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Recovery Corner: What Does Addiction Look Like

This article was originally written and featured on scinthenews.com

INSANITY. Doing the same thing, expecting a different result.

I believe addiction is the epitome of repetition. The very lived, breathed definition of insanity. A recent event in my life brought this point home.

You know, they say that God works in mysterious ways. That is not true at all. I think He’s very transparent. For those who are willing to hear the voice, it’s very clear. I have what I call my God voice, I’ve been hearing it most of my adult life. It’s gotten stronger as I’ve gotten older. I will pray, and then very clearly hear in my head to do/not do something. I’ve learned to listen. That’s how this story starts.

Driving home from work on August 30, late afternoon, I was praying for guidance about my son’s situation. I wanted to go to the dollar store, pick up some things for the impending hurricane then hit the lakefront for my daily walk. The voice was so loud, go to the lakefront. “Ok, Ok…!” Not only that, but I was instructed, as I call it, to walk at the first pier, which I rarely do. So, I parked and started my journey. As I was walking, I saw a couple that was clearly in distress. Years of personal and professional experience, I knew they were drug users. I said to myself, “You don’t need this Mary, keep walking. You don’t need anybody else’s problems.”

She was sitting on the ground, crying, all alone. She couldn’t have weighed more than 90lbs, size 2. No thought at all… I dropped to my knees, “Hey honey, what’s going on? You’re not ok.” As we talked, her boyfriend came back and I introduced myself. As expected, I confirmed active drug use, homeless, hungry, no insurance and estranged from family.

I offered Nancy and Joe, whose names have been changed for privacy, the one thing I HAVE – treatment. They said YES! Perfect strangers, but I’ve known these faces for almost 20 years. What is the expression – evil persists when good men do nothing. Doing nothing for me is almost never an option. So, we sat in my car and I made tons of calls to business associates saying you HAVE to find me two detox beds, scholarships. For readers who don’t know what that means… about $10,000 worth of coverage, for FREE! Waiting for RSVP’s, I drove to a couple of stores and got some food for them. It was 7pm, time for me to head home…still no resources for treatment. So, I was driving with this couple, praying silently, telling God – you brought us here, now fix it! God is probably the only one who knows that my heart would never allow me to put these two broken people back on a lakeshore and just go home with a hurricane around the corner!

So, my decision was made, motel for the night and give God a chance to do His thing. First motel, full. Second motel, full. Still praying, I hear my God voice repeating the name of a specific motel nearby. Man proposes; God disposes. “OK, OK…!!” Pull into that parking lot, who do I see – a business associate named Vance Johnson (any football fans here – yup! HIM). He’s working with a local treatment facility, and I looked up and silently said to God – Wow, you got this! I left Vance with the couple to talk; went inside, whipped out my credit card, booked a room for 1 night, with a prayer for treatment options for the morning. We all prayed, standing in that parking lot. They settled in; I went home praying, knowing we needed the big guns.

At home, I texted the CEO of The Blackberry Center (I used to work with him), explained that ALL options were exhausted – John, you’re the man for this job. “Yes” was his response. MY ANGEL.

The next morning, I went to the motel and gathered the couple. As is ALWAYS expected with drug addiction, reason had departed, and the monster of addiction had returned. At one quick stop before getting to the facility, Nancy went completely sideways, not agreeing to go – yelling, hollering, arguing with Joe. I looked in his eyes, I saw the battle – GO? STAY? I said “Joe, I need a decision. What’s it gonna be?” With tears in his eyes, he said “I can’t leave her, I love her.” I wished him the best, left. It’s my understanding that they are still homeless and drug involved in the area.

Who does that? Who says no to FREE safe housing, food, medications – a chance at life? The monster of addiction, that’s who. New day. Same choices. Insanity.

For those of us who are sober, with no drug history, it’s almost impossible to understand the insanity of addiction. And we don’t have to. These broken persons, we pray will change when they’re done, ready to change. We can’t fix them, but we sure can pray for them! Maybe one day Joe will call…

Four angels were put in my path that Friday and Saturday. Angels come in all shapes and sizes – drug users, athletes, businessmen. *Halos Not Required*