Category Archives: Sobriety

My drinking to my downfall and the rebuilding process.

Verse of the Day – John 10:10

John 10:10

John 10:10

For years I let the alcohol steal my life, it took everything I had and did it’s best to take my life, but when I opened the door to Christ, I found life.

WHEN YOU WALK INTO THE ROOM by BRYAN AND KATIE TORWALT
When You walk into the room
Everything changes
Darkness starts to tremble
At the light that you bring
When You walk into the room
Every heart starts burning
Than just to sit here at your feet
And worship you
We worship you

We Love You, and we’ll never stop
We can’t live without You, Jesus
We Love You, We can’t get enough
All this is for You, Jesus

When You walk into the room
Sickness starts to vanish
Every hopeless situation
Ceases to exist
When You walk into the room
The dead begin to rise
Cause there is resurrection life
In all You do

We Love You, and we’ll never stop
We can’t live without You, Jesus
We Love You, We can’t get enough
All this is for You, Jesus

Come and consume God
All we are
We give You permission
Our hearts are Yours
We want You
We want You

Come and consume God
All we are
We give You permission
Our hearts are Yours
We want You
We want You

Come and consume God
All we are
We give You permission
Our hearts are Yours
We want You
We want You

Come and consume God
All we are
We give You permission
Our hearts are Yours
We want You
We want You

We Love You, and we’ll never stop
We can’t live without You, Jesus
We Love You, We can’t get enough
All this is for You, Jesus

Oh how we love You
Oh how we love You

 

Verse of the Day – Psalm 94:18

Psalm 94:18

Psalm 94:18

There has been so many times in this sober journey where I have felt my foot slip, but though I may slip, He never let me fall, when it was too hard to go on, He rested with me, when I didn’t want to go on anymore, He walked by my side, my encouragement through every night, His unfailing Love has seen me through everything.

UNSTOPPABLE LOVE by JESUS CULTURE & KIM WALKER-SMITH
Try to stop Your love, and You would wage a war
Try to take the very thing, You gave Your life for
And You would come running, tear down every wall
All the while shouting, “My love you’re worth it all!”

God, You pursue me, with power and glory
Unstoppable love that never ends
You’re unrelenting, with passion and mercy
Unstoppable love that never ends

You broke into the silence, and sang a song of hope
A melody resounding, in the deep of my soul
You have come running, You tore down every wall
All the while shouting, “My love you’re worth it all!”

God, You pursue me, with power and glory
Unstoppable love that never ends
You’re unrelenting, with passion and mercy
Unstoppable love that never ends

No sin, no shame, no past, no pain
Can separate me from Your love
No height, no depth, no fear, no death
Can separate me from Your love

No sin, no shame, no past, no pain
Can separate me from Your love
No height, no depth, no fear, no death
Can separate me from Your love

God, You pursue me, with power and glory
Unstoppable love that never ends
You’re unrelenting, with passion and mercy
Unstoppable love that never ends

No sin, no shame, no past, no pain
Can separate me from Your love
No height, no depth, no fear, no death
Can separate me from Your love

No sin, no shame, no past, no pain
Can separate me from Your love
No height, no depth, no fear, no death
Can separate me from Your love

No sin, no shame, no past, no pain
Can separate me from Your love
No height, no depth, no fear, no death
Can separate me from Your love

No sin, no shame, no past, no pain
Can separate me from Your love
No height, no depth, no fear, no death
Can separate me from Your love

 

Verse of the Day – Psalm 32:5

Psalm 32:5

Psalm 32:5

From my first meeting with my Pastor I began to confess to all my sins and the control my addiction had over my actions, from that night I stopped hiding, more importantly I stopped hiding the truth from myself, by being open, I found out more about myself and who I had become that I ever realised.  I confessed this all to God and asked for help and strength to overcome, He forgave my sins and answered my prayers.

So five years on I can still speak my testimony of God’s great works.

ECHO THE SON by RED ROCKS CHURCH WORSHIP
House this heart so prone to leave
Yield my pride oh Lord to Thee
May my prayer echo the Son
Not my will but Yours be done

’cause Lord You are worthy
You raise me up mighty and strong
Let my testimony, be all for Your glory
Be all for Your Kingdom to come

Oh-ohhhhhhhhh-ohhh
Oh-ohhhhhh oh-ohh-ohhhh

For God alone my soul will wait
My trust and hope in You I place
Evermore my prayer shall be-eeeee-oh-ohh
Oh let Your will be done in me
Oh-ohhhh-ohh

’cause Lord You are worthy
You raise me up mighty and strong
Let my testimony, be all for Your glory
Be all for Your Kingdom to come

’cause Lord You are worthy
You raise me up mighty and strong
Let my testimony, be all for Your glory
Be all for Your Kingdom to come

Oh-ohhhhhhhhh-ohhh
Oh-ohhhhhh oh-ohh-ohhhh

I will trust in You
For You are in control
Falling on my knees
Oh I surrender all

Oh I will trust in You
For You are in control
Falling on my knees
Oh I surrender all

Oh I will trust in You
For You are in control
Falling on my knees
Oh I surrender all

Oh I will trust in You
For You are in control
Falling on my knees
Oh I surrender all

Oh I will trust in You
Oh I will trust in You (Oh-ohh-ohhh)
Yes I will trust in You
Oh I will trust in You
Oh-ohh Lord

Lord You are worthy
You raise me up mighty and strong
Let my testimony, be all for Your glory
Be all for Your Kingdom to come

’cause Lord You are worthy
You raise me up mighty and strong
Let my testimony, be all for Your glory
Be all for Your Kingdom to come

’cause Lord You are worthy
You raise me up mighty and strong

Home

Home

Time spent wandering aimlessly
Knocking upon doors
That never received me
The only place that with open arms
Would ever receive me
Was deep at the bottom of the bottle
I was blind
And my ears distorted
I could hear the words
But always turned my face

It took the edge of death
To bring me to life
My eyes were opened
I could see the door
The door wide open
That I had ran from so many times
Where the Father stood with open arms
Waiting
Waiting for me to come home
To release me from my chains

In open arms my heart fell
Clothed in the love of the beloved Son
The One who gave His life for my soul
Now held me same within arms
I came home to the Father’s heart
Felt the love which I’d searched so hard
All my addiction just fell away
I rose again
Now I could see
The Son who for died for me

5 Years Sober

It’s hard to believe that it’s five years since I last had a drink, especially when you consider it was hard to get through a day without a drink.  The truth was, that after seeking help with a phone call to Gareth, I began to gain a level of control.

Then once I began praying to the Lord for help, I began to dislike the taste, it did nothing for me anymore, that initial relief of the first drink of the night, it wasn’t there anymore, the refreshing taste was gone, it began to taste like vinegar, each night it got worse.

So on 29th March 2012 I decided that if I didn’t like the taste of the first drink, then that would be it, no more!

I am thankful to say that it was the worst pint I had ever had, it tasted awful!

And I haven’t had a drink since that night, there have been some big tests of my resolve, but the Lord has seen me through it each time and I remain sober!

Psalm 34:4

Psalm 34:4

I will ever be thankful to God for answering my prayers, for finding my at my depths and delivering me to a new life.  I am thankful for all the members of His kingdom that He led me to, without them, this journey would have been so much harder.

This is just the start, five years it just a ripple, the journey now is really just beginning and I can’t wait to see where it leads me.

THANK YOU by JAKE HAMILTON & KIM WALKER-SMITH
Thank you for the summer
Thank you for the rain
And thank you for the pleasure
Thank you for the pain
Thank you for the flowers that bloom early may
And thank you for the winter that washes for the rain

I wanna say thank you
I wanna say thank you
And thank you for it all

Thank you for the desert
Thank you for the tree’s
And thank you for the bearers
And for the victory
Thank you for the groaning that gives me room to grow
Thank you for the seasons where i learn to reap and soul
I wanna say thank you
I wanna say thank you

I wanna say thank you
I wanna say thank you

Thank you for it all
So come let us worship
Let us release a jamboree sound

Let us enter his presence
Let us all bow down
Let us enter his presence
Let us all bow down

Leaving The Past Behind

Sometimes we have to put aside that which holds us down, that which keeps us trapped, that which is the destroyer of our souls.

Five years ago life was changing rapidly, I was now finding a way through that I had never dreamed off, only a week before I was torn between life and death, between holding on and simply giving up on life and everything that goes with it.

But that voice, the voice I later found to be God’s stopped me in my tracks, made me see I had some worth to someone, even if I had none to myself. From that moment chains were snapping, things were changing, a mind set for despair began to see life. That morning after I made a phone call that changed everything for good, last week I described how that single call to my Pastor tore the veil that was shrouding me, the world began to see my pain and more importantly I began to see God.

Two nights later, I prayed for the first time. It had been a long hard day at work, after a nine and half hour shift, I went straight to the architects to do what I thought would only be about an hours work, then home. But they had more work for me than I anticipated and the more I rushed, the more mistakes and the longer it took, I was getting stressed, I had not had much more than three hours sleep over the preceding two nights and I wanted to go home and have a drink, the desperation was returning. I remember thinking to myself it would be fine, on the way home pick up two bottles of wine, drink them both and relax!

After about two hours I finally left, it was gone 7.30pm, over twelve hours since I left home that morning for work, I was tired, irritable and desperate.

I went home, had something to eat, watched some TV and then decided I was bored, so time for bed.

What I didn’t realise was that was almost 11.30pm, but not only that I hadn’t had a drink, I hadn’t stopped off at the shop in the way home, I had gone straight home and what’s more, I don’t remember any of the anguish or desperation that had been there in the preceding weeks. At no point had I paced the house, scratching at the skin on my arms, whilst I tried to resist a drink, there was none of that, but a sense of peace was there.

I turned everything off, laid down, closed my eyes and prayed, I thanked God for that strength to get through without drinking and I asked for the strength to get through each day like that, then I closed my eyes and slept.

Having not really being able to sleep at anytime without a drink over the last few years, in particular the previous two nights, when I woke with my alarm, I realised I had just experienced the most peaceful sleep of my whole life, at that moment I cried as I realised God had heard and answered my prayer, He had brought a peace that is hard to describe, other that absolutely amazing.

By the time Sunday came around, I had only had six pints since the previous weekend, a fraction of what I drank on the previous Sunday and since my phone call, I had brought nothing into my house and had drunk nothing in my house either.

From the previous weekend there was about a third of a bottle of wine left, I had placed it on the top of the fridge. All week I had walked past that bottle, but eventually I began to speak out to it, I told this bottle that it couldn’t have me, it had no power over me, I had a plan for it and as Sunday came around, it was time to action that plan. It was time to say goodbye to some of my past.

I didn’t feel I was ready for Church yet, although I knew that was to be my destiny, but I knew certain things had to be dealt with before I could walk into Church. So I set off into town, I needed the largest plastic container that I could find, yet still carry home.

I brought the container home and began to fill it. Firstly I took all my bedding and put it at the bottom of the box, it all stank of the alcohol I had spilt on it over the years, I had become quite good at falling asleep with an open bottle of wine in my hand, eventually I didn’t spill much, I would wake in the morning with this open bottle, drink the rest and then go to work, that was who I had become, so the smell of sweat and alcohol mixed had to go, I had purchased new bedding, so this was to go.

On top of that I placed the clothes I had been sleeping in, just a tatty tracksuit, a couple of t-shirts and all my worn out underwear and socks, these were the clothes I would lounge about the house in and drink in, like my bedding they had that stale smell of sweat and alcohol mixed, they had to go too. On top of those I added my watch, the fabric strap had the same smell, that had to go with the rest of it.

Then with the box almost full there was one thing left to go in, the last bottle of wine that I had ever purchased, is was only a third full, but it wasn’t going to be drank, this was the plan I had for it all week, to be put in this box and put it away with the rest of my past. I placed it carefully on top of everything else and closed the box. On the box in marker pen, I wrote the date and “This Is Where The Healing Begins”. Then I took the box down into the cellar and placed it with all the other forgotten rubbish we had collected over the years.

The box remains there, five years on.

The Forgotten Box

The Forgotten Box

I honestly don’t remember what prompted me to do this, I cannot remember that actual point that I came up with the idea, it just became a plan that I thought of and put into action. In a way I had to make a symbolic gesture of packing away a part of my life that I didn’t need or want anymore, to make a positive action to say goodbye to the part of me that would lounge around the house drinking, the new me was rising and there was no space in my life anymore for this version of me,it had to be packed away.

I do recall reading a story of a girl in America who gave away a razor blade that she had used to cut herself with to the band Tenth Avenue North, one of their songs had inspired her to quit self harming, so when she met the band she made that gesture, maybe this was what inspired me, I can’t honestly remember, but I knew it was something I had to do.

Four days later, 29th March 2012, I took my last drink, the next morning I woke free, knowing I had made the choice to never drink again, I knew I had the strength now to resist and that I would never have to wake feeling fuzzy ever again, then just a few days later I would walk into the Everyday Champions Church and knew I had found my home.

God had lead me home!

BORN AGAIN by THIRD DAY ft LACEY STURM
Today I found myself
After searching all these years
And the man that I saw, he wasn’t at all who I thought he’d be
I was lost when you found me here
And I was broken beyond repair
Then you came along and you sang your song over me

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
For the very first time
In my life

Make a promise to me now
Reassure my heart somehow
That the love that I feel is so much more real than anything
I’ve a feeling in my soul
And I pray that I’m not wrong
That the life I have now, it is only the beginning

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
For the very first time
It feels like I’m breathing
It feels like I’m moving
For the very first time
For the very first time

I wasn’t looking for something that was more
Than what I had yesterday
Then you came to me and you gave to me
Life and a love that I’ve never known
That I’ve never felt before

It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
I’m living for the first time
It feels like I’m breathing
It feels like I’m moving
For the very first time
I’m living for the first time
In my life

At The Edge Of Life

Sometimes I believe time passes really slowly and at others it seems to pass so quickly, so I’m finding it hard to believe where I was five years ago today to where I am now, 18th March 2012 was the beginning of a two week period which changed my life entirely.

That day I found myself in the depths of despair, just five days before my relationship with Victoria had ended, we had drifted apart over the two years where I was drinking heavily and removing myself from daily life, refusing in a way to deal with my problems, certainly not admitting I had any. But after that night, I realised I had no longer any control over drinking, alcohol had it’s grip and I was helpless.

For the previous five days I had barely eaten, maybe a two or three meals, but I had drank, oh boy had I drank, I drank more in those five days than I had in any week in my life. Each time I left to go to the shop, I cried, I apologised, I couldn’t help myself, I tried not to, but it was just too hard, it was easier to admit defeat and give into the grip of the bottle.

But on that day, I found myself at home, my son was in the house, but Victoria and Eve had gone to Church, it was Mother’s Day and my kids hadn’t got anything for Victoria because I hadn’t got them anything. I went upstairs to have a bath, to clean up before I went out to teach karate, get rid of the smell of the previous evening’s alcohol.

There I found myself staring at myself in the mirror, I had picked up a penknife I had in the bathroom, the blade was out and I held it against my left wrist. In my mind I only had thoughts of how worthless I was, how everyone I knew would be better off without me, Victoria and the kids would be better off, they wouldn’t have to struggle for money or keep dragging me along, they would be free.

I decided I was going to cut my wrists and then get in the bath I had just ran and wait to die.
As thought after thought repeated in my head, each one telling my how I was worthless to everyone, there was one thought that came out of nowhere. I heard a voice say…

“Your children are better off living with you as your are now,
than living with the memory of what they will find.”

I looked down at the bath and I could see the image of myself laying dead in the water and then releasing that it would be one of my kids that would find this, most probably my six year old daughter, after that I put down the knife, I couldn’t go through with it, I just stood there crying.
This voice and this thought was in opposition to everything that I was feeling, I didn’t know from where it came from, but it was enough.

But I felt so angry, anger at myself for being what I perceived as a coward, I remember thinking how I didn’t have the courage to live, but I didn’t have the courage to die either, I was trapped in this state of nothingness, this void, from where it seemed I couldn’t escape.

I had my bath, got my mind ready for karate and set off. I taught as if the world couldn’t see who I really was, after all when I put on my karate suit I escaped from who I really was, it was like an alter ego, nobody knew what was going on in my life, the only thing that seemed normal was karate. After teaching I hit the pub, had at least five pints of strong cider and set off home, on the way back I picked up two bottles of wine and set about drinking them until I drifted off to sleep, that had become my normal routine by now.

But things where changing, I knew by then I had to get help, if I couldn’t die, I had to start living. I had asked Victoria if I could speak with her Pastor, I had met him a few times and really liked him. But my initial intention was to convince him to get Victoria to give me another change, it was purely selfish, I knew Victoria respected him and thought he could broker something between us. Yet after the finding myself on the edge of life, Victoria came home with a lifeline, she gave me Gareth’s number. So that night I decided that come the morning I would call Gareth, but this time to ask for help to put myself right, nothing else mattered other than I needed help, big time.

Things were changing, once I put down that knife I knew I needed help, help to quit drinking and find a new way of coping with my problems, we were heavily in dept, I had made such a mess of things and I needed direction.

But it was that voice, that whisper against all the screams that I was making that made the difference. It wasn’t until much later that I realised that it was the voice of God that spoke to me that day, it was the Lord who told me to hang on, it was His spirit that showed me what my children would find and have to live with. It may have been the most painful moment in my entire life, but it started a chain of events that saw me find help, find God and find sobriety.

I hear many people say that suicide is weak or selfish, but believe me suicide is the point of all hopelessness, it is the point where all hope has gone and you can’t see any other way.

The only one who can fill that void of hopelessness is the Lord, He spoke to me that day and led me to Gareth to find help, all part of path He had set for me many years before, He had put everything in place for me to find a way out, now I just had to find the courage to make that call the next morning.

WAR IS OVER by KALLEY HEILIGENTHAL & BETHEL MUSIC
The war is over, turn around
Lay your weapons on the ground
The smoke is fading before the light
The dead are coming back to life

He has made a way for us
Born for glory, out of dust
Children held within the arms of peace
He has made a way for all
Mercy waits where sinners falls
He is our victory

The war is over
His love has call
To call us daughetrs and sons
No longer orphans
Whithout a home
We have found where we belong

He has made a way for us
Born for glory, out of dust
Children held within the arms of peace
He has made a way for all
Mercy waits where sinners falls
He is our victory

He has made a way for us
Born for glory, out of dust
Children held within the arms of peace
He has made a way for all
Mercy waits where sinners falls
He is our victory

It is finished
It is done
The blood of Jesus overcomes
It is finished
He has won
He has won