Am I the Only One? Growing Up with an Addicted Parent

Am I the Only One? Growing Up with an Addicted Parent

I sat there alone in the dark and prayed to a God I hadn’t spoken to in over 15 years.

I begged Him to answer my burning questions. Am I the only one who is so lost? Why did my husband drink so much? Why do I continually make so many wrong choices when it comes to marriage? Why did my dad die such a horrible death?

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Letting Go of the Dream of Partnership in a Marriage Affected by Addiction

Letting Go of the Dream of Partnership in a Marriage Affected by Addiction

I had a picture in my mind of what I wanted my marriage to look like. I didn’t realize this of course when I was married but rather, down the road when my husband was not meeting my undisclosed requirements for a happy marriage.

Things like sit-down family dinners, who would read the bedtime stories and what movies were appropriate for children were foundational points I assumed everyone felt the same way about. Was that not the typical "American Dream"? Happy, wholesome, "Leave It to Beaver", family-oriented togetherness? I couldn't fathom that seemingly-simple lifestyle would not be as important for someone else as it was for me.  

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Finding Joy in a Hot Christmas Mess

Finding Joy in a Hot Christmas Mess

My Christmas was full of homemade gingerbread men gifted to our neighbours, tobogganing at the old mill, colourful wrapping paper, the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree, Christmas productions at church and sparkling apple cider served in a “fancy” glass at my Grandma’s house. It truly was, “the most wonderful time of the year”.

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Letter to the Wife of a Sex Addict

Letter to the Wife of a Sex Addict

Dear wife of the sex addict,

Good morning, sweet lady. What’s good about it, though, right? Your whole world has been shaken, and you’re not even sure you can force yourself to put one foot in front of the other, much less agree that it’s a “good” morning. I know.

Betrayal takes everything.

Everything you once knew and everything you once treasured is just... gone. All that was sure is no longer sure and you don’t understand. You feel lost... broken... lonely.

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"Tough love is a very fine line" [Interview] Behind the Drugs

"Tough love is a very fine line" [Interview] Behind the Drugs

Hello, I’m Jen Underwood, a freelance writer. My friend, Jessie, has struggled with addiction and agreed to let me interview her in order to help others understand addiction. In talking with her, I feel God taught me something as well. Addicts don't want to be seen as addicts but for who they are beyond the addiction. On the other hand, my friend does not see her worth as I see her. She is the kind of soul that others gravitate toward.

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Dear Diary: I Fell Into a Burning Ring of Fire

Dear Diary: I Fell Into a Burning Ring of Fire

Have you watched the movie, Walk the Line? I feel like it needs a re-watch. June Carter wrote the song, "Ring of Fire" about her relationship with Johnny Cash, who had fallen deep into drugs and alcohol. The song hits me in every place. I understand it completely. 

One thing worth noting about their relationship was that Johnny Cash's life was saved first by love and second by faith.

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When is the Right Time to Leave an Addict? (Part Two)

When is the Right Time to Leave an Addict? (Part Two)

Last week, we talked about making the decision to leave or kick out a loved one struggling with addiction. One of the hard, cold realities of addiction is that doing so is sometimes necessary not only for our own survival but for their overall well-being.  

Allowing someone to hurt in order to help them doesn't seem like a very Godly thing to do. It hurts us to see our loved ones hurting (most of the time, that is! Somedays, it's more like, "Ah! That's it! You're getting what you deserve- maybe it'll make you change!").

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When is the Right Time to Leave an Addict? (Part One)

When is the Right Time to Leave an Addict? (Part One)

The trouble with addiction is the people who have them are good people. Hurting maybe, but often, still good. At the very least, they’re human beings that we care about or have a history with. 

In my experience, those who struggle with addiction are not normally what the media portrays. Yes, there are many people who seem to have walked off the television show, “Intervention” (or need to go on it!) but not all are like that. When it comes to decision-making and laying down boundaries, I always felt like the families of the "severely addicted" had it easy because it's so blatantly obvious their loved one needs to go to treatment. If they won’t go, then they need to be left alone to hit their rock bottom.

As difficult as the process still is, the struggle is clear for all to see. 

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What Panic Attacks Have Taught Me About Strength

What Panic Attacks Have Taught Me About Strength

Weakness. 

There is nothing I have ever experienced; not bullying, not divorce, not even addiction, that has made me feel more helpless than a panic attack. There is a moment where the waves of terror take over my body and hold my thoughts captive.

Though I know the panic attacks comes a resurgence of painful memories my body is the piece of me that loses control. In the midst of the attack, I can tell myself, “This isn’t real, it’s going to end, I will be able to breathe, everything is going to be okay” but I cannot convince my body to relax or find breath.

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Dear Diary: Sweet, Girlfriend of an Addict

Dear Diary: Sweet, Girlfriend of an Addict
For the young girl I met during family visits to my husband in rehab~ 

“I hate glitter,” you said, “It always gets stuck under my nails”.

You told me you were there to see your friend. When you told me his story my heart broke for you. You said he was only your friend but you drove for hours to see him and went to two different restaurants just to find his favourite sandwich.

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Don't Allow Trouble to Uproot Your Faith

Don't Allow Trouble to Uproot Your Faith

Everything belongs to God. The roof over our heads, the food in our pantries, the clothes in our drawers; It is His. 

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.”

-1 Chronicles 29:11-12 (ESV)

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How to Have a Healthy Relationship in Addiction Recovery

How to Have a Healthy Relationship in Addiction Recovery

Living with a loved one in recovery is an entirely different thing than life in active addiction. Each season needs its own specific course of action and entirely different approach.When our loved ones are in active addiction everything from finances to their whereabouts is in question; "Who are they with? What are they doing? Why are they late? Who are they on the phone with? Why did they take their phone in the bathroom?"

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Six Signs the Abuse in Your Marriage is Escalating

Six Signs the Abuse in Your Marriage is Escalating

One of the real dangers of staying in an abusive marriage is that abuse generally escalates. Boundaries are nudged, pushed, and eventually outright challenged so that you find yourself submitting to abuse that would once be unthinkable. Humans acclimate to a wide variety of situations, but in an abusive marriage, this adaptability comes eventually at a severe cost. The first time I truly realized I was in an abusive marriage was about nine years into the marriage. Before I used the word ‘abusive’, I generally used the word ‘controlling’. No one likes to face the fact that they are abused.

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A Day in the Life of the Wife of an Addict

A Day in the Life of the Wife of an Addict

How many times have you packed your bags? Collected your children and rode off in a fury of pain and confusion? Lost. Unable to figure out what to do next. When married to someone struggling with an addiction everyday life can be downright traumatic. 

Living a Life Without Boundaries

You wake up and the sun is shining on another beautiful day. The pitter-patter of your children’s feet echoes through the rooms of your home as you stretch and roll over in bed.

One more minute of bliss.

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