There’s a reason why multiple case studies show that addiction is the highest during the holiday season. It’s the most difficult time to stay sober. I think in part because we’re surrounded by family that trigger all kinds of emotions. It’s also a time when everything around us says we should be feeling a certain way. For those of us who have always bucked up against conformity, we don’t like for people or things to tell us we should feel a certain way. Our natural response is rebellion.
This past October, by the grace of God, I celebrated 10 years of sobriety. I am now a productive member of society. The road was long and filled with twists, turns and dead ends. There were a lot of tears and pleading with my Higher Power. There was uncertainty among the rubble of my indiscretion. There were times when I felt hopeless. And then something changed.
I made a conscious decision to fill my mind with truth and courage. I stopped entertaining deception and falsehood. When I didn’t believe the truth of who I am and that I’m made in the image of God, I would repeat it over and over throughout the day, “God, I belong to you. Thank you that I belong to you. Thank you that darkness has no power over my mind, heart, body and soul. Protect me from evil and all who promote it.”
So if you are new to recovery or are exploring the possibility that you may have a problem with alcohol, food, drugs, pornography, sex, money… anything that is hindering you from living out your purpose, this post was written for you. If nothing else, please know that you’re not alone in your struggle. There are literally thousands of us within one city.
My prayer, in this moment, is that God will intervene and direct your thinking. I pray that you will find purpose in this season of busyness and overspending. When you are looking around for the most convenient numbing aid, I pray that you will see someone who needs your help. My hope is that you will become so caught up in helping others that you don’t have time to entertain the lies that blind. For me, helping others is key to avoid falling back into the snare of darkness.
If you’re an “old-timer” in recovery, a “newcomer” or something in-between and you’re feeling irritable and discontent (as I have been), may I encourage you take a moment and ask yourself why you’re so frustrated. Ask yourself why you cannot or will not find contentment in the current circumstances, and go from there. You don’t have to have any definitive answers, you just need to take the first step.
Are you planning your escape? What vice will you use to “check out?” Please talk to someone you can trust and remove all the power behind the lies. The first sign that I’m headed in a bad direction is when I’m conjuring things up in my mind and do not want to tell anyone. Can you relate? If so, please comment below. So many of us out there need to know we’re not alone.
Two excellent resources involving one of my favorite communicators on the planet, Jud Wilhite, are People of the Second Chance (@POTSC on Twitter) and Central Online. Check it out. You have nothing to lose.
Love and Light,