Archives for : Addiction & Recovery

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 justbeministry@gmail.com for permission to use.

Sacrifice

Addiction

SURRENDER

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

Freedom From Addiction

 

Freedom from Addiction:

Wrapped Up or Free?

When wrapped up in ourselves, we are wholly consumed with our own needs, wants, and desires. We have no interest in the concerns of others or in their personal situations. Yet since none of us can ever have all of life served on a platter, we addicts have chosen to fill the gap with indulgent behaviors. Interestingly, though, instead of feeling fulfilled, we find that our problems have intensified and become more complicated. Our addiction is an act of self-absorption.

We now have the option to look beyond our own little world and start letting others into our hearts.  We can enjoy the sharing of ourselves in intimacy with dear friends. The paradox is that by getting outside of ourselves, 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 relationships…but now we are practicing letting go.  This allows more time and energy for the freedom of fellowship and love to flow.

~ Lose It for Life

By Mary Z

Addiction Recovery – Confidence

Hope for the journey
Addiction Recovery
Confidence

I believe you would agree with me; our biggest problem in addiction recovery was the inability to stop using compulsively. Sadly the problem is never solved permanently, but it is overcome on a day-to-day basis. As the days of sobriety stack up, we grow in confidence. Confidence is the knowledge that however tough life gets, we have tools and resources for dealing with it. Confidence is believing in ourselves as children of God and people of value. Confidence is the willingness to give what we have, with the faith that our gifts are needed and acceptable.
When we have confidence in God and in ourselves, we are willing to try even though we may fail. If we fail, we are willing to try again. Since our will and our lives are turned over to God, we have confidence that everything eventually works out for our good.

 

~ Food for Thought, Hazelden

Addiction Takes Us to a Place…

The Freedom to Surrender:

Addiction takes us to a place where we do what we do not want to do. Self-will, determination, pride, and ego kick in as over and over we repeat the pattern of obsession.

As time goes on shame, guilt, depression, and desolation cloak our being like a shroud.  Exhausted and defeated, we try to find the will to go on. If left to go on long enough, it takes us to place where we would rather die than live. We can’t live with the substance, yet we can’t live without it either.  We are in bondage to the stronghold of addiction.

 

The Hope is there is a Spiritual solution!  (Romans 7:15-20) Paul talks about doing exactly what he sets his mind not to do.  I don’t know whether his issue was addiction, but he certainly struggled with the very thing addiction did in my life.  Verse 20 describes it this way, “It is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me” (NKJV).

Paul found hope in Christ.  He found hope in the paradox of surrender.  Surrender is a process of death and rebirth.  Death to the sin by admitting powerlessness and allowing God to make us new.  In (Romans 8:1) Paul says, “There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (NKJV). Going to verse 5 it explains the ACTION of surrender “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”

 

I struggled for quite some time with surrender.  It felt like giving up, and I was no quitter!  I also didn’t like feeling victimized by this substance that had complete control over me.  Surrender meant acknowledging that. That was scary. It was not until I became WILLING to surrender that things began to change.  I asked God to help me be willing to surrender.  I needed help from Him to face my fears.  Things began to change.

 

The joy of recovery is that we grow in a new relationship with God as we daily surrender our will to Him.  He directs and guides us to the level we are willing to let Him. ~ Terri

Openmindedness

Open-mindedness
One of the basic principles in recovery is to learn to be Open.  We are told in early recovery that everything needs to change.  It begins with our thinking: being open, honest, and willing to change.
Putting this principle into action is where the rubber meets the road.
I cannot act in a manner of open-mindedness if I am unable or unwilling to trust God.  I will be blind to seeing and deaf to hearing that which is before me.  We are also cut off from God and what He has for us when we are unable to set aside preconceived notions and expectations of others and outcomes.  The act of trusting requires vulnerability and humility before God. If we perceive Him as unloving, uncaring, and judgmental, the act of trust becomes nearly impossible.
How do you view Him today?
~ Terri Peterson