Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Before proceeding, please watch this hilarious clip titled STOP IT!
Sometimes I think this is how we want to react to addicts. We want to tell them to just STOP IT! Surely their drug of choice, whether it be cocaine, alcohol or pornography, isn't more important than their job, their marriage, their family. But in many instances you'll find that an addict won't and can't quit their habit even when they are on the brink of losing everything. This isn't merely a willpower issue. In the book The Brain That Changes Itself, Dr. Norman Doidge, a neurologist at Columbia, shares how pornography causes a rewiring of the neural circuits. The brain center that controls impulsiveness becomes supercharged, and the brain center for willpower shrinks. The addicted individual has literally become enslaved by the drug to the point that their ability to choose has been diminished. Therefore, as much as we wish an addict could just stop, no amount of quiet white-knuckling can break those bonds. Those entangled in the chains of addiction must find qualified help and support to overcome their challenge.
Reaching out for help is difficult on many levels for both the addict and the afflicted family members. There is so much shame connected to addiction, especially sexual and porn addiction, and often causes feelings of isolation and helplessness. And very often we find that those who are struggling quietly with this problem are seemingly good and upstanding members of our church and community, making "coming out" that much more difficult. But continuing to hide and diminish the problem only continues to fan the flame of addiction. Addiction feeds off of secrecy and shame. Healing and recovery can only come when the problem is brought into the daylight. I am not suggesting that you air your dirty laundry to the world. On the contrary. It is imperative that both the addict and the afflicted choose a small circle of healthy individuals that they can trust and rely upon to share this information with such as as a bishop, a parent, a sibling, and/or a close friend. This support system will sustain and navigate you through the healing process.
In addition to this support system, finding a qualified therapist and 12-Step recovery program is vital. There is a big difference between repentance and recovery. Your bishop is there to help facilitate the repentance and healing process. Recovery, however, requires support and education from those who understand the nature of addiction and the tools to break free of it. A therapist and 12-Step group will also provide accountability for the addict which is so crucial in the changing process.
Expecting an addicted friend or loved one to just STOP IT is as absurd as demanding that of a woman who struggles with bulimia and claustrophobia. But if you or someone you love is addicted, there is hope and healing available. You just have to START making the right steps toward the path of recovery.
For more information on the importance of 12-Step Programs and how to find a qualified therapist, see this helpful manual Understanding Pornography and Sexual Addiction.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
Do you ever think to yourself, “WHY do I keep doing this? I know what the Lord expects of me, I know what I expect of myself??” but regardless of what we know in our heads sometimes it has a hard time getting through to our hearts.
I find myself wondering these things. Frequently. This hasn’t always been the case. 2 short years ago my world was gone. Ravaged by my husbands addiction to prescription pain meds and my addiction to trying to fix him. We found ourselves in an LDS 12 Step meeting, the Spirit spoke to me and it spoke to him. After 10 years of running into the same brick wall we were shown that there was a door, a way out of this dark place. The answer seemed so simple. Jesus Christ. Could he really change us into a functioning family free from addiction?
He did. He changed us into something so far beyond our preconceived notion of what we thought would make us happy. He made us more than happy, he made us joyful and grateful. We are beyond blessed.
So why this post?
To be honest I am struggling with humility. Not the type of humility that makes me think I am better than other people, the type of humility that I turn to myself before I turn to the Lord.
The Book of Mormon talks about receiving humility in 2 different ways. The first is being compelled to be humble. In my mind this is connected with something along the magnitude of Courtney’s addiction. Scary and hard, out of my control and painful. The second option that we have is choosing to be humble, gratefully recognizing our complete dependence on the Savior. The second brings less pain and more joy. So why is it so hard to do?
As I was pondering this in church one day the answer came to me. The answer, the difference in option 1 and option 2 is Remembrance.
When I remember where I have been, what I have gone through and the heartache that I felt. When I remember the many miracles and tender mercies that my loving Father In Heaven has blessed me with. When I remember my Savior, his Atonement that has taken all the pain out of my life that I once felt, his patience and never ending love that he gives me. When I rejoice because of the Grace that has changed me, and remember that His hand is stretched out STILL.
Its not so hard to turn my life over to him completely, when I Remember.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
Powerlessness the the one word that defines addiction perfectly. When I see people in complete pain from their addiction of the addiction of a loved one it breaks my heart. I want to hug them and tell them exctly what they should do to begin healing, I want to take the fear and agony and loneliness out of their eyes. But you just cant do that. Only the Savior can truly take that pain away. Sometimes all you can do is share your story.
Having once lived entirely in the dark world of hopelessness and having been pulled out by the grace of Jesus Christ I wanted to shout “YES!” from the rooftops when Elder Jeffery R. Holland shared this in April 2012 General Conference:
“However late you think you are. However many chances you've think you've missed.
However many mistakes you think you've made, or talents you think you don't have. No matter how much distance from home, and family, and God you think you have travelled. I testify that you have not travelled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the light of Christ’s infinite atonement shines.”
No one is too far gone that Christ cannot save them, change them, and make them whole again. That is my story.