Addiction is not for the faint hearted. And it’s really not for the sensitive type or for those that get sick at the sight of blood or vomit. Addiction is for the desperate fool in search of a certain feeling. A feeling so strong and essential its worth dying for. A feeling so gratifying and powerful that it can take the pain away. And don’t drugs promise that? They are alluring and tempting because we believe that for one moment in time we can be lifted up and away from the pain of our reality. And so that’s why survivors use. We use whatever it takes to feel better. We use whatever it takes to fill the empty hole. Or to just feel anything at all. Or to just feel something other than pain. And isn’t that understandable? We are tired of the isolation, the loneliness and the horrible suspicion that very few can relate to our stories or to us. We are tired of being afraid. Tired of the pain of the past. And tired of being tired. And so many of us choose to get high and fly up and away from it all.
Our drugs of choice may be different but the need to feed an inner beast is not. Some of use nicotine or caffeine (most use both nicotine and caffeine). And others choose pot, cocaine, pills or heroin. But does it really matter? We are all one in the same. We are all looking to escape and to feel.
But sooner or later – and later is when we hit rock bottom – reality hits us – and usually hard. After we’ve lost family, friends, jobs and social standing – after we have come face to face with death – we surrender admitting that what we once trusted to lift, console and rescue us has failed. We admit that the pain we were trying to subdue with drugs only brought us more pain. And so we enter recovery.
We enter recovery not so much because we want to stop using drugs or partying. Or because we want to obey the law and uphold some sort of middle class social standard. We enter recovery driven by that same inner beast in search of that something that will fill the pain and make things better. We enter recovery because we admit that our drug of choice is useless . You see the emptiness is still there. The desire to feel something other than pain has not miraculously vanished. We still long to be understood, to be heard and to be saved. We are still so very desperate for something that will make us feel better and we hope that we find it in recovery.
Perhaps we are hoping that we find it among our peers. Is it in the social support? Or maybe we are looking for it in the challenge to rise above our circumstances and hope that the success of prevailing is a high in and of itself. And for others that something is finally realizing that the lives we sacrificed were not that bad after all and we possessed that something inside of us all along.
But for many of us in recovery that something is a higher power. It’s the higher power that they talk about in AA. It’s the higher power we call Jesus Christ. Please don’t judge us. Please keep your snide remarks to yourself. Unless you’ve been truly alone and having burned all your bridges, exhausted all your resources and find yourself broken (both mentally and physically) destitute then you don’t know what it’s like to need someone to pull you out of your pit. We do. Many Survivors do. We know what it’s like to need unconditional love. We know what it’s like to need a friend when everyone else turns their back on you. And we know what it’s like to need forgiveness, grace and mercy. And we sure as hell know what it’s like to need a fresh start.
Survivors in recovery – well we have found our new drug. And it will not and can not deceive us, manipulate us or change our lives into an unrecognizable disaster. As a matter of fact – it does just the opposite. A life in Christ is a new life. A better life. A life where we don’t have to solve all of our problems, or fix our pain or find someone to listen to or console us. We have that friend right there in Christ. A friend. A true, true friend. A friend with that something we need. And He get’s it and He gets us. And He has that something and He gives it freely. He gives us those things we have been wanting and needing for such a long time: love, joy, peace, healing, compassion, forgiveness and grace. He gives and gives and loves and loves until the emptiness is gone. Its been filled. Its been filled with something so indescribably beautiful we are left speechless and humble. And so here we are – here, now and eternally together at last: Survivors in Recovery – restored, redeemed, rehabilitated and reunited. We are rejoicing – knowing that we’ve both found what we’ve both been longing for and that something we each have been missing– each other.