No Addict wants to Be an Addict!

My son did not wake up one morning and say to himself, ” I think I will be an addict….”

Addiction is like a disease and no one decides to have a disease.

There are three common screams that rise up from the gut of someone caught by addiction:

I am scared.

I just want to be Normal!

Why Me?

Put those lines in any order, no one comes before the other.

I know, because my son, who died this past May from an accidental multi-drug intoxication overdose told me so.

“Why Me”

are words that vocalize the dumbfounded frustration – this wasn’t suppose to happen to me!  I am a good person.  I tried to live a good life.  I have plans and this wasn’t one of them!  My son was a dedicated athlete, co-captain of the football and wrestling teams;

“He was a good kid, a good role model for kids in school,” Edward Wyzik, the Belchertown High School football coach, said. 

His actions demonstrated character qualities that mattered and affected the people around him in a positive way; so I even scream, as the mom, why him!

“I just want to be normal!”

are words that my son cried out in fits of exasperation – Why did God make me this way? he cried.  Plagued with a predisposition genetically, he’d been caught by the beast of addiction in his attempts to self medicate a weary soul that just wanted to feel better and to feel normal.  Anxiety and depression complicated and added to his daily burden. This fight to “be normal & feel normal” propelled him to seek out the drugs that calmed him, gave him rest, escape, and allowed him to feel normal for a few hours.  His use of drugs helped him to cope with life, at first reasonably perhaps, as an occasional marijuana high, but the predisposition enticed him on to harder drugs for better relief of his inner turmoil.

“I am scared”

are some of the last words my son spoke from his heart – weeping, he relayed this emotion to a friend just a few days before he died.  Addicts have broken brains and are a people in need of help.  They are not dumb.  I believe, that this admission of emotion was the first time he was truly acknowledging the severity of his disease and the hold it had over him, and he was scared.

He was scared because NO ADDICT WANTS TO BE AN ADDICT. 

Unfortunately, in my sons state of fear he made poor choices in part due to the chemical brain changes that come with addiction, and I am convinced, he attempted to escape the fear of full relapse and tried to ease his painful predicament by trying a new drug – something he told me “he would never do“… heroin; cheaper and quicker than his usual drugs of choice.  The power of the disease of addiction is often more than the suffering person can handle and they are thrust into doing things they really don’t want to do, but are compelled to do, because of the deceptive power of drugs and the physiological marks of the disease.

These are things people need to know. Addicts are crying out; they want to be normal and they are afraid.

As a culture, we need to erase the stigma that says addicts are low-life’s with nothing good to offer society. We, as a culture need to remember that these people are someone’s son or daughter, 

they are people who had eyes and heart for a future, often times they are some of the gentlest souls in their peer groups because they are able to empathize with others who struggled in life.  They are individuals created by our heavenly Father who are worthy to be helped and loved with a love that does not judge, but seeks to fight the disease of addiction alongside them.

A line taken from the ShatterProof website, based out of New York:

“When a person with substance use disorder has internalized the negative stigma of the disease, it directly damages that person’s chances of recovery.4″

Final message today:

Get  rid of your preconceived misunderstandings about this disease of addiction and see the one addicted, as a person in need of encouragement, care, and love and do something that will speak to them and possibly reach their brokenness and give them the lift they may need to seek out recovery and stay in recovery.

We cannot fix and cure addiction for our loved ones, but we can certainly do better as a culture to give every good opportunity and HOPE for a healed & sober future for those who suffer with this brain disease called addiction.

 

“5 Year Clean” Anniversary

Like a marathon runner stepping over the finish line, I have reached the “MARK” – and the medical field supposes I can breath easy now – I made it!

I am enjoying my  “5 Year Clean” Anniversary season!

CLEAN & CLEAR of detectable CANCER!

WOO- HOO!

This is what every cancer survivor hopes to do –

step over the numbered-year-mark that science says gives you the highest likelihood that you will not have a return of the cancer.

So here I am.

I have arrived.

Now what?

In anniversary fashion, I  am taking a look back to see from where I came.

The journey was unexpected – nothing I would ever have chosen.

towdah-paintings-028.jpg

When God says He has a plan for each one of us, none of us imagines that the plan might include cancer.

Yet, mine did.

I never imagined that I would write a book either; but God included that in the plan for me as well.

This is how it happened:

I got Cancer. I endured and survived horrible treatments. I sat down to write about my experience, in hopes to give “my story” to my family, members who may or may not know the God who carried me through.  So, I had a few friends proof read it, to make sure I kept out any Christian-jargon, so it was understandable to all.  One friend said,
“More people need to read this.”

With some awkward disbelief, I said, “Really?”

Meanwhile, months previous, a few of my close friends bought me a ticket and took me on a cruise to celebrate the end of my treatments! (I never expected that as part of God’s plan for me either!)  As we boarded the ship, and checked in, the last check point person asked me,

“Do you have an appointment with an editor?”

I said with a laugh, “No, but how do I get one?”

I was told that you had to book one when you bought your ticket…..but if I wanted to check back after check-in was over, I could see if someone didn’t show up. I chuckled to myself and said, okay — like who doesn’t show up for a cruise!  For laughs – I came back – and lo and behold – ONE person did not show up – and so they gave me the editor’s meeting.  This was for a 15 min. block of time to show the designated editor your stuff.  As this was unexpected, I had not even one line written to show – all my pages were at home.  Nonetheless, empty handed I went.  And since I was the last meeting on the schedule – I could stay and chat with this expert editor as long as I wanted.  She gave me 45 minutes of her precious time.  Keep it authentic, was the take-away for me.

Yup – this was part of God’s plan for me too.

Simultaneously, as I arrived home from the cruise, another proof reading friend said,

“I know a publisher that would like to read your manuscript; she said just to send it to her”

I sent it.

Tracy Ruckman, then publisher of Write Integrity Press/Pix-N-Pens, called 2 weeks later, and said she wanted to publish my book.

This journey too, was unexpected — nothing I had set out to do.

Wham!

Wham!

Wham!

That is the sound of God throwing open the doors to my adventure in becoming a published author.

God did it.

He planned it.

And it was awesome!

Towdah, A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope was published in 2012.

Over the next several weeks, I am going to share what God did for me so that perhaps you may be encouraged to persevere and hold tight to God’s hand through whatever trial of suffering you are enduring.  God planned this all for me –

so that I could be used by Him,

to share His love with you!

Follow my next several posts if you want to hear authentic telling of my suffering and my awesome God!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

 

The Big “C”

The Big “C”.

Otherwise known as C-A-N-C-E-R, first came into my world as a young teen. A trip to the movies was still a novelty.  I think Terms of Endearment was one of five movies I saw in the theater in my entire childhood years; Snow White, CaddyShack, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, and On Golden Pond were the other four.  Because I saw so few, movies back then had quite an impression on me.  Terms of Endearment left a clear picture of what cancer was like: HORRIBLE with a capital H; pain, suffering, vomit, weight loss,desperate crying, weakness, and sure to end in death.

Cancer is not a modern day disease.

“Some of the earliest evidence of human bone cancer was found in mummies in ancient Egypt and in ancient manuscripts dates about 1600 B.C. The world’s oldest recorded case of breast cancer hails from ancient Egypt in 1500 BC and it was recorded that there was no treatment for the cancer,…” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2927383/)

Remission, temporary cure of cancer is a modern day accomplishment. Yet, cancer still remains to be the second leading cause of death for humankind.

One who lives after the diagnosis, surgery, and toxic chemical treatment of cancer is dubbed a “SURVIVOR.”  I am one such person. Although, I would say that I am not really a survivor…because I am daily S U R V I V I N G the ravages of the treatments in my everyday life. Cancer cells are gone – but side effects remain. Surviving is ongoing.

Still.

 I am here.

Sustained and upheld; given daily breath: I breathe. Love and comfort have been mine.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3 &4

This is why I wrote.

Product Details

http://www.amazon.com/Towdah-Cancer-Survivors-Song-Hope/dp/1938092155/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389661056&sr=1-1&keywords=towdah

This is why I persist in writing.

Today is World Cancer Awareness Day.

If you have cancer… if you know of anyone who is suffering in such a way.. please consider doing three things:

1.   Love them just as they are…ease their suffering any way you can.

2.   Contact me.  I personally will write a note of encouragement to you, or to your loved one, wherever they are in this world.  I will share my belief that there is truly ALWAYS A SONG OF HOPE.

3.  Consider purchasing my book, Towdah, and sharing it with others.  It is my personal journey through cancer and I wish to share it as an encouragement to all who read.

Blessing to you my friendly readers!

Make my joy complete by sharing my message and by allowing me to be used by God to encourage and give hope!