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Is my loved one an addict? Part 1

If you have to ask the question you probably know the answer!

We have gut instincts for a reason. The online journal describes a gut feeling (intuition) as the following:

What is intuition except the rapid assimilation of our impressions of a person or situation that yields a reaction or judgment so quickly we’re not sure how it arrived? An intuition is not, in most cases, based on nothing as we often allow ourselves to believe-which we do because we so often fail to perceive the complex machinery functioning beneath the surface that brought us to it.

But that machinery does function—in fact, it’s only because it functions so quickly and so well that we doubt it functions at all. But if we stop to reflect, to trace back over what was said, what we thought about it, and how felt about what we thought (a surprisingly difficult thing to do well), we find it is often possible to unearth the pathway by which we arrived at our intuitive reaction, to identify the concrete reasons why we hesitated to make a decision that on the surface seemed a good one.

The vast majority of the articles I looked up regarding a gut feeling, or intuition, said we don’t trust them enough. They say we should all listen a little more closely to our gut feelings. There is SOME reason our gut feeling is directing us to or away from a specific decision. It IS based on real evidence. We need to try to figure out what that evidence is.

Our subconscious recognizes traits and patterns our conscious mind doesn’t, and it SOUNDS THE ALARM!

My wife would always tell me, sometimes weeks in advance, “I know you’re doing something wrong. I know you’re hiding something. I just can’t prove it.” She was almost always right. She had no proof. She hadn’t seen me do anything. But her subconscious mind saw something each of those times and raised the red flags. She isn’t really a psychic (although I accused her of being one). Her brain put 1 + 1 together even if she didn’t realize it.

Your subconscious has A LOT of experience. You should trust this.

The subconscious is more like a computer. It tracks, calculates, and deduces. Our conscious brain shades what we see and think with emotions, hopes, biases, preconceived ideas, and pre-existing assumptions. In essence, we oftentimes talk ourselves out of what we SHOULD believe into what we DO believe.

None of us have a loved one that is an addict.

There is not a single one of us that wants to believe our spouse, sibling, parent, child, family member, friend, or anybody else we know is an addict. We want to believe they have it under control. We don’t want to attach that stigma to them. We certainly don’t want to give anybody else a reason to attach that label to them. The last thing we want is to negatively impact our relationship with them by confronting them with what we fear. But, and let me highlight this because I really want you to see this:

By remaining silent we walk down the path that leads to their ruin, imprisonment, and death, holding their hand never even TRYING to prevent the train wreck we see coming until it is too late.

Now, lest anybody think I’m too harsh, I’m not blaming you for their addiction. There can be 100 legitimate reasons you choose not to confront. Not confronting doesn’t make you a bad person or responsible. It does mean that if we have the ability to issue a warning, we should. In my opinion, in the long run, you will never regret TRYING to prevent someone from killing themselves with drugs and alcohol. But should you remain silent, and they destroy their lives either figuratively or literally, your brain will always say, “I knew something wasn’t quite right. I should have said something.” I’m going to quote myself here from one of my earlier blogs:

No addict ever died from too many questions, but an awful lot have died from too few.

So what do I do?

JUST ASK! Make a list of the things you have seen that cause you concern. Support with as many examples as you can. Be gentle, kind, loving, and supportive. But don’t retreat. If you’re taking this step, it’s because some part of your brain has enough evidence to draw this conclusion. TRUST IT! Ask them if they would talk to a counselor, or family doctor, just once or twice to get an expert opinion. Present them the facts and see what they have to say. If they become angry, defensive, withdrawn, confrontational I’m going to say the odds are extremely high that you are dealing with somebody that knows they have a problem, but their pride cannot take the blow to their ego to admit it. How do I know? Because I’m that guy. A healthy person that isn’t addicted will (the vast majority of the time) hear your concerns, appreciate the fact that you care enough about their well-being to bring it up, and will want to do anything reasonable to allay your fears. They will be cooperative, not combative. Now, there are exceptions to every rule of thumb, including these, but these can be good indicators.

What do I do if they admit they have a problem?

Call The Home of Grace, IMMEDIATELY! Are there other programs? Yes. But I honestly believe there are very few, if any, equal to the Home of Grace. Am I biased? Absolutely.

I am biased because the Home of Grace saved my life. They saved my family. They put me on a path to understanding, healing, and progress I wouldn’t have accomplished without them.

Yes, it was Jesus Christ, my Lord and savior that did the work. But He CHOSE to use The Home of Grace. And since 1965 He has chosen to use the Home of Grace for over 35,000 men and women. Why don’t you allow your loved one to be 35,001, or 35,002, or 35,003 or any number greater than 35,000? Just let them be one of us, we band of brothers, to manipulate a famous quote:

This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Day shall never go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his addiction with me
Shall be my brother; be he ever so vile,
This day shall solve his condition;
And gentlemen in the world, now in their  homes
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap while any man speaks that received their Freedom from addiction at the Home of Grace

A little cheesy? Maybe. But you get the point. And what do you do for people who refuse your help? We’ll cover that in the next blog!

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