For those of us who have a loved one with an addiction to alcohol or drugs, there are some very significant ways to help them without trying to “Fix” them. In co-dependency, we always try to fix the problem, fix the hurt, or fix the person, but can we … Really? The answer is no, which brings us to the first way to love an addict …
- Stop trying to fix things. Your loved one and his or her addiction is something you have no control over. Trying to fix it will lead to YOUR insanity. Instead of trying to fix the addict, fix yourself. Yep! I know! Many years ago, I picked up a book by Stormie O’Martian called “Power of a Praying Wife!” I was going to pray my husband into sobriety! On the first couple of pages of that book, the words clearly said it was ME who needed to change. What? You have to be kidding! I threw the book across the room. It broke the window blinds, hit the wall, and on the floor it sat for few days, until I gained the courage to change the things I can, starting with me. This was a great place to begin to love my husband again.
- Get out-of-the-way! Every addict needs an enabler. An addict simply cannot continue to use without one. Enabling prevents consequences of one’s actions and bad decisions. An enabler makes excuses and justifies the loved one’s behavior, even if they assume the blame in the process. In order to love your addict, set some strong, personal boundaries, and stop getting in God’s way of the teaching through negative consequences. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I love to color with my granddaughter who is almost 3 years old. I make a beautiful picture with lots of color, and I stay inside the lines … perfection! My granddaughter decides she wants to help me with my picture. To make it even prettier, she grabs a big black crayon and within seconds, makes huge scribbles across my masterpiece. Don’t we do the same thing to God’s masterpiece when we decide to help?
- See through God’s eyes. Are you perfect? Of course, you are not. Does God love you anyway? Of course He does. God loves your addict, too! Just like you, He created your addict with special gifts, talents and purpose. Discover those and focus on them. Stop dwelling on the negatives. See your loved one as God sees them and love them unconditionally the way He loves us. This may do nothing for your addict, but it will go a long way in softening your heart to your situation. With your heart in the right condition, don’t be surprised when your addict responds positively. Do not give up before the miracle happens.