Drowning in their Addiction
As a Christian, I am free from the strongholds of my past. Therefore, emotional trauma, fear, neglect, loss, lies have not held me captive. Proper immunity to the disease of deception and defeat in this world brought deliverance from lifelong imprisonment. However, the last few years have challenged me, and I am staring at a world I cannot fully see.
The many years I spent free from this world seem distant. Today, the anchor has secured itself to my soul. I bob up and down in the seas of life, tethered to choices and consequences I took no part in making. The waves have battered me for a long time. I am weary and tired by circumstances beyond my grasp.
I love the beach. I love the constant flow of water at my feet. I stare out into the vast waters and dream. Watching the seagulls coast on the breeze, land, and walk as though they own the sand. If I could be in one place forever, I would choose where water and land collide.
But today, I feel like I am drowning in the darkest and deepest part of the sea. Held mysteriously, I am fighting to stay afloat. The waters are paralyzing. For all the wonder and joy I once felt, darkness fights to take hold.
Feeling Lost in My Own Message
Living with a loved one in addiction is baffling, and what we see is not what it seems. Unfortunately, my effort and gentle words of encouragement, meant to lift and soothe, always tend to harm. Pointing out troubling patterns in behavior leads to their feelings of inadequacy when received. Rather than self-reflection, it appears self-annihilation is the outcome. How my words meant to help end up hurting, I do not know.
Some call it the victim mentality and a game of blame. Others tell me it’s the addiction having control. Whatever it is, it troubles my heart. The one thing I want to do, encourage, is something I cannot do time and again.
I have worked years to convince others of their worth, ability, skills, light, joy, goodness, all those qualities that I saw and wanted to highlight. Still, their inner voice of doubt and destruction wins. The steady quote, “I will never be enough,” is constantly thrown at me. I cringe to say anything these days because their pain defeats my goal.
Faced with truth in recovery, I struggle to see past the process. There are meetings, counseling, and accountability tools. The method includes detox, medication assistance therapies (M.A.T.), rehab facilities, dual diagnosis treatment, sober living facilities, etc. Yet, smack dab in the middle of all that is a family who cannot understand or help.
We can support those with substance use disorder in many ways, as long as it is accepted. However, what are we left to do when our support is insufficient (aka, not enough) or creates tension in an already tense dynamic?
That moment is when the anchor attaches itself, and you feel your lungs slowly fill with anything but air.
Detaching from our loved ones without being fully detached is a challenge. We release and surrender the addiction, not the person. Unfortunately, our person is unwilling to see this perspective. Our boundaries appear to be forbidding walls rather than healthy borderlines for mental wellness. Limits go against addiction, as we all know.
For those of you in the war, I pray. I pray you can accept the encouragement without Satan telling you that it is deflating and jarring your self-esteem. I pray you will remember you are loved and worthy of living in freedom from addiction. My prayers include the revelation of addiction behavior patterns. May God guide you toward changing the thoughts of your mind into wholeness and healthy choices.
For those sitting next to me in the stands, I pray you know that truth is always truth. We cannot throw sparkle dust on it in hopes it hits differently, without conviction. Conviction is the goal. May our encouragement always come from a place of love. What we do not understand, may it be made clear by God alone. For all with no answers, we pray for surrender and release. Jesus has this.