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I need help. I need some advice on my travels. I question daily on my travels about how I can use this hell called addiction to benefit others. How can I help others when I still crave, while I am still so sick I fester with thoughts of using daily. I can hide it from Noreen and you, but it doesn’t mean that my mind isn’t churning with thoughts that are devastating to me. There is a wrestler who was suspended for drug use, his body build and hyperness does not suggest steroids but more of speed. He returned from his suspension with an apology for his bad actions. I told you of a rock star that quit and I was candid with my thoughts about him getting rid of the last of his stash. I hear of movie stars, sport stars, regular people that quit and seek help to stay away from it. I read about people that are given second chances after a drug test and when they return they have the choice of staying clean or giving up their lively hood. All I can think of is how horrible not to be able to do drugs ever again.

I then look at myself and realize that I cannot do drugs ever again because too much is at stake. I do not put myself in that class though, I feel like I am always opened to doing drugs again. Even though I know that I am not ever going to use again, but I am tempted. It has been offered to me before and I turned it down, I look back at that time and think of myself as stupid for not getting away with it. I overdosed on my psychological medication, and now I know that I will not do that again, but I cannot get myself to feel sorry that I did. Am I moving backwards? How can I help others when my struggle is still there? What can I say to someone that I might not feel empathy for? I do not want anyone to go through the hell of addiction, sometimes I feel that it is better to use then to stop and go through this. But then again, there are times that I am happy to go through this and not feel like I am dying everyday, pushing myself to that fine line of an overdose. Relax in the feeling of a freedom and a natural high. It is just when I feel a natural high, I want to get higher. This might not make sense to some of you, but these contradictions of thoughts are killing me.

As most of you know I also suffer with chronic pain in my back, I have found out that some of it deals with my workouts and the lifting that I have done. But drugs also effect your skeletal structure. I told Nee-Nee just shoot me and get me out of my misery. Mostly a joke, but when I know that I cannot have narcotics because it will be an instant addiction to me, I get sad and withdrawn knowing what I have done to myself and this is just part of a consequence to my past actions. Every time that I think that I have this licked I am reminded that I don’t. I have learned to look at death so different then I used to. I used to fear it, at times I welcomed it. Now I am neutral, when it happens I am ready, but only when God wants me.

That is another thing, why has God saved me so many times from myself? While I have watched friends and loved ones die, and I remain feeling guilty that it wasn’t me. What purpose do I have? I do not truly know how to use my survival to help others. I am either too hard core in my recollections, or I turn and sugar coat the whole thing saying God will provide the help, when I know for sure and certain an addict does not always feel that. I do know that I do not have the power to turn you into a user, if you become a user it is not my fault, just as I cannot blame others for me using. If you turn away from drugs or are an addict and my words somehow help, then that is not my glory either, it is God’s. I understand this to an extent, but I pray that God is guiding me in this. I pray that He uses me, but I am so lowly. It is so hard to move on, and a post here or there…does it really help?

People that are addicts that might read my thoughts and my travel to recovery are dead inside. They are looking into my little glass world, but that does not always help. I cannot fill the emptiness that is in their life. Some scream to be inside with me, some scream to stay outside. I am nothing, and I know that I cannot stop God from using me anyway that He chooses, I just pray that I am making the right choices. He saved me from so much, I am absolutely sure that He wants to use me, yet I feel like my eyes are closed and that I am just waving my arms around trying to get help to others. While all the time darkness invades me, tries to fool me into thinking how one more time will not hurt me. That how can I possibly believe that I will never use again?

I do not believe that keeping my mouth shut about the struggles will help. I have traveled this road with many people picking me up and not judging but chastising in brotherly love. I need that, I am still growing. I do not know if I made any point in this post, I am actually asking these questions hoping for some guidance. God has given me a gift of life, and I do not know exactly why, or what I am supposed to do with it. I do not want to waste it, it took several times for Him to save me before I finally saw it. I do not want to lose it, The reason that I am so candid is if I was not then there is a chance I will slowly paint my windows black, and not allow anyone to know what I am doing. This is my saving grace, to tell you how I am doing, faults and all. If I tell you everyday is great then an addict will know that I am lying, someone using will have an excuse to continue using because he/she will feel like it will be easy to quit when they are good and ready.

I have rambled through this post, please help me with any advice you have on this. How would you use it? Is there other avenues that I can branch off and use? Any answer to any question that I had through this post please feel free to answer. I am at a low point, I am tired, I am confused more today then some days and this might pass, but right now I need help, please.

D.

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It was the winter of 1985, I was twenty years old. I was riding high in so many different ways. Mostly literally high, some memories are fuzzy, some will stick with me for the rest of my life. I was still working at the pool hall; hustling, boozing, getting stoned, and getting any woman that I wanted. Some people would think that would be the life, but inside I was dead. I had no feelings to offer anyone. There was only one person that knew me, only one that I would let know the real me. For others I had a facade, becoming a chameleon to whatever they expected me to be. At the same time there was something in common toward everyone, don’t get close to me.

I would hang out with anyone that would get me high. I went on dates because I was promised a high during or after the date. I have not any recollection of most of the girls names, and they would mostly get upset when I would not call them. I got to the point where I did not care if I hurt them or not. This was not me, I am a pretty sensitive guy always have been, but not at that time. I would act like I cared, I would go as far as apologizing just to turn around and lie to them in the same breath. I had several girls flip me off in town as I drove by, I would just make them feel worse by flippant remarks. The owners wife had propositioned me once, I turned her down. I guess I had a little conscience left, but just a little.

I would wake up do some coke, or meth. I would end the day, the next morning actually, around 1:00 or 2:00 am freebasing. Sometimes roller coasting on a joint laced with meth, or coke. Waking up at a friends house doing a witch’s brew, which I will not explain what that is here but it would be a powerful high. I was seeing a married woman around that time, I made excuses because her husband was abusive. He knew about me, and used to be a good friend of mine in school. The thing is I really started caring about her, and my feelings for him began to wane. He called me one time as he was beating her, telling me to save her if I could. I got in my car and as I got to their house he was already leaving with her in tow. I was very mad, and blinded to the fact that I was part of the problem not the solution.

He and I got into it a couple of times they divorced and she moved away. She was the only girl that I would drop everything for at that time. When she called to let me know she would be in town I would make up some lame excuse to break a date just to go see her. She did not do drugs but I was always loaded, not that she cared, she just wanted to see me. I knew her since we were both kids and I used to date her sister when I was in school, but we always had an attraction to each other. She was dealing with a lot of her own about her past. Her dad was abusive and drank, she was raped by her uncle, the same one that raped me when I was younger. But at that time we just dealt with what happened and lived in the present the best we could. She will pop up again as I re-tell my story, I will refer to her as ‘Sandy’ from now on.

As I continued in this lifestyle I was losing who I truly was. Every girl that I did fall for would eventually leave me, adding to more pain and having me hide a little deeper within myself. I trusted my own little group, but everyone else was put under a microscope. I had seen so many things, and scams that I knew better then to trust anyone.

My mother had a lot of pharmaceuticals in the cabinet because of her illness’, ever since I was younger I experimented with her pills. She had so many that she never knew. I was getting more pills from other sources also. Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, Quaalude, Ecstasy, the list could go on but if you notice they were mostly downers, I liked to mix them with meth and coke to escape even further. I did not know who I was anymore, if anyone asked me who the real Doug was I could not tell them the truth, I would just say what you see is what you get. Kind of like saying, do not confuse garbage with trash. There is a fine line.

As I look back to those times I see that my company helped me to be what I was becoming, just as I was helping them to grow into what they were becoming. I was a shell inside and out, hollow. I tried to care about people but I was really getting hurt every time I attempted. I was a walking contradiction, I would hurt people but I did not want to hurt anyone. I was in love with being in love, none of my relationships would last more then a month because I would sabotage it around that point. I would be hurt and then move on to the next. Different girls had different aspects that I admired about them, or that drew me to them. And then when they did not turn out to be what I expected I would lose interest.

I think that the lesson I learned from all of this came back to bite me in the following years until I broke all the way not caring at all. But that is the next chapter in my life. I did learn that I was becoming a true druggie that did not get any respect, after all I did not deserve any. Rumors abounded about me, mostly true. I don’t know what some people expect I am today or even if they know I am still alive. I did not know it then, but I realize it now more then ever, you are what group you hang with. There is not any individuality, though I searched and tried to be someone different I never succeeded. Many heads are just like I was, many addicts are what I am, many Christians are searching as am I. We need groups to lean on, to realize what we are going through. To offer a hand now and then, someone, as Rick Atchley said, to be accountable to.

This can work for you or against you. If someone wants out of a wretched lifestyle then there are people that will be there for you. If you want to wallow in self pity and lead a destructive lifestyle, there will be people that are there for you. Only difference that I have found is that the pity group eventually disintegrates, through death, escaping where people can no longer find them, or maturity. The self pity group can understand where you are and will be there for you, but when self faces self one has to lose. A Christian family is there for you truly committed that you do not bury yourself in the grave of yesterday.

D.

 

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It is awesome to be a grandad. I know that I am really a step-grandad but I think that I am the closest thing to being a true grampie then she will ever know. To see pictures you will have to go over to NaNa’s site.

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I have been under attack lately, not as often as before but still experiencing the effects of my addiction. It is hellish when it hits, it is like being in a dessert with no oasis to be seen. Not even a mirage. Dying of thirst for something that you can no longer tolerate. Any liquid that you might think of to quench your thirst is poison. The last overdose I experienced was this year, out of thirst that I could no longer accept I almost took myself out of this life and out of the life of those that love me. It was a chance I was willing to take.

I heard on the local news that meth is a ‘cool addiction’. Are you kidding me? I did not see the report because it stirred something in me that I did not want to investigate. But that was the tag line that they used for the story. They showed one young adult that said he had used two times and was addicted. I had a hard time believing his story. If he did get addicted after the second time I am curious about his personality. He would have to have a very addictive personality. I would assume that he has more problems with alcohol, and other drugs.

Cocaine is not a first time addictive drug. The first time you use it actually is not that great, the second time is better, the third is better then that, until you need to do more to get that high and continue to bump until you can sustain that high. Meth is nice the first time you use it and it last longer, the second time is good also, but it is the same structure you experience with coke until you need more to sustain that high, and you do not want to crash, (come down). It is like smoking a joint, you might enjoy the first high, so you want to do it again. But marijuana is a mental addiction, meth can become a true addiction the longer and more constant the use. Heroin is a quick addiction. I have had Opium before but only two or three times, I enjoyed it but did not get addicted. Prescription pain pills, codone is a synthetic form of codeine, and I have been addicted to those because of my back. But it took months for them to become addictive and I needed higher doses to get high. Before long I overdosed on those also. I could go on about what is a quick addiction and what is not, but the thing is there are more drugs that have to be used on a constant basis to be addictive.

Before you think that I made it sound easy to experiment with drugs, even if someone does try it once they will try it again, and again until addiction does set in. But if you get paranoid about the second use and think that you are addicted then it is time to quit before true addiction sets in. Look at smoking a cigarette. Someone will begin smoking because of their peers or others that they might look up to, but the first time someone smokes it is horrible. You get dizzy and feel sick. The second time is not that much better, but the more the person hangs around and lights up every time someone else does, they get over it and are at the starting process of a smoking addiction. But even then it is easy for them to quit at an earlier time then it is if they decide to continue doing so.

I have a problem with anyone thinking that meth is a cool addiction. No addiction is cool, alcoholism is not a cool thing, any addiction is not cool. The adage goes, be careful what you wish for. I do not know what makes anyone think that addiction is anything more then what it truly is, and that is a hell that you cannot escape. Addiction=death. It separates you from your family, your friends, it causes you to die from within where nothing else matters, just a hunger for that one last hit.

I told you about the book by Brian Welch, ex-guitarist for Korn, and how he battled his addiction. How strong he was to turn his life to God, and do away with his stash. There was one part where he went back through his closet and found some more meth. He had an internal struggle that I understood. No one would know if he did it one more time and then go back to not using. Just one more time and he could continue on his journey with God. The thing is he said that he would know, not only that but God would know. So he took a picture of himself flushing it. An important moment in his step to recovery, plus his acceptance and strength in God.

I related this story to Dusty one time and to my surprise I told him how I truly felt about Brian doing that. My thought was, ‘You idiot! No one would have known and it would have been just one last time!’ After I relayed my thoughts I could not believe what was coming out of my mouth and how bad it sounded. The thing is these were my true thoughts while I read his story. I did not praise God for His glorious work, no thought of how hard that was for him to do that. No thought of celebration with this man that had stepped up and did what he knew was right. My thoughts went to how could you? I realized that speed was still my god. I had no problem with God seeing me use again if the chance came up, I made excuses to why He would accept it.

I would ignore God just to be able to turn to my new god. Not now though, my journey grows everyday, and there is something new to learn about me and my inner struggle. Which is no longer as much of a struggle as it once was, praise God. The problem I have with posers of addiction, is not that I do not believe them, I do think that they actually believe it themselves. But I also think that they are eager to be noticed as having a problem. I think that there is a danger in this, a problem deeper then a quick addiction. Looking from the outside in and seeing something ‘cool’ in others that have a problem. I am not discounting the fear of someone using pain pills, or speed once or twice. There does seem to be a paranoia of getting addicted, but if they are fearful of this then they will quit because the paranoia outweighs the enjoyment of using. The posers are different they usually open up pretty quick without apology. Bringing on more to want the lifestyle. The only thing is they are unable to talk about the hell it brings. They talk of how good it is, the short experiences that they have had. An addict is nothing to look up to, an addict lives a life where they care for nothing else but a high. Even hygiene gets in the way when one begins binging day upon day. Addicts disguise themselves from hard workers, to ‘functioning’ members of society, to despots that could care less as long as they can get it. This is where almost all addicts end up, and this is the reason they can no longer hide who they are.

Addiction is hell. Speed brings depression because of sleep deprivation for one, other factors combine also to bring different mental disabilities. I am not saying ignore these people that say they have a problem because of a couple of uses, help them. They will want to go to rehab, I have a strong feeling about rehabs. It is one of the easiest places to score. There is a good chance they will come out the worse for wear. Statistically more people return to rehab then learn from it. Get them a good counselor that will work with them. The counselor is trained to look for internal problems that cause the addiction in the first place.

When I see someone that is drinking heavy or using, I always wonder what they are escaping from. We all have our problems no doubt. But there is a deeper psychological problem with a user, drinker, over eater, etc. that calls for an escape. This is the reason I have always been careful not to glorify substance abuse. This is the reason that I go back and show you how my life was when I used and how fast it got out of control without me knowing it. I hope that you see at least two things when I talk of my past, and that is; God is always in control, and how sickly depraved that lifestyle is. What it causes. Don’t fool yourself as I did what you do today effects what you are tomorrow.

 

D.

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The year is 1985, I cannot remember if I was 19 or 20 yet, my birthday is June 23rd so I don’t remember if it was the beginning of the year or the latter part of the year. Either way this is the year that I decided to do acid for the first time.

My friend and I just scored a hit of acid, this was the first time either one of us had done acid, so we were not sure what to expect. We were told the worse thing that you can tell someone that is about to use for the first time, and that is: ‘be careful what you think while you are on it. Because it will magnify your thoughts.’ So starting off we knew that we would have to control our thoughts, which is not easy to do on or off of acid. We took it and sit at his house and decided to stay there to see how it was going to affect us, It takes thirty minutes for acid to take effect on your mind. Then it takes around 7 to 8 hours for the effects to leave your body. The first hour is alright, and you enjoy the trip as something different, something new. Opening your mind to new things. The second and third hour seems like it will never end, 4th through the 7th or 8th hour feels like you will never come down and you are trapped within yourself.

The first part was okay, we listened to Pink Floyd and realized what they were trying to do with their music. Or it seemed that way to us at the time. We began to watch a live video of Dio, which in the middle of the concert a cross spins around until it turns upside down. We were engulfed in it, I was holding a brass cobra that had a hole in it where it was coiled up, I held it through that hole and had the cobras head resting on my arm. I began to sweat but I had not realized that was what it was at the time. I thought that the snake had come to life and bit me, what I thought was venom was actually sweat. I threw the snake down on the ground while my friend looked at me in surprise, asking what the hell happened? This was the beginning of hell for me for that night. A classic battle of light vs dark.

Another one of our mutual friends came over, someone we never cared for anyway, because he always got on our nerves. He was drunk and we were on acid, in our minds we were so far ahead of him that it wasn’t even funny. He begged us to score him some acid, he had never done acid and wanted to join us. He was so drunk that his ramblings did not make much sense to us. My friend and I had an aversion and little patience for sloppy drunks in the first place this just intensified it. The visitor got sick and when he did it came out like tracers, slow motion. We both tripped out on that, and when the guy went to the bathroom to clean up, my friend said something about him that scared me, because I felt it too. So when he came out, and my other friend left the room, I told him that it would be in his best interest to leave…NOW. The darkness continued to seep in more and more.

After he left we felt hungry, so my friend began to cut some hamburger off of a loaf. He looked at me and said could you imagine that as an arm being sliced up? The thing is I could, and was while he was doing that. Neither one of us were THAT violent in our right mind, but we weren’t in our right mind at that time. I went into the living room were the light was off, and I had this overwhelming feeling of hatred, and then my friend came in and turned on the light, the feeling was gone. However my friend noticed the same thing, he turned the light off and said did you notice all goodness leaves when the light is off. We both noticed this, so we stepped outside for a little bit. That did not help us any, we wanted to go out and just walk the night, thankfully we did not, because we do not know where we would have ended up that night. Our feet felt like they were going into the cement that we were standing on. We were continuously pulling our feet up before we were sucked into the concrete and stuck forever.

My mind was always racing even back then, it would go from dark thoughts to good thoughts, the acid made it worse. No mater how hard you try you cannot sleep on acid, it is just too much speed to allow it. Even when the person becomes so sleepy they think that they could sleep all night, it is not possible. We laid down anyway, because it was getting late, I slept on the floor as he slept in his bed. I could feel the carpet rolling underneath my arms. I kind of got used to it, and played with it a little bit. Then when I tried harder to go to sleep I closed my eyes tight, and I could see a ying yang of dark and light, good verses evil. They turned into dragons, one white and one black. They began to fight for me, once the light became so bright and comforting to me, that I had to smile, ‘Yes’ I thought,’Good conquers evil.’ and just as I got through thinking this the dark dragon re-appeared and they continued to fight, until I heard a scream in my head, and all became black. I tried to summon the light back in, but it was gone nothing was left but darkness. In my head evil had won it’s fight for me. I broke into a sweat tried to pray but no words came out. I knew what shape I was in, how did I have the right to come to God when I was stoned?

This was just the first time I did acid, I will take you to other times as my journey continues and becomes more depraved. It was easy to know when others were on acid, for one thing their eyes have a dusty film over them. They will stare at you, talk to you, they might even break out into a sweat if they stay with you too long. Laugh at things that you don’t see any humor in. There are different other ways, but the biggest for me is the eyes. The eyes are supposed to be the mirrors of the soul, I think that fits here. Their soul is dirty, and filmed over from the real world.

Later on that year I took another hit of acid, I drove this time and was by myself. Not a good thing when you are on acid, people need someone to keep them grounded. I went over to score some coke, I couldn’t wait to do the two together. I had also been drinking my butt off, someone on acid or speed can drink and drink and never feel the effect of the alcohol. So in reality I was probably a little drunk too. When I went in to score the coke, I said something stupid about his wife or girlfriend, something off the cuff I can’t remember now what it was but I know that I shouldn’t have, but I did. Next thing I knew he brought a shotgun into the living room, bolt down putting a shell in. He also had a knife holstered on his side. He told me that he has never seen me like that and for my sake I need to take what I said back. I started to laugh, probably nervous laughter but inappropriate all the same.

He told me that he would give me three minutes to apologize to her, as he closed the chamber and readied the shotgun on me. I looked at him and said forget it, you won’t shoot me and she isn’t worth it, and neither is the stuff I came to get. I got up and walked out, this was in the country, if he wanted to kill me he sure could have and no one would have found me. I was an idiot, but I walked to my car. As I got to my car I heard running behind me, I shut the door and saw a boot come to passenger side of the car. It shook the car, I saw the knife in his hand but I no longer saw the gun. He hit my side window as I reversed it and got out of there. I was such an idiot, and I knew that what I did was wrong. The bad thing is I kicked myself for not apologizing, not because I hurt the girls feelings, but because I missed out on a quarter of coke. I risked my life for a tiny bit, a little quarter of coke. I also lost one of my ‘friends’ more like a connection then a friend, but a person that had feelings and was willing to take up for what was right.

Through this I found myself going through the different levels of Dante’s hell. Starting at the outer circle of the ring. I made sure that I had friends with me after that night, because I never knew if he wanted revenge or not, I needed to have someone with me just in case. Drugs make you do stupid things, you become a person that you do not recognize, or if you do recognize that person he has been hiding underneath and was just brought up to the surface. I hid a gun in my glove compartment for a little bit, because I was unsure who to trust anymore, not even myself.

D.

 



 

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I know that I said that I was going to go back to reflections but I feel like I needed to do this one first. God is amazing, incredible. His love is overwhelming, and unfathomable. Nee-Nee has been praying and studying, she has been seeking a closer walk with God. About a week or two ago she told me that God wanted me to talk to Him. That her prayers and all others that are praying for me will not work until I come to Him. I thought of this as odd at first, I knew that God did not actually speak to Nee-Nee, I understand how He communicated with her. The reason I thought this was odd is because in my own little world, just between God and me, I wasn’t speaking to Him anymore. Oh, I would throw the occasional prayer His way, just so He knew that He was not forgotten. But I was not following my own advice, I was not journeying with God anymore.

I kept this to myself, I was so strong in hearing His word, I wrote what He put in my heart, but I found I was becoming complacent. God continued to talk to me, even when I was not talking or asking anymore. I felt like I was an active soldier but I became sedentary in my works. So when Nee-Nee told me this revelation, I felt bad. I looked at how I have been feeling lately. Intense withdraws, depression creeping back in, closing myself off again from the world outside. So I heeded the warning, and began to pray again, more intense this time with a focus on others. The things that God put in my view was amazing.

First I saw a news story on the Today Show, of this young man that was declared brain dead, the relatives were called in to say their good byes and the organ harvesters were in route to take the organs since he was a donor. While the family was in his room, the grand mother fell to her knees and prayed to God not to take this young man. She said that he had so much to offer and please do not take him. The young man recovered, the doctors did not have any answers there was not any brain signals and he was truly brain dead. This story touched me. God works in His way and His purpose, I am sure that this touched others in different ways, but it touched me because it dealt with prayer.

The other story I saw was about the mistaken identity of two girls that were in a car crash, one lived one died. While one was in the hospital the wrong family was taking care of her, during this time the wrong family was burying someone they believed was their daughter but in reality it was not her. They had an interview with the two families that were involved, and I was reluctant to watch it because I thought that there would be blame and unresolved issues. But something got me interested in seeing it so I watched the segment that aired during the Today Show, yes God talks to me through the Today Show sometimes, and I was pleasantly surprised how the two families worked together. It was difficult news to accept of course, but the way that these people were handling the situation touched me in a way that is indescribable.

So my prayers to God came more often, my silence in His presence became longer, my meditation more intense. I went to Wal-Mart the other day, one of the door greeters is a young man who was in a car accident when he was younger and now remains in a wheel chair and suffers with his speech. Every time I see him I shake his hand and ask him how he is doing. He always tells me that everyday is a blessed day. Seeing him always makes my day. As I was shopping I thought of these three stories, each story showed that through extremely difficult times, times that most of us will never come close to, they all had one thing in common, a strong faith in God and that God is in charge, not us. So I offered up a little prayer as I continued to walk around and get the things on my list.

As I was checking out, I could hear Brad, the door greeter, telling everyone coming in and going out in a very loud and distinctive voice, ‘Have a good day!’ As I was leaving he smiled a big smile as I was walking toward him. Usually on my way out I just shake his hand again and tell him bye. This time he held my hand and said that he tries to fire up everyone that comes in about God, and let them know the love of Jesus. He looked me in the eye and told me that he loved me, without shame or any consideration of me interpreting it different then what he meant. Still looking me in the eyes, he said that God wants us to love one another, and if we don’t spread the news of Jesus’ love for us then who will? He held onto a cross pendent as he continued talking to me, ‘The world is getting bad, and we need to let them know of His love for us.’ Then he said, ‘You and I. You go out and let people know of His love. Everyone you meet do not be ashamed. I will fire people up where I go, you fire people up where you go.’

The other night I was reminded to set my sights on things unseen, and to keep my mind clear of the world. God opened my eyes once again fresh, to my ministry. To warn others, and to comfort those that are not only addicted but through my dark journeys and bouts with depression I need to realize that I have much to say. I also have come to the realization that I need to open my ears to hear others as well. Creating a bond that God interweaves through ‘random’ meetings and viewings of others in dark situations. We cannot be sedentary and be about our Fathers business thinking that He will do all of the work. He has a purpose for everyone, and everything, this I believe. In my downfalls and struggles He has made them a light for me to use for Him, in other things He has shown that this world holds nothing of interest to me, the interest I do have is showing others of His love.

Do me a favor, you might not be an addict of any kind. But I bet you have habits, little ritualistic things that you do during the day or night without thinking about. Maybe you might consider yourself a ‘chocoholic’ and laugh about it. Or bite your nails, make little annoying sounds with your mouth, the point is we all have little tics. Try to go a day or two without doing it, maybe if you can a week. I bet you will pick something different in it’s place, or you will think that it is silly and not even try it. That is a small amount of what an addict feels, be it a food addict, drug addict, alcoholic, sex addict, etc.

There is a new show that has been advertised on FX, it is about walking in someone else’s shoes for 24 hours or a week, something like that. The point is I think that it would do people good to glance into someone else’s walk. We are given so much by the grace of God, we become spoiled little children, crying to God when everything is crumbling, forgetting to rejoice despite what the world throws at you. So here I am holding your hand, looking you square in the eyes, and saying I love you. It is up to you and me to ‘fire people up’. Are you ready?

D.

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I had built a house for 27 years, it had become decrepit with each stone that was added making it darker and darker. It became a fortress not allowing anyone to enter, and I was in total control of it’s design and up keep. It had so many passages and hiding places that I became lost in my own castle. Though I thought that the work was being done to keep the clutter at bay, it became an overwhelming heap backing me into a corner of my own distress. I became a prisoner to what I had created. A part of me loved it so much that I was willing to put up with the stench and the clutter. Until it became too much for me to bear. No longer did I want to hide from the outside world, I allowed people to live within my castle. The innocent ones were kept blind to the passages in which I took in refuge, greeting them again filled from the inside with dirt and sin, on the outside I wore a mask.

I prayed to my God to remove the mask that had become as much a part of me as the castle that I lived in. To my surprise the mask was ripped from my face, and the passages that I kept a secret all along became opened as my castle began to crumble down brick by brick. I asked God to create new living quarters where my loved ones and I can feel safe and the clutter will be totally destroyed. I asked God that this time, with His help, that this building will be of glass. Transparent for the world to see. He agreed and helped me to rebuild using His strength, knowledge, and comfort into this new transition. The house was becoming a new home for my loved ones and me. One day while I was so tired from the work, and missing the place where I grew up, I went to re-visit it.

As I made my way to the site where my castle once stood, I noticed the debris had not totally been done away with. As I walked I tripped over a block that resembled the corner stone of the old foundation. I do not recall how many days had went by, but I do remember my Saviour picking me up to take me back to the new home. When we arrived I noticed that more people had joined in on the construction, family, friends, loved ones. How could this be? These are the people I had once betrayed and hid from, why spend their time on me? God said He asked them to help and they gladly accepted. I also noticed stones from my old castle visible through the glass walls. I asked God “Why do you torment me with these stones from the past?” He said, “These stones are no longer about you but about others who have built upon their own foundation. To see the darkness that it had brought, to see that with My help there is strength and a renewing of the Spirit within. These stones are yours to carry so you will not live in comfort but to be reminded of what once was.” I said, “How could You and these people love me once again knowing that I turned away from You, longing to hide once again?” He told me that I can no longer hide from Him, with all of my passages and hiding within the filth, I never hid from Him in the first place.

I was told to minister to those who are in hiding, to minister to those who are just beginning to build on their own. ‘Use the stones of experience and write on them a testimony for the world to see. Don’t worry what others say about this, just know you are about My work. I Am the one that picked you up, I AM the one that tore away your earthly love, I tore down your gods, and have opened the door to your heart to enter and create a path that is not without struggle, nor will it be without stumbling. But My hand is their to pick you up, dust off your knees, open your eyes lest you fall asleep in the journey that lies ahead.’ He let me know that others will question my work, and why I cherish a home that is made of glass with the stones displayed for all to see. But let my focus be on Him and He will guide, to make my will strong and to persevere. Some days I will not know who I have touched according to His strength, I will not always know whose hearts I prick because of my journey. But to continue in this marvelous new home, void of secret passages, void of hiding from others.

This is how I see my journey. I learned at the beginning that I have to accept what I can, lay down and forgive that which is not mine. And move forward. Though my post seem dark at times especially when I go back to my past days re-entering my struggles and what got me here. But there is no pity in these travels. When I speak of them I no longer feel sorry for the old person, I am clothed a new. I do know now that just because I found and struggle with God’s desire, does not mean others are on the same path. I know that relapse happens, I made it over a year while others have fallen within days, weeks, or months. God reached His hand to me, because of Him I reach out to others to pick them up without judging, but praying that God will heal them and put words in my mouth, or in this case guide my thoughts in my writings.

I know through counselling that one of the first steps is acceptance, and forgiveness. This is what God was telling me through the counsellors voice. I know that an illness occurred from staying around the filth that was built up around me. Do I hide it or do I allow God to use it to help in the vaccination of others in a disease that has become an epidemic? I choose to use it, I use it without pity, my words are tough, but so is the illness. I write for those that are in their own prison, I also write for those who have never been there so they might look no longer from the outside that they might throw judgment and blame on these who are far away from comfort and God, but that they see these people as sick and are in need of the great Physician. I write that there might be an understanding within the two to co-exist in the love of our Lord and Saviour.

I have found acceptance, yet my heart still gets pricked, and my words prick the hearts of others. Some things I would rather keep quite, it is not my bravery to let you know the lowliness of my heart, but it is God in His infinite wisdom and love that guides me to take a deep breath suck it up and show a side of my life that had been behind solid walls for too long.

D.

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Failures

A heavy person is afraid to go to the gym to better themselves, because of all of the fit bodies there. They are fearful to take the first steps outside to begin walking and eventually working their way up to running. Fearful of the stares and what is said behind their back. The recovering alcoholic in not wanting to offend and hoping that everyone enjoys themselves at their party, has beer for those that still drink. Afraid of the party being boring or called childish for having only soda. Being talked into having just one beer saying that they can handle just one, and ends up at step one in their recovery. Not admitting to themselves or others that one is going to hurt the recovery. After the results of the heavy person getting the nerve up to work out, walk and run come in, we see a slimmer more attractive, healthier person. The ones that laughed before now feel a tinge of jealousy to the attention this person is getting now. Where once they were shunned they are now accepted. I have been there with body building, I have let myself go, gained almost three hundred pounds, lost the weight and gained muscle mass. I was treated totally different. Some tried to bring up when I was heavier, while no one else cared they saw the end result.

The alcoholic that succeeds loses some friends but becomes a better man. No longer a ‘functional’ alcoholic but a person that is functioning successfully in his marriage, with his kids, and with his work mates. The focus is not totally off of wanting the occasional drink, but the drive is there because of the better life, the new high he/she has now. Some people don’t want others to succeed because they are complacent in their lives. If they see change in others they feel the need to compete, and frankly do not want to commit to the work involved.

I am going to say something that some might see as blame on others and not on self, all that I am saying is there is a combination of the two. The pressure of others, the draw that is inside, and the lack of the strength or experience to face the worlds problems. All of this can cause relapse to the old person. While the old person returns, the fears, and comfort also return. I think, for me anyway, that fear of wondering if I did too much of something, the need for excess, the challenge of fooling others while I am on one of the best highs in my life, experiencing an overdose and beating it for one more day, the sudden crash that makes you so tired and depressed that all you can think of is what can I do next? Be it speed, pills, acid, whatever will pull you back up. A different high, a different day, the same concerns. That is what draws me back. I am used to those concerns, I know how to handle them. Life’s real internal problems, not so much. It is easier for me to go back into a lifestyle that I have known for 27 years, then being thrown into a lifestyle I have only known for one year and four months. That is what pains me in having to apologize to everyone that has supported me in this, and that has stood beside me. I found myself failing to succeed.

I have not gone back to speed, what I did was use my perfectly legal drugs in a perfectly illicit way. I have always been afraid to over do on psychological meds. And someone else has helped pay for them so respect to that I would not abuse them. However, the latest prescriptions are Prozac and Clonazepam both prescriptions are affordable so I pay for them myself. The Prozac is 60 mg while the Clonazepam is 0.5 mg, I take the Prozac right but come on, .5 mg’s? Really? For a guy my size I laugh at that. Studying up on it, Clonazepam, as I do each new drug I am given, I found out that it is highly addictive. This intrigued me, why is it addictive? I read more about overdose, and what to expect. I laughed at this being addictive and that is probably why I got such a low dosage. As I took them I found no difference and still did not see why someone would like these enough to be addicted to them. They probably had a higher dosage.

I was becoming frustrated I could not get across to the Psychiatrist what my problem was, and for my next visit Noreen was to come with me to show an outside view to what is wrong with me. But that was still a few weeks away, I wanted fixed now. The Lexapro that I was taking at the time kept me from crying and took away most of the depression, but I still had an underlying depression and anxiety that persisted. Also I was still suffering with something that I could not explain to others, frustration setting in I took more of the Clonazepam, four tabs equaled 2 mg, what could 2 mg do to me? Nothing in my mind except maybe help me with what was bugging me. The second day I ended up taking five adding up to 2.5 mg. I was also taken my Lexapro at the same time, though I was taking it correctly did not seem to help with the problem. I thought that I was hiding this pretty well, for two days I put myself and Nee-Nee in jeopardy. For the first time she was afraid of my driving, I stumbled around the house and my speech was slurred. I do not remember anything but bits and pieces of those days and was very ashamed of myself. As I said I thought that I was hiding it well enough and felt no real danger. I have over dosed on coke, meth, and pain pills, all of them are different feelings. But I have never overdosed on Psychiatric drugs before, I felt fine just so very sleepy by the second day. So out of character for me I laid down in the middle of the day to have a nap, just to be awaken by Noreen in my face, asking me how many were taken. She counted my pills and knew that I should have a lot more then I did. I was still groggy and probably under the influence of the medication, and mumbled a few lies. But she knew.

She had counted my pills while I was asleep, and then Googled overdose for Clonazepam: Trouble focusing, ability to walk being impaired, impaired judgment, slurred speech, loss of memory, sleepiness, and finally breathing halts altogether ending in death. I felt when I went to sleep that my breaths were not labored in fact I almost had to concentrate on my breathing, but not to the state of paranoia, but more of a peaceful rest. Noreen woke me up to make sure that I was still alive. She woke me up to get me out of falling back asleep again. The problem with overdosing on a drug like this is it is dangerous to go completely off of it, the irony is you have to continue taking it. This worried Noreen more, is it okay to go back to the normal dosage or should I ween myself back to that dosage. I went back to the prescribed dosage, and have been doing well since.

I went to the Psychiatrist with Noreen in tow, Tuesday. Noreen was able to explain that I over focus on everything. My mind cannot seem to stop thinking, this explained a lot to the Doctor, she said that it is in the Attention Deficit class but it is classified as Compulsive behaviour not allowing to let go of things. She took me off of Lexapro and gave me a substantial increase to Prozac, which seems to help, but I still have the underlying depression so far anyway. She also increased my dosage of Clonazepam to 1mg which is helping, but I still do not see the addictive quality of it, and no longer want to. I just want to get better now. I failed Noreen, almost to the point of losing everything. She has never experienced me having an overdose. I do not think that it was just from one day of taking it like that but the combination of the two days along with my other medication.

I feel like I failed Noreen, my kids, my friends, my Church family, the people that have supported me in all of this. I am truly sorry, and I promise I will not ever do that again. What is prescribed to me is to help me, and by me taking it in the way it is prescribed is the only way that we can see what hits and what misses. Until I get where I need to be. I know that this medication is for my own good to re-wire me, not to abuse or play doctor with. I learned a valuable lesson in all of this. I am sorry about my failure, I pray that you forgive me, as I have prayed for God’s forgiveness.

I think that is why I needed testimonies from my last post so that I would not feel alone in falling down, and maybe having others look at their struggles and consequent failures in some way would make mine seem normal. A normal relapse of days gone by, old habits dying hard waking up to a new life, with new people in it that I do care about and want to live to see.

D.

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