Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Struggling With Addiction? Get to the Root

posted by Linda Mintle

When a family member has an addiction but refuses to address the underlying problems of that addiction, the addiction does not go away. It may remit temporarily, but the same issues that led the person to escape and avoid through substances eventually return.

Yet, so many people who struggle with addiction do not want to address the underlying issues. Why? Because doing so often creates emotional pain and distress. When those negative feelings are felt, the urge to self-medicate is intense. And unless the person develops new coping methods, embraces distress and learns to tolerate it, he or she will return to the addiction.

Here is an example. And addict grows up in a family that is conflict avoidant. Every time he comes up against a conflict, he has no skills to resolve it, becomes angry and blames others. Since he lacks coping skills (problem-solving, negotiation, emotional regulation, etc.), he retreats to self-medication through the addiction. He wants to avoid the pain felt with the conflict.

Then he feels bad and tries to stop using, but doesn’t address his problems with conflict and anger. So he is clean for a few weeks, but life happens. Another conflict presents. He gets angry and avoids the conflict, blaming others and feeling like a victim. He uses. And the cycle repeats.

Thus, treating the addiction means facing those painful and difficult areas of your life. It is a choice to surrender to God, become an open book and deal with underlying hurt and pain.

With Christ, you have the promise that God is with you through it all. When you lean on Him to face pain and tackle problems head on, you can get to the root issues. God will help you build tolerance for distress and regulate powerful emotions. Most of all, He can heal those parts that you try to medicate. In your weakness, He is strong. His love and power enable you to face difficulty rather than escape and avoid through addiction.

 

Does My Anger Towards My Ex Hurt My Child?

posted by Linda Mintle

Reader Question:

 

My husband and I are divorced. We have a four-year-old daughter together and I worry about how well my daughter is adjusting. My ex-husband is very involved as a dad and this is helping, but I still have so much anger towards him that I am not being very cooperative. I suspect this is a problem.

You are absolutely right! Hanging on to unresolved anger towards an ex-spouse hurts you, your child and child adjustment. Biblically, we are told to be angry but don’t sin. This means anger isn’t a wrong emotion, but one we need to release and not let grow into bitterness. So your first task is to pray about that anger and choose to forgive. And don’t wait until you feel like forgiving. Just do it! We forgive, not because people deserve it, but because God forgives us when we don’t deserve it. And God commands us to do likewise. Whatever the hurts and wounds, give them to God, forgive so you can help your child adjust and be a great co-parent.

The importance of developing a cooperative and co-parenting relationship with your ex-spouse cannot be overstated when it comes to helping children of divorce. Ask God to give you the grace you need to deal with your ex-spouse, to agree on parenting plans and to reduce conflict. You may have to live out Luke 6–love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you. God will honor your response and give you sufficient grace.

I also recommend family therapy to those who can’t seem to work out co-parenting on their own. A family therapist can help navigate difficult waters and focus the two of you on the task at hand—raising a healthy and happy little girl. Divorce is difficult for children so do your part to pave a smoother path.

John Orozco Inspires Even Without a Medal

posted by Linda Mintle

Honestly, it was hard to watch John Orozco’s face Wednesday night for the second time in his Olympic trials. He looked like he was almost having panic attacks. I thought he might vomit after he fell apart on the Pommel Horse again. My heart ached for the guy. I wanted to grab him and say, “Hey, get a grip on who you are–you are a champion, a fighter, a hard worker who has sacrificed much. You are still amazing.” I ached for his mom and dad who sacrificed much and had to watch his defeat and the devastation on his sweet face.

And even though Orozco couldn’t pull it together for the all arounds, his story is one of overcoming. A product of the Bronx, teased for his shyness and choosing gymnastics, John was bullied. But he found his place in the gym, an unlikely sport for someone from his neighborhood. And his countenance is one of humility and kindness, not anger and embitterment.

There is much to love about this remarkable young man. He beat the odds to even get to the Olympics. He followed his passion and didn’t conform even when he was mercilessly teased. He didn’t give us a bunch of bravado about how great he is. Instead, he talked about wanting to help his family and give back-a refreshing change from the usual egotistical athlete who trash talks his opponents and constantly reminds us of how special he is.

Maybe the lesson here is more about the journey to the top rather than being the winner. Maybe young kids could see a role model whose goal was to lift his family out of poverty instead of becoming famous, garnering bling and driving a big car for the ladies. Maybe it is more about following your dreams and passion regardless of the naysayers.

Dust off your feet John Orozco, chalk it up to a bad few days and move forward. Hold  your head high and be proud of what you have accomplished through the years.

At 19, your future is bright.

 

Unhappy at Work? Maybe It is All in Your Mind!

posted by Linda Mintle

Think of all the times you find yourself distracted at work–you worry over a deadline, are upset with a co-worker, wonder what you will make for dinner, etc.  Worry is distracting. This mental habit can take your focus off the task at hand and create such distraction that you find yourself not engaging in the here and now. And when you are not here and now focused, you risk your happiness.

Harvard researchers discovered that if your mind wanders during work, this could be the source of on-the-job unhappiness. And according to the researchers, our minds wander about 47% of the time anyway.

In the Harvard study that utilized an IPHONE app and received feedback from more than 15,000 people from countries all over the world, mind wandering occurred on the job about 50% of the time.

What the researchers concluded was that we humans spend a lot of time thinking about things that are not happening in the moment. And apparently, a wandering mind is an unhappy mind–something religious groups have thought to be true for years.

So if you want to get happy on the job, stay in the moment and let go of worry. Worry is future focused and steals our joy and contributes to job unhappiness.

God wants you to live your work and home life in peace and contentment. A mind stayed on Him keeps us in perfect peace.

 

For more help on Letting Go of Worry click on the link.

 

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