“I’m letting it set in that I have got to fight this unless I want to be the man I want to be.” – ME
That’s how I feel sometimes.
Other times I make excuses.
Well….actually I used to make a ton of excuses until late.
Just like an alcoholic would say “Let’s have a drink to celebrate!” only to later turn around and say “My life is awful, I’m having a drink.” each of us will find ways to justify our actions no matter how destructive they just might be.
Is this you?
Because it used to be me.
What carries us towards addiction? I believe a lot of it is the battle of the mind as well as our emotions. Controlling our minds to control our feelings. If you were to ask a row of alcoholics why they drink so much what do you think their answers are going to be? “My life rules so much that I don’t want to be sober and present for it?”
I doubt it.
Part of the reason I used to drink heavily was because my parents got divorced and it was extremely hard for me to deal with as a child and I felt I had nowhere to turn. Later in life I had a close family member become a heroin addict and that affected me as well. Do you know how difficult it is to find needles in a backpack when someone is just stopping by your house to say hello? Or maybe what led me further down the rabbit hole was the string of women I decided to sleep so that I could “feel better”. And what’s the reason I’m trying to feel better? Because my emotions are all over the place with the past continuing to haunt me.
But that’s me. Maybe you have an addiction or your own story? Maybe something happened in the past that massively changed the direction of your future and your only coping mechanism became an addiction? Picking up razor blades so you can “feel“, sleeping around to feel “loved”, or picking up a bottle at 11pm and not putting it down til 5am?
Where does it start? Perhaps it started years ago perhaps for you, or perhaps it’s just been a few weeks that something like a serious relationship ended and you’re having a difficult time coping. But where can the change start? Right now.
You have to gain control over your thoughts. You can find healing. You can be stronger than what’s happened, or it’ll whisk you down a path you never intended, one that wasn’t planned for you. Maybe even one that you had not planned yourself. Inevitably you’ll be left asking, “What has my life become? How did I get here?”
So we need to start today.
You have to be the one to want this change. You have to be the one who sees you have a problem and understand that you need help, because as much as we’d like to, we can’t cure ourselves. We aren’t heart surgeons and most of us are still young and lack life experience the way many others in life that might be able to help us have. And we need to see that we aren’t going to be able to do this alone. A lot of times when we struggle, we always push the solution far away from us. If we’re honest it’s because we know the truth hurts and the solution takes work and time. It’s much easier to let our struggles overtake us because their impact has already been made. We feel we’ve already been through so much and are exhausted even at the idea of “working” to get better. That’s why we need others to help us. We need the accountability…..we need that late night phone call from a friend saying “You okay bro? What’s going on in that heart of yours? You getting the things done you need to?”
We need people to care.WE need US….community……a family of friends and other people who know what we’re going through. This is one of the main reasons why I started HeartSupport.
If we don’t have others who are helping us get to the point of healing it’s going to be that much harder doing it on our own.
It’s hard to see that through pain,suffering, and addiction that you are worth something. Often times people who carry past hurts and struggles can’t clearly see their own worth. They mask their worth in accomplishments, constantly seeking out compliments to fill their self-esteem tank, or literally covering themselves in nice things – clothes, cars, trinkets – painting a picture of glory. A picture of happiness and joy on the outside with materialistic things but in reality a lonely, dark room with addiction waiting at the dinner table.
Can you imagine coming home everyday feeling alone? Maybe you already do. Feeling like no one cares and letting the past rain down on you; haunting you wherever you go? And you can hear the whispers at night. It’s the first thing to wake you up and greet you in the morning and continues to haunt you day in and day out. After a while you’ll start to feel hollow inside – self-worth diminishing – and you start thinking that you aren’t pretty, or strong, or that you’ll never find someone to love you. Or that the ones who do love you don’t really love you? I mean how could they!? Look at what you’ve done! And so we’ll run back to the addiction for those temporary feelings of comfort never fully realizing it’s slowly turning us into a slave.
You have to understand that you are worth more than this. You’ve got to pick yourself back up. You have to see that this addiction is a facade….a fake….a lie.
You are worth just as much now as you were worth before your traumatic experience(s).
You have a life to live. Nothing that you’ve done can’t be forgiven and left behind. Nothing. The only way you can move on is by stating that right here, right now.. you are no longer the person you were that day or in the past. Today you can make a stand and say “Today! These thoughts and memories will no longer hold me captive in my life. I’m not going to stand for this any longer. It will NOT hold me down. I won’t let these memories or thoughts continue to dictate my life.”
As for me?
Christ got me the inch closer I couldn’t get myself.
I don’t know what you’ve been through but I can tell you from personal experience and my own struggles how I found healing. Jesus. Many of you know that my relationship with God is a huge part of my life, and as it should be, because the most important relationship I have in my life is my relationship with Jesus. Christ is the one who saved me 8 years ago from myself when I had reached the end of my rope.
One of the best feelings is knowing that the one who created you is right there beside you walking with you, loving you in ways you can’t see or even imagine, and who wants you out of this hole as much as you do.
He weeps when you weep, who cries out that you ask for His strength, His love, His wisdom and His hand to pull you out of this hole.
Think about the beauty in this: The God who created everything….the entire world! From the galaxies in the universe all the way to the taste buds in your mouth! Wants to help you.
And this past struggle, or even current one, is so much smaller than Him..
He is pleading with us to let Him fix things. He does not want us to dwell on these things outside of our control. Yet He wants us to have faith in Him that HE can give us the strength to do what is right, what is just, and what is good.
Christ gave me the strength to forgive the people who hurt me. Just as God forgives me for my sins and the hurtful things I do on this earth… so my dad (God) has taught me to forgive others.
I needed to forgive myself of what I had done, and through prayer and talking with my close friends I was actually able to do so!
This is how God started freeing me of the shackles that had been holding me in place for so many years.
God started asking me to give Him more of my heart. In my relationship with Christ I have to believe in Him just as He believes in me. Sometimes I think He believes in me more than I do Him… but I need that open line of communication with Him, because I know that He is the truth and that He will provide me a way out.
I had to start admitting to myself the things I had done as a reaction to the things that had been done to me and close the books on all of it. Clean slate.
It’s funny that it took me years and years to do this, when I couldn’t accept the reality that I was already forgiven and had a clean slate the day I accepted Christ into my heart. I understood that I didn’t have the strength, power or control to make myself better. I needed to be fixed. And God had the remedy. It was more of who He is that I needed to mimic and imitate with it all rooted out of love. Loving myself enough to want more. More of the life He wanted for me.
Do you believe in yourself? Christ can fill you up.
I believe in you. And I have come a long way from the numerous addictions that have plagued me but it is God who fed me the strength to believe in myself through my faith in Him and kept me from drowning in my shallow heart. And it’s still a battle…..but one worth fighting.
So if He can show me my worth – and heal me of all the past atrocities in my life – taking me from suicidal thoughts to being the man who wrote this for the world to see? Well, that gives me hope for you. Gives me faith in you. You can do it. You can overcome these things that hold you in place today. But let’s start today by taking off those shackles and being healed. I pray that today you recognize your worth. Because you are worth just as much today as you were before your traumatic experience. I know it, and God knows it.
I’m not here to push a religion on you. I’m here to encourage you the best way I know how. That for me is through my personal relationship with God. So I leave you with something that held me up when I was weak…..something that made all those nights of shame, guilt, and self-hate fade in the light of this verse:
Ephesians 3: 16
“That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”