What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Meet Bob!  (His name has been changed for anonymity sake.)  Bob is an addict.  Bob has the weight of the world on his shoulders.  There’s too much month at the end of the money.  He believes he’s failed as a provider, husband and father.  He drinks to numb the pain.

His kids, Lucy and Jake cannot concentrate in school.  Without sleep, they are doomed to fail.  They don’t bring friends around.  How embarrassing it would be if dad wasn’t “feeling good” today.  They go elsewhere    . . . without supervision.

Sharon is Bob’s wife.  She looks much older than her years . . . the years have made her resentful.  Her energy is spent.  She is practically raising the children by herself.  She fears that Bob’s anger is escalating.  She gives him an ultimatum… Get Help or Get Out!  So, Bob comes to Faith Farm Ministries and not only does he achieve sobriety, but he finds his faith, God and his purpose.  For nearly a year, Bob learned life and coping skills.  He received spiritual training and work therapy, all of which will make him a better husband and father.

Bob returns home but with the pressures of the world closing in again, Bob relapses and his wife wants a divorce.  Why?

The Answer!

First, recovery is a process . . . a way of life.  Rehab isn’t enough.  There must be a support system in place.  This is done through church and accountability, which is best found through regularly attending small groups, such as Celebrate Recovery, AA or NA.  In the book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 4, it says two are better than one.  Although one person may be overpowered by the enemy (in this case, the addiction), two may withstand the enemy.  If one falls, the companion is there to lift him up, “but, woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.”  Even better and stronger, the writer talks about a three stranded cord, the third strand being our creator.

Second, addiction is a “Family Disease”.  Not only does Bob need recovery, but so does the family.  Co-dependency is just as serious and as life threatening as an addiction.  Years ago, in her book, ”Codependent No More”, Melody Beattie introduced the concept of codependency to the world, when people believed that martyrdom and selfless acts were simply done out of love, even at the risk of unhealthy results, losing one’s identity and perceived value.  Co-dependency became a very over used, misunderstood term giving rise to a new generation with a super inflated sense of entitlement, laziness and self-esteem.  Beattie’s first definition, “letting another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior”, lead to apathy and a convenient excuse to remove all relational problems.  I have met people in recovery who are very proud because they have refused to help someone in need or they have divorced.  They believe they have recovered, but they have it terribly wrong.  Through recovery groups, a codependent can learn to set boundaries that allow them to be happy, healthy and supportive of an addict without enabling.  Every addict needs an enabler so they can continue in their addiction.  Without an enabler, the addict must face consequences that ultimately lead to change.

Reprinting of this article is permitted when appended with the following information:  2013 © Judy Walters, Project Manager at Faith Farm Ministries … www.faithfarm.org  and  www.judy-walters.com 

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