ANON (Those Who Love Dysfunctional People), Info & Help

Wandering in the Wilderness? Keep a Proper Perspective

We all wander in the wilderness to some extent. No one on earth has "arrived." Anxieties, fears, worries, depression, pain afflict us all.

Just because someone is saved does not mean that bad things no longer happen or that we cease to be confused at times. The difference is Who we choose to carry us when we can no longer carry ourselves.

We all have a choice to make. Are you going to be the Lord of your own life and insist on going it alone? Will you look to other people, places and things to carry you? (This is
idolatry). Or will you look to God?

Moving from Client to Staff Member - Avoiding Codependency IssuesPremium Content

Recovery programs hire many program graduates and others who have overcome addictions or have grown up in troubled families. They can be excellent examples for mission clients and usually have special compassion and understanding for those who are still hurting. On the other hand, some are hindered in their efforts to minister to others because of their own codependency.

Here are a few common symptoms experienced by these "wounded warriors":

A. Inability to detach.

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Getting My Eyes Off of Myself

A cheerful heart is a good medicine,
but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 NRSV

We visited a church with our kids on Sunday. The pastor, in trying to make a point about honesty, addressed the dynamic that occurs when friends meet together: "How are you?" "I'm fine." He concluded that often the "I'm fine" is actually a lie because we aren't fine.

But are we?

As Christians should we have any opportunity for griping or complaining, moaning or groaning? Or are we actually stating a truth when we say "I'm fine," a truth that perhaps we really don't embrace but which is a truth nonetheless? Paul wrote:

Is My Way Always Right?

Proverbs 17:19 NRSV
One who loves transgression loves strife;
one who builds a high threshold invites broken bones.

I have a terrible tendency to want, to need to be right. And if my opinions, my way is always right, then I am likely going to be in contention with those around me who see and perceive the world differently than I do. Psalm 94:4 equates arrogance (the need to be right): They pour out their arrogant words; all the evildoers boast. (NRSV) Demanding that only our way is right is the same as boasting. And arrogance isn't the way of the believer. The believer is called to be humble. In fact, when we are humble, we are obedient, but when we are not humble -- when we are arrogant and self-seeking -- we are living in strife with those around us and are in sin. In fact, it is impossible to please God unless we are humble: Before I was humbled I went astray, but now I keep your word. Psalm 119:67 NRSV

A Prayer for Addicts

Dear Lord,
bless those who seek
solace in substances;
helplessly hurting their bodies,
trying to feed their souls.

Father, let them see
You are the food they crave.
Envelop them in the warm blanket
of Your eternal love.

God, please keep them safe
from the perils of their actions.
Protect those around them as well.

Give them the strength, O Lord,
to see that it is You they've been searching for.
For there is no void You cannot fill.
And You are always with them.

With You there is no fear, no pain, no judgment -
And all their sins will be forgiven.

They need only look
to Your hopeful light within them all,
Instead of the demons that beckon.

We pray they know

Honesty: Telling It Like It IsPremium Content

1 Corinthians 5:12-13 RSV
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Drive out the wicked person from among you.


Scripture talks a lot about not judging others. And then, Paul comes along and commands us to judge others. It seems to contradict itself. This isn't the kind of judgment that brings condemnation or punishment, but rather is the kind of judgment that calls into question. It is, in fact, the judgment that is done in love and demands that another believer turn away from their sin.

Matthew Henry says:

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Preventing RelapsePremium Content

Addicts relapse when it is more painful to stay sober than it is to get "high". The immediate benefits of ceasing drug and alcohol use include:
improved health, better sleep , return of appetite, and clearer thinking. However, all addicts eventually face a challenge even more difficult than stopping drinking or using drugs -- coping with life without them! Doing so involves a whole lot more than just "putting the cork in the bottle". They must they learn a completely new way of life. We often refer to this process as "recovery" -- the Bible calls it "sanctification" -- a definite ongoing program of personal growth

Major Causes of Relapse

  • Denial
    inability to accept that one is indeed addicted to alcohol and/or drugs and that it is a primary cause of life problems.
  • Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome
    inability to cope with a set of very stressful, physiologically-based symptoms that occur only after use of alcohol and drugs has stopped
  • Emotional Dysfunction
    inability to cope with feelings such as grief, depression, stress, fear, etc., without mind altering substances.
  • Relational Dysfunction
    inability to develop and maintain healthy relationships with others.

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The Emotional Dimension of Recovery, Part 2Premium Content

Part 1

How do feelings affect the addict in the early stages of recovery?

This second installment on the role of emotion the recovery process will focus on the first 30-90 days of sobriety. The truth is, most addicts return to drugs and drinking when sobriety becomes too stressful for them. Therefore, teach them to deal with their feelings in a healthy manner greatly improves their chances of achieving long-term sobriety.

A. The physiological impact on emotions.

    The first few days without drugs and alcohol are characterized by disjointed thinking and emotional upheaval. Newly sober people tend to be very anxious and uptight. This is due, in a large part , to the fact that alcohol and drug use have caused their bodies to be depleted of many important neurochemicals, like endorphines, that contribute to a normal state of well-being. Crack and cocaine users especially, experience anxiety, abnormal fears and difficulty sleeping. They can be short tempered and they have short attention spans.

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The Emotional Dimension of Recovery, Part 1Premium Content

Part Two

A Christian friend once told me, "Well, why even talk about feelings, because you can't trust them anyway. The Bible says, Have faith and don't trust your feelings." Well, that's not really a healthy attitude at all, because feelings are real. Denial is all of these repressed and stuffed emotions, and part of sobriety and getting better means that all of a sudden all of the pain that has been pushed down. And anger, and everything else that has been there, is going to start rising to the surface, and these people will start feeling depression and loneliness and fear. And we need to be prepared to hear those things and to respond to them in a supportive, kind way. It doesn't mean that -- and some of those feelings are not accurate at all, but still need to be respected and accepted. It has to be there.

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How Do We Keep Recovery Participants Motivated?Premium Content

How do we help participants to stay motivated so they will complete our programs and succeed afterwards?

1. I've stayed in touch with the “hands on” dimension of the ministry by volunteering at our local rescue missions. Conducting chapel services for program participants and interacting with them is something I always look forward to doing. One local mission, the Kansas City Rescue Mission, where Joe Colaizzi serves as executive director, is an example of a rescue mission recovery program that is doing a lot of things right. Their recent follow-up efforts reveal that for three years running, 70% of their graduates are still sober for year or more after leaving the mission. This is a very good rate of success. So, what are some of the things they are doing to promote such success?

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