Step 1: Honesty
“Rarely do people caught in addictive behaviors admit to being addicted. To deny the seriousness of our condition and to avoid detection and the consequences of our choices, we tried to minimize or hid our behaviors. We did not realize that by deceiving others and ourselves, we slipped deeper into our addictions. As our powerlessness over addiction increased, many of us found fault with family, friends, Church leaders, and even God. We plunged into greater and greater isolation, separating ourselves from others, especially from God.”
-From “A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing“. (Get your free copy by clicking on the link.)
My Experience with Addiction
When I was in my addiction I definitely minimized my behavior. At times, I believed that “boys will be boys” and that it wasn’t harming others. However, there were many times I hated how I felt when I indulged in my addiction. I felt like such a disappointment, and didn’t want anybody to find out at all costs. I was ashamed that once again I slipped and let my guard down. I definitely isolated myself in many situations. My addictive behaviors disconnected me from my wife, my kids, and my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I didn’t quite make the correlation between addiction and isolation, but I do believe that if we find ourselves turning to isolation and not looking to connect with those around us, or with God, than there is something serious going on that we need to be honest about.
I believe that the purpose of life is to experience happiness and joy by connecting with God, and with those around us. Addictive behaviors distract us from this purpose and do not bring happiness into our lives. It brings chaos, distrust, shame, sadness, frustration, disconnection, loneliness, and so much more. I found myself experiencing all of this as I hid my addiction for years. I tried kicking it on my own, but failed over and over. It was frustrating, it brought shame, loneliness, and disconnection. And it did harm the people around me in many ways. It is a pure lie that are actions and behaviors don’t affect others. They do!
Right now I am working on my addiction to food. I have had a poor diet and have yo-yo’d for years. I definitely have not taken my situation seriously, but I don’t want to wait until I get that bad news that I have diabetes or cancer before I take action. I realize that my behavior towards food is addictive. It causes me to disconnect. It brings me feelings of failure, disappointment, and hopelessness when I make poor decisions, or when I feel sick, disgusted, achey, and out of breath. I am choosing to stop denying the seriousness of my condition. I am almost 320 lbs and my body is sick. If I continue, I can be sure to experience some major illnesses and limitations, which I do not desire.
There is always hope
Another lie that is common in society is the belief that “Once an addict; always an addict.” This hopeless and defeating belief is wrong… it is false! The truth I have found is that there is always hope. God is mighty to save, and He has saved many from addiction, and continue to help many others on their journey of recovery and healing. I have experienced a mighty change, a change that came through Christ and through a merciful Father who loves each one of us with a love that has no bounds. The gospel of Jesus Christ is full of real hope. Change is always possible, and is at our finger tips as we become honest with ourselves and with others, and turn to God to help overcome those addictions and challenges that we all face.
Give yourself to The Captain of Your Soul and receive the blessings that are constantly being offered to you, and see the tender mercies He places in your life each and every day. Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world!
-From A loving brother