Why is it so hard to let our friends know that we are hurting? For me, I have discovered, it has to do with pride; yup, it raises it's ugly head, it causes me to isolate, to rob myself from the soothing aide of those who love me. In my pursuit of bringing my prodigal home, I hide in a corner, not allowing others to give me the much needed strength for this journey.
Isolated in my corner, I cannot hear the comments of misunderstanding: "Have you tried tough love?" "Have you tried natural consequences?" "How sad, there's just no hope!" Those who have not experienced addictions cannot understand exactly all that we have tried. So I stay in my corner, never risking finding others who may know exactly how I feel.
While in my corner, however, I read. I read hope-filled books by H. Norma Wright (Loving a Prodigal), by Dr. John Vawter (Hit by a Ton of Bricks), and by John White (Parents in Pain). I highlight every other sentence in The Hope of a Homecoming by Brendan O’Rourke, Ph.D and DeEtte Sauer. I gather strength and encouragement from The Hurting Parent by Margie M. Lewis with Gregg Lewis. I soon discover there is so much hope in this closet...there's no longer room for me! I have discovered that to survive this journey of loving our prodigal, we must:
- Choose the right attitude (Someone, please read James 1: 2-3,4)
- Realize that the end result is in God’s hands: (See Psalm 37)
- Learn to express our feelings: Survivors talk, they write, they share, they pray and they cry. Bottled feelings remain and interfere with life.
- Not be silent: silence is a characteristic of dysfunctional families; it destroys and deadens hope.
- Survivors focus on solutions….not blame
- Survivors don’t magnify the problem
- Survivors don’t become bitter
- Survivors want to learn and grow
- Survivors find comfort in scripture….find them…study them…cling to them
- Survivors put fears aside and forge ahead –a healthy family overrides its fears and discovers ways to make things better
- Survivors (overcomers) stay prepared…..for the party~
Will you join me today as we overcome the adversities of addiction? Come out of your corner--don't hide any longer. We have work to do! Join me as we set aside our pride, our fears, and our mortal strength: Stand with me....as we hold firmly to the hope of the celebration that will happen when the lost is found...when our children exchange addiction for recovery.
Your friend, Diane