Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Dear God: Addiction and Your Advocate

posted by Beyond Blue

Dear God,
In John’s Gospel, Jesus says this to your disciples:

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you (John 14:15-18).

I have always found great comfort in your promise of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to remain with us until the end of our days. And I’m beginning to recognize Her in my friendships that feed and sustain my spirit.
I want to keep your commandments, God. Really, I do. So why do I keep on messing up? Why, despite my efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle do I periodically grab for any one of my addictions, and clutch it with a death grip, believing that it alone holds the key to my sanity and peace of mind.


Lord, you know how many times I have been there—grabbing for the thing, giving it up, grabbing it again, letting it go, then taking it back. When I let it go, I feel that brief sense of relief—that I am okay on my own—that I don’t need it to be me. But then the panic, the withdrawal, sets in, and with it the false belief that I will never be whole without it.
I’m weary of the cat and mouse game. I want to be free. Of all my addictions. For good.
I need your Advocate, and I know where to find Her.
She is there, where two or three are gathered in Your name (Matt 18:20). Or, as Martin Buber put it, She is there “when two people relate to each other authentically and humanly.” She is that “electricity that surges between them.”
I felt the peace of Your advocate yesterday, when I had lunch with a good friend who shares the same struggle of my addiction. At one point, as I held her hand, I started to cry, explaining the misguided thoughts going through my brain.
She didn’t judge.
She just squeezed my hand harder. And said, “Therese, it’s not about the object. It never is about the object. It’s about the hole in the soul. Grow the tree—your sense of self, your spirit—and, trust me, the craving will wither. Later, she wrote me an e-mail that ended with this:

Remember, it’s about growing a self. And you do that by discovering what you need, getting those needs met in a way that makes you like yourself, makes intimacy possible with people you trust and love. Bottom line, you are safe, sane, loved, cherished, smart. You just have some work to do. Like everyone else.

As I looked into her beautiful face, and felt the sincerity of her compassion, I knew I was in the presence of your Advocate, God. Just like I have in so many support-group meetings, where I entered the room dying to drink and left an hour later free of craving. Because I filled up my spirit in those rooms.
Why do I always forget that recovery isn’t just about not drinking, or not smoking, or not bingeing, or not taking my own life? It’s about each and every one of those 12 spiritual steps—about admitting the powerlessness of my obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviors, about spending time with the Word of God in scripture and prayer, about helping others who struggle to break free of their addictions, and about finding the self-worth in myself, and believing that I am just fine without the object I think I need.
Moreover, you don’t call yourself “sober” when you’ve managed to walk away from the bottle. You’re sober when you no longer fantasize about what a martini would feel like going down. You’re not sober until you’re in the presence of the Advocate, the voices of truth, just as Jesus explain in the Gospel of John. Until that Spirit of truth remains in you even after your lunch is over, and your support group meeting is over. When you She is in you and guiding you always toward health.
The Advocate is first found in communion, in people coming together to seek the Truth. Because just as Jesus said, the world can’t see or know Her. No way. Not in this culture of addiction.
The Advocate reveals herself only to those open hearts wanting to hear the Truth.
I want the Truth, God.



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Larry Parker

posted April 28, 2008 at 11:44 am


Whether we know it or not, we ALL want the truth. (Whether we can handle it or not, as a famous movie reminds us, is a different story.)
The interesting thing about the Holy Spirit is that it is probably the manifestation of the Christian Deity (however one defines the Trinity) that has analogs not only in other theistic religions, but even in other non-theistic religions. I’m sure the Dalai Lama would recognize the Holy Spirit, though perhaps not with that name.
So the Holy Spirit is an “advocate” all of us, no matter what our faiths, can embrace. And as you know, the role of “advocacy” has been a subject of no small debate among BBers recently …



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Butch Montoya

posted April 28, 2008 at 9:40 pm


The Holy Spirit for is about being lead to the light of righteousness so that we may see our path, now and prepares us for the future.
The Holy Spirit is also power to empower each of to stand with courage when a few nights ago, there was no courage, fear, or unrest.
The Holy Spirit is truth and leads us to the source of life where we can be nourished by the presence our Advocate, and by the throne of Grace.
I believe in the trinity – God in one.
I really don’t mind what other religions call their Gods, but I wish they would not judge mine. I find wonderful rest, peace, protection, but also courage, strength, and contentment IN the Holy Spirit.



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Margaret Balyeat

posted April 29, 2008 at 5:16 am


What a blessing to have a friend in your life who embodies the Holy Spirit, Therese! May that paticular friendsip fkourish and grow forever! Frankly, I don’t think most of us are so fortunate to have such a person in our lives. And whart a privilege for your friend to BE the embodiment of tht advocate. She must nearly GLOW ITH SUCH A SPECIAL INNER SELF!! I don’t think I could handle the responsibility of being that wise, however; it has to take an inordinate amount of self-control not to pontificate all the time! Obviously,, SHE’S one of the “few who have been both called and chosen.” In an age of intolerance like we live in today IMHO, individuals who have remained untouched by that(the pure of heart, as I see it, are truly rare indeed. If one is blessed enpugh to discover one, I think it says something about the FINDER, too. Your own inner self has to be evolved enough to recognize that advocate, as all of us here at BB know you indeed are! That friendship goes beyond a “meeting” of the minds; it’s a trur meeting of the souls.Continue, as I’m sure you will, to nurture and cherish that association and bask in her strength and wisdom as you continue to walk your path of freedom from addicyions. By the way, I like that the two of you both “get” that addictions can be abstract mind sets as well as a concrete thing like booze, drugs or nicotine; many don’t. Blessings once againfor your willingness to open your heart and share with us less-evolved individuals so that we can also glean from your experiences and feelings.



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Abby Nevarez

posted April 29, 2008 at 7:35 am


This is the first time I’m going to tell my secret to anybody other than God. I’m struggling w/ drug addiction. Every time I feel depress or anxious i go back to use. When I read this it was like reading about myself. Today I felt that some one understand me. Thanks. God bless you.



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PegofMar1

posted April 29, 2008 at 8:01 am


Therese, see what a blessing you are with comments such as Abby’s?
I think you are “right on” with your comments. I experience the Holy Spirit at times just the way you describe.
An afterthought is that back in 1968 I attended a charismatic prayer meeting of Catholics (and later attended different nondenominational ones as well) where I discovered more fully the Holy Spirit and afterward read the bible more and even later realized how our Mass is most words straight from the bible in it, too.
I never spoke in tongues the way the others did in those prayer meetings, but I definitely came away with believing in the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit helps us get from our head to our heart, I think.



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DONNA THOMPSON

posted April 29, 2008 at 9:37 am


I WAS VERY TOUCH BY WHAT EVRYONE HAS SAID , ADDICTION IS HARD, MY SON WHO DIED ON MY BIRTHDAY WAS AN ACHOLIC AND HE FOUGHT THIS UNTIL HE GAVE HIS LIFE TO GOD. THEN HE GAVE THE ADDICTION OF ACHOL TO GOD. IT WASN’T EASY FOR HIM HE HAD SEIZURES BUT HE NEVER TOOK ANOTHER DRINK AFTER HE GAVE HIS LIFE TO GOD.I KNOW THIS IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE HE DIED SHORTLY AFTER HE GAVE HIS LIFE TO GOD , SO HE DIDN’T HAVE TO FACE WHAT WE DO. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO FACE THE EVIL OF THIS WORLD AND ITS ADDICTIONS. BUT WE CAN OVER COME OUR ADDICTIONS THROUGH FAITH IN GOD AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, NO IT WANT BE EASY AND THE DEVIL WILL TRY TO BRING US DOWN, BUT WHEN THAT HAPPENS JUST KEEP SAYING THANK YOU JESUS OVER AND OVER AND IT WILL GO AWAY. I’M NOT SAYING THIS WILL WORK FOR EVERYONE BUT IT DOES FOR ME. I JUST WANTED TO SHARE THIS WITH ALL OF YOU THIS MORNING.THANK YOU FOR READING THIS, WITH LOVE AND HUGS , DONNA THOMPSON



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PegofMar1

posted May 1, 2008 at 4:45 am


“the craving will wither” These words appeal to me because they imply that if we are discovering new stuff about ourselves that frees up or changes the way we think, that we just won’t have a need for the particular addiction we want to be rid of and it will be replaced by something much better for us. Usually when it comes to changing a habit we can become defeated before we begin, just by believing if only we had the will power, etc.



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Deb Scholtes

posted May 6, 2008 at 2:54 pm


Therese,
I just wanted to let you know that your blogs have inspired me and helped me so much. I am a mom of 2 sons (teens) who has suffered depression since post-partum. My 14 year old is struggling with depression/acting out, anger etc. I am a very very spiritual person, active in my church and avid prayer/meditation person. I feel a connection to your thoughts and challenges and just appreciate the time and thought you put into this very valuable blog. It is one thing to face your own struggles, but to feel and experience depression and anger in your teen is a challenge no one is ever prepared for. I’m taking it one day at a time. Keep up the great work. You are valued and blessed.
Deb S.



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Because We Care!

posted May 12, 2008 at 4:45 pm


Dear (((Abby Nevarez,)))
How are You doing? We’re Always just an e-mail away for You.
Because….



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janine theresa

posted February 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm


Im struggling oh LORD ITS KILLING ME INSIDE THIS ADDICTIONS AND CRAVE WONT GO AWAY UNLESS I GO AN GET HELP THE PROBLEM IS LORD IM AFRAID AND DONT TRUST EASILY. I ADMIT I AM POWERLESS OVER THIS DRUG BUT I ALSO BELIEVE OH LORD THAT U WILL BRING ME BACK TO SANITY. I HATE WAT THIS IS DOING TO ME AND MY DAUGHTER NO ONE KNOWS THIS SECRET I HAVE. IVE RELAPSED OVER AN OVER AGEN



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