Archive for the ‘Disease’ Category

This guy, Jonah Hadley, Big Pastor J, headed off to Wells Maine to start a church. Keep his travels in prayer, pray to keep his family safe and pray for the lost to be found up in Maine.
6 years ago I was lost. I was a bottom feeding self induced drug addict paving my own prison pathway to destruction and death.
I was in the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center trying to find out why and how I got to such a rock bottom in my life after a 10 year addiction to opiates and other drugs. Well that sentence explains the rock bottom. I needed help and I needed it fast.
One night at the Salvation Army, during a meeting that we were required to attend, in walks Jonah, this big dude, full head of hair, bible on his side and a determined stare. Here we go right?
He started to speak and all of a sudden my ears opened up. Now I wasn’t new to this Christian thing, I’ve been one most of my life, just never walked my talk.
Jonah started spitting truth. Right from his heart. No beating around the bush, no watery phrases or advice of the world; he gave a short testimony and went on to talk about how you can basically become free from this so called ‘disease’ of addiction. There are about 100 guys in this room, and hearing Jonah speak like he was talking directly to me or someone one on one in front of so many roughed up men, was impressive.
God used Jonah to get to me, as well as so many, God also used the program, its counselors and as a matter of fact, other addicts as well.
Jonah would come in once a month to the rehab and keep offering this freedom. He kept offering the Word of God and freedom through Christ and how simple it was.
Me and a bunch of others would eventually attend service, meetings at Calvary, which is now Great Rock Church. There we met other addicts, other people with issues just like us. A real down to earth community of believers.
I always thanked Jonah for his sincerity and his honesty although he always told me “it isn’t me brother, it’s the Lord”… I said I know man, but you chose to allow Him to work through you, and for that I thank you brother.
I can proudly say Jonah is a true friend. Always there to listen and definitely there to tell you how it is! He’s all about Truth, accountability and telling it how it should be but from the heart and most of all from the Word of God.
Thank you for being there for me brother. Thank you for hearing me when I was down and hearing me when I am up. Thank you for your strength and your faith that is displayed for myself and others to live and learn by. A true leader, made through discipleship from other strong leaders as well.
We’ll be visiting you soon up in Maine brother and will enjoy many more years together in His Light.

We’ll be keeping your path and your family in prayer. I know God has big things coming for those who keep the faith!!
My pastor, my friend, my brother. Godspeed.
“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26

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I moved out on my own I was finally free.

I signed a lease and boom, my own pad, my own apartment. I was so excited to finally take on the responsibilities of being an independent man. First thing’s first, a new T.V. I went to Best Buy, opened a credit line and got the biggest and baddest T.V. they had, well at that time, the Sony Wega. Lets get a virtual cinema surround sound system while I’m at it. I was a carpenter so I made a sweet set of custom maple speaker stands for the front left and right speakers. And let me tell you, that T.V. and surround sound system made movies alive!

I went out and got myself a little kitten. I couldn’t have a dog there so I figured a cat would be comforting enough. I opened up multiple credit cards, bought myself a really nice laptop, got some furniture, got a new truck, a new motorcycle and a new girlfriend. Things were great, really great. I owned my own business at the time and was making a lot of money, had a great reputation and made a lot of new connections. I held parties all the time and had friends over a lot too.

A few years went by, things were going good. I was successful and busy. I had a lot of new ‘friends’. I was really making a name for myself in the new town I was in. Until one day it hit me, like a ton of bricks… Oxycontin. Yes, the old school ones where you peel off the coating and go at it.

Someone had come over and introduced me to my new girlfriend, my new chemical romance. Now, I was drinking here and there, popping Valium and sniffing Ritalin, maybe some ecstasy once in a while, your typical weekend party moments. But nothing was more incredible and more euphoric than this form of oxycodone. I bumped a 10 mg line on my glass kitchen table and fell in love immediately. The sun came out in my living room. My smile went ear to ear. I leaned back and said to myself, “Why do I even go to the gym? This is great!”

I couldn’t believe the rush of happiness and strength I got off that one little 10 mg pill! It lasted quite a few hours too. I was just in simple amazement by what I experienced. Well, obviously that connection hung around for a bit. I put everything else aside that I tried and focused on my new obsession. I started using Oxycontin just on the weekends for a few months, I honestly thought it was so good that I didn’t want to waste it.

I noticed myself thinking about it during work. I also noticed how it freed me from stress and problems that were running through my mind. It took me away while still being here on earth, it helped me function better and perform better, so I thought. Things were still going great.

I started using during the week and I went up from 10 mg to 20 mg per bump. Cocaine came into the picture during the weekends too. I really didn’t like the cocaine and noticed that I needed to take a couple of oxy’s to counter the speeding rate of the coke. So I would do them after my bag ran out so I could sleep, after 12 hours of blowing cocaine up my nose, it was needed.

I would wake up pretty messed up, fighting with my girlfriend, getting in arguments with my friends. I was showing up to my jobs later and later. My landlord was getting complaints from my neighbors about me being too loud and saying weird things. I was like, whatever. It’s normal, I’m a free man living the dream! Everything’s gonnna be alright.

Well, I went from 10-20 mg a day to 40 mg. Then 40 mg to 80 mg. In just over a few months too. I had multiple connections. All my ‘friends’ were doing it too. Actually, just about everyone I knew was doing them. They were so easy to get and available 24-7.

Time goes by and my little mental vacation habit turned me into a full blown addict doing well over 1000 mg a day. I tried stopping in the early stages but nothing ever worked. I accepted myself as an addict too, I accepted myself as a junkie and justified my problem daily. I was railing two 80 mg Oxycontin for breakfast and an 80 every hour just to function. I was smoking cigarettes every 2 minutes too, close to 3 packs a day.

Now what I’m about to explain happened within the 3rd year of me abusing oxycodone. My entire run of being an addict lapsed 10 years, but the downward spiral started right around my 3rd year.

I started to not show up to work. I would take deposits on jobs and never show up on some of them. My girlfriend was fed up with me showing up late, lying and cheating, malnourished and unhygienic. Not being a good boyfriend at all so she left me. I would be late to any family gathering because I had to ‘pick up’ before I got there.  Credit card statements and bills we not getting paid.  I was getting threats of being kicked out of my apartment, I had 3 of my surrounding neighbors move within 6 months of each other due to my recklessness. Things were changing and I saw it, and not for the good either.
A few more years go by and I am stealing money from family members, stealing from stores, hustling anything I can to make a few bucks to go get high. I wasn’t making the money I had because my reputation was getting destroyed so my daily intake of oxy’s were dropping day by day and I was getting dope sick.

During this time of being dope sick, not showing up at work and hustling and thieving my way to get high, my truck got repossessed and I had to leave my home. I sold everything, my T.V., the surround sound, my lap top, my guitars, my couch, my motorcycles, my credit cards were maxed out by cash advances, I almost sold my cat… I became that guy that needed to ‘borrow’ money and things all the time. I bounced from home to home, even moved to the south for a year to get away and quickly realized that my problem followed me everywhere. I became homeless because my pride didn’t want to fix anything. I didn’t understand how to mend a bridge and didn’t care.

At this time I’m having full blown panic attacks, insomnia, skeletal pain, bicycle legs, hot sweats, cold chills, nightmares for the 2 minutes I may have got from a nap, diarrhea, heart palpitations to name a few. The flu had nothing on what I was going through. This spiritual and physical pain I was going through was something I wouldn’t want on my worst enemy.

Finally during my 10th year reign of self destruction, after losing everything that mattered to me and all my personal possessions, I became suicidal and did not want to live anymore. I was beyond depression and beyond mental illness. I was incredibly dope sick and needed out. Getting clean on my own was impossible and I knew it. I had no structure and not an ounce of effort to find any. My only hope was in a pill which I could no longer get.

I lost all my hope and all my faith.

I hit rock bottom.

I admitted myself into a 6 month rehab program at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center.

I will have 5 years clean this November 11th 2016. Today I am grateful for everyone at rehab, church, friends and family who offered admonishment, support, encouragement and their time to help me.

I have learned so many things in Recovery and still do to this day. I learned that we are all human and that we all may fall. I also learned that I can not judge another person when they fall. I’ve learned to give back and to help others. I’ve learned that we are all in need of a Savior which we so constantly search for on a daily basis. I have learned that God puts us through things for reasons and that we all have a purpose. I have come to know Jesus Christ as my Savior and understand that my purpose here is much greater than what my mind could and will ever conceive. I have learned that this life is not about me, it’s about others. It’s about sending a message that our Creator, in whom we are to glorify, loves us unconditionally and all He wants is for us to surrender our ways and to live according to His Word.


God is very real, miracles happen every day. I lost it all and got so much more back from nothing.

To be at total peace and to live in His harmonious Grace is the most overwhelming gift one can ever use.


Become Free. Become the Difference.

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Some of you may have read this before and agreed with it or disagreed with it.
The highlighted area is what bothers me.

If we believe we have a disease, that there is no cure, that we can’t beat it and that we will always struggle with it, then we will never get better.
God gave us the ability to conquer anything. How do we do that? We surrender to Him daily. We remain humble and admit we have a serious problem that is not only an addiction but something deeper that we need to fix.
I refuse to accept that addiction is a disease. We are able to overcome, we are able to succeed and we are able to let go.
This is why I named this site Become Free. I was an addict for over 10 years. I struggled with heroin, opiates, cocaine, benzo’s, anti depressants and God only knows what else.
My daily intake was over 1000 mg’s of OxyContin a day. I got to the point of suicide and absolute complete depression.

Then one day I gave my life to Jesus Christ and I haven’t been the same since. It took time and perseverance. It took rehab and wonderful people in rehab to help me. Over time I became free from my bondage and my slavery to drugs. I had a renewal of my mind, I gained my self control back and I am a new creation.
In order to believe I have a purpose I must believe I was created. As a book glorifies an author, as a painting glorifies an artist, so are we to glorify God.
And you know what is awesome, I’m not alone. There are so many that are living the same way. Freed from addiction.
You have to want it as bad as you wanted your poison.

I didn’t learn to deal with my addiction, I learned that I was in need of a Savior. I learned that I was created by an Almighty God that loves me no matter what I do. I learned that giving up MY ways and living according to His Word, I am set free!!!!!

Listen, God is either real or He’s a fantasy. You either have a purpose or you do not.

You have a choice to believe it or not and that choice is going to determine your lifestyle.

Become Free, Become the Difference.

tyou-are-still-here

Hey!!! How are you?

I’m just making my way through town today and thought I would come by and say hello.

How is everything? I miss you.

Don’t you miss me? I was there for you every step of the way. Through heartache and loss. I was there for you when you needed me. I comforted you every day. Gave you a place to hide, a place to erase the guilt and the pain.

I offered you a way out every time.

You fought for me. You stole for me. You lied for me. You did whatever you could to satisfy me. I was on your mind every second and every minute of every day. You even dumped your girlfriend for me. You ignored all your friends for me. You divorced your spouse for me. You sold your belongings for me. You put all your priorities and responsibilities aside for me.

You made up every excuse in the book to cover for me. Remember?

You got rid of everything for me. I was your number one! You told me you couldn’t live without me. You told me you needed me, that you would never leave me. You told me you loved me!

I was all you needed and you know it.

Remember that time you went to jail for me? I know I couldn’t be there with you but I just wanted you to know that I can take you back there again. What? You were helping your best friend and they put you behind bars?! Who do they think they are?
Listen… me and you go way back, I would do anything for you! I would even kill for you.

I would even kill you if you wanted me to.

I took over your mind, your body and your soul. You owe me more time. All I want is a few more runs, just me and you, like the good ‘ol days man! Come on. Lets go out tonight and get lit up. One more time bro. Me and you. What do you say?

How dare you turn your back on me! You liar!
Tell me why then did you do all these things for me?! Why did you put me first and your friends and family last?

I was there for you all the time.

Yes, it cost you everything but hey! Nothing is free my friend. You were pretty happy when we first met! We got introduced to each other from your old pal there, you know the one, who isn’t around anymore because he was too weak to be one of us. I had to get rid of him. Listen man, he didn’t have what it took. I only had him around to get to you.

I would do anything for you.

This may sound harsh but I don’t keep the weak around, only the strong. Like you. You’re strong. So strong that you are living your life without ME?. You think you’re happy with that “God” you constantly talk about. You think you’re fine with your new friends, walking around with a ‘Purpose’. That’s BULLSHIT and you KNOW IT!!! Addiction is just a term used by the weak, it’s just an excuse!
Get over here now! Just because you ended up getting sick and suicidal doesn’t mean I had anything to do with it. All those physical and mental withdrawals were on YOU! You lost your faith and your hope? That’s not my fault. You should have tried harder for me, my job is just to make you feel better about yourself.

I put my all in and I deserve your all!

You know what? Screw it, I kill on a daily basis. I am a murderer of the weak. I destroy lives. I am on a mission to take away loved ones from their friends and their families. I am THE manipulator. I am THE liar. I trained you, I gave you lessons on how to serve me and now you owe me your life. The only reason you are still alive is because of ME!!!

I’m sorry. I lost control there for a minute. Listen, forget all that, I’ll always be here for you whenever you need me. Remember, I’ll be waiting for you with unconditional torment and pain, I mean, unconditional love.

Love,

Your Poison.

P.S. The first one is on me 🙂

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Lets first define the word disease. According to the Merriam- Webster dictionary the word disease is defined as: a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms.

OK. Then the dictionary gives types, examples and origins of diseases. You can look up other resources and other dictionary sites but overall the definition is pretty much the same.

I decided to write about this topic as it seems many people do think that drug addiction and alcoholism is a disease and there are others that do not. Most of society, yes the place where substances such as alcohol, Oxycontin (Oxycodone) and where most mind altering chemicals are produced, believes it’s a disease. Which is understandable. The blind leading the blind. Again, the same pharmaceutical companies that produce these drugs also have an alternative drug to help get off the initial one. For example, Suboxone, Methadone, Naloxone and Narcan for opiate users. Like walking into a store. You see cigarettes. Next to those cigarettes are an alternative vapor cigarette with a pamphlet on how to stop smoking. Makes sense right?

I could do some crazy research and find the Greek origin of the word disease and I can go into a concordance and look up the word disease, which will come up hundreds of times, and I could really get into a study of biblical proportions. But that’s another place and another time. Lets keep this simple.

There are hereditary diseases. There are viral diseases. There are bacterial diseases. Sexually transmitted diseases. Mental diseases. According to the dictionary a disease is a condition. There are hundreds of conditions a human can have. As a matter of fact, we, as humans, are coming up with new conditions every day. Almost like excuses. Reasons for why we act and do what we do. Yes, there are diseases that are legitimate. Actual diseases and conditions which are out of our control. Physical diseases. Immune deficiency. Infections, illnesses, diseases that are obvious and diseases which are contagious.

I am going to speak from experience. Experience from being an addict for 10 years and also experience from being around other addicts. I was in a rehabilitation center for a total of 10 months. I saw a lot and heard many stories, I have been to many NA and AA meetings and I have spoken to many counselors and therapists alike.

And I’m not talking about just a pill here and there. I’m talking 1000 mg of Oxycontin, an 8 ball of cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, some benzos and God only knows what else, all in one days’ time. I’m not bragging, I’m just giving you an idea of where I was at, during my destructive path. I still attend meetings to this day. I say all this to paint a picture for you; so you understand that my ‘experience’ is sufficient enough to make judgment on this topic.

So plain and simply, do I think addiction is a disease? No, I do not. It may feel like one because there is a point where all self control is lost, but it is not a disease.

Here’s my explanation:

Addiction is not in the air. You can not catch it. It is not contagious. It is not a bacteria. It is not hereditary. It is not in our genes. It is not an inheritance passed down from a family member. Addiction is not in our blood. It is not a virus. It can not be injected into our bodies. Addiction does not leave rashes and boils on the skin. It is not an immune deficiency. There are no pills to become addiction free. There is not an antidote for an addiction.

Now is addiction a condition? It sure is. Is it a state of mind? Yes it is. Is it physical? No, however it does affect the body tremendously. Is addiction a spiritual problem? Yes. It is a three fold problem as the mind, body and soul are affected as a result of being addicted. There are multiple symptoms of an addiction however the drug or whatever you are addicted to is only a symptom of something greater. Our poison is not the main problem, it is a symptom of an underlying issue. Just as guns don’t kill people, we do, we pull the trigger. See ‘Drugs Subsidiary to the Underlying Issue’.

So if addiction is a condition and the word disease means having a condition, then how is it not a disease?

Here’s why. Addiction is the only condition in which we made a voluntary choice to have. It’s the only condition where we expected a euphoric reaction. Yes, we can choose to catch another disease but addiction spawned from an enjoyment. It took us away from pain. It took us away from the past, from stress, from anxiety and daily strife. I don’t think there is any other disease in which one would result in an enjoyment from and would catch it over and over. You may say addiction was not a choice to have yet we made a choice to use, right? We did not know which drug it was going to be. We did not know if it was even going to be a physical substance! Pornography. Lust. Gossip. Fashion. Work. Obsessive compulsive behaviors. Who knew? I smoked weed. I didn’t love it. I drank alcohol, I didn’t love that either. I sniffed a rail of Oxycodone, I fell in love immediately. For many reasons. It was the most euphoric experience I had ever had. Ever. See ‘Is Addiction a Choice?’

Addiction sets in shortly after multiple bad decisions. We find something that makes us feel really good so we continue to do it. Responsibilities and priorities go out the window. Our poison becomes number one and we will do just about anything to get that feeling as often possible. After time we make an attempt to stop and we can’t. It feels like a disease because we are stuck. We feel like we can’t get out. Our hope, our faith and everything we know and learned has been erased, a thing long gone in the past. This is why some may call addiction a disease. Our love for whatever we are addicted to overcomes us. We get into an autopilot mode. The only thing we think about is to feed it.

But there is hope. We do come back. We do fight and we do persevere. We do win. We do overcome. We do conquer. We can learn how to come out of the place we put ourselves in. The chains of addiction can be broken. We can get our self control back. We can renew our minds. Addiction is not a disease. Once and addict NOT always an addict. Once an alcoholic NOT always an alcoholic.

Telling someone that they have a disease because of a series of bad decisions is just dreadful. It destroys all hope for that person. It’s telling them not to take responsibility for the decisions they made. Where is the accountability? Are we just going to let them live this way? Life is unmanageable for this person. So let them continue? This is enabling in a whole new sense. Enabling destruction. We have the power to use and the power to destroy ourselves then we have the power to uplift and the power to help others.

We made a bad decision and we have to deal with the consequence. When we start making good decisions we can deal with the rewards. We reap what we sow. When we surround ourselves with like minded people, productive and strong people, we become like them. God has a purpose for each and every one of us. Set Him as your platform, your foundation, a Rock in which you stand and watch your world change and watch your purpose be revealed. Here’s ‘How to BecomeFree!’

Be Strong, Be Courageous.

Become Free… Become the Difference.

“He who is in Christ is a new creation, the old is gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Believe it!!!