What Shall I Do?

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When you feel yourself becoming stronger and having been one to have had responsibility whether family and/or employment, you will begin to feel very strong impulses to want to return and manage those affairs of life.  But, it is not time.  If you leave from where you are now, you will fail.  I’ve come to believe when fallen into addiction one needs to learn how to live again.  It’s similar to someone who’s had drastic surgery akin to the replacement of a joint.  Certainly you haven’t lost the desire to walk but with a physical therapist you will need to learn how to do it.  It doesn’t diminish who you are but it does require assistance, and this assistance will come in many ways.

God will put people in your path who have and are traveling this road and will offer you their guidance and experience as a way to circumvent any problems they’ve encountered.  Why fall into the same pitfalls what you can gain by their experience?  What you will need to exercise is patience.  Not patience with the world because it’s been moving along without you, but you will need to be patient with yourself to rejoin your rightful place.  Those who have not been fathers and mothers during addiction cannot expect to rejoin the family as such right away.  It will take time.  You cannot expect to regain former employment and responsibility.  Those past positions may never come again but there is something you can do and will do, but for now, concentrate on learning who you are and how to live again.

You have traveled very far from where you were originally and there is much road to recover, but be thankful to know you will do it and you have Someone who sees up ahead a little bit better than you do and already has designated a place for you.  He’ll get you there.  He’s the best Physical/Emotional Therapist you will ever have.

It may takes weeks, months or even years to be where God wants you to be, but isn’t it worth knowing you are not spinning your wheels?

We’re Given All We Need–Now

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When we’re brought to the point where we are today, sobriety, we are not sent on a journey without everything we need to continue in this way.  Remember when you fell into substance abuse how you had to learn how to do it properly?  What materials to use, where you could get them and what amounts of product.  Some of us never stepped inside a chemistry class but you could acquire and mix chemicals as if you wore a white lab coat.  Some of us, if we could only use the talents we gleaned while, “out there”, convincing our contacts to give us what we needed although we didn’t have money or anything to trade, that gift utilized in the correct way, would be second to none in the world of diplomacy in the United Nations.

God has not left us without tools to accomplish this goal of clean-living.  He’s constantly involved in not keeping the sin from entering into our sphere of life for this is will only occur once we’re in heaven, but He works in changing us from the inside to where we no longer want those things which were deadly.  He will not take over your will but what He will do, working with you, begin to guide you in the way which He would have you to go, so you will go willingly just as you went willingly on those missions before to acquire.

Listen to your self in your quiet space and you will begin to recognize a change within yourself where you will no longer want to do those things you have done before.  It’s not only Him working within you but it is also you willing to work with Him to achieve the same goal, not so much sobriety as much as it is eternal life.  Once we see the importance of this goal, we will begin to desire it and will not want anything to come in between.

I read once:  God does not give you a mission, without furnishing what you need to accomplish it.

Another’s View

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Have you ever considered this:  God is watching you?  I mean, think about it, He is actually right there, in your face, observing and following your every move.  He was there when you snuck into that house to purchase your fix.  He saw you leave and meet up with that so-called friend who got you a safe-house to get your high going.  He was there during the using and was there when you left, thinking nobody saw you.  It wasn’t what He was doing during the time but what you were doing.  He didn’t like it.  He was not amused but hurt.  Think about it.  How would you feel when someone professes to love you and even though they know you are watching them to act as if it didn’t matter to them?

So many times our actions make a very bold statement.  It is:  we do not believe in God and He is involved in our every daily affair, or we don’t care He is observing us.  Which is it?  How can we become upset when in His love He corrects us?  How can we challenge Him and have the nerve to ask Him to remove the pain we are suffering when He saw everything we did, and in pure justice allowed the correction to occur?  We showed we didn’t care He was watching us and when He corrects us we show we don’t care to receive His help by complaining and asking others to ask Him to stop!  What nerve we have.

There are certain things we wouldn’t want others to see us doing as well as we wouldn’t want to see what others are doing, but God sees it all and doesn’t turn His face.  He’s only hoping you would notice His presence and ask for the help He is so willing to give.

If we would remember our very act is being witnessed by angels, perhaps we would reconsider what we are attempting to do.

Be Specific

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I have come to the conclusion when dealing with substance abuse, we have to be specific in remembering what it was which kept us, “out there”.  We do this for the purpose of remembering what it was we also hated and what has driven us to where we are today—in sobriety.  There will be those who will say you must not think about the past and the memories associated with that past life otherwise you will be drawn back in.  I disagree.  I think the reason we’re drawn in is because we do not reflect on the pain, filthy living conditions, hunger, uncomfortable in the summer, cold in winter, lack of water moments which accompanied the euphoric feeling of a high.  Something as so minimal to not have toilet paper is forgotten until you are placed in a position when you need it.  You do remember not having it, don’t you?  And what you had to do in order to compensate?  This is what you should remember.

Specifics work in our state of sobriety.  Specifics work when we take time to pray.  The Bible says, “We have not because we ask not”.  We need to be as specific when we talk to God and tell Him exactly what are our thoughts, our fears, and our hunger for that life which is growing weaker and weaker by the hour as we keep ourselves in His care.  It is good to be specific when we talk to others about our concerns in this life for it is only when we are honest with ourselves, and others, and God, we can then draw upon the strength which is made available to us.  You ask someone for loose change, you will never receive the dollar you do need.  Ask for a five dollar bill, there is a good chance you will get it, if not, at least a dollar.  Otherwise, all you will ever end up with is loose change, and we do not want the change in our life to become loose, now do we?

When praying to God, be specific.

Commitment is Good, Accountability even Better

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I’ve committed myself to refrain from using illegal substances and live a life in accordance to what is good and proper.  Now, this may sound wonderful, and it is, but to actually follow through especially after having lived on the other side makes it difficult.  What does help, this commitment of mine is the accountability I’ve placed myself under.

I have good friends with whom I can talk about anything.  Yet, when I do share with them of my feelings of wanting to use, it is basically only after the feeling has dissipated.  I really don’t discuss it with them when I’m in the throes of the urge because “if” I should find myself, “out there”, I really don’t want the paranoia of thinking they’re, “out there” to rescue me.  I really don’t want them to know.  So, what keeps me from crossing the line?  Accountability.

Accountability to several sources.  For one, I’m accountable to myself.  I do not want to experience the painful hardship I know too well.  Accountability to my friends.  I don’t want to let them down and suffer pain knowing their good friend has succumbed to the past life.  Accountability to my livelihood.  I’ve maintained a good character, punctuality and level of competence which I know will be threatened if I returned to using.  Accountability to God goes without saying, but the one factor of accountability which keeps me on the right path is the one I have with you.  During the writing of this book, as I suffered greatly from the urges, here I’m writing this daily bit of encouragement, glimpses of my life and my thoughts and I really don’t want to share a thought of failure.  I don’t want to fail you and wish to give you the same thing I have—hope of overcoming which held us down for so long.  So, you are doing this for me as I am doing this labor of love for you.

Commitment to each other is helping each other.

God Is Able

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You will be faced with times when you are not able to see what to do, where to go, how to live, where to turn but I want you to know, “God is Able”.  Whatever it is you are not able to see, God sees clearly.  Whatever message you are not getting, God understands and don’t want you to miss anything so don’t think for one moment you will miss something from Him.  He knows your limitations and doesn’t ask you to go beyond what you are able to do, but He wants you to know with Him you are able to accomplish more than you could possibly know.

People will tell you addiction is something you’ll have to face for the rest of your life.  It is obvious they don’t know God.  People will tell you you will be an addict the remainder of your life.  It is obvious they don’t know God.  They will have you thinking you have to do this or that and if you don’t you will fail in your desire to overcome addiction.  It is obvious, they don’t know God.  God is more than able to cure you of whatever problems you have in your life, but you must believe He is doing it and has.  Then you have to go forward living your life in victory not as an invalid afraid to get up and go forward in your life.

God never fails to uphold any of His promises.  If you take your addiction to Him in prayer, and then leave it with Him, “God is Able” to bring about the desired results and keep you continuing living a healed life and be a witness for those who don’t know Him.

Since others enabled you to live a life of addiction, why not enable God to bring healing to your life?

The Battle and Winning

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For weeks, no, for months I have struggled with the thought of having one more bout, “out there” and I have come to some conclusions:  I don’t want, too.  I never really did want to return from where I’ve come from, but it’s the thirst and it’s a good feeling, I guess that’s why we did it in the first place.  I am not so concerned because of my almost ending legal situation and what result if a bad urine test might present if found out.  I’m more concerned about losing what I have worked hard—daily—for.  I remember losing and I don’t want to return to it.  How much harder would it be now to recover, not just my health and assets, but my soul?  I don’t want to think about it, yet, I have to, because this is what is keeping me together.  I totally now see how this has nothing to do with me but the strength of God assuring me I don’t have to do it.

How long does the battle last?  I don’t believe there can ever be a “set time” for when it is not a thought at some point, but I do know today I grow a little stronger because I’ve come to accept the gift of salvation.  It becomes more and more real, each day, because I’m nearing eternity more than I was just twenty-four hours ago.

I have to keep in mind the battle has already been won, for me and for you, two thousand years ago, so there’s no need for me to continue to fight for victory.  It is in my hand already.

There is so much ahead of us and we have no idea of what it can be if we continue to look back at what was.  If it was all that good to begin with, we’d still be, “out there”, but Someone has brought us out from it to enjoy what we’re experiencing today.  Let’s continue to enjoy this.

When you’re having a tempting moment, remember the moment of your freedom.

Understanding

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He came in late at night to check into the hotel.  With him he had undesirables which I knew were involved in the life I left behind.  He gave me a story about the hospital and his father, but it all sounded questionable.  Too much activity confirmed my suspicions were correct.  I came down on my associates and manager for not heeding to my opinion, letting them know I’m using experience with common sense to protect what we have here, our living.  Then I read the obituary.  He did lose his father, met up with persons who would use him because of the grief he is currently undergoing.

Later, with my manager, we went to the room when he left and discovered evidences of what I suspected would be there.  In order to prove the point, I had to make an admission.  My past history is being used here to protect this place.

I had an opportunity of sharing with him my own similar experience.  I told him what I went through and let him know, he didn’t have to do it.  He had a chance—now, to break away and recover and move forward leaving the leeches of life behind.  To let him know he would always be welcomed here if needed but now he needed to make the decision which would determine how his life would go.  I did this, simply, because I understand.

When God has brought us through an experience, He’s given us understanding and compassion for others who are where we were.

Policing Myself

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As I am struggling within myself to maintain the sobriety I am enjoying, I had an occasion to deal with it first hand on the job.  I suspected the same activity I used to be involved is now going on in one of the rooms.  I maintained a firm hand not wanting it to become an issue, on my watch, throwing people out which needn’t be here.  I had a sobering thought, too, regarding how I was treated and would still want to be treated if I were found in the same situation.  So, I left it alone.

The thought occurred to me, the same thoughts I had regarding my own sobriety and fears of discovery are very real.  I recognized as long as I continue to do what I know is right, I would never have to fear being arrested, losing my home again, my job again, my assets and physical enjoyments again, going to prison–again.  As long as I found myself living and doing right, no one would come to my job to arrest me.  No one would come to my home to arrest me or my church to arrest me.  Even if it should be possible for this to happen, it would not be something I would suffer shame because I’ve made up my mind, as I was in the position to watch over them, God had been watching over me.

I’m responsible for “policing myself” and ensuring the former life I’ve lived doesn’t come back.

 

If you know what you are doing is not right, then it is not right to do, so stop.