Like every sunbeam in Utah County, the concept of faith was DRILLED into me as a kid. I learned the scriptures, songs, blah blah blah. None of it really applied to me in my life. I had to make some decisions based upon faith for sure, but they weren't life or death decisions. I'm sure if I had chosen a different major, a different career path, decided to marry someone instead of break up...my life would be drastically different for sure- But I would still be alive and probably living pretty comfortably.
But now my life is different. Every minute of every day I am acting in complete faith.
Once I decided to live- my faith in God, myself, the recovery process, etc has driven every cell in my body. Honestly, I have no idea how long I will be mentally obsessed with craving drugs or if it will ever go away. I am told it does and so that's all I have to live by. And even the possibility of a cure for my addiction will continue to drive me.
That's EXTREMELY hard for me. I like to be in control of my fate. I like to make goals and accomplish them. I like to win. Living by faith is the exact opposite. I am pushing forward with a belief that my God knows what the plan is and will help me as long as I chose to rely on him.
I always thought faith was the easy way out. It's so much easier to blindly live life on this fabricated belief that a higher power exists and has a plan. I have always had a hard time mentally wrapping my head around that. I always thought that weak people lived by complete faith, because strong people would take control of their lives. This isn't true at all.
Faith is HARD WORK. I know what is expected of me. I am expected to make MY recovery MY NUMBER ONE priority for as long as it takes. I am required to see my addiction specialist doctor every month. I am required to go to my therapist once a week. I am required to take care of my body as it heals from all of the trauma I put it through. Recovery is my number one focus and choice. I quit a job that I was making a huge chunk of money, because it wasn't conducive for my recovery. I have had to have a lot of very difficult conversations with people because of my addiction. Recovery is not just this blind walk in the right direction and hopefully one day I will stumble into a land where I don't want to take pills.
I am literally fighting against a disease at the biological level of my human body. Once you cross from "drug abuse" to "drug addiction" your brain is never the same. BUT my therapist tells me that it can be cured and I choose to have faith in that and do what needs to be done to get there. Being cured sounds a lot more fun than being dead.
I'm not saying drug recovery is this amazing experience and I love this awkward stage that I am in right now. It's not. There are ups and downs like always. I have to be accountable to a lot of people. I have to fight the inner shame that I feel every day when I think, "what is wrong with me?" or "I am a bad person". Because when those feelings come up- I immediately want to numb them the quickest way possible. When I think about the mess my life became as a result of my addiction, I actually have very little hope and a whole lot of shameful thoughts and feelings. I can't even run as hard as I used to, because running can become just as self destructive and addicting. I know my pattern- I feel like I am bad--> I numb it by pushing my body to insane limits by running --> My body breaks down --> I need drugs to deal with the pains my body gives me. Isn't that so insane that something that is supposed to be good such as running can actually be a huge trigger for me? I am literally learning a new way of life. Sometimes a more boring life. Sometimes a more lonely life. Sometimes a lazy life. But even MORE times, a life that is finally at peace with my past and ready to commit to the future and whatever that means.
I read today that there are more deaths by overdoses and suicide than there are of cancer. Addiction isn't just for other people- dumber people, poorer people, less educated people, mentally ill people...no. We are surrounded by many many brothers and sisters that struggle with this illness and fight every day to beat it. It can come in many ways, shapes, and sizes and it will take you through hell and back pretty quickly. For me, it's a clear act of faith to save my life. A year ago, I would have rather ended up dead in the gutter than talk about my feelings (I almost did many times). Now, I understand my purpose, meaning, and how to get to where I want to go. I will do whatever it takes no matter how uncomfortable or hard it has to be.
Life is beautiful. I ate three meals today, had money to pay my mortgage, and have an AMAZING recovery team between my therapist, doctor, parents, family, friends, and most importantly that faith that is felt at the very core level that has driven me to nearly 3 months of sobriety.
I'm going to make it!