One of the most difficult things about addiction recovery is dealing with all the emotions that pop-up when you first try to get sober. Because we have usually escaped from facing them, because we were so high we couldn't feel anything except that moment of numbness, or because we were always in pure denial, we had no real experience handling our emotions.
Then along comes no escape route, nowhere to hide them, and we feel dazed and confused. When you think of it, going through a divorce or the death of a loved one is similar in that it is an overwhelming feeling of sadness, bewilderment, and grief because we lost something that had been very close to us - yes, our addiction can become our best friend.
How do we harness these feelings that seem like a tsunami has overtaken us? We can talk about prayer, about preparing for something like this with everyday faith, but when it happens, it can overcome walls of strength and penetrate the heart and soul of even the greatest believer (r: Job, David & Paul in the Bible).
So, imagine if you are a non-believing addict dealing with this, what are your options when if you are 28, your emotions make you feel like you are 15? Your options are to draw strength from your mates in a meeting or a recovery facility, go step by step, day by day until one day you open your eyes to the possibility of a higher power that may be out there. You begin to explore who he is, and along comes someone who shares a message of hope, love, forgiveness, and power greater than yours - and the light bulbs begin to turn on, and you hit your knees to finally pray.
Imagine that is what a Trey, a Darryl, an Alicia, a Sonia, a Barry, a Randy or a Stephanie, a Gina, a Bob, or any of the other volunteers we serve with do. We are here to be that person, at that time who helps connect the dots to the electricity of the Spirit of a God who can heal and help deal with those emotions.
The Emotion Commotion is calmed by the calming, healing power of the one who came to save us, and his name is Jesus. It may take us awhile to get there, to that point of surrendering what we cannot do ourselves, but when it comes, it lasts a lifetime, and once the tsunami has subsided, we realize He is what pulled us through.
We are a rescue boat searching on His behalf for survivors who want to find a way to be saved - and we are relentless about searching for them!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.