and Eve put on fig leaves to hide their nakedness until God gave them animal skins to wear as clothing. God provided lovingly for them in the depth of their shame. But they weren’t the only ones to put on fig leaves. Since then, every person after them has also tried to cover their shame. Why? Because people hide in the wilderness instead of seeking God’s presence, thinking they are too broken. It simply is not valid.
When it comes to addiction, a person stuck in addiction will first try to hide from God. That is because of shame—it makes people judge and condemn themselves. (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…)
Have you taken an inventory of your life? The purpose of taking an inventory of your life is to face the truth about yourself. Truth is the opposite of denial. By putting the truth in writing, you demonstrate that you are ready to break free from the patterns and behaviors of denial.
But taking an inventory isn’t easy. Facing the truth is painful because you must also face the reality of what you have lost in your life due to your shortcomings. It’s never easy to look at your deceits, abuses, shame, and disappointments. But even though this is a time of discomfort, know that the steps of recovery will lead you to humility and to live a life full of happiness. It may not feel that way as you work on your inventory, but those who have made the journey before you will testify to that truth.
When Jesus came to earth, He brought with Him “grace and truth” (John 1:14, ESV). Here’s how the New Living Translation puts it: (more…)
It’s easy to ignore our issues. Like the disabled man in John 5 who waited for years by a pool to be healed, so we are looking for a magical cure to make us whole. But healing doesn’t come instantaneously. In fact, it takes hard work to stop reacting and turn to Christ who encourages us to “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!” (John 5:8).
Let’s face it: Our issues are huge! However, we try to make ourselves feel better by saying that they’re small. Admit the truth, and you will be on the road to recovery. The Living Bible puts it this way: “You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there,” (Jeremiah 6:14). (more…)