“We need to love each other”

“We need to love each other”

First, have a plan.  Whenever possible, go to the celebrations with another sober person.  If you will be going to a family party, make sure that you tell the host not to serve you any alcohol and to provide a substitute non-alcoholic drink.  Of course, the same thing goes for any drugs.  Tell the host or others that you are sober and that you want nothing to do with any alcohol or drugs.

Plan on how long you will be at the party. Let the host know in advance, that if you begin to feel uncomfortable, that you might leave early.  Pray before, during and after the event.  It could be risky to go out to a bar or additional party, because that is when the real drinking or drug use usually occurs.  Use common sense, and do not put yourself in any risky situations. One night is not worth a relapse that could lead to big trouble.

If you are very new to sobriety, you should follow all of these suggestions and then also set up a reward at the end of the evening, for staying sober.  For example you might take a walk or a bike ride, or have a special desert like chocolate or ice cream or both. Tickets to a movie with a friend.  Use as a reward, whatever motivates you in a healthy way.  Sometimes in the beginning of our sobriety, we have to condition our minds and train ourselves by using positive reinforcement.

Staying sober is the most important thing that we must do, because it determines the course of our lives.  Literally, our choice is to live or to die.

A few words of caution.  Some friends or family members will not respect your choice not to drink.  In fact, they may go out of their way to hassle you about not drinking, and they may try to embarrass you into drinking with them.  They care nothing for your life or your sobriety and they are only being selfish. When you stop drinking, it can put the spotlight on them and their drinking, so they may feel jealous or threatened by you.  If they can get you to start drinking again, then it takes the heat off of them.  Make sure that you look out for number one– you.

Then there are those who are evil, and want to see you fail and drink or use drugs again.  These are the dangerous ones.  They will put drugs or alcohol in your face and then challenge you to use.  You must take a stand by leaving immediately, so that they can no longer tempt you.  Better yet, never go there to begin with!  We can claim the power of Jesus Christ and tell them, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I tell you, NO!”   You will see them back off.

In sobriety, we must learn to love ourselves and we must learn how to take a stand.  However, never try to stay sober all by yourself.  There is great danger in isolation.  We addicts need each other in order to get and stay sober.  We need sober people around us, to help us take a stand and to resist temptation.  Remember, the disease of addiction and the Devil himself, will always try to get you isolated and away from sober friends and family members, so he can continue to destroy you.  Build an army of sober friends on speed dial, and love yourself by depending upon them.

Sometimes, our family situations are so bad or a prospective party is so dangerous to our sobriety, that we must make the decision not to go.  Call some sober friends, or go to a recovery meeting and surround yourself with people who really care about you.  Someone once said that, “Recovery is easy, all you have to do is change your whole life!”

Yes, we all need to change our environments, our friends, our old routines, what we spend our money on and where we spend our time.  For example, it would foolish and reckless for someone coming out of treatment, to return to their old using neighborhood, their old using friends and their old hang outs in the neighborhood.  Their chances of using chemicals again would be very high.  I know that my old using friends did not truly care about me, because their first priority was getting their next high.

The other great and powerful thing to do, is to go out and help another addict.  You will be able to get out of yourself and you will feel good.  Taking our focus off of ourselves and onto helping another person, is very, very powerful, and it will keep us sober!  When we put ourselves in a safe and healthy environment, and we surround ourselves with people who are in recovery, and when we go to recovery meetings and pray everyday, we stay sober.

About The Author

Robert J. Allison lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife Rochelle Allison. Robert survived a 28-year battle with chemical dependency, including 13 chemical dependency treatment centers and homelessness. He surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and began his new life of faith and contented sobriety. Robert has been blessed with 18 years of sobriety and with his new freedom he now is helping other addicts to find peace, faith and the priceless gift of sobriety.

No man or woman is an island.

No man or woman is an island.

YES, every man and every woman has a purpose to fulfill on this Earth!

It took 40 years of rough living for me to find God’s purpose for my life.

All during my 28 years of active drug addiction, I was running away from God. I was afraid of my inheritance, afraid of my birthright as a child of God.  I was afraid of the responsibility of being a good person who helped others.  They say, “No man is an island”, but I pushed away all of my family, my friends and professionals who were experts on the disease of addiction.  I was angry first with myself, and second with every living, breathing human being on planet Earth.  Mostly, I was very angry with myself for destroying and wasting 28 years of my life and hurting so many people along the way. Alcoholics and addicts are like hurricanes ripping through the lives of others, and then we blame others for the damage we have done!

I have said it before and I will say it again now.  The root of an addict’s spiritual sickness is our own self-centeredness, our own selfishness.  This can be further broken down to reveal a simple lack of love for others, caused by the mental obsession and the physical craving for drugs. We addicts become like vampires, sucking the life out of anyone we meet, who does not understand the demons we carry.

We become powerless in every area of our lives.  The disease controls us spiritually, physically, financially, mentally, and emotionally.  We become slaves and robots to our drugs of choice.  In many ways, in our using years, we were already dead, no longer ourselves. During the worst days of my using, I thought I would never survive.  The disease had such a strong hold on my spirit– it dominated my thoughts and my motivation.  The disease is cunning, baffling and powerful and it is patient and it is lethal.  If the disease had a personality, I would characterize it as vicious and relentless.

So we go through this tortuous addictive life and sometimes we die and sometimes we survive. It is much more common for us to die, than it is for us to live.  Someone once said that one in ten people suffer from some form of addiction, whether it be drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, sex, power, money etc.  It is said that for drugs and alcohol, nine out of ten die, with only one of the ten surviving.  No matter what the documented numbers are, anyone who becomes sober and survives the hell of addiction, is in fact a miracle of God.

As a survivor, I owe a great debt to God and to my fellow addicts.  Sober and free addicts were chosen to help other addicts.  We have been through the fire and we know the truth.  So what was I chosen for?  What is my purpose in life?  That’s easy.   My purpose is to give love, encouragement and hope to addicts, so that my experience, strength and hope can give real meaning to my life of active addiction.  My nightmare of addiction is now helping other people to get sober and I trust, they will help even more people.  Believe me, after 28 years of an addictive nightmare and 13 treatment centers and homelessness, God has given me the truth, power and compassion to help other addicts. There is no other higher calling than saving the lives of our fellow human beings.  Helping others is a big part of how I stay sober.  It is the reason I wrote and published my book called,

Saved By The Prince of Peace–Dungeon To Sky.”

I created a website and a Facebook page for the book.  The website is:  http://www.dungeontosky.com  

The Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/dungeontosky

Check out my book.  It is the real deal and is very revealing about the storm of addiction that by the Grace of God I survived.  Helping others today is a privilege and an honor and something I am compelled to do.  Maybe your purpose in life is to help other addicts, since now you have survived the storm. No one can help another addict better than another addict. That’s just the way it is.  God has chosen us addicts to pass on His message of love, forgiveness, encouragement, compassion and peace.

Wow!  How good it feels to have a powerful and important purpose:  Saving lives!

Congratulations on the journey of a lifetime, an adventure to save lives and to make positive use of your life of addiction.  All of our horror and pain, all of our emotional hurt will be used by God to save others.  When we were all alone in the sea of addiction, we were overwhelmed by a loneliness that penetrated our very bones.  As you begin your new journey to help others, you will finally see that demonic loneliness that used to dominate your spirit, leave you.  You will be free.

You will be given the opportunity to help people to re-build their lives and you will witness miracles happen right in front of you.  As you help one addict get sober and then watch that same addict help other addicts, you will know the power and miracle of God’s love.  As you help other addicts, you will receive healing for yourself and you will experience a new confidence, a new strength, and a new freedom.

May Peace, Love and Blessings be with you always!

 

 

About The Author

Robert J. Allison lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife Rochelle Allison. Robert survived a 28-year battle with chemical dependency, including 13 chemical dependency treatment centers and homelessness. He surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and began his new life of faith and contented sobriety. Robert has been blessed with 18 years of sobriety and with his new freedom he now is helping other addicts to find peace, faith and the priceless gift of sobriety.

mountain

Yes, addicts and alcoholics are powerless over the disease of addiction, but we are not powerless over our daily choices.  Once we get sober, a new and exciting world opens up to us, as we re-build our lives.  When I was using chemicals, I could not make a decision between a Snickers candy bar and a Hershey’s candy bar.  My mind was in a constant chaotic haze, torn between right and wrong.  I was essentially a prisoner in time, a prisoner to the drugs, and a prisoner trapped inside my own mind.

I had no freedom at all.  I was like a drug crazed robot, obeying the commands of my master — the disease of addiction.  All of my energy, all of my spirit, all of my money and all of my hopes rested with the drugs, and yes, I worshiped them!  It was like I was on the outside, looking in and witnessing from a distance, my own self-destruction.  I pretended that it was not me, but someone else. Deep down in my spirit, I knew the terrified, fear-filled, scared little boy was me, and I could do nothing to save him!

The ultimate decision and the most important choice for any addict, is to surrender our life to God.  That’s when the magic starts to happen and we are given back our power of choice, and the power to walk away from drugs and the whole lifestyle and religion that is drug addiction.  I had a long journey back home to myself.  I was an active addict for 28 years. I went to thirteen treatment centers and I was living out on the street for one year. I was so beat up physically, emotionally and spiritually, that I finally was ready to surrender and to admit my defeat by the monster called addiction.

While on the street, I had found a safe place to sleep at night.  It was a very small electrical closet in an alley, behind my favorite bar.  Inside the closet there were brick walls, which crumbled down on me as I touched them in my sleep.  The good news was that I could lock the door from the inside, and I was safe from the killers on the street who were killing homeless people as they slept, so they could gain entrance into the Skinhead gang.

Several people around me were getting killed and not always by the Skinheads. One friend of mine was stabbed to death in an alley over a pool game.  I felt death breathing down the back of my neck and it was an icy cold breath and it terrified me.  I believed that I was going to die very soon.  One morning I woke up in that closet, hung over, sore and angry at the world. I was like a wild animal who had been forced into a corner and was about to be killed.  In shear terror and desperation, I cried out to Jesus:  “Jesus, please help me!

As I knew He would, Jesus heard my prayer and two days later, I was admitted into Hazelden, one of the best treatment centers in the country.  My surrender continued on a daily basis while I was in treatment, and when the counselors recommended that I complete nine months of treatment, I said yes.  I said yes for myself, because I wanted to live.

For 28 years, I had been in the grip of vicious denial.  Even though there was overwhelming evidence that I had a drug problem, for 28 years I would not accepted this.  Today, that denial has been shattered by the hell I experienced.  Along with my surrender, I also had become much more honest.  I finally understood and accepted how bad my situation was, and how much help I would need to stay alive.  Sometimes I wish that I did not have to endure those 28 years of addictive pain and all the losses that it brings, but that is what it took for me to become ready to surrender.  When the critical time came in that miserable closet, I took my opportunity and I cried out to Jesus for His help and protection.

Jesus helped me right away!

When you’re an addict, you worry about what you will have to give up if you finally surrender and get sober.  When the pain of continuing to get high becomes greater than the pain of getting sober, then you have a fork in the road.  You can choose life or you can choose death.  I chose to live and God has blessed me with 18 years sober, a beautiful wife, two West Highland Terrier dogs and a wonderful home in a quiet neighborhood.  Jesus has given me the opportunity to do service work.  I do public speaking at high schools and treatment centers and I have published a book about my story of addiction and recovery.

Please choose well, and give yourself the gift of freedom from the tyranny of addiction.  God loves us and He will work miracles in your life, just as he did in mine.  The whole story of my life of addiction, my eventual surrender, and  spectacular recovery, can be read in my book, “Saved By The Prince Of Peace — Dungeon To Sky.”  I have written over 100 blogs on my website which is:  dungeontosky.com

Peace and Blessings to you.

Bob Allison

About The Author

Robert J. Allison lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife Rochelle Allison. Robert survived a 28-year battle with chemical dependency, including 13 chemical dependency treatment centers and homelessness. He surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and began his new life of faith and contented sobriety. Robert has been blessed with 18 years of sobriety and with his new freedom he now is helping other addicts to find peace, faith and the priceless gift of sobriety.

“Recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing his or her experience, strength and hope.”

bear

“Work with another alcoholic or addict!”  That is a quote from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, and that chapter focuses on the importance of working with other alcoholics in order to stay sober ourselves. This is not described as an option or a maybe.  To get sober and to stay sober, we must help other alcoholics and addicts. When we start out in early sobriety, we are more like a swamp than a river.

A swamp is stagnant and has no moving water.  There is no inflow of water and there is no outflow of water.  Working with other alcoholics and addicts gives us the opportunity to have an outflow of our love, understanding, patience and encouragement.  When we share our experience, strength and hope with another alcoholic we are spiritually fed and strengthened ourselves.  The more we give away, the more we receive.  After we are in recovery for a while, we come back to life in our mind, our body and our spirit. We change from a swamp to a river, just like a caterpillar changes into a beautiful butterfly.

A river has water flowing into it and it also fills other bodies of water and eventually it gives itself entirely to the ocean.  We addicts become rivers and we flow into the lives, minds, hearts and souls of our fellow addicts.  Then something magical and blessed happens. Many of those addicts that we helped to get sober, do come back to life, and they become rivers.  They start to help even more addicts to get their lives back and to become rivers.

The feeling that I have had in watching my new addict friends go out and help still more addicts, is spiritual heaven.  This “ripple effect” is God in action.  Many times I have felt depressed, fearful or angry and then I remember the prescription to reach out and help another addict.  The result is that my depression, my fear and my anger subsides, and it is often replaced with joy and gratitude!

If I want to get out of myself, and get freedom from my spiritual self-centeredness, the solution is to work with another addict.

This is when God’s miracles happen.

About The Author

Robert J. Allison lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife Rochelle Allison. Robert survived a 28-year battle with chemical dependency, including 13 chemical dependency treatment centers and homelessness. He surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and began his new life of faith and contented sobriety. Robert has been blessed with 18 years of sobriety and with his new freedom he now is helping other addicts to find peace, faith and the priceless gift of sobriety.