In the mind of an addict, there is paranoia, a deep-seated fear, of questions. Questions require answers. When people expect answers, the addict must lie. When the addict lies, he or she must remember those lies to keep the story straight. The stress can be overwhelming, even if it isn’t realized consciously.
As an addict, I didn’t want to lie. I didn’t WANT to use. But I HAD to use. No matter how hard I fought, I always lost. So there were always questions, and answers, and lies, and stress, and—the cycle went on and on.
I was very fortunate that God brought me to a place where it was rehab for me, or I would lose my job, family, friends, everything.
My church community group raised my fee to attend the Home of Grace (the GREATEST faith-based addiction recovery place in the world, yes I’m biased). There I was set free by the power of Jesus Christ. I experienced a great many things for the first time, in a long time, while at The Home of Grace. One of the most powerful experiences was a true understanding of John 8:32 …
Then you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
I could discuss different aspects of this verse for a long time, but I want to highlight just one aspect.
When you know the truth, and you tell the truth, you don’t have to live your life inventing lies, telling lies, and remembering those lies, while constantly storing up stress (which makes you want to use) for all the lying you’re doing. Walking in the truth makes you free from all of that garbage.
And freedom is GLORIOUS!
When I left the Home of Grace, I had to face the reality that I was not trusted by anybody, in any area. I wanted so desperately to begin to rebuild trust, and I began to, slowly but surely.
Would you like to know how? By answering questions.
WHAT they answer vs. HOW they answer
Before recovery from my drug addiction, when people started asking questions, I became irritable. I cannot begin to count the number of reasons I gave for being bent out of shape when people asked questions, but they all boiled down to one answer, I knew in my heart, and that was, I didn’t want any questions because I didn’t want to have to keep track of more lies.
Now when people ask me questions, and they follow it with, “I’m sorry I just need to ask” or “I apologize for asking so many questions I’m just verifying.” I have to interrupt them and tell them, “it’s fine.” I have all the (truthful) answers right here. Please ask as many questions as you’d like. Ask until you feel comfortable. If there is any other way I can verify what I’m telling you or anything else I can do to reassure you, then, by all means, please ask.”
I LOVE having the ability to prove that what I’m saying is true. The addict is not that way because so often, they are not being honest.
Keep asking questions
I want to encourage those of you who are in a relationship with someone who is an addict (whether just suspected or actually known), if you have questions or concerns, please bring them up. Ask until all your worries and fears have been allayed. The addict that is clean, and living a recovery lifestyle, will appreciate the opportunity to put your mind at ease. They will relish the chance to calm your fears and build trust. They will welcome it as your attempt to protect them from the lifestyle that is trying to kill them.
If the person you are dealing with bristles up every time you ask a question that should raise a red flag. That alone should cause you to, at the very least, pay closer attention. If you start to notice a pattern, then you may have a need for further action.
The bottom line
For all of you out there who know and care about somebody that did, or does, struggle with addiction, no addict ever died from too many questions. A great many died indirectly from too few. I should have been one of them.
God Bless you all, whether you are the addict or the person who loves them, as you walk this road of recovery together!