Tag Archives: codependency

CHANGE ~ How Bad Do You WANT It?

If you are perfectly content with your life, then praises to you … You are a very small percentage of the population.  Most people are in pursuit of change. The American Dream is full of change and upgrades that people believe will make them happier. However, most people are not willing to put forth the hard work necessary to make their dream a reality. Therein lays the real challenge to addiction recovery.

everything-in-your-life-is-a-reflection-of-a-choice-you-have-made-if-you-want-a-different-result-make-a-different-choiceI had breakfast with a group of old friends the other day. During the conversation, one of the women expressed her struggles with worry and fear. I shared truths from my own experience that worry was a choice to not trust God, that fear is not from God, that there are many places in scripture that tells us, “Do not worry,” ”Do not fear,” “Be anxious for nothing.” Why does he tell us not to worry? Because it is a sin to do so, and the “wages of sin is death!” I choose to believe and trust that I have a bigger God than my problems.  My friend was very offended and continued to clutch her emotions as if it were old friends. What would happen if she WANTed relief as much as she NEEDed it? For those who struggle with life controlling issues, change is necessary to gain freedom. Most people NEED to change to overcome the struggle. However, do they WANT it bad enough? When the pain outweighs the fear, a person will do the necessary work to change.

Everyone who comes to Faith Farm Ministries needs recovery … they NEED to change something. However, our Intake Counselors attempt to identify those who truly WANT to change.  We have 445 beds for men and women to receive a free, 9 month, drug and alcohol recovery program consisting of spiritual training, life skills, college accredited recovery and vocational classes with a work project. We provide a safe place … a non-judgmental place … where students obtain knowledge, skills and tools that help them learn to overcome life-controlling issues. We provide the necessary time needed to heal, restore, renew and build a strong foundation with faith, which provides strength to overcome life’s challenges and obstacles. We provide the place but there is no magic here! A student who comes to Faith Farm must WANT recovery. For those who WANT it bad enough, there is a 100% success rate.

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries, serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary and is a member of the Emmaus community. She is a published author,  copy writer and editor. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through Celebrate Recovery 12 Step materials combined with The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is a co-founder of the Boynton Beach Celebrate Recovery Group that currently meets at Faith Farm’s campus. As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. She is a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy shares her powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is an enthusiastic disciple that models agape love. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.” 
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy

 

Recovery – From The Inside Out

header_02I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition (PBCSAC).  In attendance was a plethora of addiction industry, well-connected professionals from various South Florida rehabs, sober homes and focus groups.  This group, together with like groups from counties all over the State of Florida and the United States, is credited with the overdue attention given to the opioid epidemic. In May, Governor Scott declared Florida’s opioid epidemic a “public health emergency.” As a result, additional funding can be realized in strategic areas for heroin antidotes. Funds were made available for the Sober Home Task Force to stop the greed and help provide safe homes for people in recovery. New addiction awareness initiatives, locally and in Washington D.C., are being implemented.

With that said, the addiction battle is against an enemy that is so vast that we can only combat the proverbial “tip of the iceberg.” The Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., Vice Admiral, recently submitted his report, “Facing Addiction in America … Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health” and he stated “… addiction is a health condition, not a moral failing or character flaw.” As such, addiction is a disease that affects body, soul and spirit. Many 28-day programs provide medically assisted treatment where patients can detox and address physical/body recovery. There are many behavioral health rehabs providing counseling services to address the soul in 30 to 60 day rehabs. Rehab defined … restores an addict to their condition prior to using the substance.

ego-says-once-everything-falls-into-place-ill-feel-peace-spirit-says-find-your-peace-and-then-everything-will-fall-into-place-quote-1Faith Farm Ministries was the only faith-based organization represented at the PBCSAC meeting. We understand that there is an obstacle to the “rehab” approach. An addict may not have dealt with whatever caused them to use in the first place. For this reason, Faith Farm’s approach provides a regeneration program, or spiritual recovery.  Just like a caterpillar becomes a chrysalis, then a beautiful butterfly … this is what Spiritual Recovery does for a person.

Making an impact in the external addiction battlefield is a daunting goal.  It seems to me that the battle strategy to combat the addiction enemy can best be fought from the “inside – out!” We stand a better chance when we try to help a person by loving them and helping them to love themselves.

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries, serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary and is a member of the Emmaus community. She is a published author,  copy writer and editor. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through Celebrate Recovery 12 Step materials combined with The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is a co-founder of the Boynton Beach Celebrate Recovery Group that currently meets at Faith Farm’s campus. 
As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. She is a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy shares her powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is an enthusiastic disciple that models agape love. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.” 
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy

When You’re In It … You Can’t See it!

Have you ever been in a dark room? I mean REALLY dark … so dark that you cannot see your hand when you hold it up to your face.  You cannot see darkness nor can you see anything within that darkness. The fact is … there is no such thing as darkness. Darkness is simply the absence of light and its different intensities.

Life is much the same. For those who have had marital problems, received a chronic illness diagnosis, or experienced financial ruin, they know what darkness looks like. Marital counseling, a good doctor or financial planner can bring light to the darkness. Letting the light into the life situation allows for the proverbial “light” at the end of the tunnel. Until then, hopelessness is the darkest place we know.

The disease of addiction is darkness for the addict and those that love them (co-dependents.) Unlike other diseases, the stigma connected with this disease adds shame and guilt to the hopelessness often preventing those affected to seek the light. The disease of addiction is so cunning that it convinces the addict to stay in the darkness of denial rather than expose their problem to the light for all to see.

This morning I learned that two young women I know, both in their early 20’s and both with a young child, lost this battle yesterday.  They refused to see their problem, keeping it in the darkness and not allowing the light to expose them. One died of an overdose yesterday. The other is in a coma on life support with no chance of recovery.

Faith Farm Ministries is a 65 year old, free, faith based drug and alcohol recovery program with 445 beds for men and women. It is that safe place where people can emerge from the addiction darkness into the light with no shame or guilt. Light gives new hope, new purpose and new life. I am aware of nowhere else that provides a free program with free education, including recovery classes for up to 9 college credits, GED Classes, life-skills and spiritual classes, vocational training and life counseling.  We help those who want to heal, restore their families and contribute to their communities.

If you want to help Faith Farm in its mission to save lives, you can text FAITHFARM to 41444 or visit www.faithfarm.org and click the Ways to Give tab to make a gift. For every $1 you gift and invest in our addiction recovery program, there is a tax dollar savings to you estimated at $12 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, theft and health care expenses. (Source: Association of Gospel Rescue Missions) 

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries and serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Oceanside Emmaus community and is a published author,  copy writer and editor. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy is the presenter as she draws on her past with her own powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. Her favorite thing is teaching, whether at the pulpit or in the classroom. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through the Celebrate Recovery materials combined with knowledge from The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is the Celebrate Recovery of Boynton Beach Ministry Leader. She provides administration, marketing, social media, event planning, donor development, customer service and public relations for Faith Farm as the ministry’s Project Manager.
As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. Redirection of her passion has led her to become a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is a friendly and enthusiastic disciple with a mission to show others what agape love looks like. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and even fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.”
Learn more about Judy | Request Judy

What’s Your “Popeye Moment” … Efficiency vs Effectiveness

I like to consider myself to be a very efficient person.  I’m an expert at multi-tasking and consistently juggle many activities at once. Sometimes I find a couple two or three dozen Windows open on my computer all at once and I work efficiently! Efficiency is doing things right! However, Effectiveness is doing the right things.  One can be so busy being efficient … that they fail to be effective.

Effectiveness is directly related to passion. What is your passion?  What condition, situation or cause drives you to sadness or anger?  What breaks your heart? What drives you to want change?  Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor at Willow Creek Church, defines that one thing in your life as your Popeye moment” … that moment when you say to yourself, “I can’t stands it no more!!!”  I can recall that Popeye always did things right.  He was quite an efficient sailor.  He also puts up with a lot of abuse from Brutus UNTIL Popeye’s own “Popeye Moment.”  The sailor man has had enough when he says, “I can’t stands it no more.” Then, he eats his spinach, grows huge muscles, and proceeds to let Brutus have it with both anchors.  And, he wins the heart of Olive Oil … toot, toot!!!  I’d say he became effective!

There are many world issues that can break our hearts:  child abuse, animal abuse, environmental issues, human trafficking political issues, senior citizens, 3rd world plights, homelessness, Alzheimer Disease, cancer, heart disease, mental illness  or a plethora of other diseases.

In my own life, the pain resulting from addiction and co-dependency in my own family was my “I can’t stands it no more” moment.  I went from being busy as an efficient real estate broker to being effective at Faith Farm Ministries.  I use ALL of my experience and talents that I have accumulated throughout my long career and apply it to my passion for helping people overcome life controlling issues so that they, too, may live effectively.  I can honestly say that I LOVE my work.  It is not like work at all when you love what you do.

Faith Farm Ministries is a 64 year old, free, long term, residential drug and alcohol recovery program for men and women.  Three locations provide an intense, college accredited recovery curriculum, a comprehensive work training program, spiritual guidance and counseling.

I am also blessed to lead a Celebrate Recovery group at Faith Farm in Boynton Beach on Friday nights.  This is a 12 Step program that is accessible to the students as well as their families, alumni of Faith Farm, and the community members that have struggles with any life controlling issues.

My passion for what I do translates into my effectiveness for those I serve.  Passion allows your life to take on meaning, purpose and effectiveness. I used to be very efficient, busy … and unhappy.  Today, I have purpose, effectiveness, joy and peace that surpasses my understanding.

What’s your “Popeye Moment?”

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