Two years ago today I walked into a psychiatrist’s office. Despite suffering from depression on and off since I was a teenager, that was the first time I sought professional treatment. Twelve days prior I surrendered and asked for help. I was suicidal and could not continue living. It was either get help or die.
In the days following my surrender, I was in a holding pattern. I knew help was coming, but I was still suffering. God told me He was taking over the fight, but I was still unsure that He would come through for me. During this time He readied His army for battle. For war.
It was on this day that He unleashed His army against the enemy who was desperately trying to kill me. The enemy wanted me to die.
As I entered the doctor’s office, I was excited about getting treatment. I had completely surrendered and was willing to do whatever it took. Medication? Sure. Therapy? Ok. Just tell me what to do. But the visit took a turn when I admitted that I was abusing prescription narcotics. He explained to me how drug addiction progresses. I had already taken the first steps. He said that based on my length and frequency of use, I would develop a full-blown opiod addiction within two weeks. I would run out of pills and turn to heroin. Then I would either have to endure a not-so-pleasant rehab to beat the addiction or I would be dead of an overdose.
As much as I wanted to believe I would never turn to hard drugs, I knew he was right. I decided at that moment that I was done. He recommended I taper off to avoid withdrawals. I declined. I was done. No more. With his and my wife’s help, I was successful.
The war was not immediately won. The battles were hard. Sometimes the enemy pushed me back. But there was no defeating the army of God. There are still battles to this day. But on that day two years ago today I knew it was the beginning of a new me. The beginning of my recovery. It was on that day I admitted I was powerless, believed that God could restore me to sanity, and decided to turn my life over to the care of God.
Today, on my second birthday, I look back in awe over the last two years. God has transformed me! I am forever grateful for His army. His soldiers. Everyone who has rallied around me in support – my doctor, my therapist, my wife, my family, my friends, my church, my Celebrate Recovery group – you are all His soldiers. He is using YOU to fight the enemy on my behalf! And I want to assure you that I’m doing my part as well. The work has been incredibly hard. But worth it!
December 21st is the winter solstice. The days will begin to get longer, and with each day more light will shine. I couldn’t have picked a better day if I tried.
Here’s to many more birthdays. Thank you all, and praise God!