"Authentic recovery requires drastic change."
One of the problems with our culture today is that abuse, addiction, suicide, depression and anxiety are all taboo. These things are all around us every single day. If we are honest, most of us have probably even personally struggled with one of the topics listed above.
Yet, most of us, choose to do this alone, in silence.
The wounds from abuse fester deep inside us. Never being dealt with in a healthy manner.
Addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex, TV, work, attention, success and other things secretly control our lives. These coping mechanisms slowly begin to take over who we think we are and, before we know it, every decision we make can be traced back to allowing us to more easily partake in whatever it is that we are addicted to.
Suicide. An all too sensitive subject. An act that is often regarded as weak, selfish and the "easy way out." But what if you attempt and fail? What is being done to ensure those individuals who have signaled that they need help do not try a second time? What if the thought is constantly on your mind?
Depression. Anxiety. People telling you to just “be happy” and “if you were closer to God, you wouldn’t struggle with that.” From an outsider’s perspective, it’s easy to solve those problems, but when you feel like you’re in a pit of despair, it looks and feels like there’s no hope in sight. What if there were a holistic approach to helping those people out of the pit?
What prevents us from being open and honest about these things? Could an active, healthy discussion of topics like the ones listed above offer hope and healing to those ensnared by the teeth of these common vices?
If I have been abused does that make me a victim forever?
If I am a current addict, is there hope? Can I possibly survive and learn to thrive without my addiction? Is sobriety possible?
If I am a recovering addict, am I forever tarnished because of my past choices?
What if I have attempted suicide before? What if I've thought about and considered committing suicide? Does that make me mentally weak? Am I selfish and broken? What's wrong with me?
What if I'm always depressed and am unable to see light at the end of the tunnel? What if the darkness envelopes me and I feel crushed by the hopelessness of my misery?
What if my anxiety prevents me from wanting to leave my room? What if I want to do nothing but lock myself inside my safe place and escape from all realities? Is there freedom from this mental jail cell?
These “horrible things” are a part of what makes us human.
The reality is that there is hope. That we are not alone. That there is a community of individuals that have struggled with all of these things and more. There are stories of people who have experienced great trauma, made terrible decisions, been crippled by fear, betrayal and anxiety and yet they have found hope, healing and restoration. It is possible to overcome. It is possible to turn your darkness into light.
How do I know it's possible? Because darkness entered my life at an early age. Darkness consumed my mind and slowly began to take over who I was and attempted to crush my hopes and dreams. Abuse, addiction and an attempted suicide are all part of my story. But they do not define me.
Together, my wife and I have found that there is light in the darkness. That there is healing from the pain. We are not alone. There is hope.
These are our stories. This is our journey.
We are fighting. We will not give up.