Listened to another story of another hurting family last night.
They are all playing the game. They are hurting, waiting, helping, hoping, and crashing with disappointment.
This is the cycle that our we go through when we love someone who is struggling with addiction.
It is the most brutal waiting game you will ever experience.
As many times as I have heard these stories and as much as I try to keep myself separated from my own personal struggles with enabling and codependency, it rips my heart apart to hear a new story.
I didn’t say too much, really. I believe that sometimes, direct advice doesn’t feel necessary, especially when someone is so deeply hurt.
There really aren’t answers for certain circumstances, like families who are dealing with people who know the programs, inside and out, or who have been to multiple rehabs. They know the material.
Those are the people who will change when they are ready, and it is the job of the support people to wait in agonizing pain with boundaries in place until that person reaches out for help on their own.
All that I could force myself to say is that their loved one will change when they are ready to change, sometimes, they choose not to, and you can’t want it more than they do.
Sometimes God and His word are the only things that can bring a person who is hurting substantial comfort and energy to keep going.
Over the years, like the nerd I am, learning more has really helped me to understand addiction and to keep hoping.
I have developed this crazy developed interest in the neurology of an addicted brain, and the chemical changes that take place after substances are used for long periods of time. Whether you believe addiction should be categorized as a disease or not, these facts don’t seem to change.
I am mesmerized at how deeply ingrained our thought patterns are
and how our brain prefers to use what it sees as the easiest pathways, as go-to pathways to do or cope with things.
The more I read about our brains, the more it starts to look
like we (people who struggle with addiction) are set up to fail, and often, we believe it that it isn’t possible to change.
It takes our brain time to recognize our patterns, our habits, and to establish preferred pathways. It also takes quite a bit of time to develop new habits, and to practice them repeatedly until they replace our old behaviors and our brain begins to catch up with our changes.
This is one reason why early recovery/sobriety can be so hard.
Not only do you have to battle your body screaming for something, you are battling your thoughts.
Your brain wants to grab something that works fastest, easiest, and what its familiar with.
You are desperately trying to do something completely different and are being met with powerful resistance from everywhere; your mind, your body, and your spirit.
Our minds are sick, our bodies are weak, and our spirits are broken.
*So just a friendly reminder to the loved ones who are trying so hard to understand and empathize as to what it actually ‘feels’ like to fight this fight, it is really, really hard and it is very real.
We are already tired and we don’t have a whole lot of confidence in our own abilities.
None of this means that we don’t desire to live a better life.
Please don’t give up. Keep praying, keep encouraging, and stick to your set boundaries.
*A friendly reminder to the person who is trying for the first time to make a life change,
(or to the person who is trying again to make a huge life change) please don’t give up.
These changes really do take a lot of time.
The reason why it is suggested to live one day at a time is because we tend to look too far ahead, and lose hope, or we analyze each day so closely that we aren’t able to recognize any change in ourselves and we decide we aren’t getting anywhere.
Just keep going. Keep praying. Keep working. Keep pushing. Keep accepting help. Let yourself be loved.
It is true that one day you will look back at your old self and your old life, and everything will be different.