The past couple of months have been a very weird time for me. I’ve sunk into what seems to be a dark hole spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, and even a bit physically. I’ve found out that depression can, and will cause, harm to your body. It started out with severe headaches and neck pains upon waking up in the morning. Doing a bit of research, I found out that the headaches were stress related, and that anti-depressants would help. So I started back on my Prozac. Or rather, I started taking the medication I should have been taking all along.
It’s helped quite a bit, but the side effect is a minor zombie state.
I’d like to say that prescribed medication helps out my problems. But as is well known, by now, my problems still exist. I still get headaches, I still get back pains, I still have my depression. This is a fact for anyone who believes that substance abuse is the answer to their problems. You can drink, get drunk, smoke and get high, but your problems, especially the problems of life, will always be right there…like a mirror staring you right back.
I deal with anxiety quite a bit in my life. Panic attacks and breathing problems are a norm for me. In my early battles years ago, the attacks would mostly consist of bursts of crying tears, shaking, and possibly the need for half a Xanax. But I am not the kind of person that relies on medication. I have a need to be awake and aware of what’s going on. The last, and only time, I was subjected to heavy medication¬†in¬†my youth,¬†a certain doctor performed a necessary¬†procedure on me, and to this day I have a fear of any doctor when they mention that area down there. Nope, you wanna go and do some digging down there you better knock me out and strap me down. I’m not saying they did a Caitlyn Jenner on me…but it was a close one…
When we abuse anything, it leads to dire consequences, and as I’ve learned in my rather young 50 years, we have gotten to the point where we can abuse just about anything at all. It can be drugs, alcohol, women, children, money, sex…the list is endless. We can even get to a point that as Christians, we can abuse anything that God has blessed us with.
What’s really sad is that when we abuse something, we will, at some point, hurt deeply the people around us. As a Christian, we can even abuse the Word of God to an extent. We can and should be straight and narrow, but always¬†peppered with grace. But I do¬†believe that as young Christians we always have a battle with self-righteousness. If left unchecked, that self-righteousness can lead to a damaging witness to others. It leads them not to trust us, and in the end, though our loved ones end up carrying the brunt of our burdens for us, eventually they will get to a point where they have no choice but to leave us.
After all, substance abuse…any kind of abuse at all…isn’t just about what’s going on in our own¬†lives. When we abuse the bottle, the cigarettes, drugs etc.. that abuse directly hurts those around us. We become total strangers and vice-versa. This is why so many friendships fail, divorce happens, family fails¬†and hate spurs. And it leads to a distrust and absolute hatred of the abuser. Or rather, we are lead to avoid any contact at all¬†with the abuser.
I know that as Christians we should love all people, but we should never be put in a spot where we must live with abuse. Now saying this¬†I honestly don’t have the resources myself to help out an abused person. Perhaps the church does, I don’t know. I know there are women shelters, and people who will help. But there doesn’t seem to be a network of people who offer help to the abused.
I know from the testimony of several former junkies that abuse can be overcome. I’ve seen the wonderful work of God in their lives. Getting an abuser to admit their abuse is not an easy experience, nor a pleasant one. Sometimes they, and their loved ones have to travel down a really dark place, and see and experience things they would rather not see or experience.
But we are soldiers for Christ. And we will be called to a bloody, spiritual, mental, and sometimes physical battle. The wounds will be deep, we will be cut, and we will bleed. And we shall march on!