Do Addicts Want Help?

Today’s verse:  Hebrews 12:11  “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. “

It is hard to admit when you have an addiction.  I don’t care what kind of addiction it is, but it is hard.  It could be drugs, smoking, over-eating, gambling, anything. Anything that is harmful to you and you cannot stop doing is an addiction.   So how do we help those that we love to end their addiction?   Sometimes we just can’t. They have to want to do it.  Interventions don’t work unless the person will be open and accepting of change.

I recently visited with my baby sister.   She is much younger than I am, and we have never had a particularly close relationship.   Maybe we are too much alike, maybe we are so, so different, but in any case, we have never clicked.   She does not smoke, nor does she drink.  But she eats.  A lot!   She has a serious problem with over-eating.   Life has not been easy for her, so she eats.

I have tried to be supportive. Many years ago, she won a scholarship to an ROTC program and was enrolled in pre-med. (She is a brainiac.)  One of the requirements for keeping the scholarship was physical fitness.  I remember that she had to run a mile in a certain amount of time.   She hated running.  I tried to get her out on the track and run with her, but she would not or could not do it.  She just gave up and eventually lost her scholarship.  Her weight continued to blossom. I gave up on her because she wouldn’t help herself.    It is hard to constantly have offers of help rebuked, so I quit trying.  I really can’t stand to see her destroying herself.

My disappointment has grown over the years, as I have tried to counsel her on her addiction to food.  She is extremely defensive, insists she is happy with herself, and continues to eat.  She has had two knee surgeries, hip replacements, and I now discover she has diabetes.  All of this can be corrected by losing weight, but she doesn’t care.  She ate tons of desserts while I was with her.   I asked if this was allowed, given her diabetes, and her response was “The doctor never said I couldn’t”.   Excuse me, but doesn’t everyone know that excess sugar is not helpful to diabetes?   Especially to someone who went to school in pre-med???

I have to remind myself that this is an addiction. It is not easy to just stop.  It is the classic addiction cycle: feeling pain, eating to get through the pain, shame about eating so much, and eating to ease the shame. Until the cycle is broken, she won’t be motivated to lose weight.  So I try to imagine what is the root cause of her eating disorder. What is causing the stress and unhappiness in her life that makes her not care about herself so much?   Is she trying to slowly kill herself?    I wish I knew how to help.  I wish I could erase all the hurt and self-doubt so she would love herself. She was such a beautiful child and I know she can be again. She has so much going for her:  her own business, she is raising three adopted special needs children,  she has many successful blogs. I am so proud of her in so many ways, but I hate to see her lack of self-love.   But she has to reach out – she has to want the help being offered to her.  She doesn’t have to do it alone.

It is mainly for her that I started this blog.  I had hoped to give her encouragement, to have her take one day at a time, to have faith that God would help her.  But she doesn’t read it.  She doesn’t want help.  I am at wits end and can only pray that one day God will reach her and help her through her trials; that one day she will wake up and realize that her children need her; that one day she will love herself enough to take care of herself. Until that day, I will continue to pray for her and for her health.  I will continue to write and hopefully one day a bulb will go off in her brain that will make her wake up and want to lose weight.  Then I hope that I can be there for her, with love and encouragement, comfort and nurture.  God bless everyone who struggles with any addiction.   I pray that you will all reach out and grab a helping hand.  I pray that God will give you strength to end your addiction.  Blessings to all on this painful journey!

Healthy Living Recipe for Today

One of my favorite meals is breakfast.  It is so important to start the day right with a good breakfast.  Here is a great recipe to help you get your veggies in early!   Also makes a good side dish for brunch.

Asparagus-Ricotta Tart  (serves 4)

Ingredients:

15 oz. part-skin ricotta cheese
4 large eggs
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. snipped chives
1 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed to fit

Directions:

In bowl, mix ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, milk, chives and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.
Pour mixture into nonstick, oven-safe skillet, top with asapargus spears.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 40 minutes.

 

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