Archives for : Addiction & Recovery

From the Pen of Mary Z.

From the pen of Mary Zigan,

My thoughts especially turn toward the sacrifice of Christ on my behalf during this Easter season, and I am grateful for life! It is so wonderful to be relieved of the terrible curse, for me namely, the curse and self-abuse of food addiction. I had to over eat; I didn’t know there was anything in the world that could be done about it. After some 40 years of persevering by taking the strong hand of God, I am not only at right weight for my body, I am emotionally happy and content and above all is the freedom I have found in Christ…the Deliverer.

A gentleman once said to me in Al-anon, I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need recovery from their addiction. I do it for four reasons:

  • Sense of duty
  • It is a pleasure
  • Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me
  • Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip

What is this but a miracle of healing? Just like me, this gentleman’s circumstances made him willing to believe. He humbly offered himself to his Maker. For this man, the revelation was sudden. For others like myself, I grew into this freedom more slowly. If you are grappling with an addiction take heart.  Make the phone call, others, like possibly millions, are going through the bondage that you feel. You will not be sorry you surrendered. Just a few of the benefits to those of us in recovery are experiencing:

  • We can look the world in the eye
  • We can be alone and at perfect peace
  • Our fears fall from us
  • We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator
  • We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience

If you feel so inclined to want more information about recovery I can be reached by email:

Hope and Peace be with you!


Just For Today

The forthcoming story is from, Hazelden Meditation series,

Food for Thought, Daily Meditations for Overeaters. I (Mary) certainly can relate to this person’s story toward recovery. Our faithful God knew we could only handle one-day-at-a-time.


Just for today


I do not have to plan the rest of my life this

morning.  All I have is today. I do not need to

worry about what I will have for dinner tomor-

row night. All I need to be concerned about

today is today’s food plan.


By accepting the fact I cannot eat

spontaneously—whatever and whenever I feel

like it—I have freed myself to live more spon-

taneously. I make plans for the things that need

to be done, but I find time left over to use as the

Spirit moves. I will not decide today what I will

do with that free time tomorrow. Tomorrow will

bring new possibilities and promptings.


Just for today, I am living my program. I will

not worry about how hard it will be to work it

tomorrow. Tomorrow I will have new strength

and fresh insight. Just for today, I will re-

member to stop and listen to the inner voice and

follow where it leads. When I follow it, there is

adventure in the day and joy in my heart.


Thank You for today.

Spring is Coming

Spring is coming!  And…I (Mary) am guessing I am not the only one who wants to “look and feel good” in my spring clothes. Most of us who are surrounded by so many food choices find it challenging to keep the pounds off and stay fit for life. Fifty-two years ago after giving birth to my son, I weighed two-hundred twenty-eight pounds. I can honestly say in my journey of keeping one-hundred pounds off, it has been more than answers, more than a prescription for a healthy life, more than a list of things to do and not to do, it has been Jesus Himself that has given me this wonderful freedom.  Yes, I have done the grueling foot-work and by God’s grace, love, and power we together, have accomplished more than I ever could alone.


Then the Lord said to me; “These things won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”   (Habakkuk 2: 2-3) TLB

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”   (Zephaniah 3: 17)


With God all things are possible!


Letting Go

Letting Go

The action of trust is letting go.

The act of trust is faith.

The result of faith is hope.

That is what gives me courage to let go and trust again.

Letting go is hard.

The how of letting go; goes something like this:

-turning over my worries to God and asking for peace


-owning the feelings I am experiencing and talking about them.

-mostly it is not acting out in self-will, manipulation, justifications, excuses or control.


Kindness to myself and others is the hallmark of recovery!


Terri Johnson

Professional Life Coach




Picnics, Celebrations, Fireworks!

Picnics, Celebrations, and Fireworks! This month definitely begs for an excuse to overindulge. For years I, Mary Zigan, lived for these opportunities. I am learning…

When wrapped up in ourselves, we are wholly consumed with our own needs, wants, and desires. Interestingly, though, instead of being filled, we find that our problems are intensified and just become more complicated. Our addiction is an act of self-absorption.

We now have the option to stop playing God with our lives and be open to His peace, serenity, and the joy of living one-day-at-a-time with our hand in His. The paradox is that by getting outside of ourselves and connecting with those around us, we are free to love and experience others at a whole new level. Previously, our addiction served as a barrier to true relationship, but now we are free to let go and let God!


Running, Numbing, Fighting

 My adult life has been spent either running from myself, numbing myself, or fighting myself. That’s the truth.

But during the last six years I have been open to facing myself differently, with the help of friends, therapy, 12 steps, and God. Overall I have come to peace with me and what being me entails. I am aware that what happened to me still hurts, still frustrates me. The difference is being able to let go of it. I still feel anxious at times, but with God’s help I can soothe my anxious thoughts and fears by praying, breathing, or taking a walk.

Learning how to take care of my body, mind, and spirit has been life-changing. My career changed as well as my thinking patterns, my eating habits, sleep habits, and social expectations. In order to take care of my body I realized I had to SLOW DOWN. A lot. Way down. Irritatingly slow. It was in that place of rest that I began to heal. My body still screams out in anxiousness if it is not properly tended to.

I recognize and understand that life happens. I also recognize that only I can take care of myself. If left unattended to, I deteriorate physically and emotionally quite rapidly. The way I take care of myself is by getting enough rest, spending adequate time alone, journaling, and talking with my two closest friends. This is a daily practice that has made all the difference for me.

~ Terri Johnson

Good News

Good News

There is good news for those of us who suffer with addictions. All we need to do to start is the desire to stop using. It will take humility, but the good news is: humility is the first step toward wholeness.

In years past we have made many resolutions, plans and new starts. We have decided we could and would swear off of our drug of choice. Why not instead of all-inclusive resolutions, we focus our commitment on doing the next right thing for us today. Today is a day on the path toward our ultimate goal. We can be encouraged by a resolve that seeks only to live the life God intends for us…one day at a time.

Today Lord, I humble myself by taking positive action to let go of what is keeping me from staying close to you.


Happy New Year and New Beginnings,


Mary Z.

Waking up to Truth

Addiction and Recovery

Waking Up To Truth

The upcoming months can be stressful as we begin the holidays. Especially for people like myself with a food addiction. We may not “look” like an addicts, zoned out and falling down drunk. Therefore, overeaters sometimes get brushed off as “we really don’t understand” what having an addiction is like. The truth is most of us feed our illusions with excess food and the illusions get bigger and stronger until we surrender to a power greater than ourselves. God then leads us into the truth of who we are….which penetrates and dispels illusions.

Since it is truth that sets us free…free from crippling fears, we come to love this truth, even when it hurts. It was mainly fear that kept us from recognizing the truth about ourselves. Loving truth means that we acknowledge it to be too big for any of us to grasp completely.

Happily, each day is a new start to devote time and energy in striving for truth in all that we think, say and do. And guess what, God is abundantly glorified, and we are walking fully awake!

Mary Z.

Visualization Exercise

Our guest this month is Terri L. Johnson, Life Coach


My years in recovery have been transforming for me. I wrote this mediation to not only help myself in my journey, but also as a means of helping others. Practiced often, it is a great tool to become comfortable with myself and with God.  ~ Terri J. Johnson, Life Coach


justBe: Visualization Exercise   


To do this mindfulness meditation, give yourself twenty minutes.

Find a place to sit (or lie down) where you feel comfortable and that has limited distractions.


A place to rest into the Silence and Solitude.


Imagine a place that is peaceful. What does that space look like for you?

Imagine being there relaxed and comfortable…

What do you see?      What does it feel like?        Sit with your breathing…

What do you notice?   How do you feel emotionally?  How does your body feel? You may want to write something down.   In your mind’s eye find a place to sit in your peaceful space… on a bench, in an easy chair, a beach chair, wherever is comfortable… and rest in that place.


Relax and Breathe.

What are you grateful for in this place and this time?

Now ask Jesus to join you there.

Ask Him to help you be aware of His presence there.

Talk with Him and share your gratefulness, and just be.

What would you want to tell Him?    That you love Him?    That you’re angry?

Sit with that…

Maybe write something down.

Now what are you noticing? Is your space still the same?

Are you holding anything back?  Can you say it? Can you let it go?

What is Jesus be saying to you?   What do you notice?

Write it down.

Spend a minute or two thanking Him.

Let Him know how grateful you are for this space and time with Him. Tell Jesus that you want to return to this place to be here with Him again.  To Just Be with Him.

© justBE Ministry please contact for permission to use.




The beauty of living with the disease of addiction is that it has propelled me to the end of myself. To the place where self-will, ego, self-propulsion, pride and fear do not work; for they are the friends of addiction feeding the disease that will slowly kill me. The solution to this problem lies in Surrender to God which leads to a life of freedom and love.

It sounds simple, however it is not. Surrender requires a letting go of false ideas and beliefs. It requires asking questions of myself like; have I perceived myself accurately in the eyes of a loving God? Have I stopped worrying and trust my God has all things in control? Have I surrendered all parts of my life to Him?

This is the work of recovery. Living in recovery requires ACTION. Daily action. Often I see people who have quit drinking or drugging but none of their behaviors have changed. Not only are they at risk for relapse, they are miserable folks; often angry and disillusioned. The action of recovery is in meditation, serving others, prayer, and a host of other things. Recovery for me will look different than it will for you. There is no magic formula. Our action comes from knowing ourselves well enough to know what action is required in our recovery today. It requires self-awareness and introspection. We cannot surrender something we can’t identify. I have to be willing to admit fear, pride, hurt, control and so on to be able to surrender it and walk free.

~ Terri Johnson