This Sober Life I Live: My ongoing struggle that is hard to talk about

Jesus is the Light of the world. The Light of MY world! ♥
“For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made us understand that it is the brightness of his glory that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.” ~2 Corinthians 4:6 (TLB)

Would you believe that the struggle of this sober life I live has nothing to do with being tempted to take a drink? Well, it is the truth. I am grateful to God that I am living a sober life today. I am grateful that God rescued me before I was able to find the fatal combination of pills and alcohol. It has been an amazing six years and almost three months of walking this miracle journey with God to heaven, free from alcohol abuse – free from any abuse (God also rescued me from an extremely mentally abusive relationship)! I have been 100% sober – to me this means that I never traded one vice for another like I see so many struggle with. God became my one and only “go to” for every need. I am certain that having God first place in my life and learning to seek Him and serve Him wholeheartedly is how I have managed to press on without any relapses. After seeing so many people have relapse after relapse, I cannot help but be in awe of this ongoing miracle I am living one day at a time. Only God can make that happen in a life. Especially such a broken one. This entire site is mainly about God’s miracle sobriety in my life and the miracles and breakthroughs that have happened as a result. I live and love to share His incredible story of my life, and I will continue to write about it as long as He allows me to. Even when it causes me to be so vulnerable like I am feeling at this very moment.

So what am I struggling with if it is not the urge to drink or reach for another harmful vice? I am glad you asked. At the risk of sounding like I am out of my mind (which sometimes I really think I am), I will share that my struggle is being alive in this cruel world and having to face reality instead of trying to hide from it. It is a struggle with darkness. I do not know how else to explain it. I have to work hard with dealing with my thoughts and feelings instead of bottling them up or finding destructive ways to numb them so I do not have to feel or think about anything. I did that for decades and even though it has been over six years of freedom from that, I still wish that I did not have to feel. Sometimes hope really hurts. Many times being out in the world is exhausting and painful and I have to fight hard against giving up.

A few people close to me know that I struggle, but I do not think they really understand the struggle. I have shared a little bit here and there, but I have not been able to really express what I go through in words so they can understand. Sometimes it is shame that stops me from sharing, but most of the time it is just because I have no idea how to express my struggle in words. It causes me to want to isolate and withdrawal from people I love – people I need to help me to keep moving forward. The very people who have walked with me for the past six years and are a big part of my miracle story. I know how dangerous isolation can be for me. Unfortunately, Satan knows too and he uses that to tempt me. Thus far, I am still winning the battle, but that is only because I am developing unashamed dependence on God. I am extremely grateful for that.

I think more times than not, I just I cannot shake the thoughts that I want to leave this world. I am ready. I am tired of the times when I feel so down that I can hardly get up. The struggle seems unbearable at times. BUT, before anyone wants to have me committed to a 72 hour hold, know that I am not suicidal. I do not want to harm myself. When God sobered me up and took the desire to drink away from me, He also took away the desire for me to end my own life. I just wanted to make that clear.

It is interesting that my wanting to leave this world is not like when I was tormented by suicidal thoughts in the dark days of depression and drunkenness. But even so, I long to be gone…a lot. I learned it is a longing for heaven to be with my Lord, but I think my mind takes it too far sometimes. When I am in this state, I convince myself that it would be so much better if I could go before all the people I love go. I tell myself that I will not be able to handle being left behind. This sounds so crazy to me and some will think I am crazy for sharing it, but it is part of this journey that I think needs to be told for the sake of others who are struggling. It would sure help me to know that I am not the only one who suffers in this way.

I wonder if feeling everything will ever get better for me. I think about those two decades that I numbed myself and guarded myself from this dark world. I remember how I would drink to be comfortable in social gatherings. It made me feel comfortable in my own skin. Now it is just me and my skin – still very uncomfortable. I no longer have my liquid courage to get me through. I have been without it for these six years and have done incredibly well (God’s miracle). Yet, there are times that the struggle against the temptation to isolate gets intense. It has been happening quite a bit this year. I serve on the worship team in church on Sundays and I attend Bible Study on Tuesday nights and I struggle to make it there a lot of times. It is difficult to admit the battle. It makes me confused at times and ashamed. But I thank God for the strength to keep showing up. Singing my heart out in praises to God even when it is hard to do has saved me in so many ways. So I keep doing it even though the battle still comes. Recently, I even mustered up the courage to reach out to a a dear sister who is a trusted leader to let her know I was struggling. That was hard to do but I knew I could start to get myself into real trouble if I didn’t. She spoke encouraging words into my heart so I was able to overcome once again. Thinking we can do this all on our own can be deadly. I know reaching out and being vulnerable is not easy, but I believe it is a must.

Friends, I am not going to lie. I am tired of the battle that keeps coming. But I am not going to throw everything God has done in my life away, so I keep holding on to His promises. I am living and breathing His Word and that is what is keeping me alive and discovering my divine purpose in this world. He gives me a reason to live.

I do not even know if any of this rambling makes any sense to anyone. Maybe I can at least look at it as just a part of my personal therapy to not keep it bottled up inside. Doing that in the past never served me well. There is more to the struggle, but I am not going to write about it right now. Not sure if I will. I just needed to share this part of it. I think I am going to feel a little awkward knowing that people who know me might read this, but it will not be the first time I feel that way. I always get through and I always hear from people all over the world when I write and share my heart on this site. That makes any awkwardness I face more than worth it. Just like persevering through the pain of life. There must be at least one other person in this world going through something similar so I think it is worth taking a risk with my vulnerable state. If this post does anything at all, perhaps it will help someone out there know that they are not alone in their struggle and they will see that God can do anything with a surrendered and willing heart. Maybe there will be hope in a heart once again. I know I cannot survive with my hope in the Lord.

When I really think about it, I am glad I can feel today. If I was still numbing my heart, I would have never been able to feel the Lord’s love and presence in my life – directly from Him and through the wonderful men and women of God that He has strategically placed in my path months before I hit my rock bottom in February 2010. Praise the Lord for rock bottom miracles.

Once again, I thank you for listening to my heart. I am praying for all who struggle and I ask that you please pray for me too. One of my favorite Scripture quotes lately has been from the New Century Version Bible: “When a believing person prays, great things happen.” ~James 5:16 – It is so true.

Thank You, Lord. I believe! Please, help us with our unbelief… ♥

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