The Purgatory of Substance Abuse

My world had become a blend of gray reality and false-colored fantasy.

Splintered into that gray tapestry, were week long, and sometimes longer, excursions of drug abuse. I had a real talent for sliding into high-octane moments and remained there until the dope and the money ran out. When it did, I became frozen in time not knowing what to do. It felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room. I would define that period of my life as my “purgatory”.

Biblically speaking, Hades is not purgatory. We’ve learned that those who are in Hades have no possibility of entering heaven – in contrast, purgatory is believed to have an exit. After the soul is purified by the suffering of purgatory, then and only then are we allowed to enter the gates of heaven.

Purgatory can be defined as a temporary place of punishment for those who have left this world, waiting to be purified before they can move on to the next.

In medieval times, there was a belief that nobody was righteous enough to enter a heavenly world unless they had been purged of wrong doings they committed in the mortal world.

Purgatory, in theory, may last for a few years or for eternity, depending on the level of repentance one has applied; but eventually it would come to an end.

By the grace of God, for me, the purgatory of substance abuse was a temporary event – over twenty years of self-induced punishment. If I ever entered in that purgatory again, the Jackal would probably move in for the kill!

StevenCopyright 2008 by Steven White, all rights reserved.
Used by permission.

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