I’m sober, why don’t people trust me?

Blog Post

Mike screwed up his marriage in a huge way.

After being introduced to sexual harm very early in his life, he mistakenly learned to use sexual content to soothe his anxiety. Since he grew up in a Christian house hold, and was now married to a Christian wife, he felt extraordinary shame about it, which gave him anxiety, and led to further use. He was trapped, and in a twisted way, relieved when he was found out and everything came to the surface about his years of hidden addiction. His wife was devastated and talking divorce, and the kids could tell that major turmoil was boiling up. 

Mike entered treatment a broken man.

As we move further and further from our last use, we begin to recapture our health, our dignity, and indeed our once nearly-lost will to live. As our dopamine is allowed to settle into more normal levels, we recapture some of the simple joys in life like a beautiful sunset, a baby’s laugh, or a righteous guitar solo. These things weren’t gone, but simply ignored by our distorted, poisoned brains. High on your gratitude list should be the fact that God designed our brains to repair themselves, so that if we quit our compulsive use, and provide good nutrition, rest and time, we can have another chance.

Walking in Christ is all about another chance, and we should live in constant awe to finally learn that because our Father in Heaven loves us, we are lovable. Hard stop. This fact is not debatable.

As we negotiate through the new life we’re building, we gain confidence in our ability to feel uncomfortable emotions without harmful soothing techniques. Meditation and prayer, exercise, and talking to others can relieve the stress just as well, and leave no shame to cause increased anxiety. We one day realize that we no longer have any desire to go back to the old habits for any reason – we have new tools in the toolbox. We start to see what God sees in us. Our True Self emerges. 

Why don’t others share in the joy of the new found you? Why are they still distrustful? Why do hurtful things keep being said? “Oh, so you haven’t had a drink in 5 months – neither has the cat. While I organize a parade for you, will you clean out the litter box?” It feels like the anger has no limits.

Pay attention here – this is important enough to put in bold. You want to be judged by your intentions, and they can only judge you by your actions. You have probably quit before and gave them all kinds of flowery promises that you went back on. They’ve been burned by you before, and it hurt, so they are staying away from the flame. When will it end?

Perhaps it is different for you, but many people find as they walk in their new found life that they want other broken people to heal at the same rate they do. Remember, you put that distrust in them, and you are responsible for being patient while God’s plan unfolds. Maybe they have a lesson to learn about forgiving others as they want to be forgiven. Maybe you have a lesson to learn that God’s love is enough and reliance on others to feel whole will always let you down. 

Whatever it is, just know – you are not defined by your screw-ups. You are defined by your Creator as His child; fully worthy of His respect and love. Other people need way more time than you think they should need, so give it to them.

“Love is patient… it always hopes, it always perseveres.” 1Corinthians 13:4&7



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