Tag Archives: depression

Spiritual Warfare

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

I haven’t written in a little while, and there is reason why. Not an excuse, don’t get me wrong, just a reason.

In their walk with Christ all Christians will experience the trickery, lying, and pathetic attempts the enemy (Satan) will try to use to hold us back. I have experienced these “attacks” and over the last 2 weeks in particular it has been very difficult.

A couple of years I came under attack for the first time while I was reading the Gospels. It was all new territory to me as it was the first time I had ever read what Jesus did and what he taught.

Over the last couple of weeks these attacks seem to have been moving through stages. The last week, they have been happening through people. I’m someone who seeks approval from others. It is a sickness I have identified and started to work on. Satan knows this. He uses that insecurity to drag me down through people and unfortunately I have let it happen.

I was discussing this earlier with one of my Christian brothers and he reminded me that these attacks are not a bad thing. The enemy is freaking out because now I am living in God’s will. One of the best defenses if not the best…praise God! Do not give Satan credit in any way. Do not think that “if I praise God that should shake Satan up a bit”. NO! Satan does not even deserve that recognition, at all! He is not even worth our contempt!

You might be saying, “ya but you sure are talking about the enemy alot” True. I do that for others, hoping they will recognize the struggle that is going on in their life and use the ultimate weapon, the word of God!

God is full of an unimaginable source of love and Re-enforcement it boggles the mind! Faith in God is the greatest gift of all! Praise the Lord!

If anyone else out there is having any of these attacks please do not hesitate to message me and together we will pray and bring our loving father into the mix!

Ephesians 6 10-20

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it

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Temptations in Sobriety

Life is a trip. Its full of wonderful times and difficult times. Everyday cannot be a perfect day. No matter how you live your life there will be trials and tribulations. Some days are more difficult than others. Sometimes early sobriety especially can feel like an all out battle. In reality it really is. Learning to cope is something new to most of us in recovery. Here are a few of my favorite bible verses about overcoming lifes challenges.

1 Peter 5:10

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Matthew 19:26

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Romans 5:2-5

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

I’ve seen it so many times, people come into the rooms and get sober, they get that early feeling of peace, what they call the “Pink Cloud”, and when something bad happens they give up and go back to their addiction. I have done this more than once and its heartbreaking to everyone involved.

I started off my New Year yesterday with a gratitude list, some of which I shared in my blog. Remaining grateful is something that I learned through coming to Christ. It is one my best defenses against picking up.

Another wonderful tool is something else that comes from Christianity, helping others. Step 12 of A.A. is-Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Helping others is one of the best defenses against temptation. In my experience it keeps me in touch with where I was and also takes me out of myself. My brain can sometimes be an enemy.

We must keep in mind that even though we are sober, things do not suddenly get perfect. Some of the people we hurt are going to need a lot of time to heal. We can’t be discouraged and think that things will never get better, because every day sober gets us closer to, well, ourselves. Be mindful that the mood swings will pass. Prayer is extremely vital at this point in sobriety. Beginning to develop a prayer life early on creates a new habit of humility and admitting that we do not have all the answers.

I thought I would write about this subject because I struggle from day to day with temptation. The trick, even though its not really a trick, is to use the tools I have acquired. I go to Christ and I get some peace. It’s that easy. Faith, the most wonderful gift of all!

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Goodbye 2011! Hello Serenity!

John 12:46

I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.

I had mentioned in a previous entry that this last year was a very very crazy one! As this year draws to an end I can’t help but reflect back on the chaos that my life was.

I was hospitalized 3 times due to my drinking and using! For me the party ended a long time ago but I just could not stop. The only times that I would stop was when something would stop me, hospital etc. My physical and mental health were a disaster area.

There were times where that lifestyle caused me to think that I was losing my mind, and to be honest I was. When you continually ingest those poisons it deteriorates everything about you. Some of my best and most loyal friends in the world could not even handle being around me for too long. When I look back on it I realize that I wouldn’t have been able to handle watching someone commit prolonged suicide either!

Acts 22:16

What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.’

For most of my life I knew absolutely nothing about God. It says in the Bible that when you search for him, honestly search, you will find Him.

Jeremiah 29:13

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

That is why I call this blog what I do. I spent years living in the dark, a slave to my addiction. That lifestyle is a full time job in itself, and the most lonely depraved way of life there is. When I prayed my first real prayer God really did save me. He put me on a path to become whole again! I had no idea that His impact would be so huge in my life. I guess that if God can create everything there is in the universe,picking me up and putting me on a road to salvation is nothing to Him!

2011 will go down as the worst/best year of my life. I say this because of the hell I put myself through. I also say best because God reached down, and changed my life forever! God bless you all and I pray that 2012 brings you happiness, true happiness, the kind that God loves to give us!

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The Subtle Art of Surrender

Step 1

We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable

The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called willpower becomes practically non-existent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.
– A.A. Big Book, p. 24 (Substitute your own addiction for drink if your addiction is different than alcohol)

This disease is powerful! Very powerful! It says in the literature that it is cunning, baffling, and powerful, and I can tell you from my experience, in all fairness, that might be an understatement. I repeatedly found myself in sick situations and doing things that were way out of character and went against all my morals and beliefs! The fact is that if it were only willpower that was needed this would be a piece of cake! I proved to myself that I have plenty of willpower.

 This may not make alot of sense but I want to take a look at the idea of a disease. What is a disease exactly? Mr. Webster says a disease is : a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms.

So what are the symptoms here? For me, when I took that first drink something was triggered immediately. I would go from 0 to 88 in one second! I learned a few years ago this was caused from a physical allergy to alcohol. My body simply did not react like others did to alcohol. A physical allergy that manifested itself by a phenomenon of craving. The definition for the word “allergy” is, an abnormal reaction to any food, liquid, or substance.

The are other symptoms too. The character defects we all have, but in the case of the alcoholic, addict, or spiritually sick, they are very powerful. The lying, stealing, isolating, depression, anger, rage, God hating/blaming the list goes on and on. Usually if one is sharp enough, they can recognize these personality symptoms early on and avoid a relapse.

So what next? We’ve identified in a very basic way what the problem is.   I can tell you this, there is no easy way out or quick fix! Rehab won’t even give you a miracle cure, however it will give one a solid foundation on which to begin recovery. The first thing is to know deep down that nomatter what, you are totally screwed! Pardon my bluntness but that’s the way it is. The addict and alcoholic, if they are a true one, are totally doomed! If you can know that deep down in your heart you begin to become willing and open-minded to try a few new suggestions.

Nobody can tell you that you are an addict or alcoholic. If they do what is the normal reaction. Usually they’ll tell you where to go! It is up to you to come to that realization on your own.

It’s all about surrendering to your Higher Power, whatever it is! Find it and use it, because this thing will destroy yours and everyones  life that’s around you! I know that the idea of surrendering goes against who we are as human beings, but it is necessary. How can someone turn their life over to something if they are still holding on to old ideals? It is quite frankly impossible! The only thing you have to change is everything! I heard that in a meeting one day and it’s so true.

There are 51 pages in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous dedicated to surrendering. For someone with an ego like mine the idea of surrendering was a major shake to the idea of who I am. It took 3 years for it to finally make sense to me. I hope that whoever reads this realizes that this simple step will open up a beautiful new world. One that is rewarding beyond all comprehension.

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The insanity that was my life in 2011…Part 1

I personally do not like to sit around and talk about old war stories. It always gets my gut twisted up and honestly brings on some serious depression. However, in some ways in can be therapeutic. We addicts and alcoholics speak our own language. As it says in the Big Book of A.A…

“But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours.  Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.” – The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 18

Today I thought I would share a little about this past year. My life completely spiraled out of control and brought me to my knees finally in August. Earlier that year I was seeing a girl that was in recovery too. Our relationship was a total mess! We were not good for eachother and she has her own issues that hopefully she will work on. After one of our breakups I “twisted off” bad! I found myself taking alot of Dilaudid and drinking again of course. Dilaudid is a synthetic opioid, Hydromorphone. Its very strong and when you mix it with benzos or alcohol it can put you out permanently.

One day in particular I was over at a friends house off Riverside. I woke up in the morning with a couple of Klonopin and went straight over to my Dilaudid hookup, who was this sweet lady in her 50’s, sick right? I started with 3 and a friend and I headed straight to the bar at around 3 in the afternoon. All I can remember is the cocktail waitress kept coming over to check on me. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I was breathing very lightly. To give you an idea, look at me here, I look like I’m dead, because really in a way I was.

That right there is just a little chunk of reality. I remember back in September when I had finally gotten sober, I opened my email one day and saw this picture. It really freaked me out! I couldn’t believe that I ever got that bad! It really hit me hard.

This past year I have been in the hospital twice because of full blown black outs from alcohol.

I urge anyone that is having a problem to please seek help! I’ve known too many people who are casualties to this disease! The only way out is to change everything! Sounds pretty difficult huh? Well, it is, and it isn’t.

For me I was finally so worked over by this disease I was able to surrender and turn it over to God. Thats it! God came into my life and He gave the strength to overcome this!

I remember it used to scare me to think I couldn’t drink or use anymore! I didn’t know how to deal with life without it. I have to tell you with all sincerity that not only am I happier and healthier, but the rewards are incredible! I’m so grateful for what God has done for me and my family! (Yes this disease involves them too) Today I have a chance to work that Step 12. It’s all about helping others! Look at that picture! If you are struggling think about that picture and remember that if God saved a junky like me, trust me, he’ll save you too!

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Rock Bottom

Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.

Way back in July of 2008 I hit what they call rock bottom. At the time I was living in a large old rented house by Lake Wewoka Oklahoma. It was just me and my 19 pound Orange Tabby Morris. By this time I finally realized that I might have a drinking problem, among other things. I was seeing a really amazing woman that I really did not deserve named Jodie. She used to be in the army and really had it together. I promised her over and over that I would quit drinking and I truly meant it every time however, I found out that I couldn’t control it. I wouldn’t admit it yet but I was a full blown alcoholic. I had lost so many things in life and I was only just then realizing the full scope of my sickness.

The second week of July 2008, Jodie decided she couldn’t handle my drinking anymore. She was watching me literally kill myself slowly and couldn’t deal with it. She said I was “weak willed” but ask yourself this, any addict or alcoholic you might know, do they or do they not go to extremes to get what they want? I would say from experience that it takes alot of willpower to live that lifestyle.

Something  just kind of busted in my head. I snapped. I had lost my job, every friend I had, and my girl. I pulled all of my money out of the bank and bought enough booze to fill my fridge and plenty of different opiates. I locked the door to my house and didn’t plan on ever coming out. I was done with everything.

For the next week I was only awake for 3 or for hours at a time, long enough to get out of my mind wasted. That whole week I had the song “life is Beautiful” by Sixx A.M playing on the stereo on repeat. A whole week straight just one song! I didn’t eat anything except pills and I didn’t drink anything except beer and Rum. Somehow I shaved my head to a mohawk right before a court date I had for public intox. I called my mom and said that if I didn’t get help I would die. She just thought I was being dramatic! I had never known God, and I had no idea how to pray, but almost like it was an instinct, I screamed out at the top of my lungs, “God help me!!! Now! Help!” After that I collapsed and came to the next day laying on the floor.

When my mom did finally come by my house the next day, she broke down and started crying. She saw just how far I had gone, the insanity of it all! She took me to TRC, a medically supervised detox and my life changed forever. I spent years in addiction and had no idea that there really was a way out, through God. God accepted me for who I am, and did his part. Faith without works is dead. So I pass it on. Everyone hits that crossroads in life. For me, it was a life or death crossroads, and God gave me a chance.

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