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Switch to Forum Live View It was 20 years ago today
5 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2009 - 9:44PM #1
Revjohn
Posts: 167

That I found myself with the larger portion of a quart of 100-proof vodka still unconsumed.  Even though I had been drinking for over 24 hours, I had experienced a brief bit of pleasure for perhaps 45 minutes at most.  And this time somehow I knew that getting some pot or pills or white powder was still not going to get me where I wanted to be.  And somehow I knew that as long as alcohol and drugs remained a part of my life, I would never have any peace of mind, for although I had been sober more days than intoxicated over the prior two years, on those occasions when I did become intoxicated, I could never tell what would happen.  Only a couple of drunks before that, I had sped down 53 miles of interstate at speeds of over 100 mph, the better part of a 15-pack of Stroh's on the seat beside me, a half finished quart of whiskey between my legs, and joints flowing freely from my pocket.  The only reason for this insane excursion was that I felt like it.  How I didn't get pulled over, let alone killing someone or myself, was either luck or the providence of a higher power.  The drunk I was on on June 3, 1989, required my lying to my life and humiliating her before her family for me to pull off.  But I had found that even the days I stayed sober, alcohol was still dominating my life through my thoughts.  I spent more time thinking about drinking than actually drinking. 


So I prayed--really prayed, with no bargaining, no preconditions, no thoughts other than that It--the addiction--was bigger than me, and I could never beat it on my own, no matter how or what I tried, and so my only hope was for God as I understood him to help me.  And I said, God, I know this isn't much of a gift, but here I am.  Do with me whatever Thou wilt. 


And so I started going back to AA meetings, actually got a sponsor and actually worked the steps this time, and I prayed ceaselessly.  I attended a meeting nearly every day for a year, and then very regularly for several years afterwards.  And I did whatever my sponsor said, without argument or discussion.  And today I am sober, still married to the same woman, and the father of a beautiful 9-year-old girl.  I hold down the best job I have ever had and am doing well.  I have embarked upon serious studies of metaphysics and was recently ordained a minister.  I am, at the moment, working on discerning what the mission of my ministry is to be, and I continue working on a higher degree.  Oh, there remain problems.  In fact, I have far more problems today than I did 20 years ago.  I have health issues, my wife has more serious health issues, and my daughter is a real handful.  My uninsured wife has nearly died twice in the past year, and so there is a stack of medical bills I doubt I will ever reach the bottom of.  But today I know that with the help of my Higher Power, so long as I remain in contact and remain sober, there is nothing that I cannot face, that will overwhelm me.  I know that I still have this illness, and always will, and so I must remain ever vigilant. 


I have deep gratitude to all the good people who helped me, to my wife and God for both giving me another chance, and even for the illness itself.  For without this illness, I would not have had to learn to live life on a spiritual basis.  So even if I were to take drunk tomorrow, I would still have had these 20 years of sobriety, in which I have cherished every day as a gift I did not deserve. 


Let me finally note that I was a frank alcohol junkie.  I would do just about any drug that came along, and preferably all of them that came along, but I was flatly physically addicted to alcohol for years.  I went through a 28-day treatment program and left it knowing I would never drink again.  I lasted a week.  I had a serious, ultimately terminal case of alcoholism.  And so if I can recover, with the help of God, I know that anyone can.  The most important part that falls on us is to get out of God's way so He can do what He needs to do.  Some people manage to quit drinking without a spiritual recovery; I am glad they have found a way to not drink, but I feel sad that they missed out on the greatest benefit of having this disease. 


Thank you for reading this, as you have helped me to celebrate 20 years of sobriety.  If you are still struggling with an addiction, I urge you to believe that recovery is really possible for anyone, even you.  But I could never, ever have done it on my own.  It took the help of many nonprofessional and professional people, and of course God, to pull it off.  And even now, after 20 years, I know that getting drunk would be the easiest thing in the world for me.  All I need do is get lazy about my spiritual condition.  So I know I could get drunk or high again; I do not know if I could recover again. 


In Unity,


Rev. John

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 04, 2009 - 12:22AM #2
ODIECOM
Posts: 326

what can i say john but ....


 


CONGRATULATIONS.    im glad things came toghether for you. thats a wonderful story of sucess. may you continue to enjoy what you started 20 years ago.  that being freedom.


a fine job indeed.


odie

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 04, 2009 - 3:08PM #3
dpatel
Posts: 339

congrats and thanks for sharing your story. God bless you and yours

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 05, 2009 - 7:40PM #4
Agnosticspirit
Posts: 9,253

Rev John, welcome to Beliefnet.... and Addictions & Recovery forum! Even BETTER, CONGRATULATIONS for your 20 years of freedom! Smile I am very happy for you!


If you would like, feel free to post this in our Anniversary thread stickied at the top of this forum. It's a great place to keep track of how long FREEDOM rings.


((( hugs )))


--- AS

Tribalism, ethnocentricism, racism, nationalism, and FEAR is the Mind Killer... >:(

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2009 - 1:14PM #5
andrewcyrus
Posts: 4,252

Congrats John


Excellent recovery and witness to the truth.


"Not thy will but his be done"


Thanks for sharing your experience strength and hope.


 


Prayers on the way for your wife.


God bless you and keep you.


 


Andy


 

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2009 - 11:01PM #6
Revjohn
Posts: 167

Indeed, early in recovery I kept two mantras in mind almost constantly.  One was a simple one of my own invention that I thought captured nicely the simple truth and what was at stake: I drink, I die.  I had come to know that that way lay death for me, and not only death of the body but death of the soul, if such a thing is possible.  The second one was just a fraction of the Lord's Prayer:  Thy will be done.  That, to me, captured the essence of the change of mind and heart I was trying to effect--that whatever God's will was, I had to get on board with that, rather than trying to persuade God to see things my way, which was really my previous approach to my relationship with God.  And these two mantras served me well.  In fact, they still serve me well, at times when my sobriety becomes at all shaky. 


In Unity,


Rev. John

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2009 - 4:54AM #7
sixth step phobia
Posts: 733

Hey rev john ,  I had some great conversations with you on new thought and very happy to see you have found my favourite forum


I know you have a super busy life but your participation in this forum is greatly appreciated when you can


 

Spiritual awakening is awakening from the dream of thought
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2009 - 3:54AM #8
hine221
Posts: 1

so i read your story and feel touched that you could share in such detail. as for me i have never had trouble with drugs and alcohol but i go to al anon and i go to aa and sometimes na, because i know that a spiritual path is a simple path and there needs to be no cofusion the way religion does, confuses people and places and things. The 12 step program is easy to grasp and applies to nearly everyone, the special part about it is that unity, that almost anyone can relate to the sharing and there is unity there.i have been in the program for nearly a year now and am ever grateful for it and for the spiritual foundation it provides.


congratulations on your 20 years!keep it up:)

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5 years ago  ::  Jun 28, 2009 - 6:02AM #9
martmom717
Posts: 1

My sister went through the process of drug addiction 2 years ago - she went into a 28 day program - coming out of it, she has gone through counseling, doctor treatment , buit refuses to go to AA or a 12 step program - I do not always trust that she is on the right road, but I keep the faith and in talking to her hope for the best - she is  in a relationship of non commital on his part , but she has a roof over her head and a place to stay.  My mom and other sister are so mean to her, mom (she is 80) telling her she is always been a problem child and the other sister telling her that she doesnot want to be her sister, if she does not go into a 12 step program - this is tearing apart my sister with the addiction, what can I do to help her ? I think they are cruel and can't see where there is approach will help - what can I do?


Patty B


 


Host note: edited to remove personal information - email address

Moderated by Agnosticspirit on Jun 29, 2009 - 07:09PM
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5 years ago  ::  Jun 28, 2009 - 11:12AM #10
andrewcyrus
Posts: 4,252

Jun 28, 2009 -- 6:02AM, martmom717 wrote:


My sister went through the process of drug addiction 2 years ago - she went into a 28 day program - coming out of it, she has gone through counseling, doctor treatment , buit refuses to go to AA or a 12 step program - I do not always trust that she is on the right road, but I keep the faith and in talking to her hope for the best - she is  in a relationship of non commital on his part , but she has a roof over her head and a place to stay.  My mom and other sister are so mean to her, mom (she is 80) telling her she is always been a problem child and the other sister telling her that she doesnot want to be her sister, if she does not go into a 12 step program - this is tearing apart my sister with the addiction, what can I do to help her ? I think they are cruel and can't see where there is approach will help - what can I do?


Patty B


 


 


 




Most addicts and alcoholics will not seek the fellowship they need until they have run off all their enabling friends and family.


Be her friend and share your experience strength and hope with her. Don't judge her she is sick and doesn't realize the extent. I am not sure if you are in a 12 step program but you may want to pick up some literature and read it yourself. Let her know what you are doing about your recovery from other peoples addictions and trespasses on your life or maybe in the journey of discovery which is part of the 12 steps you might be addicted to something that has been an obstacle to the free working of your mental processes.


 


God bless you and your sister and family. My prayers are on the way.


Andy


host note: Edited to remove personal information in the quoted post.

Moderated by Agnosticspirit on Jun 29, 2009 - 07:10PM
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