Drugs

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?

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.

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.

Using Our Recovery Feet

Over the years, I have learned about boundaries and the discernment needed in determining when to stay and when to go.

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet." Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11


These scriptures often deal with the spreading of the Gospel. And that is certainly the case. But I also see them applying to addiction/recovery matters as well.

1. We admitted we were powerless over a substance or behavior ─ our lives had become unmanageable.

Step One challenges our "I have this under control" lie we often tell ourselves.

I have encountered this from close family members, most specifically, my mother.

I was rather late arriving to the therapy party when it came to addressing my disordered eating/image issues. I wasn't in therapy as a skeletal anorexic, an impulsive bulimic or a ravenous overeater. No. It was a matter of "years later" when I finally decided I needed to face personal issues about myself. And I did it alone.

I did it alone because, when it came to dealing with those unpleasant and difficult issues, my family was unwilling to participate in unflattering truth's revelation.

I first encountered this as an emaciated anorexic.

The Power of Tears

"... I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee..."
2 Kings 20:5

There was once a product called "No More Tears" detangling spray I used frequently as a child. As a little girl, snarls were my reality; therefore, this product was mandatory. Mom pulled and sprayed my hair, while I'd stare at the bottle's portrait. Radiant mother was brushing radiant daughter's flowing tresses. There were no feelings of inadequacy, no complicated views of human emotions and no sore scalp. The bottle simply promised, "No More Tears."

If only life could be that easy.

But, indeed, my personal experience with tears has been un-easy. Crying - unpleasant emotion of any kind - was viewed and treated negatively, as something to be avoided, covered, silenced or punished. Tears were the uncomfortable evidence all is not well; there is disease, pain and trauma here.

However, in the last fifteen years, I have come to view tears through a healthier, more meaningful lens. As we deal with our addictions, disorders and traumas, addressing what our tears represent to us, we aren't far removed from the harmful beliefs which contribute to our struggles and thwart our recoveries.

I once stumbled across a photo which compared four types of human tears: tears of grief, tears of change, tears cried from onions and tears of laughter. I was struck by their imagery; each seemed to offer a specific signature concerning life experience.

Tears of Grief:

First, we see this microscopic picture of tears of loss. It resembles a sparse wasteland. To me, the prevalence of the tears' open space appears as a lonely island surround by an ocean. The impression I get from these magnified tears is one of disconnect.

And this was exactly where I was as I was confronted by my dad's death in 2003.

"The Easy Death:"

Even as I found connection within my faith as an adult, I still did not deal with the unresolved issues I had with him. By this point, I was married, living in another state, and pursuing my writing career. I had also been in therapy. Still, the dysfunctional relationship with my dad proved to be painful and powerful.

For the Alcoholic, the Addict and their Families

This is a poem written by Richard who is in prison:

Can I have a moment of silence for the addict that will die tonight
for the alcoholic who day after day is losing the fight
for babies born to our disease that will fight all of their life
not knowing recovery's possible and that they have the right
to belong with us in our fellowship yes part of our alliance
where we come to seek comfort happiness not to mention guidance
from one another here everyone is living in reliance
in our community we have a voice where others demand silence

Breaking Habits, Are You Ready?

Part 1 Breaking Habits | Part 2 Tapping into the Unknown | Part 3 Breaking Habits and Sin | Part 4 God's Love | Part 5 Scary Secrets | Part 6 Are You Ready?

Procrastination Inspires Paralysis
One of the character defects that I struggle with is that of procrastination. Boy, howdy, does this give me fits. It comes from willfully pausing my life's pursuits just before success is achieved. It is fear that success will bring more responsibility and I will have show that I'm ready to accept this change.

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