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I. Addictions and Life Controlling Issues
The addictive cycle
Inner pain, unresolved painful issues, denial
Desire to escape or not to feel
Medication administered such as drugs, alcohol, etc.
Guilt and shame
More pain, new problems
The cycle continues to repeat and worsen
Problems without intervention will get worse
Chemical addictions are progressive
The progression of the disease is like cancer - some people will progress rapidly, some slowly, but all people will get worse without help
A chemical addiction can easily be a fatal disease
Bottom is the place that most chemically addicted people will eventually end up
Bottom can be described as a terrible place of great loss
These loses can be bankruptcy, divorce, loss of home, family, job and all self-worth
Consequences of addictive behavior are fully realized
Bottom is the place wherein most chemically addicted people are most likely to cry out for help
Denial is an unwillingness to face reality and admit the truth
Denial is living a lie
Denial can be a hard place to get away from because the mind is using denial as a defense to avoid the pain of reality
Denial can also invade the addicts family and friends
Denial in itself can be a deadly disease
Without an acknowledgement of the problem it will be difficult to help the individual – not impossible, because of the Lord, but very difficult
John 8:32 - And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free
Christian counseling is always about bring the truth into every situation
The root of an addiction’s problem is almost always unresolved pain
Painful experiences enter the subconscious and remain there and fester like cancer until they are rooted out
The addictions must be dealt with but remember they are only a cover-up for deeper problems
Counselors will deal with two types of pain found in the addict
There is the beginning pain that started the addiction and there is the new pain that the addiction has caused
With addictions always come much shame and guilt
Shame and guilt must be resolved or the pain will never leave and the craving to medicate will also stay
1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Isaiah 54:4 - Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth
The family can suffer as much as the handicapped member
The person with the addiction becomes the center of attention
The family becomes so focused on trying to solve their problems with the addicted person that they can totally neglect the needs of all the other family members
The family will try desperately to fix the addicted person
They cannot fix the person
The family must get the focus back on themselves or they will drown
Two people drowning are of no benefit to each other
The family must learn how to, “Let go and let God”
Only God can save a person from himself or herself
Enabling is the removing of responsibility or natural consequences
A prophecy about the New Covenant – Jeremiah 31:29-30 - In those days they shall say no more, “ The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.” But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
God holds each one of us personally responsible for our own sins; we are not responsible for another person’s sin. If we take response-bility for another’s sins then we can stand in the way of their forgive-ness
Enabling can feel like love but actually it is very harmful
The family will need as much counseling as the addicted member
Many families will be in denial that they themselves have a problem
Anyone constantly exposed to the terrible behavior of an addicted person will be adversely affected
The problems are deep and complex and are not automatically solved once the drinking, drug taking, etc. stops
A person may not be responsible for the addiction but he can be responsible to do something about it. There are many resources available for anyone who truly wants help.
What usually causes the addictive cycle to start?
Explain what is meant by the term “hitting bottom.”
What is denial and why is it a problem?
Explain the two types of pain usually found in an addicted person.
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