Jason is an average fellow who makes no claims to any special position other than being a believer in Jesus Christ my Lord and savior.
Pondering the future, I sat facing the window feeling confused and alone. The sound of those exuberant voices singing their praise faded away into the night. The euphoric feeling and wide-eyed optimism gained by completing (the once thought impossible) 28 days of treatment we're now nowhere to be found. Making matters worse, upon discovering that I no longer lived under that protective bubble rehab offered, my old friends drugs and alcohol dropped in for a visit. I told them they were no longer welcome because sobriety now lives here, so please leave and never return. With the echoes of their howling laughter still fresh in my mind, I did what I could to prepare for the expected onslaught. Almost immediately, the barrage of threats describing my imminent demise filled the air. Feelings of fear and anxiety sprang up within me, for I knew that if not careful, these prophesized threats could once again become my reality.
Barely surviving the first real test of my early sobriety opened my eyes in a new way. I was vulnerable and had no clue as to what I was doing. However, little did I know, I was blessed beyond my understanding. Have you ever felt that feeling of hopelessness? That feeling of no control whatsoever over what life throws at you? If not, maybe there is someone you know who has. Either way, my wish is that through my writing, I can pass along to you what was passed along to me—wisdom, strength, and hope.
Shortly after my release from rehab, a realization came upon me as the fog of addiction began to dissipate. Like a tornado, my actions while active in addiction had a similar effect on every aspect of my life. Everywhere I turned, there was evidence of my destructive force on display for the world to see. Soon after this realization, like a dog nipping at my heels, the weight of guilt came upon me. This weight landed squarely on my shoulders as the consequences of my actions became more apparent. The need to fix everything, get it all back, and do it yesterday grew exponentially. However, the desire to feel loved, accepted, and needed almost became too much for me to bear. As the pressure mounted, my fear and anxiety grew as well. I was scrambling for answers, not knowing what to do. Therefore, I did everything. I did it all and depending on who you asked, I did either the right thing, wrong thing, or the in-between thing, yet regardless of the outcome, the result was always the same. In other words, it did not matter what action I took or did not take. I still had that same emptiness, fear, and anxiety living within me. So now what? Am I doomed? Is there no relief, no hope?
A GraceBeyond Understanding
By the grace of God, and due in part, to the love and patience of those who came before me, I was able to figure out two fundamental truths. First, the problem that I faced was physical and spiritual. Second, I was using external sources to satisfy an internal need. Or put this way, I was seeking my happiness, self-worth, joy, identity, or even my truth, through what other people, places, or things, could provide or do for me. For example, it's like eating ice cream to combat depression or buying a new sports car to address your self-esteem. By its very design, this way of thinking is doomed to fail, maybe not right away, giving it the illusion of success, but in the end, it could never work. Unfortunately, I have many experiences, memories, and scars that would testify to the folly of trusting in this way of thinking.
Thankfully like the sun's rays at the dawn of a new day, an awareness broke through my consciousness; I finally understood my problem in a way that gave room for hope. No longer will I be the one who brings a knife to a gunfight. Today, as I stand with feet firmly planted upon my foundation, a foundation that was built with the wisdom and love that the Bible provided. I now know that I have the strength and hope needed to withstand any challenge that may come my way. As I bring this to a close, I will leave with you what was given to me, a suggestion. Please take a moment to look within. Ask yourself this question: do I have a firm foundation? Is my truth strong enough to withstand what troubles lie ahead? For it is not just a foundation. It is your absolute truth, your filter for all things to sift through. I built my foundation with the Bible, and today, everything I hear, see and plan to do gets filtered through this foundation., I hope you, my friend, can take this hard-fought-for awareness and make it yours, hopefully avoiding any more unnecessary scars. I wish you the best, God Bless, and always; pay it forward.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Jason Grzegorzewski