It’s fair to say that once again my March started with challenge for the second year running, but in a strange way this March mirrored the previous twelve months, the rollercoaster ride that was March 2012 through to the end of February 2013 was condensed down and relived across the month of March 2013.
Its only now since April has risen that I can now look back on the last year and the last month in particular and say, I have OVERCOME!!!!
When I look at last month I see the same patterns of the previous twelve months, last year starting with death, not physical, but the death of a relationship, that part of me that died when reality of dying love hit hard, this was reflected last month in the physical death of a loved one. In a way I had abandoned both to die, I had exiled myself from both, in my relationship with Victoria I hid away just letting it die without a fight, until it was too late, with Nanna I hid away also, in both situations I knew I had to face them both before it was too late, but both came to an end before I could bring myself to do anything, the remorse of both hit hard both times.
In the early months which followed March last year I suffered the physical pain of the withdrawals, they were at times quite brutal, they didn’t leave me for weeks, for around six weeks I suffered some sort of constant pain, from an ever present headache to full on body pain, all as a consequence of my actions, all directly as a result of my drinking. Last month after the early blow of grief, I dealt with the pain of my drinking all over again, this time emotional pain, as I faced the remorse of the delayed actions of my previous drinking, I lived for a time in the pain of my own mind, not a headache as such, but my own head, my own mind, it drove me back to edge for a while, it was hard to deal with it all again as I was blinded by dark thoughts again, the clouds fogged my thinking, the light faded and I sank back. On both occasions I was lead to Church, to find friends and support, last year for the first time to find a way forward, this time on the day I got the news of my Nanna, I walked straight into Church, to find the same arms that had supported me over the previous twelve months.
In April last year I almost reached the end during the withdrawals, I wanted to give in one Monday night, I couldn’t take the pain and isolation of them anymore, I wanted to drink but knew I couldn’t, I got to the point I couldn’t face it alone anymore, what did I do that night, I reached out to a friend from Church, to James and told him I couldn’t do this anymore, the moment I reached out I was released from the torment of pain, the pain was there, but I could see through it, I could see it as something I had to go through, but would soon subside. Then that Sunday morning three weeks ago when I felt couldn’t go on anymore, when I wanted to walk into that lake, when I wanted to run and hide, when I couldn’t let my friends see me fall, when I wanted to simply give in, I reached out again, I got to Church against my own will and let them know I couldn’t do it alone anymore, again I was released from that pain, it was almost removed straight away, within hours I was back in reality.
The rest of the previous twelve months were mainly positive, rebuilding with the help of friends and most importantly with my Faith in God and belief in Christ Jesus as my saviour, I had held onto that since that dark night in April last year, I had held to the belief I couldn’t do this alone, through prayer and help of friends I glided through those months with little to hold me back, the odd moment, the odd low point, but mainly growth, in faith and as a person.
That then was mirrored in the remainder of the last month, regrowth, remembering how I got as far as I had, through faith and knowing I was never alone, that I didn’t have to face any of this alone, at any point I could reach out to friends or more importantly to God.
The lessons of last year were evident, whatever I go through, whatever pain, whatever remorse, the point when I had to do that alone came to an end the day I prayed for that first time, since that night I knew I had support for all I was to face, he gave me peace that night and every night since, I guess I forgot that.
That support was increased further when that Easter Sunday in April 2012 I raised my hand from that seat, right at the back of our Church, to accept Jesus in my life, from there, from that point I had everything I needed to get through, GOD, JESUS, FRIENDS!
The pain of our situations can blind our vision, it can cloud our judgement, leaving us lost for direction, we often don’t see beyond that pain, leaving us feeling alone. It’s hard sometimes to lift our heads, to see with clear eyes beyond the tears that we are not alone, even though we don’t see, we are not alone in this, we have someone that loves us beyond anything else waiting there to help us, we just have to call out in the darkness, to ask for help from the Lord.
On Good Friday I managed to get the day off work to attend Church, it was my first Good Friday service, by the time this day rolled around I was in a wonderful mood, it was the anniversary of my Sobriety and I was ready to celebrate the sacrifice that made it all possible, to celebrate Jesus laying down his life for my sins, for the first time I really understood the importance of the Cross.
In the service Justin talked about pain with purpose, that sometimes the pain we go through is there for a reason. He also talked about how he had disliked it in the past when people said to him that “Christians use faith as a crutch!”, he said he always though he had faith because he wanted to Believe rather needed something to hold on to, but over time he had began to see it the other way, his faith had become his crutch, he couldn’t move forward alone, not without the help of God as his crutch. The interesting thing here was the during my walk prior to the service I had had the same thoughts, but I saw my faith over the last month not so much as a crutch, but as a walking frame, I had to grasp that frame with two hands and place firmly place it down before me, then take small steps behind it, before repeating the motion and moving forward.
I don’t mind walking behind that frame, I’ll take those small steps behind a framework that guides my way and I will keep holding on as I walk.
If this last month has taught me anything, it has taught me to rely on God for everything, that with faith in God and belief in Jesus as my Saviour, I can overcome and continue to overcome, I’m not enough alone, but with that faith and belief anything is possible.
Today I’ve chosen Our God by Chris Tomlin to accompany my post, for a couple of reasons really, the lyrics themselves say it all, but this song we sang on my first visit to Church one year ago (well they sang it I stood on looking around in awe), then the next day as I walked to work this song played on my iPod, I had forgotten I had added it a year or so earlier right in the middle of my dark days, when despite my complete aversion to God and faith, I sought to listen to Christian music as much or mare than I sought to listen to any other music, as I walked that morning I found myself singing it quietly under my breath, it played again as I walked this Saturday morning, I didn’t sing it quietly this time, I sang it out loud and proud.
Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There’s no one like You
None like You
Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God, You are higher than any other
Our God is healer
Awesome in power
Our God, our God
(Our God by Chris Tomlin)