a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Help for Loved Ones of Addicts and Alcoholics --- 1
After you have raised your child, doing the very best you can, after that child has begun to exercise their agency, what they decide is in their hands. It is their agency, their life.
After you have reasoned with them, pleaded with them, cried over them and constantly prayed for them, what are you going to do?
After you have helped them out of numerous jams, laid down the law, given them one more chance (again), had them sign contracts, paid their debts, bailed them out of jail, pulled whatever strings you have, bought them a car or two, paid their rent, yet they continue in the path of self-destructive behavior, what do you do next?
We, and countless other parents have tried all of the above, and even more, with the same outcome.
What to do next?
What follows is what we and many others have found to be the best solution.
Is it guaranteed to work? No. Is it a full proof plan? No. But it is your best hope. It will seem to fly in the face of all you have been taught about being a parent and about love. It will be difficult, extremely so. But I believe it offers the best chance your loved one will have to be able, with the Lord’s help, to defeat the demons which beset them.
I have no initials behind my name. My education comes from needing help and seeking that help. From learning what works and what doesn’t. Experience.
The hard truths come from addicts* in recovery. By their own admissions, addicts are liars, cheats, thieves, and manipulators. They are only concerned with themselves and the moment! Addiction has skewed their entire thinking patterns. In order to help them we must accept these initially unacceptable facts, and learn a new patterns of thinking ourselves.
While our ultimate hope is to heal our children, we must come to accept the fact that no matter how hard we try, we cannot do it. If it is to happen, they must do it themselves with the help of the Lord.
Hopefully this book will help each reader do what they can do —find acceptance and understanding and strength—to be able to offer this seemingly un-Christ-like “Help” to their suffering loved ones.
* When we use the words addicts and addiction we are referring to both drug addicts and alcoholics.
A Weighty Matter
I recently got on the scale and found that I weigh 200 lbs. According to the U.S. Department of Health I am more than 25 lbs. overweight. And it’s Gail’s fault. If she were not such a good cook I would not eat so much and consequently, I would not weigh so much.
Let’s face it, I have a terrible habit, I overeat. Someone help me, please. Take away my extra pounds. Take away my terrible habit. But better yet, let me keep my terrible habit but take away the consequence.
However, as much as I would like to blame Gail or anyone else, I can’t. It is my habit, so it is my consequence. Do I have to have a heart attack before I stop overeating? Maybe I will.
Who must solve this problem?
Why can’t you do it for me?
Until I take ownership/responsibility for my actions there will be no change in my behavior. As long as I try to push the responsibility off on someone else, I will do nothing about my problem. Or, as long as some else takes responsibility for my actions I will do nothing about it.
I guarantee you, as long as we do not let those we love realize the consequences of their behavior, the behavior will not change. No matter how much we want them to change it will not happen until they are held accountable for their actions.
We cheat our loved ones when we take away their agency/ accountability—the consequences of their actions, whether they be little children or teenagers or adults.
We cheat the Lord’s plan of agency when we do not let them experience the consequences of their action.
Alarmingly, Dr. Ray Johnson, PhD, clinical counselor and professor at North Texas State University states,
“The most prevalent form of child abuse in this country is the failure of parents to discipline their children.”
Even though we might think we are doing something good and noble for them, we are in fact doing them a terrible disservice. We are harming them, stunting their growth, both in this life and in eternity.
IT IS VITAL THAT WE REALIZE AND ACCEPT THE FACT THAT
WE DIDN’T CAUSE IT!
WE CAN’T CONTROL IT!
WE CAN’T CURE IT!
"tune in" next Wednesday for part 2: What do we know about agency? and Agency in the Garden of Eden