Posts Tagged ‘freedom from drug addiction’

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I went to CR, Celebrate Recovery, last night. We went over the twelve steps and being a meeting which is filtered through the Word of God, all the steps had a relevant bible verse which supported each step. Then we broke off into groups. The men got together in one group and the women got together in another. It’s nice because you get to share with each other, the common struggles that each of us go through.

The discussion topic was on sanity and had a two part question, “What do you keep repeating over and over again, expecting a different result? What result are you looking for?”

It’s a funny and very fitting question. So I related it to my addiction. When I was using and abusing drugs, I was continuously chasing a high with the same result. I knew how I was going to feel. I knew it would only last for an hour or so. I knew that the same consequences were going to arise every time but I kept doing it every day for years.

Why did I keep chasing the same result? Why did I constantly obsess over and adapt to the same old routine? I had no idea, at the time. My day started with hustling and stealing and getting my fix. I knew how I was going to feel every time. I knew that getting high took focus off my problems and my daily stress, I also knew that I was going to withdraw off the chemicals that I put into my body. So why, over and over, did I continue doing this expecting a different result?

Well the more and more I used, my tolerance grew stronger and stronger. So I actually did get a different result every time. I got higher and I got a more euphoric mental vacation. I was looking for a better result every session. I needed that same feeling if not better.

I do the same thing with other things as well. I will take a ride to McDonalds, get a McDouble and a small fry, knowing it will give me a stomach ache, and continue to do so about once a week. Why do I do that? I have no idea! It’s like playing with fire in a careless way, I know I’m going to get burned, but I play with it anyway. Or when we get into a relationship with someone who is using, knowing that it won’t work, but go ahead and keep meeting up. How about going into work with an attitude, knowing we are going to start conflict, and continue being a miserable brat while expecting people to just get over it. The list goes on and on.

So we went around the room and the guys gave their synopsis on the question. It was amazing to hear all the different battles and struggles they were dealing with. It’s good to hear what others are going through, it puts your life into perspective.

As we concluded the meeting, I realized that we keep chasing comfort of some kind. We keep doing things over and over looking for a serenity and a peace of mind that we never seem to accomplish. Especially in habitual and addictive circumstances. So why? Why this constant attempt to fill in a void we just can’t seem to fill?

Then it hit me. We search and search for a savior. Something to free us of our strife. Something to make up for the past and even the future. We do things to make us happy. We do things like we are trying to solve a puzzle but there is never an answer and if there is an answer, it is temporary.

I am convinced, after struggling with drugs for a decade, and other mindless quirks, that God wants us to come to Him with all of our problems. He wants us to put Him first and to rely on Him when we are in need. Just being a Christian and a ‘believer’ isn’t enough. I have been a Christian most of my adulthood, however I never really walked the walk the way I was supposed to. I went to church here and there. I hung out with a few people that were strong in the faith but most of the time I was living life on my terms.

Surrendering daily, hitting meetings, attending church, praying, reading the bible and constantly talking with God keeps me on the right path. I am persistently seeking Him every day. I want to because I know it’s what I’m supposed to do and I love reaping the benefits! I feel blessed. I don’t have much but I am extremely grateful for what I do have, especially having my obsessive and compulsive nature behind me. Putting Him first keeps me humble, keeps me grateful and helps me remain teachable.

It’s an amazing life following our Creator. It’s in us to worship a Savior, it’s in our DNA to come to our Father with our problems, our struggles and most of all our praise! He deserves ALL the glory. Call upon Him and seek Him daily. You will find a loving and caring God which no chemical or any other path can replace!

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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Yes, we all eat. Ultimately, if we do not eat… we die. This is how we were designed. We were designed to eat and drink in order to survive.

I believe, as you probably do, that there are three parts to us. Mind, body and soul.

Mind Food: Our minds are extremely expandable and are capable of holding large amounts of information. In case you forgot, we all were required to have a kindergarten through twelfth grade education, minimum. Some of us continue on to college, earn a bachelors’ degree and even continue on to earn a masters and a doctorate degree. Some people continue daily trying to learn new things to further their horizons and to fill themselves with knowledge. We feed our mind in order to learn and grow.

Body Food: Our bodies are formable as well. Some bigger than others :). We all have had to partake in physical education through our growing school years. We exercised and we were fed somewhat healthy foods. Some of us go on to be professional athletes and some of us Olympic athletes. Many of us simply enjoy exercising because of how it makes us feel and seeing the results of it gives us motivation. Our bodies require sleep too. We were designed to rest and to recover. We eat, drink and sleep in order to stay alive and to grow.

Ok so… we can agree that our bodies and our minds are capable of receiving ‘food’ in order to grow and survive. It’s just the way God created us. Actually, everything on this planet that obtains life needs some form of food. It’s the order of life in which we live. There’s nothing we can do about it. And I’m pretty sure we all can agree that we need all three, mind, body and soul, to function. Without one, the others are rendered useless.

Soul Food: Our souls are also susceptible and capable of being ‘fed’. It is our soul that makes the drastic decisions. It’s that little voice that tells us when we should or shouldn’t be doing something. It’s our moral standards. It regulates everything we do. It’s the part of us that needs a Higher Power. The part of us that glorifies God and becomes at peace when we receive Him. Our soul is what is left over when our mind and our bodies cease to exist. It’s the unique part of us that is like no other. Our ego. Our personality. A part of us that has no DNA and can not be traced. It’s what makes us special and keeps us going.

The food our soul needs is praising our Creator. Digging into the Word of God. Surrounding ourselves with constructive, productive and strong people who know God and who try, every day, to live life according to His Word. Our souls become at peace when we walk with God. No? Why, because you can’t see it? I guarantee what you cannot see will fill you. We cannot see the wind, yet we feel it and know it’s there. I am convinced God exists as I am convinced I am using a keyboard to type this. I have changed. My friends have changed. People all over the world have changed and continue to give thanks to God through His son, Jesus Christ.

Funny, we feed our addictions without question. We hurt. We blame. We cause arguments and fights over a chemical or substance we love. We will do ANYTHING for that feeling, that HIGH, that temporary fulfillment which has not a speck of worth or backbone to back itself up. We just do because we want to do; to satisfy our mind, our body and our soul for no reason at all.

Do you really want to become free? Are you serious enough to want to change your life? If you are an addict, you know our ways get us in to jails, institutions and death. Maybe you’re not there yet. Maybe you need to go through a little more pain and agony, maybe you need to hurt more family members and friends in order to get you to think straight. I don’t know. All I know is there is an Answer right in front of you, it’s up to you to persevere and choose.

Become Free. Become the Difference!

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I found this toy in the dirt on a job I was on. We were digging dirt away from a foundation to expose some cracks in the foundation wall for mortar filling. It’s a Denmark toy from the 1950’s. In good condition it’s worth anywhere from 90 to 150 dollars.

But after removing some of the dirt. I realized it wasn’t restorable. The tires were missing, the cast metal frame was broken in areas and the interior was simply destroyed. Too bad, because it’s a rare item, and would have been worth something. It’s funny, I come across a lot of old jars and old toys that used to have life. That used to have meaning and a purpose. But all too often they are rendered useless due to the condition they are in.

My dad likes to go out to the beaches with his metal detector. He digs up some pretty cool things. One time, pretty recently actually, he was at the beach swinging away with his little beeping machine. A couple saw him and approached him in distress. “I lost my wedding ring!” says the wife of a concerned husband. And of course, my dad, who has the appropriate tool for the job, starts swinging left and right looking for it. Not too long after, he finds it, hands it to the wife and the couple lives happily ever after.

In this case, what was lost, was found. Still worth the same amount it was before it was lost… why? It didn’t have a chance to corrode. It didn’t have a chance to become deteriorated by its surrounding elements. It was strong enough to go through it’s little endeavor. That ring was lost for a very short time and was recovered. It’s purpose was reinstated. There was no loss.

I know for myself, my body definitely needed to recover from my many years of abusing Oxycontin. Railing cocaine from 8 at night to 8 in the morning. Sniffing what ever pill you had and I could find. Drinking myself into a lushified (not a word) state to attempt to reduce the depression. I abused my body, my mind and my soul. It took close to a year to recover and I thank God I am able to talk about it and share what I have gone through.

Unfortunately, not everyone battling with addiction gets to talk about their past. Not all addicts make it through the storm. I have lost a handful of friends to substance abuse in this past year alone. It’s horrible. Each one of them came to their own conclusion. Each one chose to fuel themselves to the point of self destruction. They didn’t get a chance to become restored. They corroded too quickly. The elements engulfed them. Their mind, body and soul were compromised. What they were; strong, intelligent, courageous, adventurous… was quickly brought to an end. Their purpose was consumed. They were brought to a level where they could not be restored.

If you are reading this, you or someone you know has a chance to become restored. It’s not too late. Becoming restored takes time and perseverance. Restoration involves cleaning. Fixing what is broken. Installing new parts that are missing. Refinishing the surface. Rebuilding the internal components. Revitalizing, rehabilitating, reconstructing and so on.

If you have breath, you have a chance at a whole new life. A life where you do not have to live broken down and corroded.
That toy car I found had lost its value. You have it in you to gain your value. Do not let yourself go and lose your purpose. Do not give up! Become restored through the One who is calling you! Feeling like a ton of bricks is on your back? Like you’re surrounded by dirt and can’t get out? Feeling weathered and beat up, have no strength to move on? Feel like a beat down, worn out, useless piece of junk? WELL YOU’RE NOT.

Become free, become renewed, restored through Jesus Christ. The Way, the Truth and the Life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
Yes, a popular verse and a very important one. It’s about restoration. About not wasting away. Becoming new.
Another relevant verse is “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
You mean if I just accept Christ in my heart, I become a new creation, just like that? Yes! Just like that! It’s free, no one is going to call you for additional sales pitches, no “hey, not only will you get a new life, you also get a chance to get a new car!”, none of that.

I know for me, God has been calling me for years. I used to dip my toes into the water, but never just jumped right in. Today, I’m swimming… come on in!

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10