When Opioid Addiction Hits too Close to Home

by | Aug 16, 2019 | Research, Uncategorized | 34 comments

The drug addiction crisis from Opioids is hurting families
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Addictions steal people’s lives, and they steal family’s hearts.

Whether it’s substance abuse, pornography, gambling, or whatever, addictions are silent killers. This week tragedy struck someone close to the Bare Marriage community, and to process what she was feeling she asked if she could write about it. I found her words touching and profound, even if sad.


Today a family friend of mine died.

He was doing well, had worked hard to get his life back, when his drug addiction relapsed and, given his lessened tolerance, he overdosed and died.

I want to protect his privacy, so I’m just going to call him Jack. Jack was a few years older than me, but I remember him as a kind older kid who I thought was really cool. I recall the close bond he had with his dad and how much fun he and my younger brother had when we went on vacation together. The boy with his father’s twinkle in his eye is gone and the world is less because of it.

The tragedy of opioid overdose, which so often claims its victims after they recover in a brief moment of weakness, is so overwhelming to me today.

How much of life is like that? We are in the midst of healing, doing the hard work of breaking cycles and getting better, and one wrong move puts us back before square one.

Jack is dead. That cannot be undone. I want to give him a second chance, find a redo button. I can’t. It seems so unbelievably cruel to me that a guy who had done so much to get better, so much to put himself right, had a moment of weakness and lost his life.

In the hours after my parents called, having just left his family, I’ve been thinking about this: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is at the center of the garden. Earlier today, on my daily walk with my daughter, I had been listening to the Bible Project Podcast. They were discussing the wisdom of God, in preparation for a video about the writings of Solomon, and how it is connected with Genesis 3. Here’s a summary:

When God created the world, he saw that it was good. He saw what was bad – the man being alone – and so he created Eve. Adam and Eve had to trust that their creator had their good in mind, to follow his definition of good and bad.

And there, in the middle of the garden, was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It’s there, in the center of the garden. Wherever you went, the option to define good and evil by your own terms and do what you thought to be wise stood in front of you, available. You couldn’t walk from one side of the garden to the other without passing it. And it’s the same with us: we are all one bad choice away from ruining our lives.

I’ve been struck that Jack just made one wrong choice.

He had, we presume, myriad opportunities to make a poor choice since becoming sober. He resisted, each time. He worked to pull his life together. He was, for the first time in a long time, doing well. He had walked past the forbidden tree many, many times.

But something about today was different and the temptation was too much. His addiction, his disease, got the better of him.

I don’t blame him, I just see the courage that it took for him, every day, to say no, to choose to be well. I see the immense moral fiber and energy that was required for him to get his life back. And he had. It all slipped away, seemingly in an instant, and I can’t stand in judgement over his choice. I’m just crushed and sad. I’m thinking of his parents and sisters, whom he left behind. I’m especially thinking of his nieces and nephews who loved him and don’t get to have him in their lives anymore. As someone who lost a lot of people as a small child, I’m sad to welcome those kids into that inauspicious club.

The problem with addiction, especially to opioids, is that when people have not been using for awhile – often because they are in recovery – their bodies becomes desensitized to the drugs.

When they use again, the same dose that only gave them a high before is now too potent and can be deadly. The opioid crisis is a public health emergency. For Jack’s friends and family, life will never be the same. Life is precious and fragile.

We are all, at every moment, walking past the tree in the middle of the garden. It’s easy to make a choice that sets us back, that sends us into a spiral, that ends life as we know it. While sometimes, one choice causes a tsunami of effects, for many of us, the road to that momentous choice is paved with small decisions. Maybe we ignore our conscience and put off installing a program like covenant eyes to protect us–and our kids–from pornography.

Find freedom from porn!

Your marriage, and your thought life, do not need to be held captive to pornography.

There is freedom. 

Beat porn–together!

Maybe we capitulate and ignore our moral compass. Maybe we’re just lazy. I don’t know.

And look, in saying this, in generalizing the experience of temptation, I want to be really clear that I don’t stand in judgement over those who have addiction issues.

I’ve never been there and the clear, resounding witness from those who have is that recovery is a difficult and perilous road, often with many setbacks. I also don’t want to make my friend’s death into some saccharine morality tale. It isn’t. It’s a tragedy. But I guess I believe we can all use the reminder that we don’t know the end from the beginning and that Jesus calls us to what Professor Moody would’ve termed “constant vigilance”.

And to those of you who read the blog who are dealing with addiction or supporting someone who is, I just want to say that I honor your fight and tenacity. You are in an immense battle with a terrible foe and I believe you can do it. I pray you continue to find the courage to face tomorrow. May God be with you.


Let’s pray for those who are battling today. I know on this blog, so many battle with pornography. But whatever the addiction is, it’s dangerous. And overcoming requires not just one big choice, but constant choices, everyday. God is bigger, but sometimes the temptation is very big, too. May we yield to the Holy Spirit, may He give us strength, and may we yearn for a life that is full without all these poisons.

Have you walked through addiction with someone you loved? Any thoughts for us today?

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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34 Comments

  1. Doug

    I wish I had words, but I don’t. We lost a member of our Celebrate Recovery family not too long ago, in a circumstance not much different than what was described. He had turned away from his addiction and the entire time I knew him he had been sober. When I heard he had overdosed and died, I was shocked. I guess I shouldn’t have been, but it really seemed like he had conquered his demons.

    I know only too well that relapse is possible. I woke this morning wanting my porn and my anger back. I can’t explain that other than to say that I have allowed my self to slip into the darker regions of my heart, where all the pain lives on, and I have been unable to free myself. After weeks working out of town, I am packing up to go home, and I realized I don’t want to. Not right now. I have also had recurring thoughts of suicide the last few days. I am not concerned, because I have been in much worse places in the past. It is just disturbing that my mind so easily goes there.

    I am saddened by this post, but maybe even more sad, is the fact that I am not surprised. I wish I could say that it has nudged me in some direction that more closely resembles being whole, but I have been looking for that for a ling time and it still eludes.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Doug, I’m so sorry for the pain you’re in, but I’m so proud of you (that’s likely not the right word, but I hope you know what I mean) that you’ve gotten this far. I’ve said a prayer for you this morning, Doug. May you feel God’s presence, but, even if you don’t, may He give you strength to keep going.

      Reply
      • Doug

        I appreciate the prayers. I know that what I am going thru will pass. I suspect the anniversary closing in has some impact. I can’t say I get any better at dealing with it, but I know I have endured it in the past, and that helps me get thru it now.

        Reply
        • Phil

          Doug. I attack my sex addiction through SA and I am sure Celebrate recovery works too. If you want to work together I am always looking for people to talk to and work with. If you want you may contact me at funphilled38 at yahoo.

          Reply
          • Doug

            Thanks Phil.

            I have been active in CR for a long time, and was even on the ministry team until work kept me on the road too much for me to be reliable. I look for meetings on the road which helps, but the truth is that I have real issues telling my complete story except in anonymous settings out of respect for my wife. With that obstacle, I could only go so far in CR. I don’t want to throw a pity party for myself, but I have not found what I need to get beyond my pain. It is my life. Some days are great, and some are unbearable. Right now things are pretty rough.

    • AMidwestWife

      Phil, I’m sorry to hear you’re in a dark place. I know you think the place you’re in is just a phase and harmless but PLEASE PLEASE talk to someone (a therapist, mentor, mental health provider) about how you’re feeling. You don’t have to live like this. (Your mind slipping to suicide etc;). There are resources available and you are worth it.

      Reply
    • KJH

      Doug I literally just stumbled across this blog through a different link, and rarely ever read comments on things. But perhaps tonight God caused me to, to simply encourage you. My heart breaks for you in wanting to give up and I pray that you do not. It sounds like you are on the right path and I simply encourage you to keep going! You are fighting a hard battle and you will win it! I call out the warrior in you… and cheer you on to continued victory! You’ve got this Doug! You ARE stronger than you think! Praying for you!

      Reply
      • Doug

        KJH

        Thank you for your encouragement and your prayers. I’m ok today. 24 hours can make all the difference sometimes. I just need to stay in the present, which is actually very good. It is the past and the bad memories that drags me down, and sometimes all I can do is ride it out.

        Reply
    • Jim N

      Doug, I have never been addicted to any drug or substance so I cannot fathom personally what it must be like.

      What I can say that I help with Reformers Unanimous that we run in our church and through 4 prisons.

      I can maybe give something that has helped some others along the way that wasn’t from myself but from a man I’ll reveal after.

      We may all put too much emphasis on being broken or not whole as we see it. God never seemed to use the straight sticks in the Bible, but instead used the crooked ones to confound the world. Paul felt indebted to God that he could use his crooked self (a chief among sinners as he put it). He felt indebted because God helped him and in turn he had a unique story that could help others. If people felt their sin was too great, he could point out his own pitfalls including murder and the like. If one thought too high of themself, Paul had a resume that would beat virtually any other (secular historians actually denote he was probably one of the most educated men on the planet at that time). If a person thought too spiritually high, his lineage and upholding the law were to the highest regard.

      The amazing thing is he said he counted his positives as dung. Yet he didn’t say that about his negatives.

      What comes into our life, shapes us. We can choose to try to hide those experiences in shame or use these perceived deficiencies as tools for the Lord.

      I heard this concept before but it was reiterated by Chip Ingram’s son, Ryan Ingram. A pastors son nearly his whole life. Looking at porn under his parents nose in their own house is where his addiction started.

      Following the above he related it to his own life of massive prom addiction. He says to this day he does not feel whole. He doesn’t trust himself. He has covenant eyes or the like on every electronic he uses. He doesn’t even have internet at his house (or at least didn’t at the time I heard him talk). While he said he constantly chose to deny the temptations, he wants to safeguard against slipping as much as he possibly can. This was years after he broke out of his addiction.

      After breaking his addiction he has helped thousands if not tens of thousands break this addiction. Also teaching just as many if not more parents to safeguard their children from starting down this path. While it hurt badly, he is able to thank God for his lack of feeling whole, as he put it. That it’s been a mighty tool against Satan himself.

      As a leader in my home RU, I thank you for attending CR. I cannot thank enough for those willing to let their testimony of recovery be used as a tool to fight back against what once had enslaved them. You’re unique set of tools can speak louder than I ever could, because you can say you’ve been in their shoes and understand something I could only hope to grasp. You may or may not get over telling your testimony of recovery more publicly, but know that you can use it as a great tool if you choose to let it be.

      Reply
  2. Phil

    I am so sorry for your loss. As one who battles addiction I can tell you this: The sentence on vigilance is KEY. My sobriety and my way of life is based on my fir spiritual condition. I have been fighting for 16 years. A while back I found Jesus and I went through probably over a year journey where My addiction was non existent. At least it felt that way. That time has passed and the addiction lies in waiting. By the grace of God the struggle is less as each day passes. However I too know that one wrong move could flush my life down the toilet. May you find comfort in your memories of your friend and may those who struggle make the next right choice in being vigilant to do what they need to do to stay sober, be on the right track and develop and keep that relationship with God and Jesus.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That’s beautiful, Phil. I’m so glad that you’re so honest about your struggles. And I’m so glad that you’ve made so many good choices! May God continue to give you strength as you keep growing closer to Him–even if you don’t always feel Him as closely.

      Reply
  3. G Darby

    I have struggled with addiction in my family since birth; my mother was a poly drug abuser, my ex was a drug and sex addict, my current spouse is a recovering alcoholic, 2 of my kids struggled with meth addiction, one is in recovery. So naturally I had issues- codependency, anxiety, control, food addiction.
    This landed me (after several attempts at secular recovery through counseling etc) in Celebrate Recovery. Over 6 years later I am still there, serving as a leader and being transparent about the ongoing struggles of peeling the onion of someone immersed in an addictive family.
    My present spouse also found help and healing for alcoholism and purity issues, and is working on his food issues too. We wouldn’t be under the same roof without a willingness to work a recovery program together, and if he bailed on his program, I have made it known that I won’t be sticking around to play nanny on this…not anymore. Of course going through the Boundaries workbook by Cloud &Townsend helped a lot here too!
    Love you guys, keep on keeping it real!!

    Reply
    • Doug

      Celebrate Recovery is an awesome ministry. It could help so many more people if everyone understood just how banged up life can leave you.

      Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, that’s wonderful that you’ve surrounded yourself with help, but ALSO that you’re now turning around and helping others through what you’ve learned. It sounds like you’ve had such a tough road. I honestly can’t imagine it if it were my own kids. I really can’t.

      And I totally love Boundaries, too!

      Reply
  4. Cara

    I lost a good friend to an addiction to pain killers (opioids). In hindsight I can see she had a problem. I don’t think I knew the extent of it before she died.
    Her daughters (young teenagers at the time) lost a mama who loved them so much.
    And sadly, she followed her mom’s path. Years before she died I watched her little girls while she planned her moms funeral for the same kind of death.
    Where does it stop!?
    Drs must stop providing these pills so easily. We don’t need 20+ narcotic pain pills for a tooth extraction or a minor surgery! The pharmacies/police need to have a program to take the pills that are left over and dispose of them! And we MUST educate our kids so that they know ONE time is all it takes for these opioid addictions to begin!! It’s no longer just alley junkies! It’s everywhere. It doesn’t discriminate. So many start with pills because they don’t hold the stigma of a needle.

    Reply
    • Kelly

      Just so you know even pain management doctors won’t prescribe narcotics anymore. I have chronic back pain.I am in pain every day. I can’t even get those pain management doctors to give me a prescription for 10 pain pills that I can take on such days where I can’t even get out of bed.

      Reply
    • Madeline

      I agree that this is definitely an issue that is still very much ongoing, but hopefully it’ll encourage you that I’be seen some changes in recent years! My brother had his wisdom teeth extracted a few years ago (4? 5?) and they prescribed 25 oxy! I just had my wisdom teeth extracted about a month ago by the same office and they only gave me 10 hydrocodone. I realize the problem is far from over, but this gave me some hope.

      Reply
  5. KellyK

    As a nurse, I take care of addicts a LOT. Using illegal opiates is a choice. The first time they use is an experiment. Any use after that is pure choice. Nobody forces them to use. I’ve used opiates. Legal ones, like Vicodin. And yeah, Sometimes I got a buzz. So I can understand wanting to get high. However, I never became addicted. And people say that over prescribing illegal opioid pain medications caused all of these other people to become addicted to heroin etc. Ok. Whatever.

    Last weekend, five young children died in Erie Pennsylvania, as I’m sure you were well aware, in a house fire because it made national news and international news actually. A senseless tragedy. One mom lost 4 of her children!

    And the weekend before 31 United States citizens were killed by gun violence. They didn’t do anything wrong. Some of them were at Walmart shopping. Others were out on a Saturday night with family and friends. In fact the shooter at Dayton Ohio killed his own sister!

    I’m sorry but gun violence is a bigger problem! Schools get shot up all the time! It’s sad. I shouldn’t have to worry about my son possibly getting killed by some nutter with a gun coming into his school and shooting it up. Homeschool isn’t an option for me.

    People who are addicted to opiates and overdose are the least of my worries.

    And because of them the pendulum has swung the other way. I have chronic back pain issues my lumbar spine is so crooked that one of my legs are shorter than the other. I am in pain every day!

    Because I only have one kidney and because I had weight-loss surgery I’m really not supposed to take Motrin or Aleve or indomethacin because they are NSAIDs and the kidney processes those drugs. I can’t even get a doctor to give me a prescription for a muscle relaxer anymore. Four years ago I had several epidurals to help the pain and it didn’t but that doctor also would give me a prescription for Vicodin when I needed it and it wasn’t every day I can’t even get a doctor to give me a prescription for a muscle relaxer anymore. Four years ago I had several epidurals to help the pain and it didn’t but that doctor also would give me a prescription for Vicodin when I needed it and it wasn’t every day I would take it.

    But thanks to these opiate addicts I can’t even get pain management specialists to give me 10 pain pills when I have days where I can’t get out of bed. So I guess I’ll just continue to poison myself with ibuprofen & kill my remaining kidney and then Medicare can pay for my care when I have to go on dialysis.

    I’m sorry for the OP’s loss. She isn’t the only one suffering due to opiate addiction.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      I recognize that there are many forms of pain in the world, Kelly, but compassion means that we are able to empathize with others regardless of where they are at.

      I am sure that if your own son was suffering because he broke his arm you wouldn’t get mad at him for being in pain because it’s not as bad as your chronic pain you struggle with.

      By having compassion for people in one kind of pain we don’t suddenly have less room for compassion for another group. That’s the thing about kindness, love, empathy–there isn’t a limit of what we can give. So although I agree that the issues you are bringing up are also important, I think it is vital that we are able to have compassion even for people who we don’t personally feel the same struggle with.

      Remember please that we serve a God who wept with those who were in pain–even though he knew he would bring their loved one back from the dead. Jesus weeps with us, and as Christians we are called to weep with each other.

      “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15

      Reply
      • Kelly

        They don’t give you opiates for a broken bone anymore…they tell you to take Tylenol or Motrin. I had dental work done last week and have a tooth abscess and was told the same thing. Tylenol doesn’t work for me and I am NOT supposed to take NSAIDs but I do because that’s the only choice I have. Chronic pain stinks.

        This opiate crisis is costing taxpayers in THE US a lot of money.

        Thanks for the hand slap Rebecca

        Reply
        • Kelly

          Rebecca,

          Comparing a broken bone to being an addict is a stretch. My son wouldnt choose to break his bone. Huge difference.

          Remember Cory Monteith from Glee? Once upon a time he had a heroin addiction. Which he kicked but then when they found him in the hotel room back on July 13 of 2013 in Canada, it turns out he overdosed on heroin. Because I’m sure he used the same amount that he did back when he was an addict and as was stated in the article, you can’t use the same amount that you used to use because your body isn’t used to that amount of the drug.

          We all have pain & sorrow. This topic is a hot button of mine. And doesn’t seem to fit with the theme of the website.

          Reply
          • Rebecca Lindenbach

            I’m not comparing a broken bone to an addict. I’m saying that pain is pain, and we need to have compassion. That’s all.

            We all have hot button topics. I truly do understand–due to my own history, there are many times that I have had to bite my tongue when I see things posted by friends or family on twitter, facebook, or other websites. But when someone is currently in acute pain, I think the answer is often to be silent and mourn with them. And then at a more appropriate opportunity, that’s when we can talk about the other side of the issue.

          • Kelly

            I’m in acute pain…maybe not emotional but certainly physical. Every. Darn. Day.

            I feel for the OP as I said in my initial post. However, I don’t see how this topic fits in with the blog.

            A staff member lost a friend to addiction. That stinks. I’ve lost relatives to cancer. Cousins who were my age or younger when they died with young children left without a mother or father. One died the same year I got my own cancer diagnosis. I get loss.

            the opiate crisis is a hot topic.one that won’t be solved soon

          • KSM

            I am an RN in the US and have worked for 9 years since graduation. Medical staff including physicians and nurses have our hands tied in managing the opioid crisis in our country.

            Hospitals get reimbursed by insurance money from the government. Hospitals give patients surveys to fill out at the conclusion of their hospital stay. One of the questions is “Was your pain adequately managed during your hospital stay?” Of course patients regularly answered this question as “NO”, and healthcare providers got slammed and pressured from the government to provide pain relief. It’s been deemed that “Pain is the fifth vital sign and it’s what the patient says it is”, meaning everyone has different interpretations of their pain experience. To appease our government, physicians began prescribing narcotics left and right, often inappropriately, to appease patients and so the hospital will receive higher survey scores. It’s similar to how people want antibiotics for a virus (antibiotics treat bacterial infections and will not treat influenza or the common cold!) and now we’ve created multi-drug resistant bacteria because of the misuse of antibiotics to please patients.

            The bottom line is, we’ve given patients what they’ve wanted at the request of the government so our hospitals can continue to make money-but at what cost?

    • Scott

      Hi Kelly,

      I am sorry you have had to suffer so much physical pain and that has been exacerbated by the removal of drug options by authorities trying to stop the opioid epidemic.

      However, I want to speak up against some of your complaints, which I felt were a bit off base. The opioid epidemic is enormous, and a quick search indicated that there were roughly 42,000 opioid overdose deaths in the US in 2016, with roughly 40% of those being from prescriptions. This is about 4x more than gun-related deaths and VASTLY more than mass-shooting deaths. Roughly 2 million people in the US have an opioid-use disorder, which is insane. That is more than the number of new cancer cases per year (though many of those opioid cases are not new in a given year I realize).

      I have two acquaintances that are FBI agents with our local office. They work on a huge range of crimes. I have asked them both, and they say that, by far, their most-common task is working on opioid issues. It doesn’t even seem to be close, and it’s all about tracking down dirty doctors that are overprescribing on purpose (almost always with money under the table). Their #2 task wasn’t asked for specifically, but it sounds like it is child pornography and related issues. So this is a huge, huge issue that hurts lots of people. And the result of sin is often that there is collateral damage, like people being in pain not being able to get much-needed painkillers.

      Please know that I mean no offense towards you and really feel for your situation. I have a friend who could not get painkillers for his back and went years before finally getting relief through surgery (when he woke one day to find he couldn’t even get out of bed).

      -Scott

      Reply
      • Blessed Wife

        You are exactly right, Scott, about the huge proportion of opioid deaths to gun deaths. Further consider that the far-and-away largest category of gun deaths are suicides. (I wonder how many of those suicides involve addiction?) The total number of gun deaths also includes police shootings, accidents, and justified shootings by armed citizens. Murder by firearm is a drop in the bucket compared to overdoses, medical accident/malpractice deaths, and car wrecks. Still sad, but still facts.

        Reply
      • Kelly

        And I have seen a Nero surgeon who told me that I would qualify for back surgery but he couldn’t guarantee that it would lessen my pain and in fact said it could make my pain worse. I know people personally who have had back surgery for similar issues and it exacerbated their pain. It didn’t cure it at all.

        Right now I have a toothache due to a broken tooth that has an abscess underneath it and was told to take Motrin/ibuprofen. Let me just tell you that the Motrin I took which is 1000mg, hasn’t touched my tooth pain and forget about my chronic daily back pain. I also had gastric bypass surgery 10 years ago so I do not absorb all of the medications that I do take.

        I also only have one kidney thanks to cancer. Ibuprofen is metabolized through the kidneys. Therefore I am really not supposed to take any NSAID whatsoever and then there is my gastric bypass surgery which turned my stomach into the size of an egg and puts me at increased risk of ulcers. So another reason why I really shouldn’t take NSAIDs. But I do as I said before because that is the only choice I have

        . So I guess I’ll either die from a G.I. bleed or end up in the chronic renal failure and be on renal dialysis. This is what the opioid epidemic has brought me to. So far so good and I have remained healthy but the day will come where my body will fail me.

        So because of all of these addicts, nobody gets narcotics anymore! My mother was in a really bad car accident at the end of July and was banged up pretty bad. She had to be taken by ambulance to a local ER. When she was discharged the only thing they gave her was a low-dose muscle relax sent and told to take a leav my mother was in a really bad car accident at the end of July and was banged up pretty bad. She had to be taken by ambulance to a local ER. When she was discharged the only thing they gave her was a low-dose muscle relax sent and told to take naprosyn or ibuprofen. And, like me, she too had gastric bypass surgery 10 years ago. She took naprosyn. 🥴

        Reply
  6. Blessed Wife

    My heart just breaks for this family! I am weeping with you right now, because it could easily be me. Has been me, actually. A boy I grew up with had a very similar story, except his was alcohol. After several up-close looks at alcohol relapses, the pattern is very similar- you’re rocking along, they’re rocking along, life is great, you feel your feet under you again and everything seems to be moving forward beautifully…and the train hits you before you even knew you were on the tracks. Even if everyone lives, it tears you up inside and shakes your faith in people and your perceptions of how your life and theirs is going.

    As a note to Kelly: I understand your anger with addicts. When you have all you can handle to keep your life running well, and someone makes a destructive choice that makes your life harder, the temptation to conk that person on the head and dismiss them from your life can be very keen! But come on! The loss this writer is feeling is very real, and it HURTS! And your anger, while understandable from certain viewpoints, only adds insult to injury. I can also state, from experience, that getting angry with addicts, judging them, and chewing them out for their stupid, selfish choices..does not help them get better. It doesn’t even make them want to try.

    You are right about it being a choice, but I think you underestimate how hard the choice can be. One of my qualifiers told me once: “I crave alcohol like you need food and air. You don’t understand, this battle is every day, every minute for me.” He was right.

    I think until you’ve fought a temptation like that, day in, day out, round the clock for ages, you really can’t understand how very hard it is to make the right choice every. Single. Time. For people who are born with addictive personalities, that first-time experiment might as well be a step into a fast-moving stream on the edge of a cliff. If you hold on with every finger and toe, strain with every muscle and pray with every breath, you may climb back up to where you were, maybe make it out of the stream altogether. Or not.

    I am praying for all of you in pain today, for whatever kind of pain you’re in. It sounds like there are a lot of us on here who could use it!

    Reply
  7. Jim N

    Like many here, my heart breaks for this family and friends. I’ll pray immediately after this post for them as I know if I don’t I’ll forget or put it off.

    I hope this isn’t a wrong time to post this as o don’t want to detract from their loss but also realize some may come here to find help. A few here have posted about Celebrate Recovery. The church I attend uses Reformers Unanimous. I’ve heard of other faith based recovery programs like Breaking the Chains. If you have an addiction please consider these.

    If you aren’t seeking these ministries out because of your faith, I’ll give an amazing statistic. Reformers Unanimous has a verified over 80% recovery rate from addiction to those that fully complete the course! Compare that to a less than 20% that AA or other non faith based recovery programs have. I’m sure that CR, BtC and other faith based can boast high rates also (I just don’t know them off hand as our church uses RU). Realizing that the addiction is a symptom. Learning that the heart of the matter, is the matter of the heart is the key to recovery. Even if faith isn’t a concern of yours, maybe you will be open to trying it just because of its recovery rate.

    RU has a search function with every local chapter on their website (not sure if I could link an outside website here or not or else I would).

    I am unsure if your friend normally reads the comments Sheila or Rebecca, but if she doesn’t and if it makes any difference please let them know that there are those here joining in prayer for them.

    Reply
  8. Gillian

    This is a question about pornography addiction. Sorry, I know this topic comes up a lot.

    Went on behind my back for thirteen years with me actually finding something on the computer, but him lying for over a decade that it was just once. I’ve never been lied to like that before.

    Long story short, I finally left him 8 years ago which forced him to confess his fully blown addiction. He said he’d stopped the computer 3/4 years before but had carried on with other imagery.

    I had a breakdown from the stress and also became extremely sick. Almost left him but we had children and I was too sick to work to support them.

    We tried to work through things but then he’d lie and deceive and manipulate some more and all efforts would be lost again.

    All this time later and we’ve just never recovered. Too many lies and too much damage. He will still try to claim I have made a ‘choice’ not to trust him and doesn’t have any comprehension that his lying is unbearable.

    He also says he’s not prepared to spend the rest of his life feeling sorry for this. He’s said that a lot and still says it…..

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m sorry, Gillian, So sorry. The fact that he has consistently lied and never really been up front about the addiction means that he isn’t really trying to get better. I’m sorry that you had to bear all of this. I hope that you can find a good community where you can feel supported and your kids can feel supported. It’s just tragic that some people choose addiction over marriage.

      Reply
    • Natalie

      My heart goes out to you, Gillian. I’d recommend “The Betrayed, The Addicted and The Expert” (it’s a podcast) as well as getting in touch with a good CSAT (certified sex addiction therapist) who can help you work through your struggle. Praying for you!

      Reply
  9. Julia

    This post is so tragic and sad. I am truly sorry that your family is going through this. I have 2 family members who have been struggling with opioid addiction for several years. It can be so discouraging and heartbreaking to watch people you love suffer and sometimes it is hard to keep believing that God hears your prayers. Opioid addiction affects everyone not just the person who is using. From grandparents to parents to siblings, spouses, cousins, nephews and nieces. I pray that this won’t happen to our family. I am praying for your family and May God be with you in this awful time.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      I said a prayer for your family, too, Julia–thank you for your kind words.

      Reply

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