FORGIVENESS FRIDAY (ADDICTION RECOVERY)
The Importance of Self Empowerment in Addiction Recovery
Written by: Missi Davis
One of the greatest gifts that Faith in God can give us, is the idea that we are not powerless. Faith moves mountains, but it can also enable us to face the hardest challenges in life: loss, illness, addiction. For too long, people have been told that addiction is an illness against which we cannot fight…t addicts are powerless against the substances that take hold of their reward centers and cause havoc in body and mind.
There is a difference between feeling powerless and being powerless. Drug addiction is very hard to overcome – standard treatments include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which emphasize the important relationship between how we think, feel and behave. Faith, however, also plays an important role. When we accept that Jesus loves us and gave up his life for us, we can be inspired to take control over our own lives; it is, indeed, possible to overcome serious drug use and abuse.
When we rely on God to give us greater strength, we realize that addiction will not go away on its own. There are two steps to solving every problem: taking action to solve them and taking part in activities that give us joy.
Those who have drug problems can begin by looking inside themselves and discovering why they seek solace in drugs – is there any untreated abuse? Do they have difficulty interacting with others? Are unresolved issues from childhood interfering with their ability to lead full and happy lives? Counseling can help us identify our emotional blocks and to learn positive strategies to deal with them, without harming ourselves or others.
Addiction recovery isn’t just about replacing drugs with other medication (though of course, medication can form an important part of addiction recovery). It is also important for those in recovery to be taught that they are not powerless; that they are not failures.
The mentality of failure can lead to many further issues. For instance, if someone in recovery was to have one episode or relapse, they might think, “I had one drink, I can’t stop, I’m powerless,” instead of taking on a much more affirmative stance: “I slipped this time but I have the power to decide whether to continue or to not have that second drink.”
To stop taking drugs, people need to stop seeing drugs as more powerful than they are and to start seeing people as far more capable as they assume. Therapists, families and friends should realize that addicts can feel incredibly powerless against the cravings caused by drugs, yet be adamant that the person in recovery “can do it.” Not only do they have their own inner strength, they also have God, who accompanies us through the worst moments in our lives, even when we feel that those around us have abandoned us. It is also important to let them know that they are not alone, since being part of a group that gives us love and support, strengthens our faith and lets us know that our faith and God’s grace can move mountains.