Hello, I’m Jen Underwood, a freelance writer. My friend, Jessie, has struggled with addiction and agreed to let me interview her in order to help others understand addiction. In talking with her, I feel God taught me something as well. Addicts don't want to be seen as addicts but for who they are beyond the addiction. On the other hand, my friend does not see her worth as I see her. She is the kind of soul that others gravitate toward.Read More
Have you watched the movie, Walk the Line? I feel like it needs a re-watch. June Carter wrote the song, "Ring of Fire" about her relationship with Johnny Cash, who had fallen deep into drugs and alcohol. The song hits me in every place. I understand it completely.
One thing worth noting about their relationship was that Johnny Cash's life was saved first by love and second by faith.Read More
Last week, we talked about making the decision to leave or kick out a loved one struggling with addiction. One of the hard, cold realities of addiction is that doing so is sometimes necessary not only for our own survival but for their overall well-being.
Allowing someone to hurt in order to help them doesn't seem like a very Godly thing to do. It hurts us to see our loved ones hurting (most of the time, that is! Somedays, it's more like, "Ah! That's it! You're getting what you deserve- maybe it'll make you change!").Read More
The trouble with addiction is the people who have them are good people. Hurting maybe, but often, still good. At the very least, they’re human beings that we care about or have a history with.
In my experience, those who struggle with addiction are not normally what the media portrays. Yes, there are many people who seem to have walked off the television show, “Intervention” (or need to go on it!) but not all are like that. When it comes to decision-making and laying down boundaries, I always felt like the families of the "severely addicted" had it easy because it's so blatantly obvious their loved one needs to go to treatment. If they won’t go, then they need to be left alone to hit their rock bottom.
As difficult as the process still is, the struggle is clear for all to see.Read More
There is nothing I have ever experienced; not bullying, not divorce, not even addiction, that has made me feel more helpless than a panic attack. There is a moment where the waves of terror take over my body and hold my thoughts captive.
Though I know the panic attacks comes a resurgence of painful memories my body is the piece of me that loses control. In the midst of the attack, I can tell myself, “This isn’t real, it’s going to end, I will be able to breathe, everything is going to be okay” but I cannot convince my body to relax or find breath.Read More
For the young girl I met during family visits to my husband in rehab~
“I hate glitter,” you said, “It always gets stuck under my nails”.
You told me you were there to see your friend. When you told me his story my heart broke for you. You said he was only your friend but you drove for hours to see him and went to two different restaurants just to find his favourite sandwich.Read More
Everything belongs to God. The roof over our heads, the food in our pantries, the clothes in our drawers; It is His.
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.”
-1 Chronicles 29:11-12 (ESV)Read More
Living with a loved one in recovery is an entirely different thing than life in active addiction. Each season needs its own specific course of action and entirely different approach.When our loved ones are in active addiction everything from finances to their whereabouts is in question; "Who are they with? What are they doing? Why are they late? Who are they on the phone with? Why did they take their phone in the bathroom?"Read More
Addiction is an insatiable beast. There’s really no way to sugarcoat this tragic reality. Once the beast of addiction has sunk its claws into its victim, everything begins to change. The sparkling person once full of life no longer has the light shining from their eyes. In its place is a dull and empty glaze. The person that was once present, caring and transparent has become elusive, angry, and numbed to reality.Read More
One of the real dangers of staying in an abusive marriage is that abuse generally escalates. Boundaries are nudged, pushed, and eventually outright challenged so that you find yourself submitting to abuse that would once be unthinkable. Humans acclimate to a wide variety of situations, but in an abusive marriage, this adaptability comes eventually at a severe cost. The first time I truly realized I was in an abusive marriage was about nine years into the marriage. Before I used the word ‘abusive’, I generally used the word ‘controlling’. No one likes to face the fact that they are abused.Read More
How many times have you packed your bags? Collected your children and rode off in a fury of pain and confusion? Lost. Unable to figure out what to do next. When married to someone struggling with an addiction everyday life can be downright traumatic.
Living a Life Without Boundaries
You wake up and the sun is shining on another beautiful day. The pitter-patter of your children’s feet echoes through the rooms of your home as you stretch and roll over in bed.
One more minute of bliss.Read More
The Grey Diaries is back!
Looking back, I can see where there is the beginning of a seed of ministry. It's pretty cool because look at where God took this, today! Even in the midst of hard times, He is faithful.
I know many of you have a desire to go into ministry. Speaking from my own experience, it's a healing experience to share your story with others and see how it helps them. If you're considering ministry and don't know what to do, or you're not ready to go public- please send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.orgRead More
I can remember sitting in a women's group hearing the testimony of another woman thinking to myself, "How did she know my story?" As she described the abuse she endured, I became uncomfortable in my seat. Part of me wanted to run out of the meeting and the other part of me felt slightly relieved to know that I was not alone. I had buried the sexual abuse that I had been subjected to and acted as though it had never happened. I often told myself that if I didn't remember it, then it didn't happen. That thinking, unfortunately, did more damage than good both mentally and emotionally.Read More
There is no struggle like that of a mother whose child is an addict. When someone you love struggles with addiction, it is nearly impossible to simply cut ties, especially if that person happens to be your own child. Chances are, you feel overwhelmed — your life turned upside down by your current family situation — but there is hope for a better future, even when things seem bleak.Read More
While it is tempting to equate all kinds of abuse as pretty much the same, narcissistic abuse has a few characteristics outside the boundaries of emotional abuse. Obviously narcissistic abusers are emotionally abusive, but the goals of a narcissist are significantly different from those of a person who is emotionally abusive. Knowing the difference is helpful. Narcissistic abuse requires a different approach to recovery, though the healing path from any kind of abuse is difficult.Read More
Welcome back to The Grey Diaries! If you're new here, this is a monthly series where I share my real journal entries through this experience with you. It's also the best place to find personal photos of my life for a true "behind-the-scenes" look. Don't worry, one day (working on it) I will start showing my face and posting more personal photos!Read More