My heart is always heavy when I learn of someone I love, who is suffering with addiction. I feel a deep sadness today, knowing that there is nothing that I can do or say to help this person – the addict must help him/herself.
However, watching someone struggle with alcoholism triggers something in me.
Today, I’ve been quietly reflecting on my own journey of growing up with an alcoholic mother and how the ever increasing dysfunction in our home affected me. Although I was the second-born, I took the role of the ‘responsible one’ and the ‘placater.’ I was more sensitive to other people’s feelings and my feelings were hurt more easily as well – I have some bad memories of those days.
Now, I am an adult child of an alcoholic and I am very aware that I have particular psychological, physiological and genetic vulnerabilities. There was something wrong in my childhood and I experienced great freedom when this emerging awareness occurred in my life. I will always be thankful for the Al-Anon meetings that I attended when I was a teenager. I learned that not only does the alcoholic suffer from alcoholism mentally, spiritually and physically but so do the family members. As someone wisely observed, “Everyone in the family has this disease; it just happens that only one has the bottle.” We all needed help.
I got help.
I remember the first time that I realized that something was wrong with me. (not just my mother) I remember the difficult season I went through when I began expressing the fear and painful feelings from my childhood and early teenage years. I also clearly remember forgiving and letting go so I could begin living out new beliefs and behaviours. Al-Anon guided me as I made my way through the unpredictability and insecurity of my early teenage years, living with an alcoholic mother…
…but Jesus became my Savior when I was fourteen years old and His gracious intervention gave me hope and stability. It has never been this “let go and let God” mentality for me. It’s been a “take hold with God” – a mutual cooperation with the Holy Spirit as I have experienced healing and freedom. I’m aware that there is His part and my part.
His Part – His death for my sins, His Resurrection, His acceptance and love for me, His control of my life
My part – my obedience, my surrendering, my application of His Word, my dependence on Him
Thy words were found and I ate them and Thy words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart for I am called by Thy name, O God, God of hosts. Jeremiah 15.16
Much of my life has been about healing and He is the true Healer. I desire to press on and trust that He has His hand on me…
..and I will pray for those who are in bondage with addiction. I found this wonderful prayer on the blog, Heavenward, recently written by Scotty Smith.