As I seek to find a way through I've begun to study the nature of addiction.
I have described myself as addicted to certain foods in the past. I can go without but after a time I begin to feel deprived, especially coffee and wheat products. I enjoy desserts but wheat and coffee are my default products. Neither of these groups add to my good health so are better omitted entirely. A huge sacrifice.
I'm not alone in moaning about food addiction being the hardest to deal with. Our good health demands that we eat. The problem is with what we eat. I can eat basically healthy food and keep the quantity I eat within reasonable amounts. I can count calories, although it's something I loath. I can tweak and twitch until the nutritional balance is perfect on paper. What I seem to be helpless about is my default foods, the ones I go to when stressed, tired, bored, excited, rebellious, celebratory and so on.
It sounds so easy to eliminate certain foods and sometimes I find it so. This is one of those times when I am not finding it easy and I don't even want to try. I don't want to make the effort required. I don't want to do the work required. It's too easy to get up in the morning, make a cup of coffee, a slice of toast or two and slather it with cool butter and top with marmite, marmalade, jam etc. It's too easy to do the same mid-morning, lunch , mid afternoon and late evening with dinner being the only meal with good protein and veggies.
I'm not sure why I do this to myself, but it's my version of comfort food all the way, and breaking away takes strength that I don't seem to have all too often.
Recently I've felt the need to understand more about addiction, how it works, the power it has over us and what we must do to come free.
All addiction has the same root. The way to becoming free require similar shift in thinking and doing. Regardless of whether you are religious or not something has to fill the hole the addiction is filling.
I believe that our Creator is the only one who can meet the needs of the addict.
I believe that only a great intelligence could have created the earth and all that is in it and around it. The only thing that makes sense to me is the description of creation in the Bible. Whether one reads this description as a simplistic description and literal fact or as a process which took place over millions of years doesn't matter. The mathematical detail in creation is beyond the haphazard or ''big bang.''
I believe that the Creator did not have a random plan. I believe that I was born with a purpose. The main aspect of that purpose is to have a relationship with my Creator. I believe the Creator has personality and a great love for His creation. In his plan is a design for me to have a relationship with Him which is healthy, wholesome and for my benefit, my good. The plan gives me a way to know my Creator as my Father. Jesus made this possible and after his death on the cross he left us a gift, Holy Spirit. One of the goals of the Holy Spirit is to free us from anything that hinders our relationship with the Father.
Life happens and we put up coping instruments, crutches which are not always helpful long term. Our crutches take us away from God's best. I want God's best for me and my family and my friends, neighbours, the world.
I am paraphrasing here .... I'm not going to cite the book because the subject is irrelevant to the overall struggle with addiction.
The struggling addict needs to count the cost of commitment to coming free. Questions to ask are ....
#Will I continue to seek God when I don't feel like it?
#When I feel more like returning to my addictive habit?
#When the going gets rough and neither God nor His people seem available? #
When God isn't meeting my expectations of how and when healing should occur in my life? #
Will I seek God even then ... Will I?
Tough questions that need honest answers. Nothing pat. I need to dig deep and be sure there will be no turning back on this commitment.
An important part of the process is CHANGE.
God demands that those who want to be free forsake, leave behind the futile efforts to cover up the pain and barrenness of spirit.
It's false to say,''I want to be free,'' but not try to lay down the false freedom/comfort of the addictive behaviour.
It would appear that there is no hope without abstention. That's tough.
In some ways it's simple. It's easy.
In other ways it's the biggest challenge I've ever faced.
It begins with worshipping my God. This is not an easy situation in a family where I'm the ONLY person who understands and wants this. I am not facing persecution in the way that a Hindu or Moslem women do but it's still a lonely place to be.
Wisdom and discretion and creativeness are required.
More than anything is seeking fresh encounter with God's love. Without this I feel lost.
I'm hoping that being in this city, Christchurch, with it's many resources I will find some help over the next few weeks. We are returning home to the semi-isolation of the Coromandel Peninsula in 4-5 weeks.
|MORNING STROLL THROUGH THE CHERRY WALK, PALMERSTON NORTH ESPLANADE 1ST OCTOBER 2011|