If you have not identified yourself as an alcoholic, you probably know somebody who you think is an alcoholic. Or, who needs recovery from some addiction. Yes?
Most can identify with this. I surely can—I am an alcoholic in recovery. I still say that I am an alcoholic because I need to remind myself daily of that fact. I have learned that to have a chance at staying sober, I need to say this truth out loud to me and to others. I also have learned that I cannot keep what I am not willing to give away.
Whew. That means I need to keep showing up for others, which is what I intend to do for the rest of my life.
When I wrote my books on recovery, it started out by me wanting to share what I had learned in sobriety with others in the hopes that they could get sober and remain sober too.
Now I know that God has written these books through me for a broader audience—for those surrounding the alcoholic and addict who don’t know how to help—or what to do for their alcoholic they know and love. When we know more about what we are dealing with, our understanding will hopefully be expanded and we can be of better support to the one struggling.
I have learned so much about dealing with the addicts or alcoholics in my life. I would like to share some suggestions you may want to consider:
1) Never try and reason with or talk to someone who is actively drinking or using. Gently extract and say you will be there for them to talk when they are sober.
2) Know that this addiction/recovery is a process— when we are at the bottom of our disease, we are in survival mode and the simpler the message, the better. This is where a gentle spirit coming along side them (YOU) can make all the difference for them to get to a place where they can surrender to God and get the help they need. The less we pressure, the better. Friends have told me that they have put my simple-read-books on their coffee table as a gentle nudge (for them to pick up on their own.)
3) Recovery is about relationships—restoration of relationship with family and others and with God. If I could have gotten sober on my own power I would have done so long before I was 50 years old! The difference for me was God.
4) Listen and then point them to God. Pray with them. If they resist this, pray for them on your own.
5) Point them to AA meetings, NA meetings, or Al-Anon meetings.
6) The key to maintaining sobriety is a daily treatment of surrender, prayer, meetings and service. They have to want their sobriety more than you want it for them.
7) Know that there is always a way out and help for them. Never give up on them.
and last, but not least...
8) Know that there is always hope.
Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
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