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How to Deal with Addictions

November 14, 2020

Another Way for week of November 6, 2020

How to Deal with Addictions

The third Thursday in November is Great American Smokeout Day and billed as a day to stop smoking forever. I only ever smoked a little while in college but I can sympathize, because most of us have an addiction to coffee, chocolate, or any of numerous sweet attractions. Just ask my kids about my affinity for red licorice. If I have some in the house, I cannot leave it alone.

I feel an immense amount of sadness for those addicted to the stronger stuff like meth and codeine and heroin. My family has known too many who have struggled with these issues. It is life changing to be able to quit these habits.

Christina Showalter, left, with yours truly as a book editor, at a book launch and reception.

Last fall I was asked to help edit a book titled, Escaping Addiction: Portraits of Hope and Restoration, by Christina Showalter who is both the book’s author and the photographer. Christina is a splendid photographer and I knew her older sister from work and we went to the same church for awhile.

Christina developed a vision to create a book of photography that helped tell the before and after stories of those addicted to alcohol or drugs, and how with God’s help they are recovering from their addictions. It is common to say “recovering” in this situation because what I hear from their stories is that the temptation or urge still exists, but by whatever means possible, just for today, they will choose to live without that drink or drug.  

Christina’s introduction to the book says “In the following pages you will meet men and women who found themselves in terrible situations where they hit rock bottom.” I’ve received permission to share an excerpt, which could be the story of many:

“Sarah had never felt love before in her life. She had no clue what it felt like to be loved or accepted in any way. Her whole life, from birth, was one of rejection, abuse and extreme violence. Sarah left her abusive home at age 14 which began a life of prostitution and drug addiction. Violence was very much a part of her life working on the streets. The only breaks she had were short stays in a hospital after getting beaten up, or for psych evaluations in the psychiatric ward. 

“In and out of rehabs for various time periods, she always went back to the streets. ‘That was all I knew; it was my job.’ She met a guy who was in a gang and started a relationship with him. She ended up getting stabbed and almost lost her arm. When she was in the hospital, she prayed that God would save her arm.

“At that same time, she was pregnant without knowing it. It was a miracle that the baby survived because Sarah had bruises all over her body and foot marks where this man would kick her. Her mental anguish was so extreme that she had been diagnosed with many different disorders including multiple personality disorder. 

“When Sarah felt the love of Jesus for the first time, it was so powerful that it began an unstoppable change in her. Currently, Sarah says of herself, ‘I’m completely different now.’  After a short time in Betel (Christian rehabilitation program in Britain), she was praying in a worship service. As she closed her eyes a warm feeling came upon her that spread from her head to her toes. She suddenly burst into tears. These tears were a really big deal for Sarah because as she said, ‘I didn’t cry. I did not do it. It was a weakness to me. But I just felt so secure. So loved. So safe!’

“Today, Sarah doesn’t struggle with mental disorders; once she got off drugs and began the healing process, the mental disorders fell away. She is living and working at Betel and has a growing relationship with her daughter.” (Excerpted from Escaping Addiction, 2020, p. 70).

Betel is based in the UK and is an independent Christian charity for men, women and families affected by drug and alcohol abuse. In the U.S., the Teen Challenge program and many others offer religious-based rehab for those struggling. Perhaps you can share this story of hope with others.

Christina’s book can be purchased here: https://shop.multzi.com/product/escaping/ or write to her at Christina Showalter, PO Box 132, Linville VA  22834.

P.S. It is never too late! I also had the privilege of producing radio spots which were aired in the U.S some years ago. They are called “Never Too Late” and share true stories of persons who have found help. You can find them here.

Comment below if you have found help, or would like help for others. For those also struggling with mental issues, check https://www.samhsa.gov/find-treatment

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

3 Comments
  1. Like you I don’t dare bring red licorice (or potato chips) into the house. The temptation is SO strong I can’t resist. My husband has a coffee addiction, but so far he hasn’t let this craving interfere with our relationship – ha!

    Thank you for introducing me to another author named Showalter. Both you and she look very fit in the photo. And, Sarah, best wishes as you promote your book. I assure you the good you have published will come back to you with testimonials of hope and healing. 🙂

  2. Sorry, It’s Christina, not Sarah!

    • That’s ok, thanks for the correction! And for the compliment. (And about the Showalter name, I wouldn’t be surprised if Christina’s husband related to the Showalter author you’re thinking of–many of the Showalters here in the valley are related.

      My own prayer for this book that it will encourage and help many others who struggle with the ruinous effects of addicting drugs.

      .

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