"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hostage to Addiction.

After opening in prayer, I welcome everyone, introduce myself and then do a icebreaker.
"Hi, I would like to do a Go Around, Please say your name, how you feel on a scale of 1-10 and who brought you here this evening."
The Group is Families United by Faith. I have lead it for almost 10 years now. It is a support group for family and friends who are struggling with a loved one in addiction.

Most "new comers" can hardly say their name.
These family members are broken. Broken physically, emotionally and often financially.

I went to meetings for years out at Brighton. As a child, I remember going to meetings with my mom, she went in her meeting and I went in mine.

As an adult child of an alcoholic, I have some character defects that have haunted me for years. Most of the time I can manage them, many of them don't harm others, they hurt me.

Living with addiction we find ourselves isolating. We become so insecure and afraid people will judge us or hurt us with their words. Support often is more hurtful than helpful, therefore we crawl into ourselves alone.

Our soul is beaten down. We live in constant fear and confusion. "If our loved one loved us, why can't they stop?"
"Don't they see what they are doing to themselves and the family."

We cling to any good moment or conversation, carrying it around like a Golden Nugget. When the reality is there is really nothing good about it, the Golden Nugget really isn't anything more than a Golden Turd. But we hope and we pray and we try so hard to make the best in the worst..

  • Over 230 million drug users worldwide.
  • 14.3 American purchase drugs online.
  • In 2012, a National survey reported 23.9 million American over 11 had used illicit drugs.
  • Emergency Room visits for overdoses or drug relations is up 100's of 1000's.
  • Baltimore, Maryland is the Heroin Capital of America.
  • 100 Americans die every day from overdosing.
  • Overdosing is now the LEADING cause of accidental death in the U.S.
  • In Palm Beach, Fl. 70% of addicts are MEN. 58% are over 40 AND 58% is from Prescription Drugs.
  • Heroin and Morphine account for over 51% of all drug overdoses and deaths.
Addiction used to be described as a blue collar problem. NOT True. Most addicts comes from upper middle class families. This is one of the biggest reason families do not seek help. Shame.

There is NO Shame. Addiction is NOT prejudice. All shapes, all sizes, all financial statuses, all professions, no professions, all ages, all races and all religions. It steals the smart, the beautiful and the talented. It doesn't matter how big or how bad you are, Addiction is not choosy.

Addiction leads to 3 places:
  1. The Big house.
  2. The White House
  3. The Box
God has gifted me with a soft spot for both families and the addict. We all are in Bondage.
When Andy and I were in New York last year I really struggled. I witnessed so many people strung out. Some homeless, some beautiful, some wealthy but all wasted.
I watched this gorgeous girl try to wave down a cab. She had come out of some shady apartments. She was so strung out she could hardly stand up.
My heart skipped beats. I wanted to grab her, hold her, love her...

I have been on the judgmental end. Where you can hear people whispering about you or your loved one. It is a stabbing pain. It hurts. No one knows what you are going through until they walk in your shoes. And even then, we are all different. Many people think they need to share their expert advice, and they suddenly think they are Dr. Drew.
It is hard to trust anyone, after all, we can't even trust our loved one anymore.

You hear about programs all the time for addicts. But us Family Members are need of support now more than ever.
No Shame.
A study said that if family members got help and went to meetings that their loved ones had a better chance of recovery. The meetings teach us how we can start taking care of ourselves again.
  • Teaches how to forgive
  • Teaches how to lovingly detach
  • Teaches acceptance
  • Teaches being supportive and not custodial

And so many other things. I personally learned to quit taking it personal.
Learning to give it to God was a huge step for me. In the middle of chaos, you wonder where God is?
You question God like Job.
The healthier I got the more the fog lifted. It was then that I saw how much God really was there for me.

Are you struggling?
Are You an ACOA?
I am here for you in love.

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