How to Start National Recovery Month (An Addiction Survey)

It's National Recovery Month, a month dedicated to educating and bringing awareness to issues of drug and alcohol dependency. Awareness, recovery, dependency--aren't these words so overused that they've lost their punch? Did you let the bold-faced predicating sentence slide through your auditory canal, rattle against the porcelin walls of your cranium for a nanosecond, and slide out the other auditory canal? Have you already clicked away? “Recovery-shmovery; yada, yada; I don’t have a drinking problem or a heroin habit, but I feel sorry for those who do.” These are things implied by a number of well-meaning and upright folks. Maybe by you?

Stop. Take a breath. Consider these questions:

Do you lust after the next thing, Jones for the seasonal item of stylish flimflam pushed by the material-pushers?

Are you consumed with food, with thoughts of sugarplums dancing in your head? If not, when the sugarplums come dancing across the plate, can you eat one and stop? Do you eat to stuffed on every occasion?

Do you stare at yourself in the mirror? Do you carry your ideal body image like a photo in your wallet (or on your iPhone) as motivation to avoid the sugarplums, or any food altogether? Are you clinging to the body image of a Greek goddess? No? How about Gisele?

Have you constructed theologies so sturdy you don’t need God anymore? Do you talk about God to avoid talking to him? Are you so reformed that you’ve forgotten the presence of God in the Eucharist, in the thanksgiving?

Approval, performance—are these things your bag? Are you run ragged from all manner of people pleasing? When you can’t deliver, do you doubt your worth? Do you self-flagellate with the whip of “I wish I were more; I wish I were more; I wish I were more.” Forty lashes minus one. Day in and day out. That last round was a stinger, a real flesh-scorcher.

Does your anger boil over at the drop of a dime. “Why in the ever loving bejimminies did you drop that dime after I told you--FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING THAT WAS RIGHTEOUS--not drop that dime?!?” Do you turn fire ant mounds into Olympus? Do you resort to nuclear warfare against your well-meaning husband, wife, or children?

Is there something here I’ve missed? Have you been waiting, thinking, “I hope he doesn’t write about [fill-in-the-blank]?” Have you been holding your breath through this this piece? Remember when I told you to breathe? I meant it.

Do any of these scenarious ring true? [tweetherder text="Are there any addictions that distract you from the abiding presence of God. Are there? Really?"]Do these addictions distract you from the very real abiding presence of a God who wants you to know and understand love?[/tweetherder] (Really. Stop. Reflect. Ask yourself this question.)

It’s National Recovery Month and the way I see it, we all have some recovering to do. Let’s start small and simple. Ask yourself this question: “what’s my bag of addiction?”

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This month, I'll be writinga thing or two about recovery, how we all need it. I hope you'll come along.

And while you're at it, would you consider pre-ordering my upcoming release from the good folks at Zondervan, Coming Clean. (Barne & Noble, AmazonDue in October, Coming Clean is an uncensored account of how I found an abiding God in the midst of doubt, pain, and addiction. If you pre-order, let me know in the comments below, and I'll add you to the Coming Clean Insiders group on Facebook. There you'll receive updates, and perhaps find a freebie or two along the way.

Thanks for supporting Coming Clean! Now, let's get to work.



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