The Chaos of Addiction

You may consider this odd to post on the third Sunday in Advent (2014) but it may be quite the right time for such a blog.

Perhaps you’ve been addicted, or your spouse, kids, brother or sister, a friend is caught up in alcoholism or drug abuse.

It is quite the norm that what comes in such a package is a great deal of chaos. “Scenes”, that is, outbursts of anger, rage, massive self-pity and etc., blow like a volcano through a home or even public place when the individual in question has their will crossed -or they simply want a “fix” of whatever their drug of choice may be. Drama, and not of the positive type!

With some folks chaos itself is the drug, “high”, the big adrenaline rush, the manic event that they create or are drawn to again and again.

When one cannot control one’s own life there can be a tendency to create drama for the sake of it. Attention must be gotten at all costs because that is precisely what signifies being “alive”, perhaps even a reason to live for some. “If I can’t get attention one way I’ll get it another”.

About a month ago I had once again enjoyed a peaceful moment in our garden. The air was just slightly cool, a bit of sweet wind, just a really nice, clear night.

I began counting seconds between planes that fly over our house which is just 3 blocks from Chicago’s lakefront. About one per minute flew (same as most nights) either right over or very nearly over our place.

After about ten minutes I went in and the girl who was on phones at our front desk happened to call out to me as I was going toward the stairs to our room.

She’d mistakenly let a guy in who was at least drunk if not also stoned… wanting to see his wife, whom the phone lady had called. The wife said she didn’t want to see him, they were estranged and he needed to leave.

The poor phone lady had been there all alone, he had been belligerent with her and began being so with me.

Another bro. happened to be near, so I motioned him over as I wanted a witness of what I said, how I acted, etc., and perhaps help if I needed it. I told the man his wife had apparently said she didn’t want to see him, and that he needed to leave.

Angered, a stream of profanity shot my way, and he made his demand again. I told the phone lady to dial 911 and told him it was “time to leave my house”. He did, swearing all the way out both doors.

Please know- I understand wanting to see one’s spouse, drunk, high or not. I also understand people who are loaded sometimes threaten and either do nothing or do something indeed, to their spouse, lover or anyone who gets in their way. Somebody swearing at me isn’t much of an issue to be honest.

At the end of the day I prayed for him and shall continue as I also will for her.

The older I get the less I’m interested in trying to reason with such people, even less interested in somehow helping them fan the chaos they’ve created. Reasoning with a loaded person is often not even an option.

Plenty of people reading this have experienced far worse in their home, church, ministry, in the street, perhaps a restaurant, at a family reunion, etc..

Intervention (when a person is sober) is a gift that can help… but not always.

Love, prayer and “tough love” works… sometimes.

Sadly, for some this is an endless cycle causing ever greater misery for family, closest friends and co-workers.

What I do know is that until one surrenders to Jesus Christ as Lord, one cannot be truly saved, not from self-made chaos nor from addiction to it or anything else.

One “drug” all too often gets exchanged for another, whether an actual drug or not.

Being in the middle happens. Most of us don’t ask for it!!

For myself, relationship with Jesus, His Word and a good many people who make peace and have helped me find it are the way to face such situations.

Philippians 4.13 rang in my ear that night, and I would encourage all who suffer with the pain of such struggle with loved ones to hold closely to its truth.

If those you care about will not or cannot control themselves, you can’t control them either! Neither can they prevent you from loving them via prayer and making godly, biblical choices yourself.

This won’t always -stop- the “scenes” or chaos… but you’ll find the Prince of Peace will indeed sustain you through the craziness.

“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me”. -Phil. 4.13

There are solid recovery ministries out there that can help, but in the end it’s knowing, respecting and following the Lord that delivers. From chaos and all other addiction.

How would I know? Been there, done that- by the grace of God not who I was!

Things to consider. Thanks for stopping by. -Glenn


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