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Remember to Remember…

Ten years ago my life was crumbling before my eyes. After some experimental usage of illicit substances I had come to embrace “better living through chemistry” to the fullest extent. While I found temporary relief in using substances to change the way I felt about literally everything in my life – I quickly was slapped in the face with reality; there was no outrunning this thing. There was no easier softer way in my journey through living. Wherever I went – there I was. Challenges would always present themselves. Hardship would always come. Emotions would be a part of me as long as I drew breath on this plane of existence – and no amount of heroin, alcohol, marijuana, meth, or pills would ever change that simple fact. Despite intrinsically knowing this, even internalizing it to a certain degree – it wasn’t enough to deter me from trying.

As is often the case in situations such as these, the consequences of my actions slowly began to pile up, engulfing me in a darkness that I couldn’t possibly have imagined. Failing health. Problems with the law. Homelessness. Extreme, unpredictable behavior. Depression, anxiety, insane mood swings, even psychosis at certain times became a fact of my life on a daily basis. I was wholly and utterly lost in such an incredibly complete way that I never thought I’d see a way out.

Like many individuals in these situations I found willingness through pain. After having been beaten to a pulp repeatedly for years I accepted help. I admitted myself to treatment. I listened. I tried to remain teachable. I participated in recovery even in times where it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I made that promise to myself in those dark moments that regardless of how pointless I thought some suggestions may be – I’d still take them to heart and try my best to follow through. That was it. That was enough for my situation to begin to change – to allow me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. God placed people in my life at exactly the time I would be most receptive to their insight and wisdom – people just like me who’d walked through the fire and had come out on the other side – people living freely.

As remarkable as this transformation in my life was, there are still times where I forget. I forget how bad it was. I forget how hopeless I felt with every single breath I took. I even take for granted the freedom, serenity, and peace I now have when something in particular is irking me – freedom that I couldn’t have dreamed of experiencing during those days. I think so often in our lives we get lost in the minutiae of any given moment; the day-to-day stresses, anxieties, whatever it may be that’s on our hearts at any given time, that it can be difficult to recognize the strides we’ve made. It can become increasingly easy to lose sight of the big picture when you’re in the middle of turmoil.

So if you’re going through it today: remember those times. Remember those seasons when you felt like falling apart. Remember the grief. Remember the pain. Remember the almost unbearable emotional struggle that life can feel like at times. But most importantly – remember that you are here now, on the other side of it! That you’re alive. That your life is a miraculous gift that should never be forsaken or discarded – that you are worthy of joy, happiness, and fulfillment. That despite your current difficulties there is always Hope in Him. Through Him, and the works of His people, I was delivered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body – and in the process was instilled with an unbreakable faith. A faith that I would never trade, or give away, for anything in the world.

My hope and prayer today is that we are reminded of the big picture – that we don’t forget the trials and tribulations we’ve walked through; and that we utilize those priceless lessons we’ve learned to become living examples of God’s uncompromising restorative power.

What was done for me – could just as easily be done for anyone.

Sean – In Recovery

You can read, comment and ask questions for Sean to address in his blog on the PAL website, home page –