Fresh Approaches to Recovery

[Andy-moderator]WELCOME Everyone to our workshop! Kathryn E. Williamson
is our guest speaker. She is the author of Radical Breakthroughs to Overcome Addictions

note: Members can discuss this workshop in the Message Boards HERE

Would someone care to open us up in Prayer?

Joan> Father God... You are so good to us.and we love You so....
yet we seek to love You more..and to love You better.as we work through our recovery..
and become the people that You want us to be..Thank You for being Jehovah rapha...
the God who heals us..touch us and teach us..we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen

[Andy-moderator] I hope many of you have had the opportunity to read Kathy's book
Honestly I have NOT got thru ALL of it, But, what awesome scripture references
I also found we are much alike regarding our addictions with out further ado
It is my honour to introduce Kathy W
[Andy-moderator] Please GA Kathy

KathyW> Thanks Andy
I'll give you a little bit of my background so you know where I've come from.
I'm now 52. Got married when I was 18. Was married for 6 years.
Came home and found my husband was dating another woman. Boy, was I in shock!
After a 3 month separation we got back together but soon divorced.
Neither of us were Christians.

About 6 months later I developed problems with a bad pancreas and spent almost
6 months in the hospital. That's where I became addicted to pain medication.
I was also going through a major depression. After two major surgeries without help,
I finally turned to God for help. I knew I was addicted, but wouldn't admit it to anyone.
Would hardly even admit it to God. So I became a Christian in 1980, but the road was still rough.
During the next year I went into a mental hospital for several suicide attempts.
It was there that I finally admitted to my drug addiction.

I struggled for a long time with the addiction. Even though I got well-grounded in the Bible as
a new Christian, it still didn't reach my hurting heart. After a year of being a Christian I
started volunteering as a lay counselor on Christian-based crisis hotline in Southern California.
I was still suicidal when I started, but within four months my life took a dramatic change.

But once it leveled out, I was back to my addiction again. I struggled and struggled - prayed and
prayed. Just like I'm sure all of you have done and are doing. Sometimes wondering what I was
doing wrong that God wouldn't help ME! Since I grew up in a home without love or communication,
I tried to earn God's love through "working for it."I'm thankful that God didn't give up on me
through all my stupidity and doubt!I continued to volunteer on the crisis hotlines and knew that
in 1984 I was called by God to do this type of ministry.

But it wasn't until late 1989 that the
doors finally opened for me to start my own hotline ministry. I did this in Phoenix, Arizona.
I knew I my passion was to help hurting people. No matter if I didn't have all the answers - I
knew that sharing God's love WOW - what a total life turnaround came to me! By getting involved
in a big enough project to get my eyes off of "me, myself and I"it finally penetrated that
mindset and stopped the cycle of relapse. I never would have guessed that this was how I was going
to overcome my addiction and my self-pity parties - by loving and helping others.

So after the hotline closed in 1995, I decided to take all the insights and wisdom God had shown me in my own
life and through counseling on the hotlines and put it into a book.Although that was back in 1995,
it is now 2005 and I've finally finished my first book!Yes, it was a long process for me -
mainly because I have so much I want to say to help others that I couldn't narrow it down to one
book. So my book "Radical Breakthroughs to Overcome Addictions" finally came out this last
January.

The radical is actually an acrostic.R.A.D.I.C.A.L. - it stands for Relationships
(first with God, then with others),Attitudes, Disciplines, Inspired Living (finding your passion
in life), Abundant Fruit, an Love.Through my years of being in recovery and support groups, I
noticed a lack of emphasis upon HOW to build healthy relationships.If you think about it -
almost all of our problems stem from our relationships - either bad relationships or lack of
relationships.So if we can learn how to develop godly relationships, it will keep us from
relapsing.The second item that is not taught in recovery groups is finding one's passion in life
and asking God to show you how to put it into a life-long vision.Think about this for a moment
- when you are doing what you really enjoy - you are energized and you have a whole new
perspective on life.

Now if we can use that passion in a project whereby we love and serve others
then we are fulfilling God's call on our life. God created each one of us with a passion in life
- do you know what your's is? Now, I'm not bypassing all the pain and struggles we go through
during our recovery. But in order for us to grab hold of God's truths - that we can be fully set
free from our addictions and find the abundant life He offers - we need to saturate ourselves
with God's Word.

I do this by listening to the teachings of Joyce Meyer (through her website)
and also through Andrew Wommack (http://www.awmni.org). He is a teacher out of Colorado Springs who
has totally turned around my thinking and taught me truths straight from the Bible that
accurately set me straight on interpreting God's truths. If I find myself getting cranky or
doubtful, I listen to these teachings 4-6 times a week. Once you begin to do this, the Holy
Spirit inside you begins to make these truths real to you and shows you how to apply them to
your life.

Back to my book - it has questions at the end of each chapter to help you apply the
material. I'm currently expanding the book to include a more detailed workbook part of it. It
will be all in one book. That way it can be used easier by support groups. But one thing I do want
to let each of you know is that there is hope for a complete healing, recovery, even to the
point that you no longer struggle with the temptation(s).

According to God's Word - addictions are NOT a disease. Therefore, there is hope for a
complete cure - a complete healing. Will it take time? Yes. Will it take a lot of effort? Yes.
Is it worth it? Yes. - God is waiting to help you.God loves you so much and has good plans
for you according to Jeremiah 29:11.

Part of my book goes into forgiveness,and also getting rid of the labels - what we say about ourselves.What we
call ourselves. Do you know that when God changed the name of a person in the Bible that it was
always to a name that held their potential? It was never a name about where the person came from
or what they did. So let's set ourselves free from calling ourselves names if they no longer
apply.

There is much more discussed in my book. I also have a chapter on 10 spiritual laws that
always work. Discussing about how what we "think" and "say" is also what gets created in our
lives. God created the world through words and so we also create things in our life by the
words we speak.I just want to encourage each of you that you WILL overcome your problems and
there is an abundant life waiting for you.God is helping you, whether or not you see Him at
work. Sometimes we think He's punishing us when we don't see things happening,but sometimes it
takes time for God to work in the lives of others around us in order to bring everything
together for a change.Andy, that's all for now. Done

ClaraT> Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to
prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Thanks Kathy!
http://www.awmi.net (the url was incorrect)

KathyW> Thanks for that correction.

[Andy-moderator] well Now we'd like to open the floor to Questions for Kathy

[Andy-moderator] Please GA LV4HM

LV4HM> my question is,i know that the Lord has a big calling on my life and i have been used of
him at womens conf. churches etc. my husband and i have a very unique ministry my problem is that
i began dabbling with alcohol just in the past few years i hadn't done this for 9 years i have
such a deep desire to be used of Him and I cant get away from the call yet i know that my sin
is detouring me with guilt and shame i am having a hard time with this and have kept it hidden
from my pastor my husband as my covering knows i don't do it all the time but yet he knows i don't
want to at all deep inside my question is should i quit ministry all together until i get a grip
on this it is a shame for someone to see me do this (like getting caught)and; ruin my name which
is supposed to be greater than gold and the name of Jesus.. done

KathyW>Thank you for being so honest - I know it isn't easy.Should you quit ministry ? No.The
guilt and shame is being used by the devil to sidetrack you.Once you have asked God to forgive
you (and others if necessary),God forgives and He forgets. But we don't always forget so easily.
When you get the desire for a drink - immediately try to determine what you're running from.
And also turn your thoughts toward your ministry.Physically do something to work toward your
ministry.You need the physical activity to occupy your mind so you can stop the thinking upon
the temptation to drink.Is being caught drinking any bigger sin than being caught gossiping?
Not in God's eyes. - In man's eyes, yes.We as leaders are held to a higher accountability toward
God and others.Besides your husband, perhaps you need another person to hold you accountable.You
will never be able to run from God's calling on your life.But be tough and work through this
struggle and be victorious. Done.

LV4HM> ty so much

[Andy-moderator] Please GA ClaraT

ClaraT> Thank you for your wonderful introduction. I admit I haven't read your book yet, but
look forward to it. What is the best way to begin exploring where our "passion" lies? Done

KathyW> Think about your past. What things did you do that you felt so excited about doing.
Something that has never left you.

ClaraT> nods

KathyW> Something that you could stay up late at night and do or get up extra early in the
morning to do?It can be even simple thing - like sewing.A person who sews could find out from
the local shelter what needs she can help meet by her sewing.By the way, my husband, Pastor
Jeremiah, is the chaplain at the Bridgeport Rescue Mission here in Connecticut. We've been
married 3 years and it's exciting to see how God is just now bring us together to work together
in ministry. Done.

[Andy-moderator] Please GA Wits end

WitsEnd> following upon clara's question .. i think i have found what that passion is for me ...
when i am "all wrapped up in it" ...the anxieties, the tensions, the fears ... of daily life ...
fade into a haze ... and i feel ...> more than invigorated ... i feel excited, alive, delighted
...i love what i am doing ...BUT ...i haven't yet figured out .. how to turn my passion into
something that God can truly use ...i don't really know how to surrender my love into something
that can be used for His glory and His honour ... i LOVE being out with my cameras ....
photography has been "in my blood" since i was 12 yrs old .. but am at witsend {nooo pun intended
} as to HOW to use it for my Lord.

KathyW> God created you with that passion. Therefore,He will reveal to you (in His timing) how to
use it for His glory.There are many opportunities where photos could be used for His glory. Just
continue to search over the Internet to ideas - and, of course,to ask God for His input.
Remember, it took quite a few years before God opened the door for me to finally start my own
crisis line.During that waiting time - we prepare. We do as much personal growth, spiritual
growth,and business growth as we can so we are ready when God reveals HIs vision to us and He
opens the doors. done

WitsEnd> ty kathy

[Andy-moderator] Please GA Obie

Obie> You talk about using our passion as a means of recovery...but isn't there a danger there of
moving from one addiction to another?.... or moving from one obsession to another?..done

KathyW> Serving the Lord can be seen as an addiction if our lifestyle is not balanced.By
utilizing our passion as part of our recovery, it provides the strong enough mindset to break
the cycle of only looking inward.... In order to maintain a healthy balance, we need an
accountability/prayer partner... Someone whom we can be very honest with. If our passion is
seen as an obsession - that's okay.The Apostle Paul can certainly fall into that category too.
The main thing is that as recovering people, we need to learn how to maintain a balanced life.
... Done.

Roses_Mush> Kathy, may i ask what your addiction is

KathyW> I was addicted to pain medication.I have dealt with a bad pancreas since 1979...So I
still have to take pain medication from time to time... but I now throw away the pain medication
when I no longer am in pain... in order to avoid the temptation. done

Roses_Mush> is it just alcohol or is it other things too. Also please what is your educational
training in regards to addictions? thank you

KathyW> I never had an alcohol problem. Can't drink with a bad pancreas....

Roses_Mush> pardon me, this is the last part of my question. done

KathyW> My training in regards to my education training regarding addictions - the school of hard
knocks...I don't desire to obtain any secular education for psychology or drug treatment...
because it is opposite of God's Word Done.

[Andy-moderator] Please GA Godskid

godskid> I agree with you, but briefly,how so? done

KathyW> Are you asking how is psychology and drug treatment different from God's Word? done

godskid> yes done again

KathyW> Both psychology and drug treatment focus on one's own problems - instead of focusing on
first - developing a deeper relationship with God - second, how to then share God's love with
others - and since God says that alcoholism is a sin,... then we overcome it through a
spiritual means - not by man's method...God forgives and restores us. Man's methods can only put
a band aid on it...God created us for a unique purpose - man's ways is to go for the gusto and
take care of yourself first - while God says to put others above yourself....These are just a
few of the differences. done.

godskid> ty Kathy W.

[Andy-moderator] Please GA Godskid

godskid> I just wanted to say thanks, your statements make sense especially for me, as an
overeater there is not a lot of rocket science in figuring out what I need to do it's just that
I have been stuffing my face and my feelings so long that I do need to redirect my attention to
the RIGHT way, God's way. done

KathyW> Thanks for sharing..It's easy to know what to do - but harder to do it.That's why, if you
know what your passion is, then at the moment of temptation you.can physically turn away from
the food and go work on your passion.. done.

godskid> yes thanks kathy

[Andy-moderator] Please GA Fisher

Fisher> Do you think it is wrong for us or at least me ....don't know about others....to take
antidepressants I don't think I could live without them......but I want to rely on God too..done

KathyW> I'll give you my experience....

[Andy-moderator] WE cant give Medical advice

Fisher> okay....never mind...sorry

KathyW> Nope - no medical advice.For me - they did help level out my ups and downs and allowed me
to work on my problems....So you'll have to discuss them with your doctor or therapist. done.

Fisher> thank you

[Andy-moderator] Please GA Roses

Roses_Mush> please, have you attended 12 step recovery meetings?done

KathyW> Yes, I have. In fact, I have led many 12 step recovery meetings.But I eventually became
frustrated because I knew that God's truth..was not being fully presented and I feel people are
kept in their.struggles too long and not really being helped....To me, some exchanged their
addiction from drugs or alcohol to the group. Done.

[Andy-moderator] Please continue Roses

Roses_Mush> since you have history in 12 step groups the program of 12 step is based on
spirituality, the mind, physical body and social recovery.and spirituality for you is Jesus
Christ and many Christian therapists and professionals believe addiction is a disease. how did
you define for yourself which is best for you?thank you, done

KathyW> I saw the change in the medical field take place over the years.Back in the early 1980's
alcoholism was a sin. But to try to help people.. get treatment with insurance coverage,
doctors began to..call it a disease so that medical insurance would cover their treatment...Then
this "disease model" went over into other problems - drugs...gambling...overeating...etc.
Their emphasis now is that "it's not your fault."...which is totally contrary to God's Word.God
does...call these problems "sin" - which is actually GOOD NEWS - because...since they are sins,
we can repent of them, and turn away from them... Sin isn't as bad as people make it out to be
. Since we do sin - this means...that with God that with God's help, we can also overcome
these sinful "habits" and...be restored and find the abundant life God offers. done.

kmalley> ty so much Kathy...........

[Andy-moderator] Please GA ClaraT

ClaraT> I'm not sure I want to "open this door" but I'd like to comment on some of the things
Kathy has said 1) The principles of looking to God for the solution to alcoholism (and other
addictions)...is almost word for word what Bill W. wrote in the BIG Book...and the major
philosophy behind the 12 step groups... as I'm sure you know arising out of the Oxford groups...
so we're looking at a SOLUTION...but 2) While I also have problems...with the "no
responsibility" attitude about addictions and other problems...I can't go with the concept that
it's not a disease...at least SOME of the addictions and other diseases...based purely on
neurotransmitter and receptor studies...but more importantly genetic and inheritance studies....
I don't think the disease concept is problematic with looking to Christ for help...simply
because, like other diseases...leprosy, even death...Christ healed.period..that's why I have no
problem with the disease concept.HOWEVER there is a caveat to looking to addictions...as purely
"sin"...that is it is too tempting for us to try to "fix ourselves".Many of us have tried that
for too long.The powerless part of addictions...is I think, still the key, to healing -
salvation - whatever...you want to call it.only God can "fix us" and to get distracted...IS a
distraction.It is the solution that I think is important...and that solution for me at least is
Jesus Christ.Thanks Kathy for letting me share..Done

KathyW> Thank you for being honest...The disease model - yes, when a person drinks to a certain
point...

ClaraT> Fess up (I'm an ex-alcohol researcher)

KathyW> the body physically gets addicted. There is some detox that needs to be done...Ty Clara,
the beauty of it all is that Christ cures sin and disease!!!But even in the disease model the
doctors do not all agree..that these brain problems actually cause the problem...Even so,...the
remedy is not medicine - but therapy and behavior modification... As far as genetic inheritance
- there are decisions we make.. Sometimes because we are brought up in a very dysfunctional home
...those are the only ways we know how to cope and relate But it doesn't have...to be that way.
...As far as the 12 step model - I would encourage a person to also get involved in ...a home
fellowship or home bible study. Some place where you're around...a group of people at different
spirituality levels and who have different...levels/depths of problems. We need good role
models to help us see alternative...ways of living and coping with problems...Yes, I agree that
in our own power we can't fix ourselves. That is why we rely..upon Christ's power living in us
through the Holy Spirit. ... I think denial is a big problem and God helps us to finally take
that first step...to admit our problems...done.

ClaraT> Thanks Kathy

[Andy-moderator] TY Kathy SO much for coming

ClaraT> I think we're probably more in agreement than disagreement. :)

KathyW> you're welcome!

Obie> Thank you Kathy

KathyW> Yes, I agree.done.
[Andy-moderator] I would like to thank EVERYONE for showing up.This has been a great experience
for all.I have lerned from it

Traci> Thank you Kathy

godskid> thank you Kathy!

KathyW> You're welcome.

Obie> Thank you for taking time to come and speak to us Kathy.

[Andy-moderator] Maybe Kathy could come back again

WitsEnd> blessings2you and thank you kathy

KathyW> If anyone needs to contact me, my website is http://www.wisdomforliving.org. done

[Andy-moderator] would someone care to close us in Prayer...Please GA Obie

Obie> Father, we thank you for the blessings we all received in this meeting...Thank You for
Kathy and her wisdom..Thank you for her willingness to share and to help others...
ClaraT> yes Lord..Obie> LORD, we ask that you bless us as we leave this meeting...may we take
with us the things we have learned..and apply them to our lives according to your will for us...
in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

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