Tag: Religion

Celebrate Recovery: My Recovery Testimony

Image result for person celebrating

The following essay, was for a testimony I was to give to the attendees of the “Celebrate Recovery” of my church. To be honest, I wrote that the last minute, because of the nerves I had built on writing this. The anxiety knowing what I said and how I said about my testimony would and perhaps could change a person’s life. It was nervewrecking for me (even though I brainstormed a couple times) to know I could have impact on someone’s life. But the time it was about two day’s before I presented my testimony I spent all night to put it together. Barely even rehearsed it, but it was already in my heart and memories of the recovery process I went through. But at the end, it seemed everyone liked it because the audience was applauding and one of leader’s of the program said some people were nodding or exclaimed how I overcame my obsticles. One person also joked about how I could have come from Harvard, because of how smooth I talked and how well written was. I can’t believe people liked it! Anyway without futher adieu, he is my written testimony I presented at my local “Celebrate Recovery” location:

 I am a believer who had struggled with anger issues. I know it’s hard to believe that I have anger issues, but I do. I have struggled with anger issues for a long time…all pent up…angry at the world and angry at myself. And that was the insanity. But mostly I was doing it as a way to protect myself. My anger stemmed with loneliness, insecurities, lack, and uncertainty. It didn’t help either I grew up in a domestic violent household either. The shame of living through that (and feeling misunderstood or discounted) kept me from confidently making friends or getting into a relationship. I felt if I let go of my anger it would weaken me, make me vulnerable…and being vulnerable meant exposing myself to the hurts and feelings I’ve tired so hard to bury and forget. But like everything else, nothing lasts forever. Plus, all that pent up anger from childhood caused me to have anxiety and depression disorders.

To be honest, I didn’t want to go back into Celebrate Recovery, because at the previous church I attended the people at THAT celebrate recovery weren’t very interactive. And incase things didn’t turn out well and THIS celebrate recovery, I didn’t wanna leave my business out in the open. I mean sure, I wouldn’t see the attendees again, but I don’t feel comfortable leaving my hurts with strangers. Unfortunately, a couple years ago I didn’t have a choice. In late 2015, I was sexually assaulted and that had a toll on me. And then THAT eventually led to a falling out with my folks, which led me to living a friend, but even there I was falling apart, because I was still reeling from everything that happened in just a few months. I had to put school on pause for awhile too. Pretty much I was a mess and angry. It was then their family member suggested Celebrate Recovery. Even though I was facing some pretty rough circumstances, it gave me enough to focus on myself and the only relationship I had that was fully available: my relationship with Jesus Christ. Being in the program really helped me to vulnerable and a safe spot for me to heal. Plus seeing other people sharing their vulnerabilities helped to understand it was okay to be vulnerable….that there was strength in being vulnerable and strength in facing them as well.  It was also encouraging to see other women wanting to grow from their pain and help each other out. The more I came, the more I was able to have a handle on my anger. The step that spoke to me, was the first which was “We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that lives had become unmanageable.” I needed to accept that, because I had to stop feeling the need to control things and keep to myself. It’s like the good book says in Genesis 2:18 and Matthew 18:20, in, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” and “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Because I pursued my relationship with God and myself vulnerable to Him, I was able to be vulnerable to myself and better it and I was able to better my relationships. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s manageable, I’m manageable. I am freer and lighter, and I have a bit more confidence in myself and how I relate with others. Yeah, the pains of the past are still within me, but they don’t dominate me as much anymore. Since, my attendance in 2016, I’ve also been able to make friends here, which was something I did not expect. I was just focusing on bettering my spiritual side and managing my hurts. And what’s great is that we all help and support one another. This recovery journey has taught me that God is in control of everything, even my anger. I spent so much time feeling like because it was my anger, it should be my responsibility. But as I look back on my life: the relationships I’ve made, the circumstances I have faced, it shown me that God has dominion over EVERYTHING…good and bad but as long as I have him in my life I’ll be okay. I don’t have to take on everything my own, not even the pain I have. He will send me all the resources and support to see that I’ll be okay through it all.

So, my advice to the newbies is this, you don’t have to take everything on your own (your addictions, your hurts) you’re in good company here as well as God’s company. So, don’t worry about what you do and don’t have emotionally or financially, nor how long you expect for change to happen in yourself. Just focus on spending the next hour here and focus on rebuilding your life with God and in his time, you will get you’ve been seeking.

Asking for Help Helps Ourselves, Helps Others

To be honest, asking for help has been the hardest thing for me to do, only because I fear of being a burden to people I hold dear. Or the fear of exposing my vulnerabilities only to be more vulnerable. Whenever I talk to people, I always find myself overthinking of what to say and how to say it or when to say it or who to say it to. Then if I have said something, I then find myself wondering if I said too much or if I have projected myself in the wrong light…. It’s so exhausting to think about.

My friend has been gracious enough to be there for me that I have found it unreal. Although I do fear of coming off as a “drama queen” or “being clingy”, but he seems to be quite understand and open to my anxieties. I know I have to do this with others. For example, I have a good group of people I’ve befriended at “Celebrate Recovery”. In my heart of hearts, I want to befriend them, but I’m scared if the closer I get with them…will they harm me outside “Celebrate Recovery”, because whatever is said inside it, stays inside…. so I do worry about what happens if we do continue our comments on the outside.

I know…I’m so negative…thinking about about all the worst possibilities in order to be prepared for the worst, because there’s nothing like not being prepared. It’s not like I like being this way…I don’t….everything is either “black or white” or disbelieving that even when the best things happen, I don’t believe that it IS actually happening. It’s hard to accept things or even people (for the better or worse) as they are or to be in the moment, because you’re thinking in the past, present, and future…actually…more of the past and future than the present, but you get what I’m saying right? Yeah…anxiety disorders and depressive disorders are the worst when it comes to distorting your ability to reasons with situations and relationships…it’s sooooo annoying. It can make the most sensible, personable people, into the most unreasonable people and in the times we’re in now, you can’t afford to lick your emotional and/or psychological wounds. And that’s why (bringing it back) you and I need good friends to get through these times.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” —Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I have been fortunate to have people in my life nowdays who want to help me in my times in hardships.  And as I should, I should take their up their friendship. You know what… now that I’ve thought about it…I’ve never thought of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 before (although I’ve read that scripture like a dozen times), but I’d rather take up a person’s offer friendship than a person’s offer of pity any day of the week.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”–Proverbs 17:17

This year…holy macaroni…has been just a whirlwind of….what’s the best word to use…crap? It’s just been a mess, one including the break up with my former boyfriend who is my friend right now. However, we’ve dealt with a lot of crap with our lives, with each other….oi, but through and through we’ve helped encourage one another make it in this crazy thing called life. And because we’ve had and we’ve been learning to accept one another—the worst and better part of ourselves—we’re not just afraid to reveal our weaknesses, but to take on each other’s weaknesses as well.

The ladies too I’ve been beginning to befriend at “Celebrate Recovery”…we’ve laughed and cried at each other’s faults, with no sort of judgement of how our life is “not as bad” as the other or how we “should” handle our situation or what we’ve “should’ve” done. I mean sure majority are older than me, but I’ve never met people this welcoming before…I mean they actually don’t mind me calling to talk to me about my problems…it’s surreal!

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”–Proverbs 27:17

On Christmas Day after watching “The Last Jedi”, me and my friend were talking and I was telling him about my distresses and upset that I might be burdening him. He then told me, that it was okay that I come to him about my problems, because I have always been there for his. He said that if it wasn’t for me encouraging him to not give up on his studies to become a forensic scientist, he would have gave it up altogether. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to land any forensic scientist jobs so he’s been feeling a bit forlorn lately. Fortunately, he like me has one more semester left.

When he told me this, I was very surprised that I kept him going in his endeavors. I felt encouraged by this, because I didn’t know I’d have that affect on someone…at least someone outside my family. Then the ladies at “Celebrate Recovery” have been very supportive too. We’ve been very supportive to each other: letting each other cry and letting each other laugh….noone’s story is too big or little to deserve support from one another.

In conclusion, especially going into the new year, I want to be able to allow myself to ask to help from my friends. I mean, apparently I’ve been showing kindness to others when they weren’t asking for it; it’s time I’ve been receiving kindness from others when I haven’t been asking for it either.