By Ricky McAddock (Chief Excecutive).
Growing up, my dream was to play professional football, I was getting pretty good until drugs and alcohol got in the way.
By the time I was 18, I tried every drug you could think of. Around this time, I was looking for a better life, seeking externally for an answer and meaning in life. 10 years later, an encounter with a Christian, in the most unlikely of places, changed the trajectory of my life. I did not know what to expect during my first visit to a church service, I very quickly started to see that the people there had something that I needed – a relationship with Jesus. A month later, I asked the Lord into my life.
Finding a church, a community and people who wanted to journey with me to recovery has led me to where I am today.
You might be reading wondering how you can you walk alongside someone who is on a journey with addiction, maybe on their recovery journey and thinking how you can be of best support during this time. Here are some points that have helped me that I shared this week on the radio, with hope that they can be of help to you:
Love and perspective
How do we see people in front of us? How do we see people that are journeying out of addiction? Do not see them as who they are now – but who they can become in the future: seeing them through the lens of God’s eyes (not the natural eye). 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that love wins, and when we can see and approach people with love, despite what they might be facing, that is when God’s love can shine through us.
We can only shift our perspective with the power of prayer. Do not cease in praying: over the person you know who is in addiction and over yourself as you seek God’s wisdom and guidance.
Safeguarding is essential, especially when supporting on journeying with someone in the long haul. Healthy boundaries are key. Protecting yourself and being on guard so you do not take home the hurt and heaviness that you are seeing (vicarious trauma). By setting and establishing boundaries, we are able to teach those around us healthy lifestyles and patterns.
Journeys take time. And there may be bumps along the way.
Being aware that there will be ups and downs in the journey can help you navigate how is best to be of support, as you walk with someone on their journey.
Engage in support
We can inform and let the person know that there is support in every area that they may need assistance in. There is only so much you can do to help someone, and help is available so you do not feel burdened with a weight that you cannot carry. Support groups, drop ins, community groups etc can play a part in someone’s journey to recovery. Please see our website with how we can help someone journeying out of addiction.
I hope the above points can encourage you today.
To listen to the fuller message from Premier Christian Radio, please click here: https://www.premierchristianradio.com/shows/weekday/faith-hope-and-love/helping-people-through-addiction/