A good friend of mine once said that there are 5 ways the enemy assaults us.
My eyes went wide and I’m pretty sure my jaw literally dropped. “That’s the cycle of addiction!” I responded. Having worked with addicts and led step groups for years I recognized the downward spiral toward destruction immediately.
One morning as I was thinking about the 5 D’s of addiction I drew the chart you see below. Beneath it I wrote the 5 D’s followed by the 5 R’s of recovery. Over the next several months I created a recovery program I called, “Freedom Christian Recovery.” Since then I have taught the program to several groups and am currently teaching the program (In a secular form) in prison.
The longer I have studied the 5 D’s and the corresponding 5 R’s the more I realize their scope goes far beyond addiction. The principals taught in this program apply to marriage and family issues, challenges at work, and in the community.
Freedom Christian Recovery is based on the 5 D’s of addiction, 5 R’s of recovery, and this simple diagram below. (Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved)
Deception is Replaced with the truth.
Distraction is Redirected toward God’s best plan for your life.
Discouragement is replaced with Relationships.
Domination turns to Renewal as we discover God’s purposes for our lives.
Let’s examine the various elements of the FCR Diagram.
Vision Goals and Dreams
Whether you know it or not you have a vision, goals, and dreams. Your vision may not be written down, categorized, or prioritized but you have one.
Love Joy and Peace
In the big picture all of goals and dreams have to do with these three things love, joy, and peace.
Let’s take a look at the first category love. Many of our goals in our lives have to do with relationships. We desire good relationships with our families, friends, co-workers, and with God. We desire to love and to be loved. We desire to feel valuable. These goals fall into the love category.
The second category is joy. Many of our goals have to do with finding joy or pleasure. We want a better car. We want nice cloths. We want new toys like electronics, house hold appliances, tools, clothes, purses, shoes, boats, motorcycles, campers, sporting goods, and the list goes on and on. We want to surround ourselves with the good things in life because we desire pleasure. These goals fall into the joy category.
The third category is peace. We desire a sense of security. We would like to have the assurance that life is not totally out of control. We desire physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. These goals fall into the peace category.
Anger Anxiety Depression
Whether or not we realize it we all have some sort of vision or goals for our lives. Those goals fall into the three categories we have discussed. The challenge comes when situations in life threaten our ability to find love joy and peace.
We know anger is caused when a goal is blocked. Let’s use the illustration of running late for school or work. You are running late while the guy in the car in front of you is talking on the cell phone to his sweet heart, laughing up a storm, and going ten miles below the speed limit. You can feel the anger well inside of you. Your goal of getting to where you need to be on time is blocked. This causes you to get angry. Anger is caused when a goal is blocked.
We know anxiety is caused when a goal is uncertain. Let’s use the same illustration of running late. You are running late and it is down to the wire. You may have just enough time to get to work if that bone head in the car in front of you makes a right turn up here at the light. You see a train coming but you may have enough time to get through before the gates come down. You know if you don’t make it the boss is really going to yell. It is going to be close. You feel your heart race. Your arms begin to tingle. The anxiety is high because the goal is uncertain. Anxiety is caused when a goal seams uncertain.
We know depression is caused when a goal seams unattainable. Let’s go back to the same illustration. You are running late for work and it does not look good. You got stuck by the train. You are still stuck behind the goof ball on the cell phone. You have a fifteen minute drive ahead of you and you are supposed to clock in in five. You begin thinking about how your boss is going to fire you, or how the school is going to suspend you. You are depressed. Your goal of getting where you need to be on time is hopeless. Depression is caused when a goal seams hopeless.
Substance Abuse Compulsive Behavior and Sin Habits
Now we are feeling all of these negative emotions. We deeply desire love joy and peace but it is blocked by the situations and circumstances of life. It is in these moments we seek an alternative. Rather than finding our love (Sense of value), joy, and peace in healthy ways we turn to our compulsive behaviors, and addictions which turn into sin habits.
When we were not made to feel loved or valued in life we turn to addictions which ease the pain. We sometimes feel acceptance from others who engage in the same behaviors we do. When we do not have joy in life we seek pleasure from our compulsive behaviors. As we will learn in detail, compulsive behaviors work in the pleasure center of our brains to flood our brains with dopamine (The brains natural, “Feel Good” chemical). When life is anything but peaceful we turn to addictions for temporary relief from the chaos of life. In short, our addiction becomes our love, joy, and peace.
The 5 D’s of Addiction
All of this leads to the five D’s of addiction which are Deception, Distraction, Discouragement, Domination, and Destruction.
Deception: At the outset we are deceived into believing we can find our love, joy, and peace from our compulsive behaviors as a suitable substitute to finding them in healthier ways. As we will discover we also often believe lies about ourselves that effect our emotions and actions. In FCR we will learn Deception is Replaced with the truth.
Distraction: Our addictions distract us from experiencing true love, joy, and peace. They also distract us from our responsibilities in life and we find ourselves stuck in a cycle of inefficiency. In FCR we will learn Distraction is Redirected toward God’s best plan for your life.
Discouragement: The more we use our drug of choice (including addictive behaviors such as gambling, shop lifting, pornography, etc.) the more tolerant our brains become. We need more and more to get the same high. It gets harder and harder to simulate the original high. No matter how hard we try we can’t seem to fill the void for love, joy, and peace. We become discouraged. In FCR we learn Discouragement is replaced with Relationships.
Domination: What started out as something we could control in an effort to find love, joy, and peace slowly began taking control of certain areas of our lives. We became dominated. We became addicted. In FCR we will learn how addiction works in and affects our brain. We will also learn how Domination turns to Renewal as we discover God’s purposes for our lives.
Destruction: The final, “D” of addiction is destruction. We know it all too well. Addiction has begun to destroy our families, our school or work, and every other area of our lives. Nearly everyone knows someone or knows of someone whose life was taken because of addiction. In FCR we will learn that Destruction gives way to Restoration as we begin to restore cracked and broken relationships.
Let’s begin the journey of healing, freedom, and hope, the journey of recovery.
Comment below and let us know your recovery story. Feel free to send me your questions.