Pressure and time are two of the main ingredients in growth. Pressure is the one thing that will cause us to make a move when we simply don’t want to. Time is what it takes for us to learn to see things the way they truly are in order for us to mature. Most of the time people just will not make changes in their lives until the pain of staying the same exceeds the fear of doing things differently. We just don’t like to get out of our comfort zone. When I say, “we” I mean “me.” We tend to want things to go smoothly and timely like they have been. When things pop up that we didn’t expect it tends to bring stress, frustration or even fear. This is where living in the moment comes in handy. Why is it so difficult to live in the moment?
In my days of addiction my wife tried everything she could think of to jolt me. She would yell, cry, sometimes even join me in the partying, and other times she would say nothing. None of her efforts seemed to be reaching me, so one day she left. She decided maybe if I leave he will get the picture. It didn’t work. I just took that as a license to go even further into the darkness that was my life. Without her presence I seemed to have no conscience at all. I was going to have to come to the decision to change on my own regardless of what she did.
People always want to know, what finally did it for you? What happened to make you decide you wanted something different in your life? For me it wasn’t just one thing it was, to use a cliché, I was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” The lifestyle I had embraced was no longer embracing me, rather it was killing me. I remember thinking I just wanted to die. I came to the conclusion that Hell, even though it must be awful, could not be as bad as my life. Of course since then I have come to realize that is far from the truth. Nevertheless I did finally have the motivation to seek help. I was going to go find treatment for addiction.
I went to a methadone clinic in Evansville Indiana. Methadone is a medication given to treat addiction to Heroin and other opiates such as pain pills. At the clinic you have to see a doctor and they assign you a counselor. Everyone has to attend meetings and see their counselor at least once a month. While I believe wholeheartedly that God is the only one who can truly set someone free from addictions, I do think he may involve many people in the process.
One of the first things the counselor had me do was to list every substance I had ever taken throughout my drug history. Wow! That was quite the eye opener, and that truly confirmed to me I was in the right place. After filling up the front of the sheet she turned it over and began to write on the back. Sometimes it’s as simple as writing things down that awakens us to the truth.
A big part of what fuels addiction is the idea that “I can handle it.” The truth is not only that you can’t handle the addiction, but with an outlook like that you will never seek help from someone else. Sometimes feeling embarrassed is what keeps one from seeking help, but I think pride and a false sense of independence is at the root of it. You just don’t seem to understand that those are the very character traits that keep you in the addiction. See, asking for help seems weak and beating addiction is going to take a lot of strength, right? Wrong! Beating addiction, like any other life controlling issue, takes recognition of how weak we are. I know it sounds counter-intuitive. The truth is if we were strong enough, or could handle it, we wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place would we? The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem and then realizing you are powerless over it. That’s a huge step indeed, but one that must happen to start the healing.
I thank God that there are people out there that dedicate their lives to helping people in addiction. Most of the time it is former addicts themselves that want to help others be free. That is exactly what I wanted to do, help others. I even asked my counselor one time what I could do and how to get involved. She told me I could go to 12 step meetings and even if it wasn’t for me that was the best place to meet other addicts. That makes sense, but I just didn’t have any interest in going to meetings at all. The Bible tells us “If you delight yourself in the Lord he will give you the desire of you heart.” That is exactly what he did for me. He knew I had a heart for people caught in addictions so he gives me opportunities to help them in the local jail and prison. Most of the people in jail and prison are there pertaining to drugs and or alcohol in some way. My wife and I get to share our story with them and tell them how Jesus Christ is the answer to their dilemma. He is the only one who can deliver them and give them the peace, contentment, joy, love and fulfillment they have been searching for in a bottle, needle or pill.
In conclusion I just wanted you to know my wife and I remarried, and I have been clean for over 12yrs. now and it is because I finally realized one day I had absolutely no ability to beat addiction. I admitted to myself I was powerless and needed help. There are many, many people who are out there to help addicts get straight, but the one and only Jesus Christ is the only one who can keep you.
Written by Louie