Part 5 and Conclusion of a series called The Heart of Recovery.
In my 4 previous posts I explored the role we play when we have an ADULT addict in our family circle.
Using the word HEART as an acrostic I began with “H”.
T ~ TRACE or MAP out a plan…
When we have a loved one that is an addict or alcoholic, it is hard to focus on anything but their destructive behavior. One day, however, you may find them standing in front of you begging for help.
What are you going to do the day your loved one asks for assistance?
It may seem that day is lightyears away…but as long as there is breath, there is HOPE.
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1
PREPARE – TRACE OUT A PLAN
The day may come…be READY…Do something constructive now, trace out or map out a recovery plan.
Many times it is over the weekend when the addict reaches out for help; just when many of the available resources are closed.
Is this because they know resources are limited on the weekend? PERHAPS.
Today take the time to find out what programs are available in your area or even outside your area that are within your loved one’s financial means.
Determine the outpatient and inpatient treatment facilities. Halfway houses. Counselors. AA meetings. Dates, times, locations, phone numbers.
Keep this up-to-date.
You can do something now that is constructive…gather the needed information for the day they do say they want help…rather than running around at that time, prepare now.
Selecting a facility or counselor can be difficult; each person and family is unique. Consider three basic categories: the spiritual, the professional, and the practical.
Ask yourself these questions when considering a recovery/rehab program.
Does the program’s mission and vision align with my spiritual beliefs?
What are the facility’s and/or counselors’ credentials?
Is this program something practical…financially, schedule-wise?
I speak from a voice of experience…
We had TRACED OUT A PLAN the day Jacob, our oldest son, came to us. Fortunately we were able to locate help.
By the time he came seeking recovery, I had learned a few things.
1. I was no longer addicted to his addiction
2. I no longer had to control every step of his life – breaking the cycle of enabling
3. I was able to admit to myself and others of his addiction
4. I began working on my recovery….it took years
5. We were ready with a plan
This October he celebrated 10 years of sobriety. TEN YEARS!!!
His wife wrote a beautiful tribute to his Ten Years ~ 10 Victories in 10 Years Sober, A Celebration of my Husband( By Tammy Bolt Werthem)
Christ walked beside us as we traveled that journey during his years of drugs and alcohol. Our friends and family constantly lifted us up in prayer.
The most difficult part, other than his destructive behavior, was those who ostracized us. Was it because of the fear this was something they could “catch”? Or was it the emotional wreck I had become? Slowly I learned to cope.
If you find yourself in this position, I implore you to seek help, not just for the addict, but for yourself and the rest of your family. Locate a counselor specifically trained to deal with addictions who can help your family work through some of the issues that may be affecting the family unit.
DO NOT BE ASHAMED!!! DO NOT LET PRIDE GET IN YOUR WAY!!! SEEK HELP!!!
The pride of your heart has deceived you…Obadiah 1:3
I blamed myself for his choices. Finally I believed the words of our other son…”It is not your fault. You raised us right. It is his CHOICE!”
After our son was in Recovery, I wrote the following poem about my journey…the not so good, the bad, the ugly, but ultimately the GOOD:
My soul basked in your glory on the mountaintop,
As I stood on the highest peak and relished singing praises to your name —
Not for who you are, but for what you did.
Planting my feet firmly in crumbling sand and not in the cleft of the Rock.
When my circumstances changed so did my view,
No longer could I sing praises for what you did,
And I had forgotten how to praise you for who you are.
Ever so quickly my footing began to falter,
And I plummeted to the valley below.
Dazed and wounded to the very depths of my soul
I shook my fist at the mountaintop in anger,
At the winds that blew me over,
At the friends that pointed at the storm and only ran away for cover.
Then I looked upward and blamed you, God, for the storm, for the valley.
Feeling abandoned by all, especially by you, God.
No longer did I bask in your glory,
Rather I wallowed in self pity allowing the desert heat to dry up my soul.
But alone for this journey I was not,
My two best friends held my hands as I crawled through this waste land.
Christ on one side…my childhood friend on the other.
Both constantly talking with one another about me,
Lifting me up,
Showing me the way,
Planting my feet on firmer ground.
Leading me to new friends who provided shelter in a storm
And reminding me to praise you always in all circumstances.
Looking back, I praise you for that desert.
For now you and I have the privilege to hold a friend’s hand
And walk her through her dry and desolate land.
I now count our journey a privilege, as God has allowed me to minister to family members of an addict. More importantly our son is ministering to those who find themselves trapped in addictive behavior and has led numerous men and women to The Lord.
When our boys were pre-adolescents (5 & 8) I wrote a poem about what their future. Today I Praise God for What Tomorrow Did Bring!!
Sticky fingers and jelly faces
Toys in all sorts of crazy places.
Baseball hats and games to play
Little league is here to stay.
Summer brings the sand and surf
Then it’s football on astro-turf.
What will tomorrow bring?
They’re growing so fast
Soon now is the past.
Wonderful and special is each day,
For soon they’ll be so far away.
Remember to hug, to love, to hear,
And hold them close to allay their fears.
And through your actions let them see,
How beautiful knowing Christ can be.
What will tomorrow bring?
Darkness or lightness that is their choice,
But the seed must be planted and kept very moist.
As they mature…enjoy each day,
And teach your little ones how to pray.
Then praises of joy, you will sing,
When you see what tomorrow does bring!!
Dear Reader, I pray this series has given you hope. Hope if you have a family member trapped in the cycle of addiction. Hope if you have a friend in that situation…AND that you will be supportive of that friend.
Please write me and let me know your thoughts.
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LIFE IS A JOY…PASS IT ON!
Susan Werthem is a Bible study leader, speaker and author.
She takes the Word of God and shares His truth in a humorous, unique and insightful way.
To contact Susan to plan a retreat or seminar Click here.