I sometimes hate weekends. My wife has a third-shift job that she works on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. My kids go to their grandparent’s house for the weekend most of the time. Saturday is a day of rest for me, and let me tell you, it is a much needed time for me. I have a very physical job, so rest is something that I look forward to on Saturdays.
Weekends used to be great. When I was younger, it was the time to let loose and party until dawn. Drinks would flow, smoke would fill the air and shooting the s%$t with my friends played a huge part in the two days of little movement. But, that was then. Many changes have occurred since those days. After going through a refining process over the past few years, I realized that the booze and drugs were killing me in so many ways. They were ruining my life. That is a different story which I have written about many times. Here is a big problem that I am currently facing, and it stems directly from cutting those substances out of my life. Since I no longer have the substances, I no longer have people. Sure, I have my family, but I no longer have the camaraderie. I no longer have the people who share the common interests. I no longer have a circle that is interested in the things that I am interested in.
When you are an alcoholic, or a drug abuser, you don’t really need a common interest outside of substance. You can find plenty to talk about, gossip about, and much to engage in. The buzz or high makes everything way more interesting. It is that chemical introduction that works within the brain, making things “unrealistic.” It is quite nice. It is a constant desire that many chase after, after the substance has ran its course. The chase gets very old. For some, like myself, you reach a point of wanting more from life. It was my experience with God which led me away from the need of those altered states of who I truly am.
It has been a short time, even though it has been years since the substances controlled me. I have never been one who needed a “recovery program” in order to stay away from the past. It is solely the Holy Spirit who keeps me in check. But with that being said, there are some things that the Lord has pulled me out of in order for me to remain in control of that old lifestyle. Through Him, I deliberately choose to stay away from people who are alcoholics, drug addicts, practicing gossipers, and those who continuously have to boast about themselves. All of these things are what I have been, in the past. All of these things are truly what I no longer desire. It is these things, and those people, that I must stay away from in order to be closer to His guidance. It is absolutely necessary for me to keep my distance from the very things that led me to a desire to change. Those people, places, things and the consequences of my negatively influenced actions, left me empty. Very hurt. Why would I run back to the same things that brought me such anguish? It has been so evident throughout the days without the hook of those substances, that the people were only there to pass the bottle. Only there to pass the pipe. They weren’t there to simply be a friend.
It is now a different life. I spend my days with very few loyal people outside of family. For the past twenty-five or so years, my life mainly consisted of the bottle and pipe-passers. Since they are gone, I no longer have many to shoot the stuff with. A few, but not many. When the few are busy, which is often, I sit alone. I have given up on Facebook because most of them are only acquaintances. Not friends. Friends check on you, and desire to make an effort to be with you. I’m really tired of being the only one who makes that effort. Also, many of those within the church buildings are far worse than most of the drug-addicted friends that I have had, in their religious, brainwashed, ego-driven superiority. Control is the gospel being preached these days. Jesus has been sent to a back pew, even directed to a place outside, in most establishments. Besides, the Church has nothing to do with the building, and knowing that keeps me out of them.
It is sometimes difficult to understand why I am where I am in His divine plan. Why the small sufferings are present within His grace. I sometimes, truthfully, have little tolerance within the unknown. I guess my time alone will bring something better? More answers?
Some reading will call this a pity-party. Truly though, I’m just having a hard time being myself. It happens to all of us, whether we choose to talk about it or not. I was once addicted to things that brought rest and calmness to a raging battle within. Now, I am facing those storms without the substances. Without the people who appeased my needs through our shared addictions. Those things and people filled the void that my Lord was longing to fill. It is sometimes a lonely place though; this current life without the old ways. This place, that is somewhat new.
I spend a lot of time with Him, and it has pulled me out of the days of the past in so many ways. It has shown me a different light that was never found in the darkness of the ways of the past. I embrace it, even though the solitude is overwhelming at times. I choose to remain alone until the right opportunities are revealed. Opportunities that will help me grow in fruitful ways. In ways that will not send me back to a place that was not working, and to the people who never really cared.
Do you feel the same way as I do? What have you done to change after living a life of dependence? What is your story? I’d love to hear your related experience. You can comment, or send to my email. It would be appreciated. It may help us both learn something , benefiting us within our growth.