Robin Williams: A Genie’s Wish for a Gentle Genius

Robin William 9 framedRobin Williams is dead. I, like millions around the world, grieve his loss. For a moment, I wish I could be a genie and take him back to August 10th, and somehow give back to him the peace and rationality of mind that apparently was hijacked on August 11th. I’d slay the the beast that told his mind the heart-breaking lies that his family and all of us would be better off without him.  I’d demolish the deceptions that whispered, “These people don’t know you; they DON’T care about you!”

If I were Robin’s genie, I’d turn back time and I’d pour all the side-splitting laughter he inspired out of my magic genie bottle. In that moment, Robin’s feet would feel the roar of the heavens. Next a tsunami of healing tears that millions of us cried  would wash him clean of all doubts that plagued him. He would feel the healing release we felt as we related to the dramatic characters he portrayed. Through the characters he became, he taught us how to elevate our own humanity.

As the last tear poured out of my bottle I’d say, “Look! YOU did this! Do you know how many lives you touched, even changed for the good, simply by being YOU?”

I’d tell him life isn’t always hard, and the finish line is closer than it appears. Sometimes it’s “only” our feelings or brain chemistry, sometimes both that get in the way. At times, it’s an overwhelming fear of our future that hasn’t yet happened. More often, it’s our shame and regret we carry of our past that actually did.   Our inner critic takes up the megaphone and bombards us with lies our exhausted spirit so easily believes:

  • You’re disgusting.
  • You can’t do this.
  • You always make a mess of things.
  • It won’t be long and people will see you for the imposter you really are.
  • You aren’t loved; you’re not even worthy of being loved.

Our mind believes, even obeys the lies, even as our heart struggles to keep beating.

And sometimes—well, we’re just tired. Tired of the way things actually are, and how far our lives resemble the way we wish it to be. If only we could make ideal happen. That too is a lie. That would imply control. Even a genie in a bottle doesn’t have that kind of power.

Robin Williams could pull off hi-octane hilarity as easily as he could pull emotionally jarring serious roles out of the hat and bring his characters to life. You didn’t watch a Robin Williams movie once or twice, but three, four, five times sometimes more. They were that good. He had a way of pulling you into the story as you watched. He was a staple in our DVD collections, and will always have permanent residency in our hearts.

Robin Williams 2Robin didn’t shy away from the topics of the brain pains that so plagued him: Addiction. Depression. It was obvious he had a deep well from which to draw his inspiration from—his own mind. He even found ways to educate us about the perils of addiction and mental illness in classic Robin Williams fashion: taking on the subjects we’re not always comfortable discussing, helping us laugh about it, and perhaps learn something too.

Torment and genius coexisted in his world, but it one brief moment, torment took the lead. That is why we grieve, but it is not that moment we will choose to remember. To do that would be to dishonor his incredible work and his gifted soul.

This is the ugly reality of living with mental illness and/or addiction: It is a continuous attempt, like scaling a mountain, to just “be normal” while periodically, sometimes continually, having to live life while invisible lying voices (or thoughts) fight for control of your mind.   Even when surrounded by compassionate, intuitive, and loving people, it’s still so easy to fall into the abyss. Sometimes even love is just not enough.

Simply put, when the brain is in pain such as mental illness, depression, or addiction, the “mind lies” simply overwhelm the heart’s desire to live.  Checking out seems like a reasonable alternative; it seems like a possibility for rest, peace, and a reprieve from the pain that continually chases you.  

If I were a genie, I’d try to be like the compassionate therapist Dr. MacGuire in Good Will Hunting: I’d tell all the addicts, the depressed, and the mentally ill people I know:

“It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. Did you hear me? It’s not your fault.”

Robin Williams 9

I’d keep saying it until they believed me. I’d explain the difference between faulty brain wiring and faulty choices and because I’m a genie they’d hear the truth because it’s spoken in love. Sometimes love has to break us, before truth can change us.

Above all, I’d listen. I’d sit silently with Robin and those like him in the pit for a while– if that’s what they needed, while they figured some things out. I’d ask them if they wanted to share their pain, because burdens are carried more easily when the load is shared among friends.

If I were a genie, I’d absolutely want to be like the character Chris of What Dreams May Come who died and would rather forgo heaven, risking even hell, then to not go back and rescue those blinded by grief, confusion, and loss. Chris knows what we know: Heaven without our loved ones is not much of a heaven at all. Yes, if I were a genie, I’d absolutely make certain that the lost were never abandoned.

But I’m not a genie; I’m a mortal. As are you. As was Robin. We have a heart of flesh capable of corruption and a mind vulnerable to deception and lies of a crafty and unseen enemy bent on our destruction.    We get up each morning, drink our coffee, and step out in the sunshine and whistle a happy tune as we go off to war. The battle for our sanity, our incredibly limited gift of time, and the souls of those we love all constitute the daily prize we strive for as we fight to save that which could be lost.   We try to avoid the landmines of fear and doubt and exhaustion as we fight an unseen enemy with courage and faith. It’s a daunting task.

We have to learn to let go of the shame of admitting our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities, our doubts and insecurities to someone else, perhaps even the world.  Honesty, humility, and a sense of humor are helpful to manage daily life.

But when we’re in the depths of deep pain, it is essential that somewhere deep down, we obey that small voice that begs us to reach out and tell someone else, “Hey! I’m dying over here. Can you help a brother out?”

And when someone confides the depths of their darkness? We compassionate citizens have a duty to Stop! Drop (everything)! Listen! Get Help!   The best window of opportunity to help the profoundly depressed or addicted is this moment! Don’t let the fires of depression or addiction rage out of control.

Only then can those we love leave their place of despair and journey towards recovery and healing. Then they can finally know in the seat of their soul, that despite any perceived gaps in intelligence, or flaws of character, we are all worthy of being loved and getting the necessary help we so richly deserve.

Robin taught us so much in just a few of these characters he became: The loveable man-child Jack Powell, compassionate Dr. Patch Adams, flighty Professor Brainard, Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer, NDR14 Robot Andrew Martin, therapist Dr. Sean MacGuire, Daniel Hilliard a.k.a. Mrs. Doubfire, Penguins Ramone and Lovelace, Teacher John Keating, Popeye, a grief-stricken Chris Nielsen, and of course a loveable blue Genie whose only wish for himself was to be free. He taught us thru theater, but also as the man he actually was in real life:

  • The nobility of teaching and serving others
  • The power of healing by loving others
  • The tangible help of providing a shoulder to cry on
  • The blessed gift of giving others a moment to smile, or better yet a chance to laugh until they cry

Fly free Robin! And may heaven’s beauty exceed even your dreams!

Robin Williams family

—————————————————————————————————————

Suicide Prevention:

http://www.afsp.org/

http://will-to-live.org/

Addiction Prevention:

http://www.samhsa.gov/

Mental Health:

http://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/

Also noteworthy:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katie-hurley/theres-nothing-selfish-about-suicide_b_5672519.html

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Give ‘Em Salty Snacks! (The Gift of Uncomfortableness)

 

Stubborn HorseThe last few months I’ve been getting support in a recovery group for those who love someone who struggles with addiction.

At first glance, I thought Hey, I’m not like these folks! They have issues. I’m in much better control than they are!

Ha! But something compelled me to go back just in case I was a little wrong. Uh-huh. By the second meeting, I heard some stories and thought to myself Dang! These folks have nearly the exact same story we do—different name, different day, same story. By the third meeting, I realized I was exactly like these people. Maybe they can teach me a thing or two.    Everything about recovery starts with this:

You are not in control. (Whether you are the addict or the one who loves them, REPEAT: You are not in control.) Only God is in control.

But being the loved one of an addict, with more finesse than a Shakespearean drama, we find our roles to play in our family, because we are motivated by one thing:

The possibility of loss

And that drives everything we do. We want them to stop. It’s wrecking their health. It’s bankrupting them and us. It’s harshing our mellow and messing up our normal. (Now there’s a book!) Our motivations are good. Our love is pure. Our need to control is oh so……addicting! If we could just MAKE them stop.   I KNOW now, I can’t make anyone do anything.

However, somebody I respect dearly, told me something a while back that not only perked up my ears, but was music to my soul. With profound wisdom, and a sly wink, he said:

True, you can’t lead a horse to water and make him drink, but you sure can give him salty snacks!

Oh, friend! What joy those words gave me!

Because even though I believe ultimately that God is in control, I am seeing we do indeed have a role to fulfill, a position in God’s army—a post we are to man!

We can be diligent: We will not ignore our intuition and bury our head in the sand when we know something is wrong.

We can confront the truth in love: We can clearly articulate the evidence we are seeing that shows the destruction or potential for it in terms of health, finances, or legality. This immediately falls into the next step:

We can establish healthy boundaries: Once a problem is stated—clearly, concisely, without condemnation or judgment, we can immediately let the other person know that because we love them we will in no way enable them in terms of money, excuses, or emotional support for the choices that harm them and have the potential to destroy them, and possibly harm or destroy others (such as driving, working, or parenting under the influence here).

We can encourage and help them in every way to seek the help they desperately need, and take practical steps to lead that horse to water. An addict has to first get uncomfortable in his or her addiction.  If we keep rewarding them in anyway (money, acceptance of the habit by believing their lies “it’s just the way I’m wired, etc.”) we are actually partnering in their destruction, possibly others.

Whenever human life is at risk (theirs or others), we have an obligation to protect the innocent. Yes, this means calling law enforcement sometimes. If an addict drives under the influence, has illegal drugs in the home or around children, you have a duty to protect! Sometimes legal consequences are the only thing that finally motivates them. Even if it doesn’t motivate them, as a moral citizen, you have a duty to protect the innocent.

I learned this about boundaries: NO!  The word no is a complete sentence!

We can get help for ourselves. Sometimes we’re not strong enough.   Loved ones of addicts are prone to the same insecurities, hurts, hang-ups, and disappointments that addicts are. Getting stronger mentally, and also physically (working out, getting enough rest, eating healthy) are steps essential to our well-being. We can’t help anyone else if we are falling apart.

We can trust God, our higher power. This is the hard part for me. It’s not that I don’t trust God. I just always feel like there might be one more thing that I should be doing, that I’m not.   I have to trust that when I’ve done all I can do for the day, the rest is up to God. I can’t do more than I did. I can’t know what I haven’t learned yet. I only have enough courage, energy, strength, and grace for today!

If someone you love is struggling with addiction, I pray you get help for yourself. Join a local Alanon or Naranon group today!   This is support: Seeking others with the same struggles as yourself and learning healthy coping skills and perhaps a few “salty snack” recipes so they realize you are no longer a part of the environment that allows addiction to thrive. This is NOT support: Rehashing dramatic stories but offering NO solutions or NOT BEING receptive to new ways of thinking or doing things.

Above all don’t fall into the trap that you are powerless; you’re not!   If you do, you will fall into the same rut as the addict you love. Though you can’t change them and they have to do the work for themselves, you too can learn to think and behave differently. You can give them the salty snacks, also known as the gift of uncomfortableness, in leading them towards the steps to recovery!

What you allow

 

Don’t Give Up – God’s Promises for the Addict (& Their Family)

To anyone who feels hopeless , I say to you “Don’t give up.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:5 NIV)

To anyone who has given into temptation for what may be or seems like the 5,347th time—Don’t give up.

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 The Msg.)

To anyone who feels like they can’t get up and go on just one more day – Don’t give up.

Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; He won’t leave you (Deuteronomy 31:6 The Msg.)

To anyone who is ashamed of who they are – Don’t give up.

For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (Isaiah 50:7 NASB)

To anyone who has been abandoned by people they love – Don’t give up.

You’ve always been right there for me; don’t turn your back on me now.
Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me; you’ve always kept the door open.
My father and mother walked out and left me, but God took me in.

Point me down your highway, God; direct me along a well-lighted street; show my enemies whose side you’re on.
Don’t throw me to the dogs, those liars who are out to get me, filling the air with their threats.

I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit!!
I’ll say it again:  Stay with God.
(Psalm 27:10-14 The Msg.)

To anyone who things thinks they aren’t strong enough – Don’t give up. You are stronger than you know.

I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13

God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Psalm 46:5

To anyone who has no way out or feels like they don’t. – Don’t give up. Look up. Help is closer than you think.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121: 1-8 NIV)

To anyone who isn’t convinced they are loveable or loved, I implore you: Don’t give up! That’s a lie. You are worthy of being loved and are always loved by God who created you.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)

Have you been an encouragement or loved an addict, or their family today? We are fighting the good fight with everything we’ve got! Our hurt is helped by your love!

Addicts, like us, are not beyond redemption!

Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. (Galatians 4:14)

Don't Give Up

 

 

Not Like Them

Have you ever said these words?

I’ll never do that. I’m not like them.

Or maybe you’ve said these words to your kids:

Over my dead body! Like hell you will! I don’t care if EVERYONE ELSE is doing _____ or going _______, you’re not– you’re NOT LIKE THEM!

Oh these bitter words, how I’ve eaten them, choked on them, and even had my share of second helpings.

I used to think if I was a good enough mother, a “good enough” Christian (not possible) or worked hard enough, my kids would turn out A-OK!   I did it all: work, raised my kids, did a zillion activitities that were a testimony as to how I was involved. You see, I was like you. I cared. Oh, how I cared.

I prayed over them. I loved them. I discussed right and wrong with them. I gave them freedom to make their own choices but didn’t hover over them to a point they couldn’t think for themselves. I made mistakes and got other things right. Like every other parent I know, I was far from perfect, but together with my husband, along the path of mistakes and triumphs, we did the best we could.

But our lives changed irrevocably a few years ago. Something happened to our family that is sadly enough taking America’s youth by storm right now.

It’s not something that happens to families “like” ours. After all, WE’RE NOT LIKE THEM!

Addiction. Heroin specifically. It nearly killed our son.   The legal/psychological/logistical/financial drama that ensued felt like it would kill me on many days. Oh, so many many days. But failure is not an option, especially when you’re kid’s life literally hangs in the balance.

There is still work, finances, other children, parents, activities, responsibilities that don’t go away just because you’re in crisis mode. Still….

I can’t afford to be silent anymore!!

I’ve lived through too much. We’ve lost a lot. But I’ve gained a perspective, and above all a compassion for those that walk this journey with us. We are all fighting so hard. And right now it feels like we are winning (8 months sober!)  But looks and feels can be deceptive. Because for every daily battle that feels/appears like a victory to us, another family loses the war and has to make final arrangements.

Tonight in my weekly support group something SNAPPED inside me. A fifth child of a parent passed away specifically from opiate addiction. We all grieved collective tears while internally, perhaps selfishly thanking God it wasn’t us this time. But it shouldn’t be ANY of us!

And like AIDS in the 80s, SILENCE = DEATH.

I wanted to wait until my son gave me permission to tell the story.   I don’t want to diminish his dignity in anyway so the parts that belong only to him won’t be discussed.  But this is BIGGER than just his story, it’s our story, perhaps it’s yours or someone you love, and it’s rapidly becoming America’s story!

Addiction is a family disease. And it is a disease that kills when left in the closet.

I plan to write more as I feel the Spirit prompt me that this part is okay to tell,but I (along with several dozen friends in my family support group) as well as my best friend who has written a book on the subject of addiction have decided it’s past time to go ALL OUT.

Our children and our loved ones are too precious to lose.

We used to have routine. Stability. Financial peace.   All that got scrambled up a bit. But it’s all good.

God is so merciful and definitely in control. I seek his wisdom daily and on most days, have his peace. I am grateful for my addict, and love him with an endless love that knows no bounds! I’ve come to appreciate our somewhat unpredictable life. Perhaps our neighbors have manicured lawns and squeeky clean lives. But we’re not like them.

We are also your neighbors, your friends, your family members, your people beside you at church, and who chat with you in the store or LIKE what you say on Facebook!   We’re real, with real problems, but are fortunate enough to have a REAL GOD who has shown us nothing but REAL LOVE in so many ways.

I’ve decided it’s time to share what I’ve learned and am learning about addiction (from the perspective of “someone who loves an addict” because silence equals submission. I will not be quiet as addiction (particularly opiate addiction) is spreading across our country like wildfire right now and devouring our children.

We have an enemy. I am not afraid.

I have an addict. I am not ashamed.

We have a good God who is in control, even when our lives our not. Therefore, we have a hope and a future.

I have something to say. I hope you will hear with an open heart and open mind.

 

PLEASE CONTINUE and read this moving blog from my dearest friend (14 years sober) who “walks the 12” daily with courage and grace and stands in agreement that we MUST MUST MUST get past the shame of addiction, and get to the root of what drives it, so that people can find healing!  http://thebeggarsbakery.net/2014/02/03/skewer-the-stigma-in-the-wake-of-losing-a-star-an-addict-shares-who-we-are/

Brain Pain: What Addiction Is and What It Isn’t

We are NEVER ever going to win the war on addiction if we keep TRYING TO FIGHT THE ADDICT.   We will not win the war on drugs, if we don’t first become messengers of peace and understanding for the people in pain so driven to use them.

Cocaine old picture

    Addiction is about a brain disease It is NOT about bad people!  OK, I admit, their choices become increasingly worse over time when left untreated.  Worse still, when coupled with mental illness, memories of a traumatic childhood (which is often), poverty, and above all neglect, condemnation, and a whole world which seems to be telling them at every juncture:

YOU ARE UNLOVEABLE!!  YOU ARE NOT WORTHY!

       You are not worthy of success.  You are not worthy of being loved.  You are not even worthy of me paying attention to you.   You know you’re never gonna beat this.   These are the unwanted demons that try and take up permanent residency in the addict’s mind

        This IS addiction:  A brain disease resulting from a brain in the pain.  It  is a brain that runs low on an essential neurotransmitter chemical called dopamine manufactured in the nucleus acummbens of the prefrontal cortex of your brain.  Without manufacturing of or release of it, you CAN NOT experience pleasure, or relief from pain or stress.  This brain pain may be physical; often it’s mental.  It’s almost always both.   With addiction comes memory problems and learning difficulties, not to mention a disruption of stability in every life area: work, family, financial, personal, and spiritual.   Often an addict will be adamant that without their substance of choice, they don’t feel “normal”.

     This IS NOT addiction:  A “bad” person.   An addict it not someone who “is determined” to just keep screwing up or make the wrong choice.  It is NOT something you can control in or for someone else simply because you have more willpower than they do.  Addicts learn to be crafty because the disease drives them; if they were in the driver’s seat, they wouldn’t CHOOSE to be an addict.   If you are an addict, chances are pretty high, you can’t even control it yourself.  Help is available; by all means seek it.

The addiction is the diseased brain.  This part the addict can not control!  The habit is the CHOICE that feeds it.  This part CAN be changed!

     When we tell an addict to just stop without understanding the severity of their illness (the longer the addiction, the sicker the brain) or the depth of their pain, we may as well be telling them to go part the ocean.  It’s not possible because they can’t do this alone.  

    All is not lost.  This does not mean an addict is condemned to stay that way.  There is a better way.  The brain has neuroplasticity!  It can be “re-wired.”  Oh what great hope awaits!

      But it takes this:

  • Time (The reinforced circuits of your habit take time to heal and be rewired)
  • Consistent, willing participation in the healing process (Usually a combination of medical care, rehab, recovery groups, therapy)
  • Love, Compassion, &  Acceptance from family and friends (This is NOT the same as enabling of habit or acceptance of bad behavior.  SEPARATE your love for the addict from the bad behavior.  This is hard!)
  • Praise & Encouragement NOT judgment and condemnation.
  • Prayers and Positive thoughts

If you or someone you love struggles with addiction, I implore you to read what a dear friend of mine has written about addiction below.  Learn all you can about the disease!  Because knowledge is power.  When we understand the science of addiction, we can stop fighting with the addict.  Instead, we can be a PARTNER IN LOVE AND ENCOURAGEMENT to the addict willing to seek help. It’s only then that we can start tearing down the walls that hold the addict’s mind hostage–a mind that is currently forbidden experiencing the joy that comes when we learn we can endure and triumph over our suffering. 

If you’re an addict or love someone who is, tell someone.  Get help.  Find an AA or Celebrate Recovery (if you’re the addict) or an Alanon or Nar-Anon group if you love an addict.  There is hope.  One step at a time.  Day by day.

May you live with the hope that comes from healing.  And God bless you!

Please read what my dear friend, writer, and recovering addict of 14 years has to say about addiction here.  Addicts are not junk.  They are NOT a hopeless case.   Above all, don’t give up on them or yourself!!!

Skewer the Stigma: In the Wake of Losing a Star — An Addict Shares Who We Are

The Crave and The Fix

One of my dearest friends in the world sent me King and Country’s  CD recently called “The Crave.”  If every other song wasn’t spectacularly amazing, this one brought it home—

It broke me

        If you’ve ever struggled with addiction or loved someone who has, then listen to this I beg you.  You’ll get it.

See I’m a strong girl.   These are the things I used to CRAVE:

  • Control
  • Stability
  • A Plan (see Control)
  • Having “it” together (family, work, my house, appearance, finances….the list goes on)

And then The Beast came to our home.  To my heart—an uninvited stranger who moved in without warning or permission—and foreclosed on my heart, and mercilessly tried to wreck my life, and that of my family.

We’re still processing and mending.  But above all I’m still believing and I’m still loving.  I’m living through something that nearly took away someone I love so much more than my own life and who all I wanted to do was :

FIX

      Surely, if I craved fixing my addict just a bit more than this person craved a fix, I’d be able to:

  • Convince them
  • Change them
  • Fix them
  • Make it all better

But I failed.  Or at least I thought I did.  Because sometimes human love isn’t enough I was so busy taking on the roles of detective, nurse, lawyer, and defensive lineman often simultaneously,   that it took me a while for me to learn it isn’t all my fault.  And it isn’t all theirs.

Addiction is two things:  A genetic predisposition and a choice.  The choice is the first time.  The addiction is all the times that come after.

I know now it won’t be me that can fix this.  Because THE FIX may be my goal, but it’s not my role.  This is something only God can do as my loved one decides to get extremely intellectually honest or in street lingo: Keepin’ it real y’all! 

“The others”–the ones what have walked this journey of one day at a time for some time now,  through shared experience, accountability, and unconditional love, will have to help my loved one pick up the pieces that I could not.

      This is what it’s like for the addict and the family:  Excruciatingly painful.  Isolating.  Really scary.  Exhausting.  Sometimes you feel judged or are misunderstood by those who haven’t ever been exposed to this.

But the suffering is also something more.  It’s redemptive.  Beauty shines brighter thru wet tears.  Appreciation for now comes when you lose so much and almost lose—well, everything.   Every other problem becomes so small.

And now I know people, too many, that have lost this battle.  People that suffer silently.  And I won’t be doing that any more.  My battlefield is becoming my mission field.

For I am not ashamed of the one I love who is getting the help they need.  I will forever be their:

  • Advocate, but not their enabler.  I will speak the truth, but in love.
  • Cheerleader, because encouragement is the seed that can blossom into confidence.
  • Prayer warrior, because the biggest battles are won on our knees, and the biggest war is fought for our hearts and mind.  If you think you don’t have an enemy bent to destroy both or either, you deceive yourself.

So devil take warning:

  • I am unmoved by you.
  • I am undeterred.
  • Above all I am not defeated—not now, not ever.

Because I have the King of kings on my side.  You have already lost.  For I have tasted The Cure .  His name is Jesus.  He is not just our Saviour, He is also our Saver and Redeemer.  He really does save the lost.  He really does comfort those who mourn and are crushed in spirit.   He does this not only because we first believed, but more importantly because He first loved us. 

Without faith, it’s not only impossible to understand this; I think it’s impossible to see the everyday miracles that God decides to bless us with.  Life is a mystery. It’s full of both joy and suffering, sometimes simultaneously.  Deserving neither, we experience both as a gift of opportunity to question everything until finally we reach the end of our limited human understanding.  That’s where we end, and God can finally begin.

       And to the families touched by addiction?  You are not alone.  You do not have to walk this journey alone.   May you find the courage to find a support group and attend meetings, find a supportive and empathetic church, and/or a close circle of true friends who get it, and may you come to believe and trust in a loving God who already has the power to heal all that ails you.    After all, we could all stand to take a hit of a drop of grace. 

Hope.  Love.   Believe.  And you shall live.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13

Support possibilities for you or a loved one who suffers from addiction:

http://www.celebraterecovery.com/

http://al-anon.alateen.org/?gclid=CImZo7jw5LsCFa9lOgod2kcAkw

http://www.aa.org/

http://www.narconon.org/

http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/addiction_hijacks_brain.htm