It is my belief that everything happens for a reason.
A belief I was intrinsically born with I believe yet brought to fruition by my faith in a power that is greater than myself. My belief in all-powerful, all knowing, and all loving power that I myself, choose to call God!
My creator, my healer, my wonderful counselor and best friend, but most importantly, “My Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
It is through this belief that I have come to the conclusion that all my years of suffering in active addiction wasn’t for not. That all the pain I caused those who loved me most, had to be for a greater purpose. That all the people I lied to, cheated on, and stolen from, must somehow in the long run benefit in some weird way from the chaos that the world once knew as my life!
If I had to choose one person, the God had created to walk the face of this earth as the most influential in my life. it would be a man I have never met before, or even seen a real photograph of, and who some may even try and argue is simply just a figment of my imagination, but I beg to differ.
That man would be an author such as myself, but I consider him to be the greatest author of all time, the Apostle Paul. The original gangster, one of my God’s very own messengers to all of the humanity and quite possibly the second greatest man to ever dwell on this planet.
In a collaborative effort with the likes of many other great writers, they published a book. Hundreds of years ago if not even more than that, and in that book, in one of the many letters he penned in it, a few sentences he wrote have profoundly affected me more than any other-other piece of literary prose.
He wrote ” I have been pressed down, but not crushed. Persecuted not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed. I am blessed beyond the curse, for his promise will endure, and his joy is going to be my strength.”
Those two sentences for me sum up my journey from the depths of hell, swimming in the lake of fire of my active addiction. To the almost too many to even count blessings, that have occurred in the past six months of this journey into long-term, productive and healthy recovery.
It states to me that all though I was seriously pressed down by an addiction to mind and mood altering chemicals, that I have survived and I am alive. I was not crushed but definitely dealt with my fair share of persecution due to the enormous stigma that surrounds those who suffer from a Substance Abuse Disorder in today’s society.
I was not destroyed, even though I overdosed one time and tried taking my own life on more than one occasion. And that I am blessed beyond the curse of being a miserable, homeless, selfish drug addict who could not even stand to see the sight of his own face in the mirror.
Now off substances for some time, and back into my right mind am able to see that promise that Paul talked about. A promise that if I stay focused, motivated for change, and surrounded by a network of healthy support people who have my best interests in mind, that I too will attain the prize of Joy that he so strenuously mentions above.
That joy, that feeling of excited expectedness you have when you wake up in the morning eager to see the blessings that this new clean and sober life has to gift you creates the strength to keep on keeping on.
The strength to dive deep within your soul and begin to open some of door’s you have padlocked shut. The strength to tell those you hurt and those you love that “I am so sorry for the things I did in my past that caused you grief.” The strength to stand up, walk in front of the mirror and look yourself in the eyes and say ” you know what, I forgive you!!”
Be blessed you all and remember; I love you!
Marc Mcmahon is a published author, motivational speaker on addiction, and Soldier in a war to cripple the disease of drug addiction. Recruiting as many new soldiers as possible to launch an all-out assault against substance abuse. Join him in his fight. Together we can be an unstoppable force that makes this disease cringe every time he hears our boots marching towards him for battle!