Addiction Affects Many
Some times we find it hard to know how to deal with addiction. We hear the word and visions come to mind. Perhaps these visions are of one self, a family member or friend. Addiction affects many people deeply beyond the addict.
Forms of Addiction
Some times we place addicts in a category that is far removed from our own lives. They are not so different to ourselves but the substance of choice is just more obvious or detrimental. The effects of such things as drugs, overeating or pornography are obvious and yet we can also be addicted to coffee, shopping and even physical fitness. Be slow to judge others. Perhaps our vice is just more acceptable and the effects less obvious.
What is addiction?
Addiction therefore is something that one does repeatedly in an attempt to feel good. We use a substance or an activity to fill a void, only then to find that afterwards we are again sad or ashamed and so the cycle continues. The thing that we use presents a high only then to be followed with a new low and so we do it again.
Addiction and Personality
We hear the term addictive personality and see some addicts go from one addiction to another. One may no longer drink but then they attend an addiction group for financial reasons. One may no longer be enmeshed in pornography but cigarettes become a new addiction. We may criticise this but I am grateful when one attempts to get responsible and find a vice that is less destructive than another. Remember we may be quick to judge but perhaps our vice looks more acceptable.
The addictive personality has taken on a broad meaning to include traits such as shyness, social awkwardness, introversion or self consciousness. I have talked with young people who then feel that the carrying of these traits mean that they have an addictive personality. Half of the world’s population may have these traits and yet are not all addicts. These traits are common human traits and we choose to deal with them in different ways.
Shyness and self-consciousness are often just a form of pride where we are too conscious or absorbed in self. My conquering of these things occurred because I dove into Scripture and understood that my self consciousness caused me to be self obsessed. I immersed myself in Scripture to overcome these traits in my life and discovered new meaning for my life.
Advertisements for antidepressants can lead one to believe that a prescription is necessary just because a person has sad days. Everyone has good and bad days as we each experience a huge variety of emotions according to life’s situations. Key is then how we will cope with these situations. Of course we can get so low where medication does help but to be sad does not deem medication necessary.
I admire deeply those who face their addiction and seek help. They inform good friends so that they can support the addict through this process. How great is it too to see those that overcome become key in helping others conquer their pain.
One frustration though is that many become enmeshed in the addiction program. The meetings beome a new addiction which is better than damaging substances but they then limit themselves to this network of people. Friendships and acceptance are deeply established because this network of people understands and accepts them and their problem.
Addicts cannot heal addicts. No man can heal another. Man can support, disciple, encourage and bring another to a gathering but an addict can only take another addict so far in life. We need to connect with people that are outside of our common weaknesses. If we do not we then limit our capacity.
The Higher Power In Addiction Programs
Many addicts are told to find a higher power but when told to do this they then create a higher power of their own liking. We then worship that of our own making rather than worshipping He who made us. The destructiveness of this is seen repeatedly in the Bible. While this approach of finding a higher power attracts many and is admirable, it will only take a person so far in recovery.
In John 3:17 he writes “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” The word “save” or “sozo” (Greek) means to be made whole. While a substance will not complete us neither will marriage, a career, having a child or anything that we would endeavor to complete this process. God only brings our completion.
In our judgement of the addict we fail to realize that we each carry our own vices. This only accentuates our need therefore to immerse in the greatest gathering place where we can surrender our strengths and weaknesses to the one and only God. His gathering place is the church. In our multitude of strengths and weaknesses we do not segregate but support one another in this quest to be made whole by the only one that can.