August 1, 2017

Rebuilding and redirecting lost Trust

The addicted mind has one mission – feed the need. Satisfying this requirement involves many behaviors – denial, deception, manipulation, and survival. The easiest resources in this relentless quest to feed the need are those who love and trust them most—family and friends. Those who have a close relationship with someone with an addiction, often are the last to actually realize there is an issue and are the first to discover they have been victimized by the addiction in some fashion. For obvious reasons, one of the more immediate casualties of a loved one’s addiction is a complete loss of trust.

Trust is a gift. It is something earned with friends over time. In families, trust is almost unconditional from the start. Once earned, it is something to be respected and honored.

Trust is very personal. It is one of our ultimate of personal gifts. There is a component in trust which includes the sharing of very personal thoughts, ideas, and experiences with a confidence they can be safely shared and securely stored. Barriers come down and protection is provided.

This why when trust is broken it has such a damaging effect on those involved and on their relationship. Even if a fragmented relationship begins its reparations, the actor may be forgiven but the scars remain. Healing takes time, time takes time. Building trust, once broken, can be a long hard road back. Repeat experiences in a breakdown of trust completely destroys all confidence. Even when there is a desire to heal and forgive, the pain of betrayal is extremely strong.

I listened to a talk on Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11. The focal point of this scripture was the part where it says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Eccl 3:11 NIV).

As I reflect on my roller coaster experiences with my son’s addiction, one of the casualties of this experience is my ability to really trust, not just my son, but myself and others, as well. I have learned to embrace my addiction journey, its lessons and experiences, as something designed to help me grow in my faith, as well as, in my love for and relationships with others. I have come to find enormous comfort in moving closer to God and in the transformative power of this journey.

Every time I experience a defeat or a setback, my confident trust in this journey and with all those involved, takes a major hit. I feel my defense mechanisms raised, my confidence dimming, and weakened ability to trust everything will work out. I fear failure everywhere. I am continually disappointed by little things and lose focus or disenchanted by any lack of progress, sensing it as a signal of more impending doom or another upcoming let down.

As I reflected on this message, I realize I am carrying the experience of broken, human trust into my relationship with God, my Father. I am not trusting Him as much I have in the past. I am losing connection to an important reality: even though my day-to-day experiences may hurt and disappoint, or the current season may seem dark and uncertain, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

Breaking this down into critical key words…

  • has made” – He has already done it, planned for it, and has it worked out. Wait for it.
  • its time.” I’ve been managing my life according to my calendar, not His.

God’s word is clear. According to His schedule, His calendar, and His plan, everything has been made beautiful. When was the last time God’s promises failed you?

This won’t be an easy shift for me – the control freak with high goals, dreams, expectations, and an impatient, aggressive timeline. This week I am going to focus on reminding myself who I can really trust and embrace, with confidence. He knows what He is doing and He promised me it will all work out, beautifully. Good enough.


Want more insights from this blog? Join me on the podcast “100Pedals Talk: Inside the Blog” as I delve deeper into this post and share personal stories or reflections behind the article. (Note: The podcast relating to any particular blog is released on Thursday of the same week this blog is posted.) Subscribe to this podcast on I-Tunes here.

I would love to hear from you. What issues are confronting you today? Where are you currently experiencing fear and shame relating to the struggles in your life? I have some pretty cool tools to guide you and would love to help.  Please let me know:

Dave Cooke is going on the Road! Learn more about this year’s cross county cycling trip from Charleston, SC to San Diego, CA at Cycling for Recovery 2017.






Addiction in the Family, featured, Parenting and Addiction, Trust and Protection , , , , , , , , ,
About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.

  1. Dave,
    Every time I read your article, it is always where I am on this journey with my son! Four weeks ago, my son came back home once again. Each time, my son would come back home, he was always worse off, than the last time. And when he came home, four weeks ago, it was bad. My son is on his way, to recovering. And I do understand, rebuilding trust.
    My sons has told us, he knows he has to earn, our trust back. I am too a planner. But I would never in no way, plan this journey with addiction. But as we go on this journey in our life, God says, we will have trials. Count it all joy, when you fall into divers temptations.
    But I feel, I have grown, closer to God. You know it is in the fire, that silver is refined.
    I always get so much out of your articles. I can always relate. I forward, them on to others. Thanks again for being honest and transparent, that is the only we can help others.

    • Teresa, thanks for your comments. Great insights. I agree this in not a journey or a hardship I would have ever planned for. Through much of this difficulty, I have experienced the gifts in His teaching and His love. It is what pushes me forward when I hit a dark patch like the one I am experiencing right now. Thank you for sharing your experiences and words of encouragement from your journey. Together we heal and help others.

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