Q. I recently had a good friend tell me that “my drinking” was becoming a problem. “What drinking are you talking about, I replied.” I don’t know how to get real with myself so how can I admit my behavior to someone else. What am I going to do?
A. You are writing to me so you must have some reality about your abuse or dependency of alcohol. It probably started very innocently but as with most addictive substances it soon became more powerful that you. And one of the things human beings do is deny, deny, deny. Even when it is staring us right in the face, we refuse to see it, and we do our best to convince others that they don’t see it either.
When we become addicted to powerful substances and some activities; we lose sight of our spiritual connections. We are empty of a healthy relationship with a healthy higher power.
I encourage you to connect with a therapist and a 12 step recovery program. The 12 steps is a spiritual (not religious) program with an emphasis on accountability. The following is a list of the steps. (You can use your specific addictive substance or activity.)
1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them\or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we under- stood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City
If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org