Addiction is an issue in most families. It lives in dark corners that people are ashamed or afraid to talk about. In this day and age, there is so much that people can be addicted to – from shopping to gambling to alcohol to drugs.
Our culture thrives on feeding addictions. Commercials at all hours of the day and night glorifying alcohol, cigarettes, medications, casinos… The list goes on and on. I see it all the time. Patients go to the doctor with mild aches and pains, then leave with an opioid prescription that sets them on a dangerous path of substance abuse. New mothers are taught that it’s acceptable to have wine after a rough day with a baby and then suddenly they are drinking every night.
The saying is true: it is hardest to admit to admit to having a problem. You don’t want to believe that there is a problem and it is hard to actually say the words. But if you have an addict in your life, or you are one yourself, identifying your addiction means that you are ready and willing to accept help and make an effort to change.
Recovery is a long and sometimes scary road. It is a long process, and while it is worth it, it can be intimidating and scary. But there is good news: you never have to go through any part of it alone. God is always with you, no matter what you have done in the past. He will never abandon you, even if you think you have disappointed Him or are undeserving of forgiveness.
I have another piece of good news: there are people out there who want to help. They can be there every step of the way. You can ask a doctor, a family member, or a trusted friend to help you on this journey – chances are, they are already aware that there is a problem and are just waiting for you to reach out.
If you feel alone or embarrassed, there are support groups available as well – and many of them only require your presence and a first name. You will find compassion and understanding in these groups. Sometimes they are run by members of the clergy or are specially trained counselors. Many times, the people who run the meetings and the other attendees have all been through the same things you have and have come out the other side. You can find a group near you as easily as conducting a search on the internet.
Remember that there are people out there who want to help. There are people who have been through the same thing. You are never alone, and you are always worthy of care and compassion, regardless of the things that have happened to you and the things you have done. You are more than your actions, you are more than your bad days. You may have believed that once, and you can believe it again.