For the past 24 hours I have been pondering my life experiences and what really helped me in recovery. I mentioned that I felt the stirring of the Holy Ghost as I read my personal Book of Mormon, that I prayed, but it wasn’t enough to help me in overcoming my addiction. This was because I wasn’t being honest and needed to ask for help. Until I was ready to fully admit I had a problem, even with reading the scriptures or praying, I was stuck.
So often individuals try to quit an addiction simply by going to therapy, leaning on someone else, and still can’t find success in overcoming their addiction. Though counseling, therapy, mentor resources and so many other tools are so great and incredibly helpful, often individuals find themselves stuck back at square one. We may even have the faith to overcome, but we still continue to go back to our addictive tendencies.
Looking at my own recovery and while studying the LDS Family Services ARP manual, something so profound struck me this morning, that I know to be absolutely true. In order to experience complete recovery, we must truly humble ourselves before the Lord, be fully willing to turn to Christ and His gospel with all our hearts above all other sources of help. We could spend thousands of dollars on the best programs out there, yet the key component for healing was paid for by the blood of a loving Savior who suffered for us in a garden long ago. This gift is freely given to us and yet we believe, “Oh no, that’s too simple, it can’t be that easy.” Yet it is that simple. (Not saying the process is easy)
With this being said, I’m not saying therapy, counseling or mentoring isn’t helpful or necessary. I have needed these resources, not to help overcome my addictions, but to help me see the unhealthy patterns in my personal life that kept me going back to the addiction. I have had to learn how to set appropriate boundaries, learn the importance of self-care and how to overcome some very unhealthy, self-condemning, thinking patterns.
Humbly turning my heart to the Savior and His Gospel, He removed and will continue to remove the desire to self medicate with sugar or other addictions when stressful things come up. Simply writing down my feelings, I have been able to pinpoint irrational thinking on my part and see where my thoughts are not serving me well. By writing I can see, “Oh, you’re feeling the need to fix someone again.” or “You’re allowing the actions of others to determine your happiness.” These are skills I have learned through being trained in mentoring techniques, reading books, and from receiving counseling. So you can see how sometimes both really are necessary. Other wise you keep going back to the addiction as a coping mechanism when life get’s unbearably hard, or just bounce from one addiction to another addiction.
If we truly want to be healed we must turn to the Savior Jesus Christ and live His teachings. We have to be completely honest and be willing to stop rationalizing our behaviors, stop coming up with our own alternative solutions to the true answer and humbly admit that His way is the one and only way to truly be healed.
So I promised I would share some of the books that have and continue to help me in addition to the scriptures. I will always recommend the LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Book. If you have a spouse or child who is struggling with addiction(of any kind), I recommend the following books. You can google them online and buy them just about anywhere.