Three Lies We Tell Ourselves

Sometimes life is a roller coaster ride that we wish would end. When you have a loved one dealing with addiction it can be difficult. No matter how long you have been on this journey, there are three lies we all tell ourselves at some point.

Lie #1

I have to do this on my own.

As part of the Families in Recovery Support ministry, I speak with many parents, girlfriends, and siblings. After they tell me their struggles and crises, almost always, they try to tell me how they don’t need any help. They can do this on their own. My first thought is – no you can’t. You will try, but you can’t. I tried. I needed help, support, hope.

Lie #2

No one will understand what I’m going through.

We all feel the shame. Addiction is directly connected to it. We feel like no one else is struggling like we are. We think that what we say doesn’t matter, that others will think we are just a mess. The truth is- we need to share with each other. It is an important part of recovery. Each week, during our support group meetings, you will always find someone else who is walking a similar journey.

Lie #3

Its all or nothing.

“Either he gets clean, or I am done.” “If she won’t get help, I can’t keep doing this.”

Al-anon, the twelve step program for family members of alcoholics, talks about detachment. I agree with the Al-anon statement, “ We learn nothing we say or do can cause or stop someone else’s drinking. We are not responsible for another person’s disease or recovery from it. ( Al-anon.org)”. We absolutely need to set boundaries and allow our loved one to recover for themselves. Definitely not easy.

I want to challenge the belief that you need to fully detach from your loved one in order for them to heal. It is NOT all or nothing. You cannot control their choices, but you CAN love them unconditionally.

We are never given enough power to write someone off. No matter how much they hurt us, we do not have the power to change the course of their life. God created us all as beings with a future and a hope. He does not write us off- does not deem us hopeless. I personally am so glad for that. Yes, we do need to practice self-care by setting healthy boundaries. We cannot change anyone but ourselves. Detachment can be healthy, but some will take it too far.

When your son refuses to listen and continues in his addiction- he is still your son. There is always hope.

When your daughter chooses drugs over her children- she is still your daughter. No matter how angry you get- there is still hope.

Scripture says to love your enemies. Bless those who persecute you. Jesus practiced this over and over while He was on earth. If anyone had a reason to write someone off- He was hated, beaten, crucified- and He knew who He was living for. You and I.

I know this is tough. Detach your emotions from the pain they are causing. Pretend that they are not your family. Set that line and put up a brick wall. They are hopeless anyway, right?

Wrong. I serve a God who can do the impossible. His love pursues even the worst of the worst. He never gives up. Love is always waiting.

Three difficult lies we tell ourselves. Three ways the enemy tries to keep us from living a healed, recovering life. Which lie challenges you the most?

Let’s have those difficult conversations. Post a comment, message me privately or reach out through email. We need to share- for our recovery, and that of our families.

Debbielamm@familiesinrecovery.net

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