Tag Archives: #livingwithaddiction

When Hiding Is No Longer An Option ~ Day 24 of 40

Blameless Freedom Found in Exposure

When Hiding Is No Longer An Option

Living With Addiction

Day 24 of 40

The sun had barely risen when you’re abruptly awakened by your pounding heart and shortness of breath.  As sweat drips from pores you never knew existed, you eagerly fumble about for that cumbersome set of eyes buried somewhere in the sheets.  You tremble with awe and delight as your located glasses are planted firmly on your face.  Laughter erupts as you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror!  The sight you see is nothing short of memorable!  You giggle as you reminisce on how you and Mr. Right danced to “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran in the hospital waiting room.  You graciously praise God that you can dream the true desires of your heart again!

Okay, I might not be able to move like that anymore; hence, the reason for the perspiration bath and shortness of breath, but to know that I can dream the true desires of my heart because my Daddy wants to bring them life, makes this girl giddy and free.  Oh, I have “huge dreams,” but my dreams are more in line right now with a childlike heart and sense of freedom in being me because I have walked through my past and survived victoriously with my crown still on and playful mindset.  I know Whose I am and belong to while being loved on and encouraged to be me.

Music and dance are just a few of my creative outlets that I’ve always found refuge in and safe avenues for expression, but due to the insecurities and bondage that losing my dreams developed, it robbed me of such pleasures!  Or did it?  Why do we let pleasures and dreams die when life becomes hard and painful?  After all, God gave us these desires, so why do we remove or lose what once brought life, vitality and joy?

Exposure breeds freedom!  After dancing with the dolphins in Florida with people watching (not all enjoying), I realized just how instrumental music and dance were and an integral part of my daily makeup.  With tomorrow never being guaranteed, I don’t care how old and broken I am, it is time to pick up that violin again and start dancing.  There’s a little girl in every woman’s body just waiting to be set free!

When our lives are absent of chaos, busyness, abuse, control or addiction that has covered and driven our life choices and behaviors, we realize how powerful the freedom is in being ourselves, loved and acknowledged.  Oh, and the severance that others used to manipulate and control our stifled voices is powerful and explosive.  Now I know what being still is all about; peace and freedom to proudly be me!

When the Lord tells us to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10), many of us just plow right through that scripture without much thought because how could any of us be still longer than five minutes in prayer and meditation and expect miracles to occur?  I mean, I know I say I’m high maintenance when it comes to clinging to my Lord and sitting at His feet often so my perceptions and reactions don’t wipe out the universe when anger, judgment, rejection, anxiety, exhaustion, and depression sets in, but what does “being still” really mean?

Blameless Grand Finale

 

 

Welcome to the front yard of my sabbatical space at the beautiful beaches in Bradenton Beach, Florida.  Initially what started out as being uncomfortable, because who wants to have nothing on their agenda except to roll out of bed right onto the white sandy beaches each and every day, turned into the most beautiful cleansing experience one could ever imagine!  This was my view every day for almost a month.  Rough, huh?

There were moments of pain so give me a break!  When you had to turn down that tall, dark drink of water because you already had a date to dance with the dolphins (confirmation of a fleece) or the moment you realized your toosh resembled more of the pomegranate you were eating and you could not sit down!  And I did not want to shower with vinegar; thank you very much!  That’s real attractive!!!

Why was the beach calling me home?  Being in a foreign place all by yourself with nothing to do except to be still, quiet, and listen to the Lord’s majestic tones of crashing waves and the harmony of the birds’ Acapella, you understand just how wide and deep the Lord’s love is (Ephesians 3:17-19). 

The awe in watching God magnificently paint every sunset to match my mood just to show off enabled me the freedom to just be and dance with my new amazing friends and my dolphins.  You can’t help but hear and listen to the beautiful orchestration that the Lord is rejoicing and serenading over your life (Zephaniah 3:17).  You matter!

Most of my abrupt sabbatical I had no control over.  I will share it was a welcomed period because “hearing” what I was writing as I was reliving some of the horror from my past as I tackled this challenge made me realize being vulnerable and transparent unleashed suppressed rejection strongholds that were buried deep underneath the scar tissue.  My head was above water, but my heart was still drowning in pain.

What are you dreaming about?  One thing is certain, we all matter and belong!  We need each other to accomplish our dreams and walk through the perils of living with addiction and abuse.  When we become no longer fearful of our naked selves, sharing our stories and hurts is when we begin to truly heal and dare to live the lives that God designed us to have.  Being still also positions us to be used by God to help others safely walk through their own struggles.

I understand now what being still in His presence means; being present and available.  I’m still on sabbatical, but will you dance with me?

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Beautiful You 5

Living With Addiction Day 16 ~ Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Blameless Chains 7

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

The Broken Behavior of Abuse

Day 16 of 40

Shame and Abuse, two powerful words used in our everyday lifestyles and conversations denoting the ugly reality of life.  Do we really understand their correlation and definition to one another?  Better yet, what could they both possibly have to do with my living with addiction?

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, shame is defined as “a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong”; and abuse is defined as “a corrupt practice or improper or excessive use or treatment.”

Many people ask me, “How could a person be so amazingly strong and confident with unfathomable faith and yet be an advocate for others after having stayed in these horrific abusive relationships for so long?”  My answer, S-H-A-M-E!

Remember, I am a byproduct of a long generational lineage of shame living with addiction.  So many of the behaviors I learned throughout the years were quite different than what most individuals would deem appropriate or allow themselves to be subjected to.  I am a work-in-progress and will continue to be until I reach the finish line this side of heaven.

My thought processes reflected and perceived everything that was happening to me as my own fault.  I deserved whatever form of punishment being afflicted on me because I did not conform to my controller’s demands.  That’s the game of shame; us victims take and carry the blame for what our abusers do.

Abusers entangle their prey initially through shame.  The victims get caught into this web spun with deceit and blame forcing them to be subjected to numerous stings from the venom that weakens and clouds their lens of perception.  They find themselves being exhausted and entrapped into this web of destruction with no way to escape and end up hanging there alone until death.

I will be using words such as “husband” and “family members” throughout.  Please understand that I’m not here to shame the living or the dead.  This is where being married a couple of times shields the identity along with having a large family.  So when I refer to my husband’s abuse or affairs and my family member’s spitting into my face, it is to bring awareness to what I was subjected to in order to share my story and not focus on the identity of the abuser. 

I will be sharing how my husband controlled me through the means of force and threat by brandishing a gun, strangulation, threats in taking my children away, verbiage that would alarm any law enforcement officer as forms of manipulation and control to help bring awareness as to why I lived under such horrific conditions along with my current struggles in balancing the fine line between healthy boundaries of love versus enabling.

Let us not forget how addiction ties in nicely here also!  Since my life was full of shame, depression, addiction, and now abuse, my initial go-to for escape and consolation was alcohol and cracking open my Bible.  What a contrast, I know; but I am being honest here and how it just reiterates that God works best in hot messes and He loves us just the way we are! 

So…  How were my chains of abuse severed that set me free from the bondage of the physical and emotional scars that held me down on the cell of hell’s floor for several decades?

I’m going to end today’s writing with another disclaimer.  Hearing the world say, “You’re so strong.  You’ve been through so much, I wish I could have the strength and faith like you.  I wish I could have your joy.”  Ha!  Hello…  What do I say, “I am not shielded from bad things, quite the contrary.  I am obedient and stand firm on my faith.  That takes action and practice, not complacency and laziness.

I am far from strong.  I am weak.  I am fragile.  I am frail and broken, but I am living proof of the definition found in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; God’s grace and power is made perfect in weaknesses.  My heart aches and bleeds just like yours.  I’ve just learned how to tap into the authority that is given to me through faith and grace and not go through life focusing on fear, excuses and complaints.  That’s the antidote that’s available to everyone who believes!  It’s called faith, the true source of where our strength and power comes from.

I blossom hearing God say, “Come here, Beautiful!  I love it when you spend time sharing your fears and dreams with me, beautiful daughter of mine.  I’m so proud of you that you are allowing My Spirit to transform you through faith and trust.  Your reliance unleashes the authority given to all my children who believe.  Now you can look back and see what I’ve been saying to you all along.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you.  Trust me.  Just ask and receive.”

Wow, what a beautiful imagery of what amazing Love awaits for God’s Beloveds who care to engage in a relationship with Him by merely sitting at His feet while reading His love letter (Holy Bible) being humbled, honest and exposed knowing His Truths will set us free.  That’s called a relationship! 

Until next time…