It’s easy to change your thoughts, right? Wrong! Whether you’re struggling with an addiction or codependency, you’ll need to overcome some obstacles preventing you from changing the way you think and—ultimately—your recovery.
Romans 12:2 puts it this way: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Here are five barriers keeping you from getting help.
One of the biggest barriers to getting help is being in denial. If you struggle with an addiction, you look at life through a distorted lens of denial that prevents you from seeing the root of your problems. You understand you’re experiencing hardships and that you’re turning to unhealthy ways to cope with them; however, what you don’t realize is that your ways of coping are actually causing your problems. Not only that, but you may blame others—such as your boss or even an ex—for your pain. Instead of looking through the distorted lens of denial, you should acknowledge to God and yourself this truth: whatever you’re turning to is the very thing that is hurting you.
Another barrier to asking for help is fear. Perhaps you’re so afraid you’ll fail that you don’t even try. Recovery isn’t a one-time deal, but a lifelong journey. If you slip up or mess up, you can always start over. Make a new commitment each and every day. It takes motivation, determination, and courage to get help for an addiction. If you’re struggling with a chemical addiction such as drug or alcohol abuse, detox can be emotionally and physically draining. In spite of your fears, consider going to a treatment facility to help you overcome a chemical dependency. And if you’re struggling with another addiction like codependency, talk with a counselor. It may be scary, but it will unearth painful memories and feelings that have been buried for years. Getting help may seem overwhelming. If you don’t, however, you may find yourself at rock bottom. So, don’t let fear stop you—get help before it’s too late!
If you’ve been struggling with an addiction, it’s difficult to admit you need help because of the stigma surrounding addiction. Because shame can be one of the most overwhelming and painful emotions, it can also be a barrier for seeking help. When you experience shame, you may feel as if you’re not worthy of help or attention. Also, you may feel there’s no hope for turning your life around. Buried deep inside is the stigma attached to what you think other people might say or think about you if they knew about your real struggles. But the problem is that shame is preventing you from getting help. Surrender your shame to the Lord, and He will show you where your true value lies.
Another barrier to getting help is that you want to be in control. You may struggle with the need to feel in control of everything that happens in your life, and you may struggle to control those that you’re in a relationship with. For an addict with control issues, you may find that seeking help is far down on your to-do list. After all, you say that you don’t have a problem and that you have everything under control. But the truth is you need to give up some control to overcome an addiction.
It may be hard for you to admit the truth because it involves setting your pride aside, opening up, and talking about your struggles. And, it may be hard for you to be vulnerable enough to share your feelings with others. Trusting others may be challenging. But if you want to overcome an addiction, it’s important to begin to be vulnerable and find people you can trust. Set aside your pride and ask others for help. Recovery works best when you have input and advice from other people. They can see things about you that you might not be able to see yourself. A good place to start is to go to a Life Recovery Group and meet with a Christian counselor every week. By doing those two things, you’ll see a big difference in your life.
Once you overcome these 5 barriers, you are on your way to do the work it takes for recovery. Not only that, but overcoming these barriers will help you to change the way you think. As the apostle Paul explained in Romans 12:2, this means you “let God transform you into a new person.”