Archive for the ‘Selfish’ 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

staples-rewards

I recently went to Staples to pick up a few things. I bought a car charger for my phone, a couple of binders and some other useful office stuff.

I went to check out my items and I was asked if I have a rewards card. I thought about it for a second and remembered that I do have a rewards card. But in between me pulling the card out and giving it to the girl at the register a thought ran through my mind.

Why haven’t I seen any rewards from this card yet?! I’ve had this rewards card for like at least 3 or 4 years. I’ve never reaped one reward! I’ve never got an email stating my reward. I have never been told I have any rewards. I shop and I shop and this whole rewards gimmick is really proving itself unworthy. What’s going on here? Where are my rewards?!

So I asked the cashier, “Why haven’t I been seeing any rewards on my end.” I’ve been rewarding Staples by buying their stuff, so where are mine? She replied “Have you gone online and created a rewards account? If you do that, you can see your available rewards.”

“Ok, I’ll do that.” So I paid her and went on my way.

I get home, I go online and create a rewards account. I click on the Rewards icon and I have a grand total Staples Rewards Earning of $.80. Yes, that’s 80 cents. So much for a reward. It costs me more than that in gas to get to Staples one way! What’s going on here?

I brushed it off as another typical marketing scheme. Another way to get customers to buy, buy and buy without being held responsible for the lure. It’s ok, it happens all the time. No big deal.

But a few days later, it came back to me. I started thinking about it again. 80 CENTS!? That’s it?!

Then I realized the biggest problem of all. I asked myself how often do I even shop at Staples? I’ve been there maybe three times this year? In the past 4 years, maybe I’ve shopped there under ten times. Nothing significant really. No crazy amount of spending. Don’t I need to buy a certain amount in order to reap the benefits of the rewards system? I’m sure if I used my rewards card once a week for a year there would have been a larger rewards earned in my account. So it finally made sense.

And then I instantly related this to life.

We as people wonder why we are not being blessed more or even at all. Where are my rewards in life? I talk to God once in awhile, why isn’t He blessing me? I do my part, where are my blessings?!

Here are a few questions. Are you doing enough? Are you doing what it takes just to get by? Just enough to keep you afloat? How often are you seeking God?

Examine how often you communicate with God. Examine how often you pray and how often you thank Him for all you have. Examine your actions towards others and how often you help others. Are you putting yourself before others so much that you are living for you? When was the last time you encouraged someone? When was the last time you spoke to a complete stranger and told them to have a great day? When was the last time you saw someone struggling and instead of tearing them apart to bring them down even lower, you offered a helping hand?

Now where are your rewards? Is there more you should be doing?

We deserve nothing. We get what we give.

“God will repay each person according to what they have done.” Romans 2:6

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

What have you done for someone other than yourself today?

Become Free, Become the Difference.

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About 5 years ago, a year after my grandfather had passed away, I visited his grave. I only visited it once.
It was a time where my addiction had full control over my mind, my body and my soul. I spent time with my grandfather before he went. Watching him suffer and lay on the bed helpless while I’m doing whatever it takes to get high.
I can’t even remember the last time my grandfather saw me not on drugs, when he saw the actual me, without having opiates running through my veins. Just coming in to say hi and leaving as fast as I could. It wasn’t fair to them, I’m sure my grandparents knew I was up to something. But they always told me that they loved me. My grandfather’s exact words “I love ya kid”… “Love you too grandpa.”

My grandfather had Mesothelioma. He battled it for many years. He needed oxygen to help him breathe better because a very low percentage of his lung tissue was working on its own. Many times he would choke on his food and gasp for a breath of air with all his might and all his strength. He would turn purple trying to breathe that gulp of air that would make everything ok. He struggled. He also had a great woman to take care of him. They were together for almost 60 years. My grandmother was by his side every step of the way and never complained once. They were both a great example of what a relationship should be and the perseverance of love no matter what the obstacle.

It’s about 3am and I pulled up to my grandfather’s grave. My truck is pointed to his headstone with my headlights on. I get out and walk up to it and I fall to my knees. I start crying. I scream out “Your grandson is a f****** junky”… “He’s a piece of S*** and he doesn’t care about anyone but himself”… “I can’t stop,,, I can’t stop” There I apologized for not being the man I was supposed to be. I apologized for losing control and destroying my life. I lost someone who valued life and struggled to keep it while I was sitting back abusing it.

I got back in my truck and continued living the life of an addict for another year and a half before I got help.

Last week, five years later, I pulled up to his grave for the second time. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. I know he’s not there but it was a place where something happened and I simply returned. I pulled up and there was an elderly woman caring for a grave literally right next to my grandfathers. So I didn’t stay long.

I said “Gramps, I just want you to know that your grandson is doing good, he’s doing really good, God, tell him I love him and I miss him and wish he could see the strength I now have. Tell him thank you for loving me the way he did.”

This may be too much truth for one to handle. Some of you may agree with this, some of you may not. It’s a blog and I’m sharing how I feel.

What, you went to rehab. You went to a detox. You got all better on your own. You got ‘cured’ from that disease that had been destroying you for years. You fixed what was broken. You broke the shackles, the chains and everything’s all better, right!?

Life is just this smooth canoe ride over still waters during the sunset, with birds flying by and a perfect breeze blowing through your hair.

I know many people that have fixed an area in their lives, specifically an addiction, and they just can’t seem to stay out of trouble or they can’t seem to better their lives, like they are stuck in the same spot and can’t get out. They just put a blanket over one problem, expecting it to go away, and keep living the same way day in and day out. Talking change but not living it. Taking no action to further their lives. Saying things that sound good and make them look good but we know it’s all a facade. And once that blanket is removed and placed on another problem, that previous problem becomes number one again.

If you can’t tell by now, if common sense hasn’t kicked in some where down the line, or maybe you just haven’t realized it yet. You have a lot more than one problem. And taking care of only one of your problems will not make your life any better. As a matter of fact, taking care of all your problems won’t solve that universal peace that you are looking for because you are as stubborn as they come.

Here’s a blanket, medication. You know, those pills you take to get rid of the ‘pain’. How are you going to learn and grow when you resort to a pill every time something bad happens in your life? You MUST be at peace having those prescriptions in your drawer. Everything’s solved right? No worries. The definitions of perseverance and faith are no longer needed. Everything’s fine. As long as that little orange or green bottle is full.

You ever walk around telling people you are the President of the United States? Why not? It’s pretty obvious no one will believe you right? It’s also obvious that your life is where it is today because it’s what you made it. Living off of excuses and ignorance. Trying to find hope through a facebook post and sharing it like it’s going to make everything better. Trust me, everyone sees it.

Then you realize that nothing is getting better. No one wants to hang with you and be your friend. You are just coasting along. Hoping for anything better than what happened yesterday. Truth is, people have already tried. Friends have already tried. So much time has lapsed by that no one thinks you are going to change, ever. So they stopped communicating with you.

And why is this? Because how can someone who wants to succeed and better themselves commune with someone who does not? You are a weight. Dragging down people who live productively.

Change takes a complete 180 degree turn. A complete turn from your ways. You got issues, you got trauma, you got mommy and daddy issues, no kidding. Join the club. Everyone does. You’re not the only one.

The problem isn’t the drugs, it isn’t your living situation, it isn’t your past, it isn’t anyone but you. The day you start dealing with your ‘self’, is the day your life will start to get better. Change starts with you. Keep feeding into the lies and your own self pity and your universe will continue to be nothing but a shadow. Misery loves company. Yes, the ones who feed off your ridiculousness and spawn new cravings on how to worsen their lives.

If you don’t want to change then stop complaining. Call your local transitional assistance, become disabled because you can’t handle life, suck on the government’s nipple, and get that check every week. It’s now the new American Dream. Don’t worry, the successful ones will pay your way. It’s the life you have chosen… funny, guess you have made a choice. Just don’t expect anyone to go on that run with you. And don’t tell me your problems. I know so many people with problems just like yours that are living as conquerors. Don’t tell me you have this special disease that no one else has and it’s the reason why you are the way you are; that disease is you. You are so wound up in it that it’s all you know. You let go. Now it’s time for me to let go.

The ones who live victoriously can only deal with people like you for so long. Good luck.

I’ll be praying for you,

I wonder how long that will last…

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This question is asked when we are at the crossroads. Maybe a friend, family member or a counselor will ask this when life is simply unmanageable or when we realize our way just isn’t working.

How Bad Do You Want It? Do you even know? Are you sure you even want it? Unfortunately, I got way past the point of wanting it, I got to the point where I needed it. And I knew it. It was either death by self or some form of help.

Asking an addict how bad do they want to get better is like asking a non addict how bad do you want to stop breathing. Ironically it’s that serious. In an addicts mind, the drug use and substance abuse is just like breathing fresh air.

Now, if you are not struggling with drug/substance abuse, you can stop here. This is for people struggling with drug addiction. This is for the stubborn ones who think they are fine. The ones who think no one knows.

Remember when you were last clean? That may take a few seconds. How about this… remember the last time you looked in the mirror and were proud of yourself? How about the last time you kept a promise?

Ask yourself how bad do you REALLY want it. Take a second and look back at the damage you have done. To your mom, your dad, your grandparents, your kids; to yourself. How about those REAL friends you had, yeah, the ones who don’t want to be around you anymore because you’re messed up. It bothers you but you know deep down inside you did this to yourself. You made your own prison of solitude and confinement. I know, you can’t wait for that next high.

You are so deep into your addiction you forget what it’s like to have real friends. You forget what it’s like to actually get 8 hours of sleep and wake up relaxed and at peace. You forget what it’s like to keep a job and be honest, to save money, to pay bills on time, to keep promises you have made, to think like a normal person.

Don’t you want to know why the voice that tells you to use is the same voice that ridicules you after you do? Remember when scheming new ways to hustle and get high were non existent? When checking peoples medicine cabinets for prescriptions, stealing money out of purses and selling the stupidest things to get high became a new hobby? What about all the thoughts on ways to get money to get high? I bet you don’t have to think too deep on that one.

Is “I Am A Full Blown Addict” on your resumé? Ever tell anyone the exact nature of what you do and how you do it? Ever discuss your methods with anyone on what your brain patterns are like and what you go through every minute of every day? How about the withdrawals? We both know what happens when you are dope sick. One word, autopilot.

How bad do you want it? How bad do you want your life back to where all of this is behind you? Think about it. You are either high or hurting right now. Either way, you have a choice every day to choose.

I am telling you that you do not have to live like this. As bad as you want to get high is how bad you need to want to get help and change. Get on your hands and knees and ask God for help. Get right with Him. Admit you are wrong, admit you are selfish and are in need of a Savior. Get to meetings. Find a detox and a rehab where you can gain knowledge on why you do what you do. Get back the basic principles on life and back to living the way you are supposed to, with purpose. There are resources all around you, you just need to start looking. Surround yourself with productive people. People who will not enable you and pull you down.

God loves you so much, He is always there, waiting with open arms. Do what ever it takes to stop this destructive lifestyle.

Here is a phone number to call for a detox or a rehab near you in the Unites States. Make a call. Be responsible and become free TODAY. 888-831-2327 or visit http://www.drug-rehab.org.

God is bigger than your addiction.

Become Free. Become the Difference!

How To Become Free

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Trust is like a skyscraper, it takes years to build and only seconds to destroy.

We trust our mail man to deliver our mail to the right house. We trust our accountant to get our numbers right. We trust our bank teller to deposit our money into the right account. We trust that car pool or bus driver in the morning to get us to work in one piece. We trust that website we just gave our credit card to. We also trust that same credit card company not to jack up our interest rate to 29.99% for no reason at all.

We trust our tires to stay inflated while we are going 75 mph around a turn on the highway. We trust our washer machine to wash our clothes and not leak 30 gallons of water everywhere. We trust our roof on our house to hold up the weight of snow that builds up over the winter. And during that same winter, we trust our pipes not to freeze. We trust our insurance to come through after an accident, we trust our healthcare provider to support us when we need it and we trust our schools to contact us when something happens to our children.

We put trust into so many things, it’s crazy. Like the chair i’m sitting on, the computer i’m using and the glass of water i’m drinking. Trust is built all around us and we make it and break it on a daily basis. We trust our parents. We trust our children. We trust our family. We trust them to be there when something happens. We trust them to love us and show affection in a certain way, every time.

So what happens when this trust is broken? It becomes easy to trust someone when they have built up trust and can be trusted, but what happens when someone breaks that trust, that for so long, has always been a foundation on which they stood?

What happens when a father, or a mother, a brother or a sister, a cousin, a nephew, a niece, or a loved one, a best friend, a girlfriend or a boyfriend decides to relapse? And through that relapse, overdoses and dies.

It’s a selfish act. And we get angry. “You were responsible to me, to our kids, to our family and you threw it all away. You made a suicidal decision and thought of no one but yourself. You put yourself first and everyone who loves you second. You not only killed yourself, you killed us, as a family. Things will never be the same.”

Who was there to help? Was this person working their recovery on a daily basis? Did tragedy strike and all went out the window? Did some past trauma from childhood come back to haunt them? Whatever reason it may have been, we all are responsible for each other. And the first person to say they are not is a true definition of a egotistical, self centered, narcissist. I know we can’t control everything, but we can make a difference. Are you constantly looking out for number one? Yourself? Or are you planting seeds in someone’s life?

We are CALLED to love each other and to look out for each other! You think something is going on with someone, inquire. Intervene, ask questions, offer advice, offer help, do not judge, show compassion, show an unfailing love and concern, offer assistance. Offer what ever you can offer to help try to save a lost soul, a drug addict, a family member, an alcoholic. As much as you think that person doesn’t deserve it, you are judging them while they are down; they need help getting back up.

I have lost a handful of friends in the past two years and if you are an addict, you most likely have too. I have also lost family members to drug addiction. There were many times I didn’t step forward and offer help. Today I can. Today, I believe God uses me and many others to help save some people from personal destruction. Losing is the worst feeling, but to gain, to watch addicts turn their life around, to watch people accept Jesus Christ into their lives and watch them grow, is the best feeling in the world!

We lost an actor, a great actor to drug addiction. I didn’t know him personally but I sure know what everyone around him is going through. Please keep his family, the one’s who are living the pain, in your prayers. Please keep anyone you may know who is struggling with substance abuse in your prayers and if you can, reach out to them, love them and offer yourselves to them in any way possible.

Become Free, Become the Difference!

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

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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!