Christians who seek recovery from food addiction and eating disorders through a 12-step program may wonder if such a program is even necessary. Believing that God is able to heal the person who has faith, a 12-step program of recovery seems superfluous. Can’t we simply go to God directly? Why the need for the “steps and tools” of recovery?
Here are some tips for teaching kids to cope with life and avoid addiction:
No matter how charmed one’s life appears from a distance, no one is entirely shielded from the need to cope with a life and world that we don’t control. While money, power, good looks, and success go a long way in helping one get what he or she may desire, there is no substitute for the ability to effectively confront and cope with the unexpected curve balls of adult life. Though you strive to give your child every opportunity you can afford and manage, are you teaching your kids to be people who can survive, and even thrive, regardless of their circumstances?
“I also knew that I did not want to drink. Sitting on that sofa, I realized the old ‘I could stop if I wanted to, I just don’t want to’ didn’t apply here, because I did not want to drink. I watched myself get up off the sofa and pour myself a drink. When I sat back down on the sofa, I started to cry. My denial had cracked…”(Alcoholics Anonymous, 324)
For those who want to recover from alcoholism, there is no shortage of resources to help make it happen. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings take place every day of the week across the globe. Detox programs and inpatient rehab centers are found in every state. Alcoholism and its effects can be healed and mitigated, and these community and professional resources stand ready to bring hope and healing back into the lives of those who have been brutalized by alcohol addiction.
If an alcoholic is committed to his own destruction and even death, where does this leave the friends and relations of the alcoholic? Are they powerless in the fight? Is there nothing they can do to help?
Recognition of powerlessness is the first step for the alcoholic who wants to recover and it should be the first step for those who are impacted by the alcoholism. Certainly you have tried everything you could think of. You have hidden the alcohol, you have tried to keep the alcoholic from situations where alcohol may be present, you may have prayed, you have threatened, cried and begged. Admitting you are powerless does not mean giving up. It means you have acknowledged the truth about yourself and the enemy you are up against. There is freedom in accepting this reality.
“And life keeps getting simpler and easier as we try to reverse my old idea, by taking care of the internal environment via the Twelve Steps, and letting the external environment take care of itself.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, “Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict,” 446)
Addicts are controllers because they have an inability to live in a world that does not run according to their wishes. We want people to do what we say and think as we think. We want to micromanage circumstances and events to our wishes. We pushed and pulled in every direction, certain that life could be better-that we could be better-if people would just behave as we wanted them to. When we didn’t get our way, we pushed harder, threw a tantrum, or went to the bottle to escape and forget. The ability to accept life as it was or to confront it like a grown up was lacking.
It is never comfortable to confront another Christian about sin. We risk being labeled “judgmental,” “self-righteous,” or “meddling.” However, if this friend is struggling with addiction, he or she may be caught in a cycle that is virtually impossible to break. Denial, shame and fear cloud the issue. As a friend, you want to be helpful, but how can you help a brother or sister see his or her sin without making him or her feel condemned?
There are times in life when we find ourselves in what we might call a quandary. Perhaps we have a decision to make or we must take action on some matter, but we cannot see the right path. The anxiety sparks cravings, and rather than live with the discomfort, we long for the kind of escape the bottle promises to provide.