Odds are, addiction has touched your life in some way, either personally, or through a friend or family member. There are many types of addiction, and each one can have a devastating effect on not only the addict, but also everyone they love and who love them. Millions of people in this world are living every day with the worry, heartache, and burden of addiction. But, there is hope.
On addictionrecovery.lds.org many people have shared their story, in hopes that it can help someone else.
Judith says: “As long as I can remember, I have battled with an eating disorder. My disorder led to many health complications, so I went from doctor to doctor to find a quick fix. When one doctor diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia, pain medication became a part of my life and soon became an addiction. This addiction was a way of numbing the pain I had been hanging on to all my life.
After years of this lifestyle, I woke up one morning in the hospital because of a drug overdose. I was numb. My world was dark, and I felt alone and lost. This was not the way I wanted my life to go.
My adult son told me I needed help and I started to listen. I was lucky to find an amazing therapist who was familiar with the Addiction Recovery Program. She said I should try it out because if I didn’t get help for my addictions, I was going to die.”
She went on to go through an addiction recovery plan and says is now two years clean.
Aa a loved one of someone who has an addiction, there are so many emotions that come it. TC wrote a letter to her younger self, after her husband had recovered from his addiction–it’s a letter of hope, of encouragement, and permission to feel what she feels.
“So your world just came crashing down, didn’t it? Everything you thought was real in your life really wasn’t, huh? I bet you don’t know where to go from here, where to turn, who to trust. I bet you are feeling insecure, and scared, and unsure. I know what you are going through, and here are some things I want you to remember as you start this journey to healing. You are not alone. I don’t just mean that Heavenly Father and Jesus are there for you, because at times that might not feel like enough. What I mean is you are literally not alone. I know you feel like isolating yourself and hiding away, but please reach out, search, find, and talk to other women that are going (or have gone) through what you are facing right now.
This is not your fault. It is his addiction. These were his choices. You have nothing to do with this, and there is nothing you could go back and do “better” that would have prevented this. You are not the cause; therefore, you are not the solution. Don’t try to “fix” him by changing who you are. You can help him, and you can support him, but this is his battle, not yours. You have your own battle to fight now.
Let yourself feel. Don’t push away emotions that feel “wrong.” They aren’t wrong; feelings aren’t wrong. You will heal faster if you lean into the anger and if you lean into the pain. Find a therapist or a trusted friend whom you can share raw emotion with, because it’s okay to feel anger. You have been betrayed, and you have been hurt.
Lastly, take care of yourself. This sounds selfish, but it’s not. It is essential to healing your heart and your marriage. Your husband is incapable of taking care of you at this time, and even though he is responsible for this pain, he isn’t equipped to be there for you. I know this sounds scary and it makes no sense, but don’t worry; if he is truly in recovery, he will learn how to be there for you, and, eventually, he will be capable of filling the role of husband. In the meantime, you need to take care of you.”
For National Addiction Recovery Month in September, mormonchannel.org is releasing a series of 12 heartbreaking and incredibly personal & inspirational videos–12 stories, 12 people, 12 steps to change. The series follows real people and their very real struggle to overcome their addiction, as well as their stories of hope, as they take steps to change their lives.
I hope you will spread this message by sharing it with those around you, that it might start a conversation, provide a glimmer of hope, and eventually, lead to a path to peace.