As travelers along life’s journey, you and I often view warning signs that alert us to danger such as “do not enter” or “no U-turn.” However, the warning sign that depicts the most danger is the one that reads “wrong way.” Last week a deadly crash on Interstate 75 occurred when a car and a tractor-trailer hauling flammable materials collided head-on. The car was traveling in the wrong direction.

My point is this, in life we must pay close attention to warning signs of personal, physical, or mental instability. Excessive habits can be a signal that you are headed for future trouble.

An addiction to narcotics, excessive alcohol consumption and other forms of addiction can be a warning sign that you are headed in the wrong direction. Many things can lead to addiction—feeling overworked, lack of self-care, work stresses, personal problems, just to name a few.

Those of us who have been or are currently caregivers to someone with an addiction may have found ourselves unable to take time for ourselves or to turn down requests for help. This may be due to allowing the person we are caring for to make us feel guilty, obligated, uncaring or even uncompassionate if we don’t respond to their request. And so, the caregiver believing they are being kind and helpful often inconveniences themselves, their families and their friendships to facilitate endless demands of the seemingly helpless, irresponsible user. The caregiver must be careful not to fall into a bottomless pit of depression.

As a result of taking care of someone else, a caregiver’s life can be emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually overloaded.  At the same time, the person they are caring for may feel increasingly dependent, become more irresponsible or develop a sense of entitlement. They may not appreciate and may eventually resent the caregiver’s efforts.

Remember this—as loving, caring, and compassionate employees in the affordable housing industry, you must find ways to have self-control over your life or you will become like a city with broken-down walls.

If you can’t take charge of your own life while you are feeling responsible for others, you could end up going the wrong way.

Never give up, never give up, never give up!

Chaplain Walter Ghosten

By Chaplain Ghosten

chaplain@lhp.net

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