How do I know I’m Addicted

ADdicted

How do I know I’m Addicted

This is a very difficult subject to write about.  People differ from one another is a multitude of ways that their opinions often describe their conditions, especially in the early stages.  Seldom do they say, “I am an addict.”

We don’t purpose in our lives to be an addict.  It’s not like we wake up in the morning and say today, I am going to be an addict. It’s a gradual lifestyle change that eventually becomes the norm. Whether its illegal drugs, alcohol, food, or porn, an addiction is an addiction. Many times the change is so subtle that we fail to see the direction we are going. It may start as an occasional splurge at the food bar, some recreational drugs at a social, or wine and cheese served at a party of some sort. But you find yourself drinking more wine and forget about the cheese. Eventually the activity becomes more frequent and to the point that you don’t need an occasion to splurge.

Then you say I don’t party unless I’m alone or with somebody. You may find yourself “partying “alone without regard to those you may have at home waiting for you. Or it could be with some good friends that you never met (or a member of the opposite sex). A stop at the local hangout on the way home begins as a short drink to unwind which maybe would occupy an hour of your time.  Eventually the hour turns into two and then midnight is not that much longer.  Before you know it, its 2 AM, closing hour.  Your spouse starts to get infuriated by your late arrival at home.  You begin to explain its only one night and I had a really difficult day at work and needed to unwind. One day slowly turns into two and so on.  Then it becomes all about me.  You forget about the wife and children at home and become so enthralled about having a good time, the family no longer matters. Self-centeredness becomes a way of life. If you are married or in a relationship, separation becomes imminent.

As this activity continues, bills are left unpaid and family time is more of a bother than a pleasure. You find yourself leaving late for work, and then sometimes you don’t leave at all. Eventually there is no job to go to because you were fired. Time spent with family is no longer important. When you do eventually go out with your spouse, there is always some alcohol involved.  You quit going to events where alcohol is not served.  Even a family trip to Pizza Hut requires a pitcher or three. As the downward spiral continues, collection calls from creditors become more frequent and your ability to borrow fades away.  Next step is usually eviction or foreclosure. Then comes the event that you dread the most, moving in with family, if they allow you. Your vehicle gets repossessed and you rely on any friends or family who are still associating with you for rides. But eventually that also goes away.

As this trend continues, you begin frequenting the doctor’s office more and missing works.  You find yourself sick in the morning, but come alive after 5 PM ready to begin your day. Then comes the ultimate explosion.  You go to a fundraising event with local business people and drink so much, you become out of business for several days. You become so intoxicated that you risk tours and maybe others life and limb to venture home on curvy, country roads. If you are not stopped and arrested and if you finally arrive at home, you crawl from your vehicle into the house and pass out on the living room floor.  You are so ill for the next three days; you finally come to the realization that this may be a problem. Then you wake up and say I do have a problem and need a drastic change in my life; but you’re still not calling it an addiction. Maybe it still hasn’t sunk in yet, so you test the water one more time. Then after the intense stomach pains begin, you take a trip to the emergency room. A couple of days in intensive care, then it finally clicks.  If I don’t quit, I may never see tomorrow.

Now when all the things that matter to you start to disappear. It may have begun losing your career, then personal belongings.  When the family starts to leave, you then begin thinking, what have I done. If I don’t make a change now, life as I know it will be over.  I must be addicted. It’s unfortunate for many people that don’t realize they have an addiction until this happens. If you are under the control of alcohol or drugs you are in denial to all those things that life is supposed to offer.  Its only when you begin to lose everything that you once cherished, you actually realize there is a problem. You finally hit bottom.  You have lost everything; the only thing left is your freedom and your life.

But there is hope. Jesus is the answer. In our program we don’t need to explain of all the horrors of drug and alcohol abuse. Anyone who experienced it knows what they have gone through. We all know the problem, let’s get to the solution. At SVTC we teach something called the “Jesus Factor.  The following are six steps that incorporated in our teaching.

1.     Faith is believing and acting upon Gods Word. Faith is essential to the man that wants God to intervene in his life. “Without Faith it is impossible to please God”

2.     Be born again and live a holy life.  The devil will run your life if Jesus is not running it. If you are not connected to God you will be under the influence and oppression of Satan. It’s not really what man says that makes him a child of God. This is why Jesus taught his disciples to look out for the fruit in a man’s life to identify if he truly is living for God.

3.     Get committed to god in every way.  When you get committed to Jesus, Jesus gets committed to you-your life, dreams, goals, career, marriage, family life, success, academics, job, and so on. Phil 4:19 and my God will supply all my need according to his riches and glory in Christ Jesus.

4.     Live by the principals and laws of God. Walking in the Word of God opens your life and situation up for the power of God to intervene and give you your miracle and acting upon the word allows that miracle to occur.   At Cana water was turned into wine to save the bridegroom from shame.  The great miracle happened because the servants did what Jesus instructed.

5.     Prompt obedience is the action required to trigger the supernatural power of God. Don’t sit down and moan about your life and situation, ask Him what he wants you to do in the present circumstance.  Do whatever he tells you and your story will have a good ending.

6.     Be positive in thoughts and words. Think faith, think positively and don’t dwell on the negatives. Don’t dwell on the negative side of a problem. To speak faith, you must think faith. Dwell on the positive side of things.

I believe if you live by these six keys you will begin to see the power of God work in your favor and things will begin to change for you. So get connected and hang in there.  There is hope in Jesus!

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