The LDS addiction recovery manual uses the metaphor of a destructive tornado to describe how addiction affects others. Let me extend that metaphor a moment.
A person justifying an addiction, or really any sin, is to some extent trying to stand in the eye of a dark storm that isolates them from God and from others. Because the storm itself obscures the damage being done, it is easier to live in denial here and turn a blind eye to the hurt it causes loved ones. When we seek repentance, however, we take the momentum out of the storm and as the debris settles, we begin to see the precious relationships that have been damaged.
You will find there are many things that are lost: lost time that could have been used for a hundred simple acts of service, lost relationships which could have enriched our lives, and a loss of the Spirit which brings us close to God. Indeed, the most important connection all of us have lost in our fallen state is the one with our Heavenly Father.
This week I was reading in Psalms 30:5 and loved the Joseph Smith translation (in italics):
Psalms 30:5 – For his anger kindleth against the wicked; they repent, and in a moment it is turned away, and they are in his favor, and he giveth them life; therefore, weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
And so we see, the most important connection is one that was never truly lost. It is the one that will be offered back to us without reserve and with a full measure of joy. It is with our Father in Heaven.
In the conference talk given by President Uchtdorf, titled, “You can do it now” he relates falling down ungracefully on a ski slope and being unable to stand. Then his 12-year old grandson came and told him not only to get up, but said, “You can do it now”. I testify that ‘you can do it now’. You can repent and stand and rebuild these relationships.
…and if you fall down again. You can get up again and again until you overcome.