Christian Short Stories

Sharon writes: "I am a 50 year-old mother of three and grandmother of  grandsons."

Look What God Has Completed In Me
By Sharon Pankey

My Look at My Relapse 8-7-2014:

After my relapse, I now realize that I have had some areas in my recovery program that I have not paid any attention. I have learned that I need to treat my disease of addiction with the respect, and care that it demands daily and also the conditions that are going to arise that will need my attention in order for me to keep it arrested; sometimes moment by moment when the cravings and symptoms manifest themselves as they are going to do.

Self-deceit; yes that describes me here; I deceived myself by telling myself, “I got this illness under control this time.”  I can see this is where I was deceiving myself.  In looking back at my 113 days clean, I was not working my recovery completely and honestly with myself.  I now have a new found respect and a healthy fear where my disease of addiction is concerned.  I admit I let up in doing the basics of recovery; I let up in doing the same things over and over again when I came back home to Rockingham and that was a big mistake. I must do the basics every day, read NA literature, call my sponsor, work the 12 steps; these must come first.

I have only a daily reprieve from active addiction. By doing the basics daily, I am changing my life; that is exactly what I need to do and what I long for. Recovery offers me a chance to improve my life and myself.  I must keep an open mind and watch out for apathy and procrastination. In hindsight I was procrastinating in doing any work on my program of recovery; I was putting off until later in the day to even start reading NA literature at all.

I let my guard go down on my disease and it ran me over like nothing I have ever felt before, it overwhelmed me so much I had no defense against it all.  I left a door open and my addiction came rushing in.  I now see the reality of my addiction and how horrific, terrifying, and deadly my disease of addiction really is.  I had not seen my illness in that light before.  Now after my elapse, I have a better view and understanding at how cunning (how it came at me ever so quietly), how baffling (I did not have my tolls in place and I was so confused) and how powerful (it came in on me like nothing I had ever felt before).

When my disease came at me, it was so strong that it had me before I knew what was going on.   It worked its way into my mind, my feelings, my emotions and physically that it kept me out for 3 days.  In a way, I am seeing my relapse as a learning experience, for now I see my addiction for how insidious it is. At the time I was in no position to do anything about it. I can’t believe how strong it came at me and how powerless I was to do anything about it and that really scares me.  I am now willing to do whatever it takes not to go through that again, OK, reality check; my addiction will come at me like that again; however when it does, I must call my sponsor, call other ladies in the network, and get to a meeting ASAP.

I must be serious about this and take the necessary action to work my program of recovery; also keeping God in my life, for without Him I would surely die as a direct result of my disease of addiction.  I am powerless over my addiction and only God can and will do for me what I cannot do for myself. I do honestly, completely and humbly surrender myself to God and put my trust in Him explicitly.  I am only now aware of how serious I must take action and work my program of recovery keeping God first and foremost in my life for without Him I could not do this.

When I realized the first hit had me back at exactly the same place I was before I had left Arca Recovery Centers of America, that fact scared me to death.  I remember telling myself, “I would never be that bad again because I had not used in 113 days; how it could be as bad as it was when I left?”  Part of the reason for my relapse is I quit working the program as I had learned to. I am grateful that I  now see the reality of my addiction, I had no idea how horrific this reality looked until now, this is one of the areas I need God; it is only by the grace of God that I made it back from my road to destruction. I am one of the lucky ones; I made it back, a lot of relapsers do not get another chance, some of them go insane, die or are arrested and are spending a lot of their lives in jail and/or prisons.

I must keep my emotional and spiritual aspect of my being up-to-par so when that physical and mental/emotional cravings that have so much power over me, I will know what to do in order not to use; call someone in my network, talk with them honestly about what I am going through and get to a meeting ASAP, no matter what, I must not use.

I did not relapse by accident; it was due in part to my having to come back to my home in Rockingham. And yes I did stop doing the basics when I got home. I had the delusion and ego along with it.  I thought, “I got this addiction under control.”  How could I not see the situation for what it really was? The only emotions I can remember having then was so much despair and desperation, I was crying for relief on the inside; I thought that drugs would do the trick; this was the only way I had known for eight years.  My rational thinking went right out the window, the work I had done went into the trash can and I went straight down that bottomless pit of active addiction where my old friends were welcoming me back with open arms; desolation and destruction; now they make a mean pair.

I stopped taking care of doing and working my recovery program, I got lazy in doing everything I had learned. I was more concentrated on my resentments and anger at the women’s half-way house for medically discharging me. I thought, “How dare they do this to me - as hard as I have tried everything, didn’t they know I needed to stay here for my own sake?” I did not realize it at that time, I had begun to isolate from the ones I cared about and who cared about me. This disease of addiction is very insidious and it came at me in very subtle ways to get me back, it will try anything and everything against me to have me where it can give me the hugs of coldness and decay.

I have to fill that void with jewelry, rings, cloths, food and such items in general. If I could get it, I wanted it just to have it; maybe that decorative bowl or pretty gold necklace would make me feel better. The only thing I have found that can fill this void is spending time with God, reading His Word, praying to Him or just sitting quietly and letting God minister to me, or just be in His Presence.  Yes, this is what I have been searching for.

Back to that day when I had started isolating myself I was already paranoid; looking out the window to see if the dealer or the cops were pulling up the drive and I had not even used yet.  On the third morning something clicked and woke me up.  It was like, “Okay, you see what it is like, now go and start the work I have for you to do.  You are my child. Go in the path I have laid before you.”  This is what God said to me on the third morning of my last drug run as I walked back up the drive after being out all night.

In that moment God took all of the high away, he took my desire for drugs away and gave me a strong desire to help the still suffering addict.  This happened on the morning of August 25, 2014.  I have already been asked to conduct a Bible Study at a relative’s house, who before would not have let me in. Yesterday, 9-27-2014, I was able to acquire a bag of Bibles and deliver them to an adulterants treatment home in a neighboring town, they did not have one bible, now they have twenty.  

I am not boasting in what I have done or what I am doing, I am telling you this to show you what God can do.  He can use anyone for the betterment of His Kingdom.  If my being an alcoholic and addict was to know the pain and suffering of others then please God let me share you with them.  Let me tell you something else, God chose me, I did not choose Him. I was too high but there is not one day that goes by that I do not want what His has given me, His unmerited favor. Thank you Jesus for what you have completed in me.

(© 2014 Sharon Pankey – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)

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