In May of 2015, my brother in law lost his lifelong fight with addiction. He would have been 50 in January. Since that time, there have been several incidents within the political circles I run in that have served as graphic reminders of the power of addiction.
5,968 Days Ago I had what would turn out to be my last drink. It did not just happen overnight. I had faith in Christ since I was a little boy. A lot of things happened in my Childhood that served as triggers for drinking as a teenager and as an adult. It took my 4 years of false starts before I was finally able to stop for good.
I it was not until I learned and believed for real that my higher power Jesus Christ has more power than anyone or anything – including death and drinking. It was when I learned how to surrender my own will and the care of my life to my higher power Jesus Christ, I was finally able to stop.
I have told my personal story in more detail a few times, and it is still emotional. It is no less emotional with over 16 years in to my sober journey. The gratitude I have for AA and Jesus Christ just comes gushing out when I think of where I am now, versus where I was then.
A man I used to be close to in politics lost a young son to his addiction. A man I am still close to in politics also lost a son (in his 40’s) to addiction. These happened within the last 2-3 years.
Recently, a rising star in local Placer politics committed suicide. People are asking why and are sharing their sorrow and confusion on social media. All I can tell people is that I know what depression, anxiety, hopelessness, despair and the like are about. I used to be riddled with them. It is not your fault, it is not the victim’s fault. It seems to be something in the mental and physical wiring.
Years of AA Meetings, some therapy, my faith in Christ, Church, Bible Study, Prayer, losing 100+ lbs, exercise, hiking, gardening all done over and over again over 16 years have been the formula for me. When I finally quit, I wanted to survive so bad that I was willing to do anything to stop drinking.
Jesus Christ saved my soul and gave me the power to do AA. The AA program and counseling saved my tail. Neither would have accomplished a thing unless I quit myself first. When I finally quit drinking, knowing I knew nothing was the wisest decision I ever made in my life.
To those grieving this suicide please use this moment to look at yourself and if you even think you may be suffering from mental illness (depression, anxiety), suicidal thoughts, addiction and the like – reach out for help. There are meetings, programs, counselors that can help. Don’t suffer in silence when God, a therapist and/or meetings are waiting for you.
Today, I learned that a man I have known for 20 years, but have been estranged from in the last several years lost his daughter to a freak illness. I can not imagine the anguish. I can not imagine how it must feel to him as he has become increasingly more isolated and angry in the last several years. I’ve been praying for him daily since our friendship ended.
I have come to believe in my sober journey that God’s will is what is best for us. He is all-knowing and all-powerful, yet he does not manipulate us or tell us how to live. He has his own reasons and timetable and does not need to negotiate a deal with us. Yet, he stands with open arms when we are willing to commit our will to him.
Daily, especially in politics – I see the results of self-will run riot. Daily, I am reminded of why I have so much to be grateful for. Daily, I can accept the results of political elections in stride because I know I am not in control. Daily, I can be the best political operative and Insurance Broker I can be because I know I am not in control of the results, only my part.
I know well that I’d be dead and would have never lived to be 48 without AA and Jesus Christ in my life. I hope what I have written today means something to you and spurs you to some sort of meaningful change in your life. The best way to deal with tragedy is to learn and get better from it.
Thanks for reading.