My son has been trying to give up his thumb for a long time now. Before Kindergarten last year, he decided he was going to give it up…the bribe was right~ he could have Bowser’s Inside Story DS game if he gave it up. He did it. It was hard, but he would come cuddle with us when he felt like sucking his thumb, do other things to distract himself and before we knew it, we were buying him a game.
Then he had a really scary episode with asthma. It involved nearly passing out on the bathroom floor, an ambulance ride and an ER visit. On the ride home, he sucked his thumb. And we let him!
Since then he has struggled again with letting it go. He thinks he can’t stop one day and the next, he’ll find something that he thinks will help him get over it. On Monday, he bought a stuffed Luigi and said he thought it was going to help him stop sucking his thumb.
I don’t understand it. I’ve tried sucking my thumb and I have no desire to do it again. It doesn’t appeal to me.
It isn’t my addiction.
It might seem silly to use a thumb sucking boy as an example for the addictions that are hard to break. But the point is valid~ we all have those things that we struggle to give up. And we don’t understand other people’s addictions when they are not our own. Many times, I’ve heard people criticize others for the habits they can’t break. They don’t understand how someone can be an alcoholic or use drugs or why can’t they just stop smoking or eating or fill-in-the-blank?!…but they have their own addictions…ones that can be kept secret or that fall in the “Acceptable” category.
I have friends who have struggled with every sort of addiction and they want to be free of it. Other friends aren’t ready and may never be, but they’re addicted just the same. It can be hard to be the observer at times. You want to just shake them out of their mess or talk them into doing the right thing. But it isn’t up to me. All I can do is love them and care for them. Talk straight? Yes. Be there for them? Absolutely. Pray? Oh, without question, yes. But ultimately, I cannot fix them.
I didn’t know Amy Winehouse personally, but her story hits so close to home for me. I have a brother who was addicted to heavy drugs for many years and felt like any day we could get a phone call saying he was gone. It has shaken me up to hear some making comments about Amy, such as, “She should have said, ‘Yes, yes, yes!’” referring to her Rehab song and then laugh, as if it’s all a big joke. She lost her fight. She has a family who is crushed and brokenhearted.
I’ve seen videos of her from a long time ago and she was such a beautiful girl. Her voice was exceptional and unique and she had a sarcastic, quirky sense of humor. I am so sad that drugs took over her life. It feels like she was sort of thrown away once her drug use became openly rampant. People didn’t take her seriously and she became the brunt of a lot of late-night television jokes.
I wonder what we all could have done differently to help her.
For my friend who is especially struggling right now with a painful addiction, I will never give up fighting for you. Never. I may not know what to do to help, but I will always pray, always listen, always love. I pray for wisdom, deliverance, and peace to those struggling and not knowing how to get out of that destructive behavior. God will deliver. He will set free. All at once and one day at a time…the cycle can be broken.
As for my thumb-sucking little man, we’re proud of every baby step…every day he goes without sucking his thumb is progress. Every time he says he’s quitting, we support and believe in him. And when he fails again, we try to understand and get him through it. That’s all I know to do.
The cool thing is~ my Father in heaven loves me that very same way…only more.