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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

There Was Victory In Defeat

I think one of the most difficult things that I ever had to do in my life was recognize that I was powerless over my addiction and admit that my life was unmanageable. And as as result of these facts...I needed "help" living my life.

I believe that readers of Shell Shock Serenade are discerning, intelligent, open-minded people. And because of this I'm going to make the assumption that you have all noticed that in the previous paragraph I used the word "I" instead of saying "we" or "people" or "everyone" or "all people". The reason I did this was quite intentional...I am ONLY speaking for myself here. Some folks won't agree with what I am saying and I am totally OK with that...for them.

But I'll be honest...these conclusions I just described  came at a very high cost to me and especially to others. I nearly died trying to figure this stuff out for myself. I hurt a lot of people that I cared about trying to learn how I could live. I lost a house, a lucrative career, friends, wealth, respect...I think you get where I am going here. 

I did not just figure this out one day and think "Oh, if I recognize that I am powerless over my addiction/alcoholism and find God, well my life will be great!" didn't work out that way. This was the absolute LAST RESORT for me...I was sitting on a hospital bed in Holland MI, restrained, after a suicide attempt when I realized that I could no longer try and handle life on my own. I knew that to live I was going to need help...but I did not know where to turn at that time. I believed in my heart that I was hopeless.

I have said this before on many different occasions and the concept is still a difficult one to comprehend but the end result of my life suggests that it is true. By admitting my powerlessness, by giving up and surrendering my will to God, by accepting what I considered a humiliating DEFEAT in life...I actually became victorious over my addiction, one day at a time. 

It was that admittance followed by a total reliance on God that helps me overcome my alcoholism/addiction on a daily basis. I will admit that the concept of "relying" on anything other then myself did not sit very well with me...I thought it was weak. I thought all Christians were weak and couldn't handle life on their own. Little did I know the truth...  

Yesterday I had a reader comment on a post that this reliance on spirituality seems like a crutch, just like booze and drugs were. I thought the very same thing when I was a practising addict/alcoholic. Today I guess my response is you can look at it whatever way you want, all I know is those other ways of living nearly killed me, they ruined my life, hurt other people and things never got better. This life...where I surrender my will to God and accept my powerlessness over my addiction is simply the best life I have EVER had. I'm happier, healthier, productive and the list of positives goes on,  there aren't any negatives. Why is this? I don't really know...and I don't care. I just know that it is REAL!

The purpose of Shell Shock Serenade is to document one addict/alcoholics life in recovery. This is a record, a daily documentation of how I live my life in recovery, the successes, the defeats...the good times and the bad. It is not a white-washed, fairy tale account...No, it is real and sometimes it isn't pretty. But it is my life and one day at a time I am recovering from my addiction...what else can I say, it works for me...I am not saying it will work for anyone else. And yet I'm not saying it won't either...that is up to each individual to figure out for themselves. But if anyone ever would like more specific detail from me on my story, feel free to email me at: 

So that is where my head was at this morning...the concept of surrendering to win goes against everything we are taught in this life from the time we are children right through adulthood. Some people won't ever accept it and that surely is there prerogative...but I sure am grateful that did because I had no other alternatives...I had used up all my lives!

(Artwork by Georgia O'Keeffe)