Entries tagged with “Christian Addiction”.
Did you find what you wanted?
Wed 25 Sep 2013
Posted by Michael Campbell under The Path of Addiction Recovery
Comments Off on Is there room at the Inn?
People often ask us “what does faith-based mean?” “Does it mean that you will be preaching at me?” “Will I be welcome if I don’t participate in organized religion?” “Can you help me re-connect with my faith?”
These are important questions. In a world where all-to-often we see people seeking to impose their beliefs on others, it is easy to become apprehensive. When we hear of people claiming to have all of the answers, we become suspect. When people are condemned or ridiculed because they do not know what to believe, we fear rejection.
Hopefully, none of these attitudes or actions will be evident at St. Joseph Institute for Addiction. We want to help people grow spiritually – discover a sense of purpose and meaning for their lives – but we believe this is a journey that each person must travel on their own. We encourage, we provide information and we share what works for us, but we believe each person must have the freedom to find his or her own answers.
St. Joseph Institute for Addiction is built on a Christian faith tradition. We believe there is a God and he cares deeply for each of us. We believe that Jesus has shown us the path by which to live, love, and find meaning & purpose for life. We believe that if Christianity is to be real, it must guide the way we live and treat one another day-by-day.
St. Joseph Institute for Addiction is non-denominational. We do not advocate the teachings of a specific church or theology. There are many Christian traditions and we seek to draw wisdom from many places. When we discuss forgiveness, we may recount the teachings of the early church fathers, who lived centuries ago. If we talk about the need for humility in achieving lasting recovery, we may share the words of Andrew Murray, a protestant minister in South Africa. At Christmas time we adopt a carol for each day, drawing upon Catholic, Episcopal, Baptist, Lutheran and many other traditions. We encourage our residents to discover the place of worship that feels right for them.
In welcoming people of different backgrounds and beliefs, we do not judge or condemn. We encourage people to find the answers that will guide their life and give them peace. It is not for us to judge lifestyles, or condemn the choices people have made. We educate, share the solutions that have helped others, and help people find a better way when their past actions have led to dead-ends. Very importantly, we challenge people to allow their spiritual self to heal and grow – for all too often addiction shatters that aspect of who they are.
A story is told of St. Francis who lived in the thirteenth century. Hundreds of friars had joined his community of believers, and he gathered them together and provided instruction before they spread out across Italy. The commission he gave them was “go forth and spread the gospel, and when necessary use words.”
The message is that faith is most powerful when it is lived. I hope that our residents see in the staff of St. Joseph Institute for Addiction a spirit of compassion & concern, a sincere commitment to their healing, and a desire to help them grow to experience more of life’s joy and happiness. If we do our best in this regard, then we are truly Christian.
Wed 3 Apr 2013
Posted by Michael Campbell under Spiritual Reflections
Comments Off on Station 1: Addicts face Abandonment & Rejection
In the next several blogs we’ll discuss connections between the Stations of the Cross and the stages of addiction. The first Station is about Jesus’ condemnation to death; just like many addicts, He felt a sense of abandonment and rejection.
Many people have life experiences which cause them to feel abandoned or rejected. These feelings are deep and penetrating, and can be so extreme that they cause a condition known as reactive attachment disorder; when a person learns to feel unwanted and unloved. Millions of children grow up with this condition due to neglect and/or abuse from their parents. This emotional emptiness can manifest as an underlying factor that causes a person to seek comfort and consolation for their pain by using drugs or drinking alcohol. Without some sort of psychological or spiritual intervention to heal these early wounds, the comfort they find in alcohol or drugs may turn into an addiction.
Other people experience abandonment and rejection during later periods of life. Some people are tormented because of a learning disability, speech impediment, lack of coordination, physical impairment, inferior socioeconomic status, etc. Others face challenges such as betrayal by a friend, breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, divorce, failure in work or school, and most commonly, the death of a loved one. The list goes on and on. Nearly every person suffering from addiction has a story rejection or abandonment.
Here’s a quick story about a resident who recently came to St. Joseph Institute. Names have been changed but all other details are true:
Brad was a guy who had everything going for him up until a year before he entered addiction treatment. At admission he was confused about how he’d gotten into such a devastating downward spiral. Most of his life had been happy and fulfilling; he had a good job, owned his own home and was engaged to be married. He had all the elements of a successful life, and yet, he had developed an opiate addiction that he couldn’t stop.
His story was quite mysterious until he had his first bodywork session when we began to discuss the recent death of his best friend, Dave. Brad had discussed this loss previously and thought it had been resolved. But what we discovered while unwinding the deep, restricted patterns in his core was that the grief he felt from his friend’s loss was far more intense and complicated than he had understood.
During childhood Dave and Brad had been so close that he described their relationship as being more like brothers than friends. They did everything together, and remained close during elementary school, high school and college. Then Dave entered military service and went overseas on a tour of duty. When Dave returned he was distinctly changed. He was distant and they no longer talked or had fun together. Brad was confused and hurt, and felt rejected by his best friend. He simply could not reach Dave.
Tragically, Dave took his own life. Brad felt an immense sense of mental anguish and torment.
As we continued his therapy and bodywork sessions, we discussed the traumatic effects of war and how it can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Brad was slowly able to make sense of Dave’s odd behavior after returning from active duty and his eventual suicide. In addition, he was able to see how Dave’s war trauma had created trauma in his own life – like a domino effect. Brad’s grief had started with Dave’s return from military service, then continued to increase while he watched his friend suffer from PTSD – a condition that neither one of them recognized nor understood. After Dave’s suicide, Brad’s depression was exacerbated further when he was struck by the reality that his lifelong companion would not be standing next to him as the best man at his wedding. Brad closed down in his relationship with his fiancé, just like Dave had closed down in his relationship with Brad.
Discussing these issues revealed a whole new perspective to Brad and allowed him to release the trauma from his core. Brad realized his fiancé was experiencing losing him emotionally, just as he had experienced losing Dave. He left treatment sober, with the goal of honoring Dave by remaining open with his new bride and beginning their marriage with happiness and honesty. It has now been 9 months, 14 days and Brad remains sober… and happily married.
By Michael Campbell
Wed 20 Mar 2013
Posted by Michael Campbell under Spiritual Reflections
Comments Off on Stations of the Cross for Addiction Recovery
The Stations of the Cross is a prayer that facilitates union with God through the passion of Christ. Traditionally, it is a devotion practiced largely by Catholics, particularly on Fridays during the season of Lent. Over the years we’ve come to appreciate this devotion as being far more than a simple recitation of prayers. In our healing practice, we’ve discovered how the Stations of the Cross provides a means through which people can unite their suffering to the suffering of Christ and find healing for the wounds that are often the underlying contributing factors to their addiction.
At St. Joseph Institute, we find that people of all Christian denominations are attracted to our Stations of the Cross trail. It was designed and created as a place of refuge for those who suffer, as well as a site to commemorate the passion of Christ. Each of the fourteen Stations is marked by a seven foot hand-hewn cross with an image of the scene for that Station. The crosses were made by retired carpenters in West Virginia, and the sculptures were imported from Italy. The fourteen locations of the crosses form a trail that allows visitors to walk from Station to Station as Jesus walked the Way of the Cross on Good Friday. This particular set of Stations is intended to offer aid for those who are addicted and in need of finding a solid foundation in recovery.
Each Station has a theme that helps the reader understand the process of addiction and/or discover how to initiate healing and recovery. The general theme is discussed in the first few paragraphs, followed by at least one story that illustrates some aspect of addiction or addiction recovery. The stories encourage the reader to identify with the main character. Through this process of identification, you can be honest about your own addictive behavior patterns and learn to overcome them through a closer relationship with God.
As you engage in the Stations, remember they can be used to: (1) identify the issues that contribute to your addiction, (2) help you acknowledge the weaknesses associated with your addiction, and (3) help you discover the strengths that will cause you to be more stable in your recovery. Stay tuned to this blog in the following weeks as we go over each Station in more detail.
By Michael Campbell