The following is the second installment of Steve's Journal, his walk through recovery from alcoholism.
August 13, 2012
So here I am, at Inner Vision, a recovery house to finally get the help I so desperately need. I am so scared and confused. What have I gotten myself into? I’m on a site with two houses and about 20 guys living here.
The program is a 60-day commitment which seems like an eternity at the beginning.
Seeing all the different guys—to say the least—is over-whelming. What kind of place is this? Is it like a jail?
There are a variety of different men. Some from the typical addict living on the street, to the successful business types, and all sorts in between. Two of the first guys I met are “Downey the Clownie” and “Mark the Hammer”. If you saw these guys on the street, you’d run the other way. They look like long-term jail birds. Cold, hard, nasty.
Turns out, they are 2 of the nicest, kindest people you could ever meet. As you can see, as in any situation where there are a lot of guys together, nicknames quickly become part of the culture. They’re calling me “Big Shrek” due to my size and quick wit.
The first few days were a real eye-opener. Were all suffering from a disease, and just like cancer or any other life-threatening disease, it isn’t selective or impartial. The disease of addiction takes any and all comers.
I’m learning that many people, including some doctors and professionals, think that it’s a matter of will power and choice. This is not true. An addict’s brain is different. This has been proven in MRI’s, cat scans, and studies. Our brains function differently.
Addiction doesn’t care who you are or what you are, or what your social status is. Once it gets its grip on you, there is no cure. It is deadly and destructive and affects not only the addict but all those lives around them. Addiction can bring about a long, slow, painful death, or bring life to an end very quickly.
But make no mistake, left untreated alcoholism and drug addiction will kill.
Addiction is a serious disease that affects mind, body, and spirit. The counselors in our daily sessions tell us that you must treat all 3 of these areas, or there will never be a complete recovery and a daily reprieve.
That’s what true healing from this disease is—a daily reprieve that needs daily maintenance.
Just like a cancer or heart disease patient needs to change their lives in order to beat their illness, so too does the addict. If a person is willing to do the work and make serious changes, there is hope.
I desperately want to change. I can’t go on living the life I have been leading. It’s been miserable, lonely, and without direction or satisfaction.
I can see now that God has been patiently waiting for me, but I had to come willingly to Him. It had to be my choice, and with total surrender to Him. But to get to this point, God had to let me reach it on my own. His protective hand has been upon me, always letting me go only so far, like a father teaching a child to walk. But until I was willing to hand over total control to Him, nothing was going to work or save me.
So, I’m here at Inner Vision Recovery House, looking for to, and expecting change, and with a growing faith that God will save me, and that He is the only one who can.
It sure helps having a prayer army behind the scenes—my family and friends praying with nothing but love, all going to God on my behalf.
God can see that I am now ready for a transformation. Now He can do His work in me. He can now bless me with His miracles.
Now the real journey begins.
Steve's journal continues next Wednesday as we walk with him through recovery from alcoholism.