family2This post is written by John….     When I was a drug counselor and worked with addicts it became obvious that it was not just the addict who suffered but their family, friends, employers etc. And once the addict began doing well their were tremendous problems to address. In other words when one gets sick to endure the illness everyone else modifies their behavior to survive, they get sick too. Sometimes the family modification used to avoid dealing with the addict and their behavior becomes the real problem and only enables the addict to continue their usage.

The addiction will take advantage of any weakness to survive. We all have perceptions of what a “perfect” relationship should be like, but as recovery occurs we find that ours is not living up to our expectation. So what are we to do.

“Bill W”. found that when he began his road to recovery he had to follow a certain path. He and others with him outlined that in the Big Book of AA. “Lois W” had been very supportive and long suffering through their years of marriage and the hard times but when Bill became active in helping others to recover from alcoholism, she found herself outside and still miserable even though her husband had stopped drinking. Together they recognized the problem and Bill asked her to help with family members in recovery because that was her strength. She accepted. It was she who penned the Chapter entitled “To Wives” in “The Big Book” and later started Alanon. It is from her experience we find out that we are not alone in our dilemma and that there is hope. She suggests several things for us to do.

First learn the principles of recovery. These principles are Eternal in nature thus they apply to everyone. We are all responsible for our self and personal growth. God did not give us the Power to fix others, he gave us the Power to love one another and allows us to fix ourselves. Our recovering addicts are trying to learn about and practice rigorous honesty, we must also learn to be honest in our relationships. They are learning to stand on their own two feet. Just as we did when they were using we are temped to “help”. When we do we may hinder the recovery process and enable the addiction to linger on.

The second and most important is: It is not our fault. We sometimes play the “If Only Game” or “If I Were a Better Spouse,” or “I must have done something wrong.” None of these apply. Addiction is powerful, cunning and baffling, but it is not caused by a loving, or nagging spouse, friend, boss or relative. We might feel resentful that all our love and loyalty could not cure our spouses addiction. It is suggested that when resentful thoughts occur we should pause and count our blessings.

In today’s world many relationships do not survive addiction and recovery. It is hard work. But we are promised that if we “seek His help in all things” that we can overcome the challenges and turn them into blessings. Let the Lord accompany you on your journey and your joy will be immeasurable.