By Liz Erickson
When you are lonely, frustrated, bored, hurt, depressed or sad, do you turn to a person, place or thing? Think about that for a moment…each of us experiences the emotions I listed above, and I know we can each answer the question of to what, where or whom do we turn for comfort? When we only experience these stressful emotions occasionally, there is typically not a problem. However, when we live in a continued state of depression, stress, frustration, boredom or sadness, that which we turn to for comfort can become an addiction.
Every one of us has, at one time or another, struggled with an addiction. Maybe it was food or diet pop, prescription or illegal drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, pornography or social media, gambling or shopping, work or attention….there are many things we can become addicted to. Here in Libby, our community has a high incidence of alcohol use, narcotic addictions, illegal drug problems, and gambling issues. That’s not to say that we don’t also find comfort in food, social media, or shopping, we just tend to look to substances. In my line of work, I see many individuals, families, and relationships broken and dysfunctional due to addictions. It’s heart breaking to say the least.
Recently, Western Montana Mental Health closed its doors, and our health community and local leaders have been working hard to find solutions for people who need mental health services. Realistically, every one of us has mental health needs. I get stressed and so do you. I get sad and so do you. I get angry and so do you. How we cope becomes the issue… Maybe you have the resources and were taught to use healthy coping skills. If so, that is awesome and please keep it up! Better yet, teach or offer help to someone you know who is hurting! If you don’t have those skills though, or if you made the choice to numb yourself to the pain, addiction can come quickly. Unfortunately, many people make this choice and experience life changing consequences.
ROOT 320 is designed to help you identify the root of what drives your addiction. Rarely is there just one specific reason why you behave the way you do. It can be a combination of genetic tendencies, life experiences, choices, and coping mechanisms. A guy named Paul once said, “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead I do the very thing I hate.” If you’re anything like me, you’ve said that a time or two! In these classes we will look at this issue from a medical, emotional, spiritual, and relational standpoint. We will look at why just changing your behavior is rarely successful.
If you, or someone you know deals with an addiction, please consider coming to this series. The classes will begin March 5th from 6-7:30pm and will meet at Libby Christian Church. We will continue to meet each Monday at this time. You can come to any or all of the classes. I guarantee you’ll find something you can use either for yourself or someone else which can be helpful. I will facilitate these classes each week, but will also bring in some members of our community to speak to areas of their expertise as it relates to addiction. You will also hear from fellow community members who struggle with addiction and have found ways to overcome their battle. I hope you will join us. Please call Liz at 293-3747 or email liz@libbychristian church if you have any questions.
Liz Erickson is a registered nurse and certified bible counselor.
There is a $5/class suggested donation.