Archive for the ‘Purpose’ Category

room1

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.

Selfie

Let me take a Selfie.

We all take them, well most of us. And if we don’t get the right one, we keep taking one until we like it. The right angle, the right shadowing and the right shot, it has to be perfect. And to put the cherry on top we go on Instagram and get the perfect filter to make our already perfect Selfie even better.

We Snapchat, we post our little Selfie creation on Facebook, on Twitter, all over social media, “Look at me!” It glorifies us.
And as if that’s not enough, if we don’t get the right amount of ‘Likes’ on our selfie we take it down. “That wasn’t good enough, OBVIOUSLY,,, so let me take another Selfie.”

Why are we constantly feeding our image? Why are we continually trying to fulfill this feeling of inadequacy? I see young kids on Instagram showing their photos of scars and bloody marks from self-cutting. I see skinny, malnourished teens posting pictures of their self loathing bodies and saying how depressed they are and how no one is there for them. I see people posting dramatic memes and posting the most ridiculous rumors raving about others.

Self-medicating is an epidemic. Overdoses on Heroin, Cocaine, speed-balling and other mind altering substances are on the rise. Depression and anxiety statistics just continue to climb every single year. Disability for anxiety and depression are more prevalent. People are giving up and relying on chemicals to cope.

We are an enabling society. Constant remedies needed as fast as possible. Why?

Because it’s all about me. Yes, you. Me and you. We get offended easy, we get emotional quickly, we get bothered, we get upset, we don’t know how to handle pressure or cope with loss, we can’t believe that just happened, we can’t understand this and won’t put up with that.
“Did you hear what she said? Did you see what he did?”, gossip central. Anything to take the focus off of us when it comes to blame, so quick too, but not very quick to take fault.
But it’s all about me. Everything depends on how I feel, when I want to feel it and when I say it’s OK to feel that way. The world evolves around ME. I even pray for me.

Where is the purpose? Where has the perseverance gone? Why are we mutilating ourselves, hurting and self exterminating ourselves? Where is the honor and respect for each other? Where has all the gratitude gone? Why are we so ungrateful for what we do have and so concentrated on what we don’t have? Why are we constantly complaining, bickering, one upping each other, competing in a realm that doesn’t even exist? Why? Wait for it…

Are you ready? Because IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU! I bet that hurt a little. It’s true. You are nothing. And the quicker you realize this, the quicker you will understand and be OK with it. Let me explain.

You were created, with a purpose, for a purpose and for a reason. Your main purpose is to glorify your creator. As a book glorifies an author, as a painting glorifies an artist, so are you to glorify your creator. Have you ever made something, anything, in art class, at home, at work, anything? Who does it glorify? You! You made it! Name one thing around you right now that doesn’t have a purpose or that didn’t at one time have a purpose. You can’t. It’s impossible. Because everything has a purpose, everything was made, and so weren’t you.

Now, with that being said, lets see what we are called to do with our purpose. And before I list our callings from the most popular, number one selling book on the planet, that everyone seems to ignore, I will make a quick remark for my findings. There is one Truth and one air we breath. The air we do not choose, we must accept it, we have to, if we don’t, we die. The Truth on the other hand we must choose to accept. We all know it’s there, some of us are unwilling to accept it. Without it, like air, we also will die. Pertaining to God, Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. He either is or He isn’t, but that’s up to you.

Here is what we are called to do. We are called to Love the Lord our God with all of our heart, with all our mind, with all of our soul and with all our strength. We are called to Love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We are called to be Holy. We are called to be strong and to be courageous. We are called to persevere. We are called to live by Faith. We are called to help one another, to lift each other up, to make disciples of each other. We are called to praise our creator and to give thanks to Him. We are called to live with this purpose and with the gifts that are given to us.

See, it’s not about me and you. It’s about God. It’s about glorifying Him. That’s our only purpose. We are but a mist on this planet and our time is ever so short. Don’t waste it bringing others down and tearing people apart. Don’t waste it walking around lost and hating yourself. Our pride and our selfishness must go. We must surrender daily.

It’s not about me Lord, it’s about you. Help me to live for you as I was created to do. Help me live a purposeful life as you created me to do. Help me to not just separate myself from my problems, but to separate myself unto you. In all my achievements, in all my accomplishments, in all my gratefulness, in all my strength I give you the glory.

Become Free. Become the Difference.

Bibliography: Holy Bible

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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.

Helping Hand Christian Stock Images

This is a great example of what we can do for others. The action it takes to make things happen. Our words only mean so much. Without our walk aligning with our mouths, it is just talk.

Here is a familiar story or for some not so familiar at all. Either way, a great read and a great example of relative love in action.

An addict fell in a hole and couldn’t get out. A businessman went by. The addict called out for help. The businessman threw him some money and told him to buy a ladder. But the addict could not find a ladder in this hole he was in.
A doctor walked by. The addict said, “Help, I can’t get out.” The doctor gave him some drugs and said, “Take this, it will relieve the pain.” The addict said thanks, but when the pills ran out, he was still in the hole.
A renowned psychiatrist rode by and heard the addicts cries for help. He stopped and said, “How did you get in there? Were you born there? Did your parents put you there? Tell me about yourself, it will alleviate your sense of loneliness.” So the addict talked with him for an hour, then the psychiatrist had to leave, but he said he’d be back next week. The addict thanked him, but was still in his hole.
A priest came by and heard the addict calling for help. The priest gave him a bible and said, “I’ll pray for you.” The priest got down on his knees and prayed for the addict, then left. The addict was grateful and he read the whole bible, but he was still stuck in that hole.
A recovering addict happened to be passing by. The addict cried out, “Help me, I’m stuck in this hole!” Right away, the recovering addict jumped in the hole with him. The addict said, “What are you doing?? Now we’re BOTH stuck here!”
But the recovering addict said, “It’s okay, I’ve been here before, I know the way out.”
-Anonymous

The relative history and that related bond can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Reaching out to someone who you know is struggling with something that you have struggled with in the past. Being able to get on their level exactly where they are, knowing that all you have is truth to give to them because you have been there. And offering it in a loving manner, giving advice with a way out. Leading by example.

Many people offer many different solutions and pathways for addicts. People who have not been through what the addict has gone through. People who ‘think’ they have gone through what you have been through and think they know the answer and think that they have something to offer. They push it. They constantly advise and admonish with their mouths and the only action of their speech is a reaction, getting angry when you do not agree with their belief system. They constantly bring up your past and use it against you regardless of your victories. Trying to correct something that isn’t even there to correct. Looking for a quick fix, a way to figure you out in a split second.

If I am a plumber, do I have any place in giving an electrician advice? Does a non-addict have any place giving an addict advice? Can someone who has never done an opiate tell a heroin user how to get better? They may have good advice but it will not hit home like it will from someone who has been there and gone through the pains of addiction and the loss of self worth. Most of all coming through and breaking the chains of addiction. Setting a firm foundation in God and using Him as the Answer.

Time goes by and you are out of that hole. Say you believe. Say you have come such a long way from your past and people still don’t believe you. People still need to find a way to tear you down. Instead of praising God for your clean time and how you have come back from the dead, they argue over petty ideas and dispute over personal beliefs. Fighting over foolishness. Claiming your dignity and splattering your worth.

This will happen. This has happened, but I got news for you, you are on your own path. You have a story to tell. You have no one to prove a thing to. You have been chosen by God himself to lead and admonish others through love…

“And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-15

To love and help others. To lead not as the ones who lead with their mouths but to lead as the ones who live by their example. Make your message your lifestyle. Go out and make disciples. Give what has been given unto you.

Give the second chance. It has been given unto you. Stay humble and never forget where you came from.

Reach out and lend a helping hand. Do it the same way it was done to you.

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 🙂

Some of us will be doing the same old thing, some of us will be making changes, some of us will be continuing on the road toward a brighter future.
What ever path you are on be Humble, remain Teachable and stay Grateful.
Thank God for all things.
Be Strong, Be Courageous.
Always look back and see how you are doing. Make adjustments, make improvements, better yourself and become an example for others to follow.
Life comes at us hard sometimes but we have people placed in our lives to help us get through just about anything!
Most of all we have a God who we can call upon when we are down, a God to praise when we are grateful and a God to thank when we succeed.
Persevere, keep your head up, be confident, renew your mind and walk with your chin up knowing that your strength comes not from you but through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the One who died for us, the One who has your back no matter what.
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Be full of Faith, be full of Hope.
Walk not just believing, walk knowing.
Love blindly.
Love.
Become the Difference.
Happy New Year and may God Bless you beyond your wildest dreams!

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Does a cloudy, stormy picture like this make us miserable or are we already miserable and this triggers it? I think storms are awesome and beautiful myself…

I’m no doctor. But I can tell you, that through perseverance, dedication and remaining grateful for what I have simply makes me happy. I actually love life and everything it has to offer.

I’ve heard quotes like this one, “The seeds of depression will never take root in a Grateful heart!” How true is this? I sit back often and reflect where I was, where I could be and where I am. Yes, I have days where I am stressed out but it’s temporary. I feel anger, sadness and loads of pressure with the daily struggles of life but I constantly tell myself that I have a God who is greater than any problem I will ever have.

Usually when I’m driving to work first thing in the morning, I daze off a little and remember where my life used to be. I put myself where I was, depressed, tormented and enslaved by addiction then quickly I snap back to reality. I usually say to myself “Thank you Lord for your Grace and where I am today” or “What a sick way to live”… those are my two replies usually.

Then I thank Him for saving me and I reflect on what I am grateful for. I go over every little thing I have and am so thankful because I know that if I were still living in addiction, I would be so miserable and depressed; barely living, just floating around like a zombie, hustling and haunting anyone with money and seeking enablers.

I see people who claim and hold on to bi-polar, anxiety and other excusable issues. I see people who are so stressed out. I see people who are constantly complaining and are just absolutely miserable. I don’t know if it’s because they haven’t experienced what it’s like to lose everything. And I mean everything.
I don’t know if it’s because they haven’t fully surrendered their old nature and allowed a change to take place. I don’t know if they are just so stubborn that being humble, teachable and grateful are nonexistent in their daily vernacular, that they are words they probably do not understand.

I used to be on the quick acting Ativan, Xanax and many other long term anti-depressants as well. I actually still have panic attacks but they are getting so much better. Yes, the hyperventilating, “where did THAT come from”, no warning, “I’m gonna piss myself” panic attacks. They suck. I actually went to a respiratory doctor, had x-rays done and he said, “Everything’s fine, it’s all in your head Mike.” “Oh, great, that’s just wonderful, thanks Doc.” I said to him as I was leaving the hospital with a confused look on my face. Now what am I supposed to do? I think I may have even laughed at myself the whole ride home!

“So not also do I have an addiction problem, I now have a mental issue!? Great.” That’s what I was dealing with. Totally freaking out over everything. This was a time before I got help. Before I tried. Before I put any effort into anything. I was still lost. I didn’t even know how to persevere, I couldn’t, I was so weak. My choices were wrong and my addiction belittled my sense of who I was.

Well, 3 years coming up with one very short relapse after 10 months, after a surgery I was not even close to being prepared for. Glad it happened though. I am stronger from it. I knew what to do, who to talk to and where to go, thanks to time in rehab and thanks to the people who offered time and served as lighthouses in my life, God I am so thankful for them.

It took time, clean, no drugs at all, not even Tylenol or Advil. It took time to persevere and gain a strength that I have never had before. A strength that keeps getting stronger as each day goes by. I persevered by remaining teachable. That I am and will always be a work in progress. That I will always have the ability to learn and grow. That I do have the capability to be humble and close my mouth when I am supposed to. To thank God for a paycheck, for family, for friends. That listening to others speak and understanding that it is not all about me. That accepting others for who they are and where they are in life, without judgment, puts my life into perspective. That I do have something to offer. That I am strong enough to overcome obstacles and achieve my goals. That I do indeed have the power to say no, but not only say no, but to tell someone that they do not have to live this way, and offer advice, plant a seed, and move forward.

Thank you Lord for this gift. As I continue to be humble, remain teachable and stay grateful for what you have given and continue to give me, I am looking forward to a happy life with You and every blessing You are going to offer. The biggest blessing is hoping I touched someone’s life in one way or another.

Become Free! Become the Difference!

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This is a picture I drew while in rehab. I drew it with a BIC pen.

When I first got into rehab, I was confused and lost. I was dope sick. My mind was racing, I couldn’t sleep and all I could think about was myself and how I was going to get through this.

I’d say the first month was all about myself. I was literally losing my mind. I was shaking and my stomach had a mind of its own. Dope sick is the worst. My whole mind, body and spirit was aching. I wanted to leave but the little conscience I had left told me to stay and wait it out.

That month was a testing of many mental trials. It was all about me. Because of the way I was feeling, I was extremely selfish in my thinking and only wanted everything to benefit me. All I wanted was comfort of any kind and I didn’t get it. Well at least at that point, I thought I wasn’t getting it. I thought it was absolute torture. No one cared, no one loved me and no one wanted to help.

After that selfish first month of living without my poison running through my body, I realized that I WAS getting help and being comforted. I started becoming grateful for the place I was at. I was being fed. I had a bed to sleep in. I was getting counseling, I was being taught principles and I was being transformed into a clean human being again. Waking up was getting easier, sleep was getting better and my attitude was being adjusted. There was a slow metamorphosis happening, from selfish to benevolent.

I started doing things I used to like to do, on my free time, even to this day. One of them is drawing. Just whipping a pencil back and forth is fun. Something usually appears on the paper. I can draw fast and make a quick sketch or I can take my time and whip up a detailed drawing. Either way, I now have the ability to put my problems, my anxiety and my selfishness aside.

It’s the same with helping others. I talk with many people who are struggling with drug addiction and other habitual quirks. I stand strong in my recovery, knowing that I have a purpose and that it is not all about me. I have my life back and I thank God every day for the chance to go out and live a productive lifestyle.

During my stay at rehab, I got a chance to work at the front desk. It was kind of like my own little office. I answered the phones, completed new beneficiary intakes and basically was an assistant to all of the counselors and housemen. As the days went on, I saw people, lost, dope sick people, coming in and going through the same thing I went through. They were on a mission to benefit themselves. Some didn’t last long but the ones that made it to a few months began to change too. They got happiness and some of the void, which was filled with hopelessness, filled with hope and determination.

Many of the guys who had a few months of clean time began helping the newcomers. They shared their struggles along with the in’s and out’s of the program. Now that I think about it, I had a few guys help me out my first month. They guided me along and kept me afloat. It’s an awesome thing to be led and encouraged when you need it.

As I grow and as I watch others grow, I have come to an understanding of what a renewal of the mind is all about. Understanding that putting ourselves second, or even third, well, last for that matter, enables us to move forward, grow and help others. Staying Humble, remaining Teachable and being Grateful is the only way we are going to become who we are supposed to be. Putting effort in these three things keeps us at a level open for opportunity and blessings. Put God first, others second, your’SELF’ last and watch Him make a difference every where you go!

“Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.'” Matthew 18:1-5

What IS the Greatest commandment?

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30

Become Free. Become the Difference!

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Looking out the window of my flight made me realize how minute my problems were and made me grateful to be able to do the things I can do. There are so many things to be grateful for being in Recovery. Not being ENABLED but being ABLE!

I had a chance to visit my brother and his family out in Nebraska this month. I was able to work and pay for the plane tickets. I was able to stay there for a week and spend quality time with my niece and 5 nephews! My brother and I went out to the shooting range, we cooked a 10 pound rib eye over an open fire, watched movies and played video games with his kids. I am very grateful for being able to do all these things with a clear mind and being able to be a good example of what an uncle is and how an uncle should act.

The other day I had a chance to talk to a man who was asking for money in front of a Starbucks. He was homeless and reeked of alcohol. His mission was to get as much money as he needed for whatever his intentions were. I pulled him aside and told him I was going to give him 20 bucks if he would hear me out first…

I was able to tell him that I was once where he was. That I used to be a drug addict and that I know what it’s like to struggle and be a bottom feeder. I was able to tell him that he doesn’t have to live like this. That it’s never too late to turn his life around; to get help and surround himself with productive people. I was able to tell him that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. That because of Him, I am able to persevere in His Grace and live a better life. I was able to receive a handshake and a hug from this stranger. I was also able to understand him and not judge him because I was once where he is standing.

I was able to go to my mother’s home for Christmas Eve. I was able to pick up my grandmother and give her a ride to my mother’s and actually show up on time! I was able to spend time with my other brother and his family there and to enjoy great food. I was grateful to be able to give gifts to everyone and grateful not having to show up empty handed because I had to feed an addiction.

I was able to spend time with my dad on Christmas. I was able to make a picture collage of his kids and grandkids all in one frame and able to accept a thank you when he saw it and grateful he enjoyed it. I was able to go see a movie and get some Chinese food with him and have a good time.

These days, I am able to do just about anything. I’m able to have relationships which were once broken. I’m able to help others in need. I’m able to discuss my past and use it to set a good example. I’m able to save money and use it wisely. I’m able to put gas in my truck, to go food shopping and to pay bills. I’m able to live a productive life, a responsible life; a new life from my addictive and destructive past.

Most of all, I am able, and grateful, to be able to trust myself in everything I do and to thank God daily to be under His Grace, to be able to have this freedom. My past is disgusting. It makes me sick when I think of my old lifestyle. The things I used to do, the people I used to hurt, in order to satisfy my addictive obsession and desires.

Being able to do all these things this year strengthens me and makes me extremely grateful for where I am. I am so grateful for a God who forgives and blesses in abundance to someone who does not deserve it, and as small and as little the things I do have, they all feel huge, powerful and meaningful.

I am able to write this, hoping it will help someone to see that when we live life according to the Word of God, we change, we become different people, we yearn to separate ourselves from a life without Him. We need to realize that our addictive nature is not our destined path, that we have it in us to become free from addiction, from ourselves, from our physical and mental anguish, that our mind and soul can rest in the hands of our Savior!

I hope you have a great Christmas with your family and friends. Celebrate and give thanks every day! 😀

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“Sometimes God lets you hit rock bottom so that you will discover He is the Rock at the bottom.”- Dr. Tony Evans

Everyone’s rock bottom is different. There are mental and spiritual rock bottoms and there are physical rock bottoms. Bottoming out is not a pleasant place to be, at all. But somehow we put ourselves there, or did God put us there? Everything happens for a reason right? If you have purpose today then you know exactly what I’m talking about! Without purpose it is very hard to distinguish the reasons for our bottoming out.

I know for me, my rock bottom was an extremely dark place. It was a gloomy period in my life full of overcast and dismay. I didn’t get there quick either. It took many years of abusing drugs. Many years of being straight up ignorant and selfish. My rock bottom was me laying down on a bedrock of solid stone with no place to go. My enabler’s were gone. I was broke. I was sick, physically, mentally and spiritually. I was suicidal. No one wanted to be near me, no phone calls and no visits. I was a thief, a liar, a manipulator, a great schemer; a junky. I mean, who WOULD want to stay in contact with that?

Some of us have hit rock bottom, it’s the lowest place you can go being alive. It may be jail. It may be in an institution. It may be a place where you have limited options or limited choices. A place where you may never understand how and why. It may even be at home with your family, you got plenty of money and plenty of support around you but there is still this mental prison keeping you from expanding your horizons and moving forward. You may have bottomed out and you are not sure why.

I know right when we hit rock bottom, all hope seems to be gone. It’s a confusing state of mind. There seems to be no path to choose from. We trusted in a chemical and worked for it for so long to give us an euphoric outlook on life but there was no retirement plan. There were no paid vacations. No sick days. No stock options and no overtime. Drugs and alcohol did not come with a ‘Consequence of Use’ form. There were no guidelines on how to keep substance abuse at a ‘Minimum Rate’. There were no books written on how to be a ‘Controlled Addict’. Wow, is that an oxymoron or what, a controlled addict.

Rock bottom is the worst place to be but it gives a chance to start over. If you have been there, you know it was needed to get you to where you are today. It gave us a chance to see things in a whole new perspective. We may have learned the hard way but we grew from it. We started over, humbling ourselves and remaining teachable, opening our minds to accept a Higher Power and an understanding that our way does not work.

There is only one way from rock bottom and that is up! Everything around us which has purpose has once been useless. It was given purpose from a creator. Everything. Look around you. Your phone, your computer, your clothes, the fence in your back yard, the trees, houses… All useless materials until created for a purpose. Sometimes we need to become broken and useless in order to be used the correct way. We need to be emptied out, cleaned up and renewed. There is a purpose behind everyone’s rock bottom.

We do not have to stay at the bottom either. There are resources all around us to help us out of the pit. Reach out and ask for help. Take the steps needed today. Make your rock bottom a reminder and a gauge of a place not to live by but to learn by. Make your rock bottom the foundation on which you live your life. Become a purposeful asset today!

So did God ruin your life, or did He set you up for purpose? If you do not have an answer, it WILL be revealed one day!

Become Free! Become the Difference!