Through Darkness to 250 Weeks Sober

If you have following my series of poems and verse of the day posts since the beginning of December, you may recall reading about my struggles during early December.  I didn’t elaborate on the issues back then, just wrote in my poems my deepest fears, my prayers and my pain.  In a way I have had to work through the issues before I could really write objectively about that period of my life and the changes that have happened.

If you have followed me for some time, you will know that a number of years ago I began to struggle in life, no work, no money and very little opportunity to get out of the situation.  Although even at that point I enjoyed a drink, I began to rely on drinking to get through, to the point I put drinking before paying bills and looking after my partner and our two kids, I was a mess.  That was until March 2012, when I began to realise that Victoria and I had severely drifted apart, I tried to put things right, to say I was sorry, but it was too late, it was unrepairable.

I went into a spiral of just drinking for a week, I realised I had no control over it anymore, it had control of me, I was trapped.  On 18th March 2012, I seriously considered taking my own life, I felt I was a burden on those around me and everyone would be better off without me around.  But I couldn’t do it, through all the thoughts of hopelessness I heard a voice, it told me “it is better that you kids live with you as you are now, rather than the memory of what they will find”.  I couldn’t do it after that, I realised my kids would be the ones who found my lifeless body and I couldn’t do that to them.

The next day I met with my now Pastor, I was reaching out for help, I wasn’t a Christian at that point, I had no real concept of God, He didn’t exist to me, but after meeting with Gareth, things began to change.  A few nights later I began praying for help and finally on Thursday 29th March 2012 I took my last drink and vowed never to drink again, three days later I walked into Church and found my home.

These past few years have had their ups and downs, but I’ve made it through sober all the way.  But I make no secret that I have prayed over and over again for the restoration of my relationship with Victoria, I have prayed and prayed for it.  We still lived in the same house with the kids, but in different rooms, we lived different lives, but made it work, in a way.  It was hard seeing her every day, but not being able to change anything, but I kept praying.

Earlier last year, she informed me that she would be looking to move out within a year, then later in the year she said her friends were doing up a house they had brought and when it was done she would be renting that from them.  In November she confirmed the date for her and the kids to move out would be the 10th December.

I did everything I could not to think about it, I believed it would never happening, I had been praying over this for years and there was no way this was going to happen, God would come through, wouldn’t He?

I didn’t tell anyone what was happening, I kept it hidden, until the weekend before, when a friend asked about the situation at Church, then I broke down, the reality that this could happen was sinking in.

On Saturday 10th December I went to work as usual, when I came home they were taking the last load of furniture and things, I was broken, the kids had already gone, I went into the bathroom and just cried, I could hear Victoria calling to me, but I just sat there on the bathroom floor crying with my head in my hands, then the house was quiet.

The place was a mess, I was a mess.  That afternoon I went to teach at Karate, I managed to get through that, it took my mind off things, then went to a friend’s from our Connect group to watch the boxing, again my mind was kept occupied.

It was the next day when the deepest pain come to the fore.  I was supposed to be going to a karate course down south, a few of my students were grading for their black belts, I was really needed to go with them, but I couldn’t face it, so I cancelled my lift and decided I needed to be in Church.

I was okay at home that morning, then I set off for Church, I was on team, so I always get there early, usually one of the first.  As I walked to Church I began to feel more emotional, like I was just ready to burst.  When I got there, a few people were milling around, I said hello and got on with my set up.  Then one of the guys asked how I really was, they knew what was going on, this time I couldn’t hide or hold it in anymore, I just broke down into tears.  I spent almost all the morning in tears, it all came out, I just cried and cried, every time someone spoke to me or asked how I was I broke down again, I cried on so many shoulders.  On this journey I have cried so many times, over so many things, but not like this and not in so public a way, so many people came past, people I didn’t even know, but they all reached out with a hand upon my shoulder, a gesture, but a welcome one.

That was the worst day.  From then I had to question my faith.  Over the next few days I had to work out what I was going to do from there.  I had prayed for our situation so many times, I believed I had God’s promise that we would be restored, the ruins would be rebuilt, now it seemed all was at an end, where did that leave me and how do I feel about it?

Though I didn’t cry much after that Sunday, it was still a dark place.  I have always struggled up to Christmas, it’s not a great time for alcoholics, drinking and partying is everywhere and you see all these families having a great time, all I can do is dream of having what they have.  So now it felt darker and the fears of slipping back into old ways was closer to the surface than ever.

I was in a place where my faith was severely tested, if God’s promise was for restoration, what is this place I find myself, how could I get this so wrong, did God lie to me, does He really exist or do I really believe?  But the only way through this was the thought that I had been to even darker places, I had been to the edge of life, but each time God had led me out, if He had done this for me before, then He would do it again, no matter how dark the situation.

Once I placed my trust in this belief, that God has my back, no matter what, then I began to pull through.  The emptiness of the house, the mess I was living in was nothing, just temporary, get through these next few days, get to Christmas, make it through New Year and everything would be fine.

A few months ago, I had one of those despair moments whilst walking to work, crying out for restoration, but as I walked God clearly said:

“Trust me, the seven year drought will soon be over, then prosperity will come”

I believed the drought was our relationship, but now I believe it is me, I was the drought, I was dry and barren within, He has repeatedly called out to me to trust Him, I have prayed for my desires, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I was also getting hung up on it, setting my life on it happening, letting it define me, that I believe was the drought.

As Christmas came closer, I began to sort the house out, so I had at least something comfortable when the kids came over.  Money fell into place at the right time, I got paid for all my extra work the week before Christmas, I could get the kids presents and get things for the house.

I have to say this, I have just got through Christmas over the last few years, not really enjoyed them, just been glad to get through them unscathed.  But this time around, I loved Christmas, it was the best Christmas I have had in a long while, for at least seven years anyway.  I haven’t felt so happy or optimistic in many a year.  As New Year came, my Connect Group friends came through with beds and other furniture for me and the kids.  Apart from items in the kitchen and one sofa, Victoria took everything else, which was fine, they needed it more than I did, I would rather the kids be comfortable and have everything they needed than myself.

My parents helped with many things too, they are going to help me decorate the bedrooms for the kids, they are retired and have the time in the day.  I am gradually getting the house how I want it, I am becoming domesticated too, I worked out the washing machine, the oven, all that sort of stuff.  I don’t leave pots on the side any more, I wash them straight away, in fact I am a little worried about how tidy I am becoming, this is not my natural self.

In this moment I am happier than I have been in such a long time.  I am more enthusiastic for my future than ever and fully content with where I am at the moment, today is even more special, as;

I AM 250 WEEKS SOBER TODAY, 1750 SOBERDAYS!!!!!!!

This could have gone so wrong over Christmas, but it didn’t, once again God led me out and now I place my trust in Him fully, I put my faith in Him and face my future with optimism and hope.  I don’t know what prosperity looks like, but I can’t wait to find out.  I certainly feel the drought is over.

I could never have got through this without God, the amazing people of my Connect Group and Church have been immense, without them this would have been so much harder, they have kept me going when it would have been easier to give in, I haven’t and I am still here by the grace of God.

And I am staying here!

I want to add thank you for all of you who continue to read, like and comment on my writings, I know I don’t always respond, but I do appreciate everything.

I considered stopping writing at one point last year, I even thought about pulling down my blog, I have also had a few issues with an ex student targeting my on Facebook, with so very insulting and obscene comments about me, my family and my karate club, this is currently with the Police, although I don’t believe they can do much, it was something I could do without, I add that to get through it, I have not responded or retaliated in anyway on Facebook or anywhere else, I chose to pray for them, for their heart and their soul, I prayed that they may find God and find peace in their life, it made it easy to get through and get beyond.

I decided to continue with the series of poems into this year, I have written at least one poem everyday for two years now, I thought I would be all poemed out, but no I decided I would carry on for another year at least, so I have created a number of bible verse images to write about and will continue for the next year at least.

So this next year, only God know what’s in store, but I am so enthusiastic, so happy and so content!!!

DAYLIGHT by BRAVE SAINT SATURN
Did you hear the news today?
I’m not coming home, no
And I wished it all away
I felt so alone, yeah
And the darkness crept it’s way
Like stars we know will die too soon
There is never any sunrise here in the shadows of eclipsing moons
Crawling on a tightrope
The bravest thing I have is hope

Daylight, save me
Daylight, save me
Tonight, tonight

Halogen, the lights will flicker
Incandescent burning lies
And the silence stands for nothing
Desperate I search the skies
Aching for a spark
Trembling in pitchest dark

Daylight, save me
Daylight, save me
Tonight, tonight

Mission Control: U.S.S. Gloria, this is mission control, do you copy?
We have lost contact with the U.S.S. Gloria

U.S.S. Gloria: Mission Control, this is the U.S.S. Gloria, do you read me?
Mayday, we have lost primary guidance functions

News Reporter: The crew is now out of radio contact.
Presently there is no way for us to know whether they
Are alive or dead.
Our hopes and prayers go out with you all.

Mission Control: U.S.S. Gloria, this is mission control, do you copy?

U.S.S. Gloria: Houston this is the U.S.S. Gloria.
Good to hear your voice
We are coming out of the eclipse now.
I see the sunlight. it’s beautiful
The sunlight is beautiful.

Jesus Christ, Light of the World
You never did forget me
And when I bled in darkness, You held me
Still held me
When desperate nights I cursed You
You loved me, still loved me
Jesus Christ, You dry the tears
You break my heart of stone
Your words are life
Cut marrow through
The darkness, to the bone
A heart of flesh You gave me
Only You can save me

Savior
Daylight
I am coming home

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