|“Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians”5:18-19
“His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you.” 1 John 4:10
“I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love.” Romans 8:31-32
“If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me.” 1 John 2:23
“And nothing will ever separate you from my love again.” Romans 8.38-39
“Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen.”Luke 15:7
“I have always been Father, and will always be Father.” Ephesians 3:14-15
“My question is: Will you be my child?”John 1:12-13
“I am waiting for you.” Luke 15:11-12″The death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman was a tragic loss. Thousands of addicts die every month, but when someone famous dies of addiction, people finally start to pay attention.He had started out with pain killers and then escalated to the drug that killed him, heroin. Heroin doesn’t discriminate. Its use is up 75% in the past few years. In reality, he struggled with depression most of his life. Addicts don’t want to be addicts, and addicts don’t want to die. Drugs are a symptom of an underlying problem. Phillip’s underlying problem was depression and wanting to feel better. Addicts “self-medicate” to feel normal or to erase the pain that they feel emotionally, physically or spiritually. When I was growing up, I felt different, like I was on the outside looking in. I always wondered if other people felt the way that I did. I later found out that yes, all of the addicts felt like I did. Addicts are willing to go to any lengths to feel “normal” again.
Addicts experiment with different chemicals or geographical cures or relationships to keep ahead of the pain that chases them. More than 24 million aged 12 or older suffer from drug addiction – only 10% get treatment. In the past 20 years, the number of addicts in America has increased by more than 500%. In high school, I began to experience the symptoms of manic depression, although I had no idea what it was or how it might affect me. All I knew was that when I smoked marijuana and drank beer, my energy levels increased and I felt powerful and calm. I no longer felt like I was on the outside, looking in. So for me, chemicals made me feel normal, so I kept on doing them.
Recovery is intense and difficult and joyous all at the same time. Relapses are part of the disease of addition, but they are not part of recovery. I went to 13 treatment centers and therefore I had 13 relapses. Each relapse was worse than the last one, because addiction is a progressive disease that never gets better, only worse, as long as the addict continues to use. Addiction is like buying a ticket for a long painful train ride that has only one final destination—death. We can get off at any one of the railroad stations along the way, but the longer we wait, the harder it gets.
The disease of addiction is like a living, breathing demon that has but one priority—our slow or our fast destruction. Recovery involves forgiveness on both sides and patience as the addict comes out of the grip of addiction. The disease of addiction is mental, spiritual, emotional and physical and it attacks us all at the same time. The effect is incomprehensible demoralization and the overwhelming of our minds, bodies and spirits. We will need healing in each of these areas, if we are to get and stay sober and be free once again. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous points to a spiritual solution for addiction. We had to find a power greater than ourselves by which we could live. The solution to addiction cannot be found inside of us. We have become powerless.
Here is a quote from my published book, “Saved By The Prince Of Peace—Dungeon To Sky”. From the chapter, “ A Day In The Life”:
“Jesus has given me the strength, courage and faith to move out of this dark place and back into the light of sobriety.” If I can get sober after 13 treatment centers and one year of homelessness living outside on the streets of Denver, Colorado, then ANYONE CAN GET SOBER! I Pray that you will receive Peace, Love and Happiness while you help other addicts to live. Jesus Loves You!