One of the first books of the Bible that I ever read (or understood)
was in the book of Romans.
Romans 7:18 was the first thing that I memorized.
(Naturally, I had to get it tattooed on my body.)
Verse 18 goes like this:
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
It continues in verse 19 to say:
For what I do is not the good I want to do;
no the evil I do not want to do-
this I keep on doing.
This is the best way to describe what was happening in my life at during my darkest times.
I kept trying to do better and I kept falling on my face.
Over and over and over again.
Deep down I wanted to do better or to be better, but I just kept digging deeper and deeper and falling further away from what I wanted to be until I just gave in.
The whole theme of my downward spiral was basically my well-intentioned desires
being over powered by underlying pain, unmet needs and sub-par coping skills
as I was living a life contrary to my very quiet conscience that desperately tried to make itself heard despite being smothered.
The fight between what I somehow know was right and what we I was actually capable of doing was so real.
The struggle can tire you out pretty fast and before you know it you are drowning yourself so you don’t have to look at the mess that is your life.
I tried to get sober and stay sober on my own, by myself, many times.
I tried to take on my demons and in the end, I lost every single time.
This verse doesn’t remind me of my strength or my own power-
it reminds me that my ego is not my friend.
It reminds me that pride is not what keeps my recovery growing.
I don’t have all of the answers.
I know what I can handle, and what I cannot.
I know my limits.
I know that I cannot do this alone, and there won’t ever be a time where I am called to live in isolation.
That is not what we were meant to do or how we were meant to live and it is not how recovery works either.
With God on your side, nothing that comes against you will be able to take you back down to that place ever again.
When you do fall, He will pick you up.
This is how we beat that urge to give into the familiar power that has overtaken us so many times before.
This is how we win.