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Let's Celebrate Our Victories

My cell phone rings and I see that it is the number of someone that I often don’t have patience for. I have a dilemma; on one hand I want to press the red button, and not have to deal with that nag. On the other hand I think I should press the green button; after all, a person needs my help and it’s my spiritual duty to be there for them. So, I answer.

Sunrise.jpegLet’s dissect that battle and the triumph. When I see who is calling, my self-centered internal voice says "don’t pick up - it’s him again." Immediately the G-d centered voice comes along and says, "Pick up - it’s the right thing to do." The battle ensues and ultimately I listen to the G-dly soul and pick up … a resounding victory. On a cosmic level, a revolution just happened. The heavenly hosts go wild. All the worlds, from the highest on down, rejoice. The cosmos revel, but to me this stupendous battle between right and wrong is instantly forgotten. Why?

This event is something that I want to forget as soon as possible. All I remember from it is the struggle and my initial selfish reaction. However, to G-d the most important part of this event is my victory. When my G-dly self overcame the struggle and did the right thing. My lack of self-esteem warps my perception causing me to overlook the good that I do. This false perception is one that the addict must break away from.

This prayer, which is commonly used by people in recovery, helps me to see things rightly.

Please G-d help me see myself through Your eyes.

When I have the capacity to see myself the same way that G-d sees me, I have the capacity to celebrate my victories. Victory is defined in the dictionary as, "success in any contest or struggle involving the defeat of an opponent or the overcoming of obstacles." Any contest or struggle, no matter how big or small.

The Struggle Family Members Face

As the family counselor at Chabad Lifeline, I see the pain and devastation of addiction on the family. Family members arrive at my office in pain and confused as they watch a family member slowly and insidiously leave a trail of destructive behaviors that impact everyone in their path.

addiction-family-tradition-or-family-curse.jpgMost family members are unaware of their own breakdown in this process because they are so focused on the addicts’ behavior. Family members are not in touch with the fact that they may be stressed, anxious, feeling guilt, fear, anger and a host of other emotions. Not to forget the physical manifestations that may include sleep deprivation, inability to focus, obsessive thinking and hyper vigilance.  Family members desperately try to rescue and keep the family unit intact, when in fact everyone and everything is falling apart.

Nonetheless, when I share my concerns for the family members well being, most respond that they have no time to think about that. When I share that helping the addict is part of the equation, and the other part is helping them learn ways of coping, protecting themselves and their family and changing patterns of behavior...they stare at me as if I’m from another planet.

 Even though family members do not Cause, can’t Control or Cure addiction, most walk in believing at least two of the 3 C’s.  Unfortunately, many family members do not follow our treatment plan suggestion, but those who do benefit tremendously. Our Family Group Dynamics weekly sessions, and your local Alanon, Gamanon, Sanon 12-step meetings is a practical way to help yourself and the addict in your life.  By becoming more educated, less isolated and meeting with others who are in a similar place can help exponentially.

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