Monday, January 18, 2010

OVERCOMING ADDICTIONS

"How do we overcome addictive behaviors that are the fruit of a deeper root?"

First, face reality. Addicts are very adept at avoiding reality, are steeped in denial, and have all sorts of devious ways of denying their addiction. Like the man who says, "Sure I drink a lot but I'm not an alcoholic," even though he has a dozen or so beers a day and often comes home either drunk or half-drunk. Or like the wife who is a closet drinker. She will do everything in her sneaky-power to avoid being caught and is in deep denial about her addiction.

Thus, the first step in overcoming any addiction is to face reality and admit, "I have a problem. I need help." Even God limits himself from helping us until we admit we have a problem, acknowledge that our life is out of control, and that we need help.

Second, accept responsibility. The addict needs to get into an effective recovery program—such as a Twelve-Step or similar program—that will help him to stop acting out through his addiction, and to confront his inner reality and pain head on. This can be extremely difficult and very painful because for much of his life he has avoided facing his reality and feeling his pain. However until he stops medicating his pain and feels and faces it, chances are that he will never do anything about overcoming his problem.

Some time ago a friend who had tried without success for twenty years to stop smoking asked me for help. He admitted he had a problem but didn't really want to confront the cause behind it. I asked him a simple question: "Why do you need to smoke?" He mumbled a few incoherent sentences and walked away. Sadly, he died a few years later from cancer. The reality is that if we don't get the cause behind our symptoms, the symptoms will get us.

Acts International - Daily Inspiration

1 comment:

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