Category Archives: Joy

Breaking Free from the Bondage of the Past, Part 1

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. If you’ve been checking now and then, thank you for not giving up on me! It’s been a time of culling back and allowing some concentrated healing to take root in my heart. At first, I was nervous that I was somehow losing touch with some of the healing work I’ve already done. But what was really happening was that I needed some time to crawl up into a chrysalis and allow some new, tender wings to form. The fabulous news is that my sponsor and therapist agree I have “turned a new corner” in my healing work. And I am so happy to be able to share with you the good work which God is doing in my heart and mind.

I have been in therapy for about half of my life. (I can’t believe that!) It has done me a lot of good, and I don’t feel like any of it has been completely in vain. However, most of that work was done while I was still in active addiction and in the midst of ongoing crisis. It’s hard to heal and grow when you feel like you’re in a numbed-out state of shock all of the time, simply trying to survive each day as it comes.

I have been sober in a new, more all-encompassing way for the past five months. By that, I mean that not only am I maintaining my ongoing sobriety from addictive substances and obsessive sexual thinking and behavior, but I have also been abstaining from other things I tend to do to “check out” from reality: compulsive shopping, eating certain addictive foods, etc. By the grace of God, I’ve stepped up my recovery to a way of living that enables me to “meet life on life’s terms” without any mind-numbing substances or behaviors. And my growth as a sane and sober person is escalating at an awesome rate.

I have felt like I’ve been on the cusp of true freedom and joy for a long time, which is a miracle in itself. Not so very long ago, I truly believed that freedom and joy were luxuries I could never afford- that I had wrecked my spirit beyond hope. So, the idea that they are even possibilities for me is an awesome gift.

However, I have been long aware that something within me has been holding me back. For some reason, the very idea of completely surrendering myself to a life of joy and spiritual freedom has been extremely frightening. Or maybe what has scared me so much has been the idea of letting go of the slavery of my past, especially the twisted belief system I developed as a scared and wounded little girl.

Of course, that doesn’t make any sense, logically. Who would choose to hold onto a framework for interpreting and responding to other people and life’s situations which is harmful and isolating? God has opened the door to my prison cell. Why would I choose to stay inside, cowering from the sunshine? I have known for years and years that the answer to those questions is the key to my freedom. But I haven’t had an answer.

Until now. Stay tuned to hear about my “spiritual awakening” in part 2 of this post. (Hooray!)