The Attic Film Festival happened during the weekend of my husband’s 30th birthday celebration. I had been planning it for months, not realizing that the two would occur at the same time. I was bummed when I finally figured it out. I had really wanted to see what the festival was all about but my previously made plans preceded me. Nevertheless, I was going to figure out a way to go and catch some films. I just had to plan better.
Well, as you can imagine on a weekend getaway, we woke up in Dallas later than expected. The waiters took their time during lunch and there was traffic. We arrived home around 4PM, leaving me the rest of the night to hop on over to the festival. I got in my car and headed towards the Alamo Drafthouse as fast as I could safely. Looking at the clock, I had 3 minutes until the next film started. As I walked into the theater, there was not a sign to be found. I couldn’t figure out which room the film was being shown in so I finally found someone to help me. It was then that I discovered that I was completely in the wrong location. Sighing heavily, I raced off to my car. Hopefully, I’d make the next showing. Well, as you can probably figure out, I was late. I didn’t know a thing about the film I was about to view. I looked for a seat, settled down and began trying to catch up with the storyline.
Minutes in, I discovered that the film was following different families who had been affected by addiction, whether it be drugs or alcohol. And this documentary was more than just that, it was also following the people who were codependent on those addicted. My world was rocked and I had some revelations I would have never expected to hit me that night. I walked out of the theater grateful. I had come just in time for the film I needed to see.
You see, I’ve always viewed addiction a certain way. I felt bad for those wrapped up in but I had believed that they could break loose if they chose to. I also believed that addiction had a hard line tied to it. It was defined by people who made a choice to binge themselves to death on something in particular no matter the cost. Friends, I’ll be the first to tell you, I was dead wrong.
Seeing what these families had suffered through was no longer a deliberate choice and it all came to light when they explained the vicious cycle of addiction.
- You feel restless, irritable and discontent.
- To feel better you decide to use.
- Your physical allergy kicks in. The documentary presented the idea that many of us are wired towards a certain type of addiction. They call it an allergy. This “allergy” allows something that seems simple like a bite of cake to be taken too far. It can’t be stopped, it’s not possible to have just one bite.
- So you binge.
- Then you feel bad so you promise to stop. This is the part that really got me. Recovering alcoholic, Caleb, described this perfectly. He said that when someone promises to stop being addicted, they really mean it. They want to stop with all their heart, but they can’t.
And so the cycle continues over and over.
Maybe this cycle hits home with you to because addiction doesn’t have to be to drugs or alcohol, it can be to just about anything we decide to worship as an idol. We could be addicted to food or success or people pleasing. It’s anything we give our lives over to. It’s anything that is destructive. So what’s the solution?
Unfortunately, there’s not an easy answer. But I will suggest that it be given to God. We have to stop letting things take His place as 1st in our lives. Sometimes that means we get help from someone. Addiction is a heart issue. Once we discover that, it’s easier to recover.
You can find out more about the documentary at http://www.askdocumentary.com/film.asp#
In fact, you can even watch it free but keep in mind it is a documentary. While it is redemptive, the families are real people and sometimes they use language you might not agree with. I can say it has really opened my eyes. I have the Attic Film Festival to thank for that.