Holding onto Hope through Recovery
I remember like it was yesterday dropping my loved one off at a rehab facility and saying goodbye for the next six months, which seemed like forever to be without my best friend. The flood of emotions saying goodbye in conjunction with the all-consuming feelings of what our bondage of addiction had already entailed was overwhelming. Tears flowed freely throughout my four-hour ride home with what I would call a sense relief along with a ray of hope – which is something that I hadn’t felt in a long time.
Life had been entangled and engrossed by my loved one. I felt so lost throughout my first week without him. As much of a relief, it was that he was safe and getting help, I found myself at a loss with him gone. A loss of worry, a loss of what to do with myself, and sadly, a loss of purpose. I had taken care of this person for so long and spent my life trying to save him, what do I do now? The question I kept coming back to was, how do I heal? One of the hardest realizations was that I was in need of recovery too. Just as much as addicts need healing and recovery, so do the ones that care for them. I accepted that in order to heal together, we must heal apart and take care of our own wounds.
The Seasons of Healing
Unfortunately, seasons of addiction are not a one-man sport, the whole family gets to play. What starts out as something so innocent and unknown turns into something you never expected. My journey was killing me. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. I stopped eating, stopped sleeping, and stopped dreaming with this big, cheery heart of mine. I started losing every piece of myself. Every second was wrapped up with worry. Every situation was ridden with bitterness and resentment. I’m sure others know these feelings all too well. You may be at the beginning of this journey, or you may be in the ray-of-light middle, but most importantly, I want you to know that you aren’t alone. On the darkest nights, you still aren’t alone.
Shortly into my journey to healing, a mentor told me something so simple which made it all so clear. Their words were, “Just as someone cannot love us enough into making us love ourselves, is the same in that we cannot love someone enough to make them love themselves enough to want to heal from addiction.”
Healing comes from within and learning to love ourselves through God’s eyes, not the world’s. With this epiphany, as hard as it was to admit, I was crippling a man who was capable of walking because I chose to carry him. I was lovingly enabling him and it was time to lovingly detach from him. And at that moment, I realized he was not mine to save and that the healing started within me. It was between God and me, not John and I.
I had to ask for John’s forgiveness and for God’s. I realized that I had tried to love him so much and to make life so perfect that surely, he would never pick up using again. That if I could make life easy enough, that clearly, he wouldn’t want that life of addiction anymore. But I wasn’t capable of holding that power. The only person that could love him enough to heal him was and still is God. I was carrying a burden that wasn’t meant for me to carry.
Some words of the Lord that helped heal me through this journey are:
“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” – Isaiah 41:13
Accepting the Lord’s Power of Healing & Recovery
In the quiet of my bedroom, broken and hopeless, with tears streaming down my face, I closed my eyes, and I released my grip and handed him over to God. “He is yours now God. Your will be done, not mine.” And in that very moment, I felt the peace that I had searched for in so many different places. A truth that only God could give to me. And just like that, my journey to healing and recovery began.
This choice of acceptance is one that you have to make every morning, if not 100 times a day. I had a mentor tell me one day in a fit of fear, “Lay him back down at God’s feet, you’ve picked him back up.” In some weak and fleshly moments, I still think that I can save him and protect him. God will allow me to pick him back up because that is my selfish will. However daily I release the stubborn resistance and I continue to lay him back down with a sign, every single time of ‘I told you, child, I have him and I’m taking care of him.’
It’s in those moments when trust has been ripped and broken, that I smile because I am learning where my trust truly comes from and He has yet to fail me. Restoration with our loved ones and with God comes in so many forms during this healing process. I became grateful for the wounds that pushed me towards God. I think that’s the most beautiful part.
You think you love the one suffering more than life itself? Well if you can imagine this, God loves them even more than that! The feeling of His kind of love is unfathomable and beyond our deepest imagination. How deep it goes and how wide it stretches, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that will tear God away from His children. Lay the ones struggling down at God’s feet. Drop that tug-a-war rope, let go and let God do his work. Watch them fall into his bountiful grace and watch God pick them up and heal as you’ve never seen healing before.
Journey Down the Path of Recovery with the Addict You Love
Life is an interwoven and intricate plan. I know that this may not be the path you would have chosen for your child, dad, mom, partner, sibling, friend or other loved one, but what I can tell you is that you are about to see God work and He will heal if you will allow Him. Don’t miss the miracle of recovery. Lay this weight down, take off this burden that you are carrying, and give it to a man who died in order to carry it for us. There is healing in His promises. Let him wash you clean. If you have never been a believer, I promise you will not regret it. Finding your faith is like coming home to a place of the most magnificent feeling you’ve ever felt after chasing everything that never made you happy. To wake up knowing God is on your side is enough.
Remember, it is now time to take care of you. You are deserving and you are worthy, don’t ever forget that! It’s time to go to bed knowing that God is working for your good (Romans 8:28). Rest peacefully. Wake up in the morning with a joy that you haven’t felt in a long time. Remember what it feels like to laugh so hard you can’t stop. This is what the Lord’s light will serve you, and beyond.
Releasing the burden of fixing your addicted loved one to God grants you well-deserved freedom. It allows you to be able to go through a day knowing that everything has been taken care of before you put your feet on the ground. To forgive yourself for the things that you did and didn’t do. Guilt that you’ve held onto for far too long. To let go of that blame that you’ve let the enemy hold you to. It’s time to learn to enjoy all the things that you once did again.
Find new passions. Grow in his strength. And know that you absolutely, wholeheartedly, did not cause your loved one’s addiction, you can’t control it, and you can’t change it. Don’t worry though because God can. It’s time to take care of you. Most importantly, learn to love yourself again. Be gentle to yourself, you are meeting parts of yourself that you have been at war with for far too long. Let the healing hands of God wash over you. Let the miracle begin!
S2L Recovery Healing Addicts Through the Lord’s Light in Middle TN
Our community at S2L Recovery focuses on getting the help addicts need through God’s guidance and the Christian faith. We not only heal those addicted to drugs and alcohol, but we also help heal their loved ones, the ones who also need a path to recovery. By working in unity, we can all heal the wounds from a harmful addiction and we can all work towards growing with the Lord. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction reach out to S2L Recovery today to begin the journey to recovery.