Dr. Beth Fishman, Manager, Addiction & Misuse Services
The Jewish new year has just begun. Jews around the world have gone through the High Holy Day process of tshuvah/spiritual return. This can also be a time to celebrate the return to a life free of addiction. If you are Jewish and actively engaged in addictive behavior, or find yourself embroiled in the chaos that a loved one’s addiction creates, how can you return to a life of sanity this year? Here are some suggestions to make the most of this opportunity to return to the life you were intended to live:
- Admit to yourself that there really is a problem…and that there really is a solution. The hope of help is what makes all the rest possible.
- Reach out! Tell someone who knows how to listen and respect your privacy. This could be your spouse, your parent, your sibling or your adult child. Consider confiding in a friend, clergy, neighbor, therapist or doctor. Telling the truth of your situation to someone else means coming out of the isolation that feeds addiction.
- Find resources. The addiction and misuse services has recently been established at JCFS Chicago. We are here to help you understand what is happening in your life and determine what your next best steps could be.
- Take action. Make the call, attend the meeting, go to detox, pray. Whatever is the recommended next action…take it now. Gather up your courage and start the work that abstinence requires. Moving from the chaos of addiction to the sanity of recovery can be challenging as you learn new ways of living and new habits for health.
- Go gently and with great compassion for yourself. And remember, the Jewish community is here to help; you don’t have to walk this road alone.