Saturday, March 16, 2019

Prayers and shares appreciated. . .

From my journal. . . my favorite minister at Plainfield Correctional Facility used to say when God would put something on his heart that it was "hot off the presses."

This entry is hot off the presses.

This is one of the 5 Rules of Recovery that we focus on when helping one another on this journey. It is important to CREATE a NEW life in which it's easier to not use.

People way smarter than me have said it best . . . "Wishing for your old life back is like wishing for a relapse." To that I say, "that will PREACH."

One way to create a new life is for our communities to provide safe, affordable, structured, and supervised sober living environments for those in recovery. We lack that in Grant County. We do a lot well in our community and for those in recovery. But, we fall woefully short in this area.

I want to change that. I can't do it alone. I preach to those I work with to ask for help and so I am going to practice what I preach and do the same. I am praying about this all through the season of lent and I ask you to join in me in that prayer.

After you prayerfully consider this idea during Lent, and after Easter, if you interested in joining with me to start a recovery home or homes here's how you can let me know -

Call or text me 765-667-0150

Email me

Send me a direct message on Facebook

Send me a letter to 1916 West James Drive, Marion, Indiana 46952

Stop me when you see me.

Send a raven like they do in the Game of Thrones.

Just get with me anyway you can and let's stop talking and do something together.

Here's what we will need:

Volunteer hours
A house or houses
More prayer
Community support
No judgment
A solidly trained staff of certified peer support specialists
A partnership with a treatment team
Church collaboration

And. . . More prayer than anything

How can you help today? Pray with me until Easter then get with me.

If you're struggling it's okay help is only a prayer away.

#teambealrecovery #hopehouse #bealfrommyjournal #soberliving #askforhelp #prayerchangesthings #practicewhatyouteach #recoverycoach #retiredcrackhead #soberhouse #serenityprayer

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Free indeed. . .

Knees to my chest, hands locked behind my neck. Willing the oxygen to switch whatever gears in my brain needed flipped. Out of the corner of my eye I spot something on my wrist. Two tiny words placed to intentionally be sought out. 

My mind starts to wander back to the events that inspired those two words. 
I was in college, lonely and heartbroken. The world was my enemy and bitterness my friend. 




Those were the things I called myself. I didn’t readily invite others to my pity party, but they knew it was an ongoing event. I couldn’t see past my circumstances, blinded by the shiny newness of something that felt tragic. Something to justify those dark parts of me that really never went away. 

For months on end these things persisted. I watered them and they grew in the dark. I said so many things to myself that I could actually hear others reflecting them back to me. No one was saying a word. Until someone did. Until someone had enough of my consistent sorrow. People were sensitive, until they weren’t. 

I can remember the look on the nurses face as I sat on the paper covered cushioned chair. She was irritated with me. She kept referring to my age and telling me she couldn’t understand how I could possibly feel the way I was feeling. What’s wrong with me? I wish I knew. Saturated with the guilt of not being normal, I took my prescription and walked back through the waiting room. 

The stubborn in me gave way to a desire to prove people wrong and fight for myself when it felt like all others had lost hope. I sat with God that night. Not for the first time: I’d spent my life in a church and I was sitting in my dorm at a Christian university. No, it wasn’t the first time ever, but it was the first time in a long time. I sat down, surrounded by all of the things I had been carrying with me. The room was crowded with my emotions, tears, failures, and shortcomings. I was staring down at my excessive need for control and justification. Justification for my feelings: because people had treated me a certain way and life wasn’t fair, so I deserved to be angry at the world. I deserved to be miserable. 

Who’s really losing here? John 8:36 whispered in my ear: if the Son sets you free, then you will be free indeed. I brought my journal to my pen. With agonizing humility, I prayed for the people I blamed. I asked to forgive and love and change. I prayed for their goals and hopes and dreams. I released it without justification. I prayed to be forgiven too. And the room emptied until nothing remained but the new air filling my lungs- air that felt free. 

A funny thing happened over the next week. Every single person I had prayed to forgive approached me and apologized for the things I had prayed for. I realized pretty quickly that had I received the apology prior to forgiving them, I wouldn’t have had an ounce of grace to hear them out. But through my obedience, God gave me what I never deserved. 

I went home that summer, continuing to pray over that whisper from John. Eventually, my last day of work as a waitress, I decided to tattoo two small words on m wrist. Free Indeed. Precisely placed, in my sister’s handwriting, so that they are invisible to me unless I seek them out. And I went to work that night to wait on my last table ever. The man sitting there had been a customer for years, and he immediately spotted the newly inked words. When I answered his question about what they meant he said “and now you have to live that out.” 
“I’m trying.” was all I could say. 
He handed me a bill to pay for his dinner and told me to keep the change “for Christ.” As I rang out his meal with the $100 I was holding I realized my tip would be the exact amount I had paid for my tattoo. 

The tattoo I look at now as I struggle to breathe. Here again. Somewhere over the past few months my weight has decreased over twenty pounds- and I had never even noticed. I can feel the bones where I used to have muscle... okay it was probably not muscle. I’ve hit my knees again when I thought I’d be permanently standing tall. Maybe I’d stopped seeking out my tiny words- my freedom. I find my breath. I hear it clearly. I’m here for a reason- knocked down again. My focus shifting, my perspective changing. Resolved to fight, weaker than ever, I lean on shaky knees. I remember the shackles that have been broken and thank God that he will do it again. I’ve seen Him move the mountains. And I believe I’ll see Him do it again. And my crowded room feels a little emptier. 

If you're struggling it's okay help is only a prayer away.

If you struggle with anxiety, depression, self-image, addiction, or whatever - ask for help .

Thank you to our contributor today, Jess Warner - your strength is amazing.  Keep fighting and remember to always tell your mountains about your God .

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The big lie meets loving support and in walks recovery...

I recently received this from a concerned family member, “I unconditionally love, and I want to always believe they are being open and honest with me. But it's hard to know if a loved one with addiction is being honest or not. Could you possibly post a topic about that?”
I wonder if anyone else out there feels the same way?  I know my own family would have loved to have someone tell them how to handle me in my addiction and the lies and dishonesty that came with it.
So often as family and friends, we are lied to and manipulated by our addicted loved one – usually someone who was once honest and thoughtful and considerate. It’s devastating to lose that trust that comes with a close relationship between parent and child, partners, spouses, grandparents and grandchildren. 
Even when you are armed with the truth, and the evidence to support it, when addiction is involved, there is a good chance that you’ll still be surrounded by lies. Dishonesty is a symptom of the addiction.
This is because without lies, addiction cannot live; and without the truth – recovery cannot survive. 
The “Feel Good” 
A big part of human nature stems from the desire to feel good. For different people, that “feel good” can evolve from different things: Adventure, purpose, affection, security, and appreciation are all examples of things we strive to meet, in order to live satisfied lives. These basic human needs become our foundation for our lives, our personalities, and our actions. 
For people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, the “feel good” isn’t typically derived from the normal basic human needs. For people who are addicted to substances, things like a caring family, close friends, vacations, and job promotions aren’t going to bring joy and happiness. Instead, it’s only drugs or alcohol. 
Defending the Addiction 
Mental defense mechanisms, the way we behave or think in order to “defend” ourselves, are a part of the human mind. We think and do things in order to distance ourselves from unpleasant feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.
The most common defense mechanisms include: 
·        Denial
·        Acting out
·        Projection (misattributing a person’s undesired thoughts, feelings or impulses onto another person who doesn’t have those thoughts, feelings or impulses)
·        Displacement (taking out thoughts, feelings and impulses on a person or object that isn’t the cause of those thoughts, feelings or impulses.)
·        Rationalization
When a person is addicted to alcohol or drugs, they physically, mentally and emotionally depend on their drug of choice. Addiction causes real chemical changes in the brain to directly affect the user’s conscious and unconscious behavior. When the thing that makes them feel good (or keeps them from going through painful withdrawal) is threatened, the addicted person’s mental defense mechanisms will kick in. 
Defending the addiction to himself or others, your loved one will deny and justify his behavior – and fully believe the lies. He will lie to anyone who may threaten his heroin use – and she will lie to anyone who may question her alcohol use. That includes him or herself. 
The Common Lies 
“I need to use cocaine in order to continue to be successful.”
“I need to drink in order to be social.”
“Everyone drinks and uses drugs – so I should, too.”
“If you knew my childhood, you would take pills, too.”
“I had a hard day, I deserve to drink.”
“I had a great day, I should celebrate with a drink.”
“I don’t really use or drink as much as other people.”
“I’ve never gotten a DUI.”
“I have a job, alcoholics don’t have jobs.”
“I take my kids to school every day, addicts don’t do that.”
“I could stop if I wanted to.”
“I’m not hurting anyone but me.” 
The list could go on and on. 
Ending the Lies 
It’s important to recognize that your loved one isn’t being dishonest because he or she is a bad person or has moral failures. Lies are a symptom of addiction – as well as one of the biggest contributors to our anger and frustrations we feel with them. 
There isn’t a light switch to flip on honesty in addiction – but there are things that loved one can do to bring truth to the table: 
·        Realize that lies aren’t a personal attack on you.
Any time I find out I was lied to – I’m furious. I feel like it’s a personal attack on my intelligence: that the person who lied to me thinks I’m dumb enough to believe it. However, with addiction, your loved one isn’t lying to you because he or she thinks your dumb – they’re lying because they are sick with a disease that lies to them.
·        Don’t accept the lies.
Your loved one’s dishonesty is keeping him or her trapped in addiction – and it’s keeping you sick, too. Don’t look the other way when you’re lied to – letting them know the truth can help them face the consequences of their actions. Refusing to accept the lies means refusing to enable or “rescue”. Refusing to accept the lies means getting help for yourself through a therapist or meetings for friends and family. Refusing to accept the lies can take your loved one another step closer to accepting the help he or she needs.
·        Drop the excuses.
If you’re covering for an addicted loved one, you’re also caught up in the disease of addiction. Lies on top of lies won’t help anyone.
·        Encourage a supportive environment.
Threats and power struggles are commonplace in homes dealing with addiction. Instead of resorting to arguments, create a supportive environment that promotes honesty.
The truth is, with addiction comes lies. These lies are only a distraction from the real problem – the addiction, and the underlying issues of the addiction. Don’t let dishonesty get in the way of helping your loved one find his or her path to addiction recovery. After all, with truth comes healing.
If you are struggling it’s okay, help is only a prayer away.

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