Bob Lonsberry

Bob Lonsberry

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The first step, chief, is admitting that you are powerless over your addiction.


               That takes honesty, and humility.


               Yesterday, again, you proved your powerlessness. You took your career, your reputation, the best things in your life, and you flushed them down the toilet, again.


               Not because you’re an idiot. Not because you don’t care. Not because you don’t grasp what this betrayal of everything you stand for means. But because you couldn’t do anything different.


               Because you, of yourself, are powerless over your addiction.


               It owns you.


               You have always believed that through grit and determination you could do anything. All you have to do is push a little harder, hold out a little longer, be a little tougher. Pain and adversity mean nothing to you. You are a hero, you are a survivor, you are unbeatable. It is your greatest strength.


               And your greatest weakness.


               Because when it comes to your addiction, you are none of those things. Those traits, in fact, so useful in a healthy life, metastasize and turn against you in addiction, serving not as a defense against adversity, but as a barrier to deliverance. They do not bolster your life, they threaten your life.


               And the process of addiction, in which you gradually lost your free will and became a slave to bad habits and brain chemicals, has turned your life into a lie, where most of your thought and effort are spent concealing from others and yourself how bad it is for you.


               But you must be honest now. You must be humble now.


               You have a problem, you have blown up your life, this is rock bottom. You have failed in your efforts to control this and if something doesn’t change, it’s going to kill you.


               You can’t fix this. But God can. And you should let him.


               You should recognize the thin line that leads from the undeniable fact that you are powerless to the equally undeniable fact that you can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you. That thin line is honesty and humility, with the tiniest spark of faith and will.


               The smallest desire for God to help, and the flicker of hope that he can, combined with the choice to want to be better. Those tiny seeds, planted and tended, and blessed from on high, can bloom into day-by-day sobriety and a life that is healthy and whole, perhaps for the first time ever. 


               And what is humility? It is the opposite of pride, a deceptive understanding of life that puts you at war with God and your fellow man. Pride is the evil counterfeit of self-reliance, a worship of self that puts your judgment above God’s and your interests above those of your neighbor. Pride is disobedience to the two great commandments – to love God and your fellowman. Pride is the worship and destruction of self.


               Pride is what convinced you that you could handle this alone. Pride is what has run interference for your addiction. Pride is what stands now between you and the divine deliverance God offers.


               At first, your addiction seemed to offer escape. It was comfort and shelter, the lubrication on the gears of life necessary to keep your head above water. But quickly it became worse than the stresses it protected you from. Whether those stresses arose in habits and perceptions implanted in childhood, or encountered in the life of service and valor you chose, they became heavy burdens from which you sought relief. But the relief was a trap, and its soft cement hardened around you and ultimately defined you and has now all but destroyed you.


               And here you sit, in a hell of your own creation.


               But, as others who have come to grips with addiction might tell you, your worst day can be your best day. The day the old life ends can be the day the new life begins. Smashing head on into a brick wall is a painful but effective way to learn that you’re going in the wrong direction. And from the shattered pieces of life at rock bottom, many other addicts, through a recognition of their own weakness and of God’s limitless love and strength, have built with his help healthy lives of sobriety.


               This is a chance to escape, and you will either escape or die.


               The first step, chief, is admitting that you are powerless over your addiction.


               The rest you will learn from God, and from others whom he has saved, who awoke this morning to pray for one more day of sobriety.

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