It’s an intimidating word. Who wants to realize that something has taken such a hold on their life – or the life of someone they love. I know I didn’t.
When THAT word comes into your life, you feel like re-writing or closing your book. That rug under your feet( some call it marriage, some call it parenting, some call it mother, father, brother or sister )… someone pulled it out from under you…and guess what…it will never come back to you in the same condition. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, that’s not such a bad thing.
The dictionary defines Addiction as:
(1)the quality or state of being addicted <addiction to reading; and
(2) a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.
The medical definition of Addiction is:
“a compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly:persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful—compare habituation
“Addiction.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/addiction
When you suffer from an addiction to a habit-forming substance it usually lands you in a rehab. That was my hubby’s next stop after I told him,
I didn’t ask for any of this.
I can’t live like this any longer.
I can tell you that those were the hardest words I have ever uttered in my life to another person, especially my husband.
Friends, let me stop a minute and let you know that it’s okay to state your needs in a relationship. We are not doormats and we are not to carry others’ burdens for them – we are made to love and gently rebuild without sacrificing our own spiritual health:
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. ~ Galatians 6: 1-5
My husband went to a faith-based rehab center. He gained insight into what addiction really is – a disease – and he learned tools to get sober and stay sober. Yeah, he was ready for his help – me, not so much.
He was there for two weeks when the dreaded “Family Weekend” had arrived. I did NOT want to go to it, I was DONE, remember? It was HIS problem, NOT mine! Why did I need to spend a weekend at the rehab – I mean, what did I have to do with any of it?!
I got to meet other family members of patients and they were all gung-ho to get their persons better ((uh, please…). I was there as requested- but just there in body, not mind or spirit. Workshops were held on all kinds of topics – the addiction process, communication skills, family meetings with the patient’s assigned counselor, the role addiction played in the family, Al-Anon meetings, AA meetings, and two large assemblies with the co-founders of the rehab.
I sat in an assembly that was lead by the female co-founder of the rehab. She was talking about her recovery process and how grateful she was that certain individuals remained in her life…..she wasn’t talking to me- was she? Nah….then an unusual warmth come over me and at the same time, goose bumps….no…no…no…not me. It continued for the rest of the talk, until we all stood up to hold hands and say “The Serenity Prayer.” Tears just came…and kept coming…. I had to stay. We could get through this- couldn’t we?