Trust me, I've been there, I've looked, I've searched and I know now, that there are no answers to be found in the bottom of a bottle or on the edge of a blade! Fighting Hard, Recovering, Rebuilding, REBORN. Moving on from addiction to a new life.
Even though I was broken Even though I was lost Even though I lied through life Even though Addiction had took it’s toll He saw enough To lift me He saw enough To trust in me He saw enough To make me strong He saw enough To wipe the slate clean How great is our Lord
You see my recovery From ever lost To sober man Still none of this Of my doing None of it My strength To God be all the glory To God be all the praise He’s the reason For my recovery The reason I am here
My misery No longer ties to the bottle And the brokenness ti brought Faded away The beer The wine Seem all so distant Not found upon this path I walk with the Lord With Him I find my joy And the strength to leave my past And the bottle no longer holds me Released from deep within it’s grasp
My destruction All my pride Could it all have been avoided If I had opened up my world Let them in sooner To the darkness And the despair Could the fall have been less If not for stubborn pride A typical man Wouldn’t show my weakness Not until it was too late And all came down Then pride fell And the light came in To set me free From the worst of myself To open the doors To a better path To a better life
To all those Treading the same paths I wandered once before Times long ago When the bottle A strange partner In an effort To break my world To you I say this Hold on Be strong I know the pain The emptiness The despair But He will come Just wait Stay strong The world will change Darkness to light Hope from despair So fear not The time will come Just hold on
So today brings up nine years sober, I almost forgot this year, for the last few weeks I’m not sure what day it is!
I’m currently on garden leave as I have given my notice to leave my job for one at another merchants, so for the last four weeks I have barely left the house. As I wasn’t furloughed last year, we worked right through lockdown, it been an nice change of pace, but with no real routine I’m not sure what day it is from one day to the next, oh well, a few more weeks and I should have some routine back.
This last year hasn’t been easy, I am still troubled by the same chest problem that started at the begin of last year, I still have a persistent cough and shortness of breath, I’ve seen a specialist and am now on the second attempt at treatment by medication, which still isn’t really sorting the problem out, I have a telephone appointment next month with the respiratory specialist, but if there is no change by then, he will refer me to the Ear Nose and Throat department to see if anything in the throat is causing the problem.
At it’s worst, I can cough so hard I start to pass out, everything goes fuzzy, my ears buzz and my body goes numb, it’s take a minute or two to come back around to normal, this at times was happening four or five times an hour, not great when I was at work. At the moment it isn’t that bad, but I guess I’ve not been very active either, today I’ve been out for a couple of walks with friends, the second one this evening was the longest I’ve walked since these problems started, so at this moment of time I am coughing quite a bit, hopefully it will settle down over the evening. At times last year walking to work was a problem, I would get half way and be so short of breath that my legs would begin to ache so bad, I would have to struggle the rest of the way and then hopefully recharge a little bit when I got to work. This from someone who usually could go out on a twelve or thirteen mile walk at a fast pace with no problems at all.
Health problems aside, I am still sober, it still has it temptation every now and again, but as each year passes they get easier to deal with. I still get that strength from the Lord, it’s not mine.
I thank God for that strength, the mercy and grace that forgave a mess like me. I thank God for the friends He brought me to, that help pick me up when I’m down, I thank Him too for everyone who has heard or read my story and offered any amount of encouragement or support, I thank everyone for that support, you certainly help to make this journey easier.
This is just year nine, this is still the beginning of a journey that will continue for many years to come, I’ve never treat like it’s the end or the middle, I chose to see it as the beginning and that way it always going to remind me that there is a long way to go, so there is still a lot of hard work and perseverance to go.
I heard this song on the end credits of a film I watch recently, I immediately downloaded it and have been listening to it everyday ever since, I pray this gift will last forever.
THIS GIFT by GLEN HANSARD This gift will last forever This gift will never let you down Some things are made from better stuff This gift is waiting to be found
Your heart’s in wide receiving Been too long buried in the sand Some things require leaving This gift will fall right in your hand Just try to understand
If you long enough And you don’t give up If you’re strong enough And you don’t give up And you
You’ll be no harbor to the sorrow Just let it go
Don’t hang your head in sorrow Don’t give up just before you win Don’t wait around for tomorrow Open up your arms and let it in
This gift will last forever This gift will never let you down Some things are made from better stuff This gift is ready to be found Just you believe it now
This gift will last forever This gift will never let you down Some things are made from better stuff This gift is ready to be found Your heart’s in wide receiving Been too long buried in the sand Some things require believing These things just fall right in your hand Just try to understand
If you long enough And you don’t give up If you’re strong enough And you don’t give up
Why me? How am I worth it? Just a wretch Deep in his sin Sinking in a bottle Unable to live Yet still He came His words were heard Where the bottle faded Temptation with it Broken set free Rebuilt by faith Risen to find life By the sacrifice of Christ Who paid this debt Amassed in sin To set a man free To live from within But still I ask Why me?
Where was my mind Of tortured torment and turmoil Trying to find a way out Searching for a reason For being stuck in that bottle Not wanting to return Still one can only take so much Before a heart and soul can break Where no matter what the comfort zone You still need a way to move on But how and why It’s so cosy there Trapped inside that bottle Where nothing makes much sense Yet no one can reach you You’ve shut out the ones you love And the world outside doesn’t give two hoots What was the point i n carrying on You can cry all your tears Blame the world for all you like But the walls keep closing in And the air within the bottle gets so very tight But at the moment of the breaking It takes all the strength you have To turn oneself into a hypocrite And cry out to the Lord On someone come save me Of this drowning I can take no more Still no matter where you find yourself The cries are answered by the Lord He who breaks down all walls before Him Rips apart the barriers we build No one is beyond saving Who cries out to our God Now with a sober mindset I can look back on those times And in these words I’ve written here You can clearly see where was my mind But now it’s been set free by grace Release to a world beyond the bottle By the saviour who heard the cries Of a s self tortured mind So this mind now lives in the hope To see the Christ at His returning
Well at times it’s not been an easy ride, sometimes painful both physically and mentally, then sometimes it’s been easy going and fun.
From a time when the thought of getting through a night without a drink was a testing time, when even the people around me would rather I had a drink than try to go without, to now when the thought of drinking, even in the bad times seems so far away, it’s hard to believe I am the same person, only better I hope.
I guess writing this last paragraph has made think, was I better person drinking or sober back then, because it seems I was better to be around if I was drinking. I think I know the answer and sadly I think it was probably the former.
I guess the frustration of life that led to the drinking, then became the frustration of not having that comfort zone of where the drink would take me when I wanted to escape the frustration of life. Just a circle of frustration, day after day.
I know I would pace around, I was restless and irritable, I would take it out on those around me, not physically, but just my attitude, I would be quick tempered and my words would be nasty or rude, especially to my young kids. Eventually the frustration led to nervously scratching at the skin on my arms, until sometimes they would bleed, this is who I became…
A man who could not deal with the frustration of life.
Then when the world around me fell apart, that’s when He came into my life, part of me I guess was trying to find a Saviour, but I believe He had over the previous four years been setting thoughts in my mind that would lead me to Him when I needed Him the most. The music I had been listening to, the people that came into my life, they all came together when I needed help the most.
And then, when I finally found myself in a position to pray and ask for help, there it was and the feeling when I knew my prayer had been answered was so joyful it began to change everything.
Life is not easy now, I still have the chest problems that have bothered me since the beginning of the year, I’m still coughing so hard I nearly pass out. Some days it maybe only be a couple of times, others it can be a couple of times an hour. On top of that the headaches that plagued me last summer have come back too, to say I am worn out is an understatement , but life could be a lost worst, I am alive, I am still kicking and I am still sober, I will keep going.
So here’s to the nest 3000 days and wherever that leads me.
SHINE ON by NEEDTOBREATHE Somewhere between the end And the point where we begin There’s a fire burning brightly That’s found it’s way to dim When the feeling’s gone…
Shine on Shine on and onto something new its long and overdue I will remember you Shine on shine on And let the other’s see you’ve got your victory Will you remember me
I was with you in the valley And up upon that hill So take just one more step in front of you For I am with you still you still And you’re not alone Shine on Shine on And onto something new its long and overdue I will remember you Shine on shine on And let the other’s see you’ve got your victory Will you remember me
Can you see my hands are open I am waiting just ahead And you think you need it all now But you needed me instead
Shine on shine on shine on shine on won’t you won’t you shine
Shine on Shine on And onto something new its long and overdue I will remember you Shine on shine on And let the other’s see you’ve got your victory Will you remember me
Somewhere between the end and the point where we began