Healthy Coping Skills
After nearly a decade of being in the Social Work world, I've probably heard and used the words "coping skills" at least a million times.
So what are coping skills and how on Earth are they going to help you through your loved one's addiction?
A coping skill can be anything.
We all have coping skills.
Some are healthy, some are not so healthy.
The goal of any coping skill is to ease whatever hurt we are experiencing.
But the goal of a healthy coping skill is to ease the hurt, while at the same time promoting safety and wellbeing.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have some useful tools that you could utilize during times of intense difficult emotion that would not only get you through the struggle, but leave you better off in the long run?
Thought tor the Day
Acceptance is knowing that God has a plan and that I don't have to know the details to trust Him. I just need to read His word and Follow His direction.
Reflect on that for a moment.
Then ask yourself, "What does acceptance mean to me?"
Acceptance isn't always easy. In fact, in regard to the complicated dynamic of addiction, it is often times very difficult.
If you've found yourself in an uphill battle attempting to grasp at any fraction of normalcy after a loved one's addiction has impacted your life, you are not alone.
If you've found yourself in a downward spiral struggling with your own addiction and complicated chaos, you are not alone either.
Both roles in this scenario are equally heartbreaking.
Acceptance is something we can all learn regardless of the position you find yourself in today.
Speaking to the loved one of a person with an addiction
You didn't cause it. You can't control it. You can't cure it.
Also known as the three C's.
Which ultimately leads us to acceptance.
No matter what your relationship to your loved one, it was not you that lead them to their addiction. Regardless if you raised them, played a major role in their upbringing, or feel that whatever you've put them through must be the cause, it's simply untrue.
You do not have the power to cause someone else's addiction.
They chose to drink/use and that is what has lead to their addiction.
Accept that you did not cause it.
If you are like the majority of people who love someone with an addiction, you have tried to control your loved one or their addiction to at least some degree.
You may have enabled them in an attempt to prevent them from being harmed.
Perhaps you've deleted numbers of using friends, dumped out all of their alcohol or flushed their drugs.
You've spent sleepless nights worrying about something that you cannot control.
Accepting that the choice is theirs is often times the most difficult of the C's.
I know it was for me.
I left my first ALANON meeting feeling very angry. It was actually my first and last.
I went there looking for answers about how I could heal my loved one.
When they told me that I must accept that it is her choice - I thought what a waste of time.
Many years later and through many, many attempts at trying to help her - I realized they were right.
It didn't matter what I said or did. If she was not ready to quit, she wasn't going to.
Accepting that we cannot control someone else's life choices is our "rock bottom."
Until you've given it all you've got, you won't be able to detach.
Until you detach, you won't be able to accept that it is out of your control.
As badly as we wish there was a cure for this disease - the reality is that this is oftentimes just a manageable chronic condition.
Only Jesus can completely cure someone of this illness.
So while we can pray for a miracle, we can also prepare for ongoing treatment.
Think about alcohol and drug addiction the same way that you would think about diabetes.
A person who has diabetes is not able to cure it, but they are able to make lifestyle changes to manage it.
A person with an addiction is not in control of how their brain responds to drugs or alcohol, but they are responsible for managing it to whatever degree possible.
Addiction is simply the byproduct of an underlying issue.
Just as a person with diabetes must take medication to manage their illness, a person with an addiction will likely need to do the same.
Whether it is medication to improve their mental health or specific medication designed to make them sick if they drink, either way, they are responsible for ensuring they do not drink or use.
A person with diabetes will need to incorporate healthy activities in their life.
So will a person with an addiction.
A person with diabetes will have to be mindful of what they eat and eliminate certain foods and drinks.
A person with an addiction will also have to be mindful of what they consume and eliminate drugs and alcohol.
We must accept that there is not a cure that we can provide.
We can pray continually that God will choose to cure them, but if he doesn't, we must accept his sovereign answer.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help us to accept your will for our life and the lives of the ones we love. We pray for our addicted loved ones. We pray that you would heal them from this disease.
We know that this is a big prayer, but we also know that we serve a big God.
We know that you are all powerful, all knowing, and that your wisdom surpasses far beyond ours.
We are grateful that we can trust you.
When we can't see your plan, we can still trust your process.
You are faithful.
God, I pray for everyone that is struggling with releasing control over these difficult situations.
The more we focus on you, the less we have to focus on controlling anything else.
Our lives are in your hands.
Lord, you are the potter, we are the clay.
Change us from the inside out.
Help us to focus more on improving ourselves and less on what we desire to change about anyone else.
We thank you and praise your holy name!
In Jesus Name,
We hope you found today's message helpful.
If you or a loved one has an addiction, we want to pray for you.
Join our community of praying believers.
Together and through Christ, we will overcome the negative impact addiction is having on our lives and the lives of the ones we love.
There is power in prayer.
Please share this message with your friends and family.
It is our goal to pray for as many people as possible.
Until Next Time,
Your Praying Friend
When our loved one is in active addiction it is sometimes difficult to be encouraged.
It can feel as though our head is barely above water.
We are trying so desperately to save them all the while we are oftentimes losing ourself.
How to Keep Your Loved One's Addiction from Controlling Your Life
*5 tips for maintaining your sanity through the struggle*
Watching your loved one struggle with an addiction is a heart-breaking experience. Your relationship to the person brings its own unique struggles. Today we will explore what addiction looks like within a marriage, tips for conquering this battle, and resources should you find yourself feeling lost or alone.
But first, let's bring our concerns before the Lord in prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are the creator of marriage. You designed it to be such a beautiful expression of love and selflessness. Our marriages are meant to reflect the love that you have for the church. Husbands are called to love their wives as they love themselves, putting her wellbeing before his own, loving with a sacrificial love. Wives are called to submit to their husbands, as to the Lord, and to be his helper.
You created this beautiful partnership. Help us to excel in our roles, to honor you by honoring the spouse you have blessed us with.
Let's be honest. Talking to someone you love about their addiction can be down right uncomfortable.
The thought of even brining up the topic is enough to give you anxiety.
You may be unsure of how they will respond or better yet, you know exactly how they're going to react and unfortunately, it isn't going to be at all what you are hoping for.
If you have ever felt nervous about starting a conversation with your loved one about their addiction then keep reading! We've got some tips that will ease your nerves and help you get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
7 TIPS FOR TALKING TO YOUR LOVED ONE ABOUT THEIR ADDICTION
Being the loved one of a person with an addiction is not an easy title to hold. Today we will highlight seven things you can do to help your loved one (and yourself) through an addiction.
Let's open today's post in prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We come to you in search of direction and guidance. Navigating our loved one's addiction is overwhelming and we need your help. Provide us the strength and endurance to take care of ourselves and our loved one. We pray that if it is your will - that you would deliver our loved one from their addiction. We pray that they would receive complete and total healing!
God, if the answer is no or not yet, then we pray that you would continue to see us through this difficult journey. Our faith is in you alone and we trust that whatever your plan - it is good. We thank you for listening to our prayer. We praise your holy name!
In Jesus Name,
Dear Heavenly Father,
Today we lift up all those that are hurt by a loved one's addiction. At times the pain of watching someone you love continue harming themselves through drugs/alcohol is almost too much to bear. Lord, give them strength. Please remind them that they are not helpless in this situation, though it may feel as if it is out of their control. They can help by praying for their loved one, because every circumstance is within Your control. We bring our worries, concerns, anxieties, fears, and restless thoughts to you, oh Lord. Please provide a peace that can only come from You. We lift our addicted loved one up to you, Father. We know that you are a sovereign God. We thank you for watching over our every move. Help us to continue to pray for our loved one and to continue seeking you for guidance. It it is your Holy presence where we find comfort and reassurance. We know that in all things God works for the good of those that love Him. We love you, Lord Jesus!
In Jesus Name,
Substance Abuse Counselor