An Open Cage

Throughout my life, I have always had a habit of isolating. I’d spend time alone. It was in these times that I would run into many difficulties.

There were times when the isolating was a great thing for me. When you are an introvert, you sometimes need to separate yourself from the rest of the world in order to feel like yourself. Only an introvert would understand this. But, in my isolation throughout periods of my life, I believe the unhealthy things that I possess became too powerful. For example, the depression.

I was an addict for many years, and didn’t think about the effect that the drugs and alcohol had on my brain. I didn’t think that these things were a problem. To me, they were the medications that I needed in order to feel, “right”. The underlying problems within did not have to be addressed, and the numbness was a great feeling that canceled out the pain. In my isolation, I would fight off the depression with these substances, and for short periods the substances would be a cure-all. When the hangover came, or the drugs were not available, the depression would hit. Hard.
I now know that the substances were most of the problem.

The conviction that I had felt when seeing the Lord in a new light, led me to a place of abstinence. I decided to get clean. The fight was very hard, and I received a lot of help from doctors and professionals throughout the process. Praise God for His provisions. I know within my heart and in my personal life that the process was necessary, and I reap the rewards of the decision everyday. Early on within this new process, I was encouraged to keep a journal of my feelings. It was something that I rarely practiced. I just didn’t care to write down how I was feeling. I was feeling lost. Broken. Tormented by guilt. Hurt. All of these emotions were surfacing, and the pain was overwhelming because I could no longer run to a substance. Although, I relapsed a few times. I fought through the period of wanting to be off of the substances, and giving in to them. If you’ve ever fought a powerful addiction, you know how hard this process can be. Ultimately, I won the fight.

As I journeyed through this new life that didn’t consist of running to a substance, I started finding refuge in other things. My relationship with the Lord, and a new relationship with myself became my two main focuses. I had to find new ways to fill in the time that I’d spent on using. That was a crazy ride. I now have control over those old habits, and I love the new life. It is way better than the old. That is why I find it easy to stay clean. The opportunities, and the way my life is today is not worth losing to a substance. The relationship with the Lord is not worth sacrificing.

I rise early, nearly everyday. Within my new life that doesn’t revolve around a substance, I now sit in the mornings and meditate, reflect, plan, read, pray and write. Writing has become a very therapeutic thing for me. The “journaling” that I was once encouraged to do, that I once hated, has become a big part of my new life. I love to put my feelings, thoughts and life into words. I love to be transparent with not only myself, but with others. I like to put things out there for others to read, and I truly hope that my words bring something that is helpful to others. I enjoy being able to go back and see what I have written at certain times throughout my life. I like to show the world that being broken, or staying in a place that is not beneficial, is not a place that you have to stay in. You can turn your life around, and it takes one small step in the opposite direction to begin a new journey. It is simply a choice. I realize that some are not strong, and that some are reluctant to change, but a little encouragement sometimes plants seeds that will grow in time. That is my intention when I write, and why I put it in the public eye. My writings may not be great, and the simplicity of them may not captivate, but the message is simply because I care to see all of us live a better life. I have seen a lot of hurt, and lived through a lot of pain. But, it is up to each of us to choose how our story will be. Circumstances do not define us, but the thoughts we have about them do. So, I hope my words will help someone take a step towards a better life. Enjoy the day.

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