Over the course of my ministry, I’ve had a lot of training in dealing addictions, and as a minister in a local church, I’ve had a lot of experience dealing with families impacted by addiction. Most of the time, the behavior has been known by the addict and the family for some time. There have been the usual lies, broken promises, second chances and trips to rehab. There have been trips to counselors and doctors, experts of every kind, but nothing really helps.
The family will say, “If we can just stop them from drinking, our lives would be fine”. That’s not true, but that’s what everyone thinks.
Occasions - Alcoholic - Drinking - AA - Meetings
And on rare occasions, the alcoholic will stop drinking. They won’t go to AA meetings or rehab. They won’t see a counselor, but they will stop drinking.
Alcoholics Anonymous has a term for people like this. They’re called “dry drunks”. Being a dry drunk means the addict hasn’t dealt with any of the underlying issues that caused the addiction in the first place. For most addicts, there is a traumatic experience, a source of pain or some kind of hole in their heart they are trying to self-medicate with their drug of choice.
Addict - Source - Pain - People - Pain
Because the addict doesn’t deal with the source of their pain, they don’t get better as people. They may not be drinking or using, but they are still reacting out of their pain. They’re angry. They’re bitter and hateful to their friends and families. Sometimes it gets so bad the family secretly wishes their addict would start using again.
A friend of mine is a therapist, and he often reminds me that most people don’t want to get well. They simply want to feel better. People will make an appointment with him and work through the initial pain of the issue that brought them...
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