I spent so many years of my life just wasting away with no purpose or meaning. I just existed. Took up space. Consumed air. Wasted precious time. Squandered talents and missed out on memories.
It was miserable.
Back then I lived with this feeling that I—by myself, on my own, in my own skin —was not enough. I believed I perpetually had to take something, drink something, or snort something to make every situation a little “better,” a little more “fun,” to get a little “higher.”
And when I say every situation, I mean EVERY situation…
Going to a football game – I had to get high
Making dinner – I had to have a few drinks
Sitting down and getting some work done – I had to smoke a joint
Going out with friends – I had to get ripped so I could be “myself”
Having my kids for the weekend – I’d better make sure I have enough pills, I’ll need the “energy”
Going to church – I better get a little buzzed I’d hate to have to talk to people sober, plus the light show is so much better.
Going over to see family – I’ve got 7 pills in my pocket, that should get me through.
Going to play golf – I’ll tuck a spliff in my cigarette pack for the back nine
There were really no situations, circumstances, or events that I could handle sober. I didn’t know how to just be myself. And I sure as heck wasn’t very proud of “myself.”
I didn’t think he had much going on. That guy—“myself”—he was a fake and a phony; a divorced, medicated, dependent who was fiercely lonely, terribly insecure and horribly afraid.
Do you ever feel that way? Like you just can’t handle reality? Like you need a break or an add-on to tolerate this life?
I think we all have our moments where reality just isn’t enough. When something deep inside us screams to run away, to flee, to exit life and medicate those painful feelings into submission.
Running from challenging feelings and awkward confrontations was second nature for me for so many years. But here is the bombshell. Here is the revelation that might really change your perspective about sobriety, about overcoming fears, letting go over the past, or shoot, even about me. Here it is….
I still want to run away today!
Yes, oftentimes, when I am challenged, when emotions well up inside of me, when people push my buttons, when the enemy is on his game beating me down with self-doubt, I still have a strong desire to run.
I want to hide.
I want to numb myself.
I want get stoned.
I want to take some pills.
I want to exit reality.
Truth is, I don’t think I’m the only one. In fact, I know I’m not. I spend too much time around people to know that most of us struggle to stay in the moment. It’s way too easy nowadays to run away—all we have to do is pick up that phone and instantly we are whisked away to an alternate reality and connected to our “dealer of choice”. Maybe it’s Facebook, maybe it’s porn, maybe it’s a dating site or maybe it’s the lady with the pill prescription.
Whatever it is, we are just one click away from a medication that brings a temporary reprieve from our pain.
But here is the good news. Today we can choose to accept that we are runners and begin to change the direction in which we are running! It’s not that we stop running; it’s that we start running toward those things that give us hope, accountability and community. Instead of the temporary satisfaction we’ve so often chose, today we must run towards what has proven to have a lasting effect.
For me, what I must run towards is a community of others with similar struggles, positive people who believe in me and a God that fully accepts me. When I set my eyes on these goals I can sprint towards them knowing full well that freedom is what I will find!
Today I accept myself for who I am. I am a runner at heart. But that’s ok. As long as I am running towards the right things, life is going to be ok. And when I get off track, I have the right people around me to help guide me back where I need to be.
What about you? What do you need to begin running towards? I gave you my three what are yours?