Addiction

Colleen: Depression, Panic, PTSD, Agoraphobia, Rape, Drugs & ADHD

In my 26 years of life, I can now say that I am happy to be alive. My name is Colleen, I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I have been diagnosed with severe depression, severe panic disorder, PTSD, agoraphobia, adult ADHD and a learning disability. I am a single mommy of the most beautiful little girl named Kristen. In her 17 months of life, she has taught me enough to last a lifetime. Motherhood has taught me just how strong I can be.

I grew up with a severely abusive alcoholic father. He was verbally abusive, and he sexually abused myself and my sister and brother. I started drinking and using drugs at the age of 14, and over the next 12 years, would sink deep down into my own personal hell.

I Was Out of Control

--What was out of control?

I spent 11 years on the streets of Los Angeles and on the road shooting heroin with a child in tow. As a single mom, every bit of my life was consumed with finding a fix and convincing myself that this was a good idea. The implications of this type of life are fairly clear and there are many who have made this trek. Basically, I was a whore, a cheater, a thief (I think media calls them "players" today) and, if I wasn't physically in the gutter, I was morally and spiritually living in the dirt. With out God, either from denial or rejection, one is often "out-of-control."

--How did this affect you?

I was Scared Half to Death Not Knowing What to Expect

For my birthday I bought and drank a bottle of wine. I ended up in a christian chat room where there was a young lady that had drug problems someone in there had told her about CIR and I took down the site wondering if it wasn't also a message for me to reach out for help.

I ended up coming to CIR I was scared half to death not knowing what to expect. I attended a few online meetings before I had the courage to share. I started to share and found out I wasn't as different as I had suspected. I posted soon after for a sponsor and luckily got one. She's been a blessing to my recovery and has supported me threw my first year.

My first six months of sobriety I was sick and spent a lot of time in the doctor's office. It was one thing after another. In February I started to get into some bad things my thoughts were far from walking with God I was walking and praying Lord show me your will for me. I looked up and saw a man walking ahead of me with a picture of Jesus and his head in thorns and a cross on his t shirt. I said OK Lord. I knew He was saying that He wanted me to follow Him and not be going in the direction I was.

Secrecy and Lies

"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." Deuteronomy 5:20

Who would have guessed a doll could teach me about secrecy and lying?

When I was a child, I received a much-desired china doll, actually named after Florence Nightingale. So, obviously, when my mother bought her for me, I was thrilled, so thrilled, I shared my excitement with the wrong person: my dad.

"Earthquake, thunder, fire and fathers."
Japanese Proverb

No More Crumbs!

My name is Tony. I was born in North Carolina and at the age of 1 1/2 moved to the suburbs of Chicago. I was raised without any formal teaching in the area of religion, quite the contrary. My parents were pretty secular in their views and also quite liberal in their thinking. They believed in the Alderian concept of child rearing, which is to say they let me get away with murder( not literally)...

By the time I reached 12 or 13 I was pretty much classified as a juvenile delinquent. Though there weren't many repercussions because I never got caught. This activity ranged from stealing cars to burglary to vandalism. And most of the time I got away with it. At the same time I started drinking and doing drugs. Most of the escapades I pulled were when I was drunk, high or bored. Usually all three. I started drinking alcoholically from day one. One wasn't enough and neither were thirteen. I drugged the same way. Starting out with pot then speed, downers, PCP, coke then LSD. Usage was recreational (or so I thought) at first, then I started dealing to keep my habit costs down. By the time I was sixteen I was dealing a pound every two or three days and dropping six hits of blotter at a time just to catch a buzz. At seventeen I totaled my mothers VW and went through the windshield. I also was of legal age to join

Pot, Whiskey, Acid, Crank...

My name is Tim, I will by forty five next month. I accepted Christ as my Lord when I was just like 9 or 10 at a Nazarene Church summer school thing I got invited to. And my Mom saw to it that I went to church even if I was the only one in the house that did. I went through confirmation class and all that at the Methodist Church. So I knew about God, and His plan through Christ. I thought I knew what separation from God meant. I thought I knew what hell was all about.

Pins and Needles: Chronic Abuse and Trauma

Our formative years present the potential for self-harm to thrive. Our early experiences, for better or worse, shape us. And sometimes, that shaping can take the form of addiction. Hypervigilance often results from certain incidents, in which trauma somehow established our need to self-medicate.

"... When a child grows up afraid or under constant or extreme stress, the immune system and body’s stress response systems may not develop normally. Later on, when the child or adult is exposed to even ordinary levels of stress, these systems may automatically respond as if the individual is under extreme stress... Adults with histories of trauma in childhood have been shown to have more chronic physical conditions and problems. They may engage in risky behaviors that compound these conditions (e.g., smoking, substance use, and diet and exercise habits that lead to obesity)." "Effects of Complex Trauma," http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/complex-trauma/effects-of-complex-trauma

My first memory, a traumatic one at that, was when I was three years old; my parents decided to move the family’s sewing machine from one floor of our house to another. But they neglected to remove its drawers, filled with hundreds of needles and pins. Inevitably, I toddled downstairs, stepping on many of them.

Practicing Patience and Addiction

What a mysterious thing is this enemy of ours - as mysterious as life itself.

Addiction is sometimes without explanation. However, we are aware of its presence and how miserable it makes us feel. How little we like to speak of it, discuss it, or consider its importance! When cornered, we discuss the thought as quickly as possible. That being said, doesn't it seem strange that we spend so much time feeding our addictions? Furthermore, when we have finally had enough, why do we not spend an equal amount of time and energy trying to recover from those same addictions.

Are You Cultivating Life Saving Fruit?

Let's imagine that recovery grew on a vine, and like grapes in a valley, it would need proper soil cultivation, sunlight, water, fertilization, and pruning to bear fruit.

Wouldn't it be nice if your recovery would bear enough fruit to eliminate fruit-bearing guides, books, classes and counselors? That being asked and answered, what would your mandatory concerns be to make that a reality in your struggles to grow recovery-bearing fruit?

Your concerns should be the following:

  • Make sure your potential fruit-bearing recovery plan is connected to the vines clearly with unobstructed prayer.
  • That you cultivate and prune your life by working a Twelve-Step Program.

Trying to Find Your Way Back?

Every so often the familiar and even somewhat predictable "amnesia scenario" is resurrected for another made-for-TV-movie or sitcom. The actor stares blankly into once-loved faces and professes no recognition whatsoever. Places, sounds, smells, even names--nothing seems familiar. Memory has been lost; hence, a sense of identity has been lost as well.

And that is exactly what has happened to us--all of us. We have lost our memory. Like the prodigal son's older brother who toiled endlessly and joyously in the fields, we have forgotten who we are and where we came from. But the forgetting goes beyond the pigsty from which the Father has rescued the prodigals. It extends back to the beginning--to a time when our identity was secure in our fellowship with the Father.
Before the rebellion...
Before the fall...
Before the exile.

As a result, our world is in the midst of an ongoing identity crisis. We walk around, day after day, year after year, generation after generation, trying to find our way back to....somewhere.... hoping that when we get there, someone will recognize us and tell us who we are.

The problem is, even if we figure out where that "somewhere" is, we cannot get ourselves back there, contrary to a song that was popular in the late '60s and early '70s that proclaimed the need to get ourselves back to the Garden.

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