I have come to the conclusion that everyone in life, no matter how blessed, finds that there are trials we must face.
Sometimes these are the common trials that everyone faces in life – How do we pay a bill? Where do I find a job? How do I cope with the stresses?
Sometimes they are more monumental. In just the last week, I have prayed for friends and loved ones and their caregivers that are facing heart by-pass surgery, Parkinson’s disease, accident recovery, cancer in various stages, and stroke.
To each of us any of these can seem insurmountable especially when a health condition is labeled by a physician as terminal. I remember sitting and talking with my dad 26 years ago when he faced a terminal diagnosis. He chose a path of treatment that might have yielded him five more years if successful.
I know even though he was facing his own demise, his thought patterns concentrated on making sure his loved ones knew how he felt and hopefully in his absence, they would carry on strongly without him.
Personally, I never accepted the immediate nature of his condition and didn’t deal with the opportunities to share with him as he did with me. Perhaps it was the awkwardness of youth, or not knowing how to openly share the words and feelings I had for him.
His sudden passing did however for a time help me to be more open with others about my feelings, not wishing to allow things to go unsaid. Though as years have passed, I have probably migrated back into the shell that once held those thoughts inside.
My home church is beginning a new ministry reaching out to those who have found themselves within the grip of addiction.
Has there ever been something you wanted so bad your body ached; your mind raced towards it not allowing anything else to populate the space?
Often our thoughts rush to alcohol and drugs when the word addiction is mentioned but the list of addictions that afflict our human condition are vast and sadly they all have the same devastating effect on both the soul of the addicted and on their relationships with everyone in their lives.
I have yet to see a human that cannot be drawn in to some fascination or activity that swallows time, money and energy, often to the detriment of their own well being and sometimes to that of others, usually those closest to them.
You say, how can I be addicted, I am a good person, or I’m a Christian.
Let’s take a look at some specifics and see if you or some one you love is facing any of this.
Have you thought about someone being addicted to exercise, use of a computer, food, gambling, sexual, or limerence (a love obsession)? These are all addictions that could impact our lives.
Addiction usually reflects an impaired control or preoccupation of substances or behaviors, and the continued use despite the consequences, and ultimately a denial.
The patterns associated with the physiological dependence often force the addicted to seek immediate gratification with no regard for the long-term effects. If the person suddenly stops the practice, they might undergo symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, cravings, nausea, hallucinations, headaches, cold sweats and tremors.
In reality, I think all humans have addictive tendencies and if not properly constrained tendencies can become addictions. Is there something you just have to watch or attend forsaking every other priority in life? Hmm, I wonder if football or baseball games count?
I have spent much of my life encouraging youth not to use drugs and alcohol. I have lost friends and family to these addictions. I chose not to use drugs and alcohol, but I know that within me just as within other members of my extended family, an addiction could be waiting just on the other side of that first step in the wrong direction.
I am a tremendous creature of habit, at points in my life I fought behaviors that I feel border on obsessive compulsive disorder and since overcoming that nature, I strive to watch what I do hoping not to fall into an unhealthy pattern or pursuit that could become an addiction.
I encourage you if have a recovery program that your church or a local community non-profit is sponsoring, support it with your gifts, what ever they are. If you have a friend who has a perceived or apparent addiction problem and they need someone to go with them to a recovery meeting, don’t have the fear everyone will think you have an addition, just be there for your friend.
Addiction is potentially within each of us, some are just not as apparent or seen as negatively in our society but they still have an impact on our lives and those we love.