Was I One of "Those" Who Couldn't Recover?

You may be caught in an endless cycle of addiction, whether it be sex, drugs, alcohol, porn, relationships, food, whatever. Your heart is in the right place and you desperately want freedom from the bondage and slavery which is addiction. But the miracle has not happened. No matter how hard you try or how often or earnestly you call out to God the results are the same.

Do not loose heart! I too was caught in that very same vicious cycle. Even though I believed in God with all my heart and soul I could not find release from the cravings of addiction. No matter what I did or what I tried I would get sucked straight back into behaviors that I dreaded. It was a nightmare. There seemed no end to it. I felt weak, unworthy of God, useless, and ashamed.

This went on for years and quite honestly, I had given up all hope on myself. I had not given up on God but I figured I was destined to die still a slave to my addiction and behavior. So many others had shared with me their "miracle" of freedom. Some had been magically zapped and instantaneously healed. For others it was a long process--a progression of two steps forward and one step back. But they were making progress. I was stuck and even felt as if I was slipping further away from any hope of wholeness. The black hole had me in its deadly grip.

I searched scripture, prayed, read the Big Book of AA and an endless stream of recovery books and materials. It seemed that others were being released but not me. The Big Book says:

    "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasp- ing and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest." pg. 58

Was I one of *those*? Was I incapable of giving myself to a program of recovery? Was I constitutionally incapable of being honest with myself? Was I just an "unfortunate?"

My frustration mounted and I gave up on the thought of ever recovering. Sheer, utter hopelessness. Defeat. The end.

That is when God moved in my life. And He moved very powerfully.

I was reading a passage in the Big Book that I had read hundreds of times before. It is on pages 84 and 85. As you read it, substitute the words alcohol or liquor with your addiction or dysfunction:

    "And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone-- even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have re- turned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality--safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition."

It was then that it happened. I HAD given up struggling. I had given up totally and completely. I was powerless and going straight down the tubes. It was at that moment of realization that God reached down and grabbed me by the collar. He pulled me up just short of death. Alcohol had not gone away. But something changed. I was now neutral to it. There was no longer a fight. I used to be in constant fisticuffs with satan himself when it came to the desire to drink. But now the fight was over. No more struggling. It was over.

Quiet.......
            Peace......
                        Serenity

I can not explain this. It is truly a miracle. It is not because of anything I did. This was the Grace of God in action. God sneaked up on me when I least expected it.

No matter how black things may seem to you there is a Light. His name is Jesus Christ. The icy hardness of hopelessness can and will melt away in the warmth of His acceptance and grace.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Keep coming back until your miracle happens.

Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Note: Obie is the founder and executive director of Christians in Recovery.
Yes, miracles do happen!

Listen to an interview with Obie

~ * ~
Copyright by S. O. Brennan
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
S. O. Brennan is the Director of
Christians in Recovery and the author of the
Christians in Recovery Workbook & Meeting Guide
Christians in Recovery Devotional Journal
and editor of
Morning Exercises - Daily Devotional

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