Confronting Demons and Dealing with Addiction

Confronting Demons and Dealing with Addiction. Photo of Moon Lake by Chilly Billy Howell
Confronting Demons and Dealing with Addiction. Photo of Moon Lake by Chilly Billy Howell

A good friend from a former life, whom I have stayed in touch via social media, recently shared the following message with me regarding confronting demons and dealing with addiction. While smoking a cigar in the backyard, I typed out my response on an iPhone!

There is nothing original or sage in my reply to him, but for some reason I want to share my heartfelt response here on our website, but with complete anonymity for my friend, whom I love!

I am a recovering addict who daily deals with the disease of addiction! Occasionally I share my experiences, strength, dependence on God and friends, along with the burgeoning hope offered by a life involving Recovery!

 

THIS IS WHAT I RECEIVED FROM MY FRIEND:

“BH, please keep my family in your prayers. I have decided to confront my demons and deal with this addiction. I see your joy and it is inspiring.”

THE FOLLOWING IS MY RESPONSE:

That is awesome, Brother! A courageous decision that will initially and then incrementally pay life-imbuing dividends!

God, Recovery and a supportive wife are the only reasons I’m here today and didn’t pull the trigger numerous times! Some, if not most folks, will: not understand why you are doing it; will say, “I thought he was fine?” Will think Recovery and seeking help is weak and cultic! Pay them no mind! It’s a short ride and as we say, “they ain’ payin’ rent to live in our head free of charge!”

We know when we need help; everybody needs it, but so few of us will admit it, which is the first step to a better life!

I am of the belief now and it is reaffirmed daily in literature, meetings, memories and my life struggles that if I don’t stay clean and sober I will likely “end up in jail, an institution, dead or in dereliction!”

That does not apply to everyone who drinks or smokes weed, but it does apply to me, and in that recognition, with right choices, I can remain sober and free! As we often quote, and again, it applies to me, not to everybody, “One is too many and a thousand is not enough!”

The “want to” is a sign of strength not weakness, and even if you try and don’t succeed numerous times, you will rarely find anything but complete acceptance from fellow addicts like me, and you will learn some life principles to marble into your faith and your already grand understanding of Psychology!

You are a bright guy, one of the brightest I’ve ever known, and bright folks often have the hardest road to travel because we live all up in our head, overthink just about everything, and isolate from folks when confronted with stupid, or we become bored. And, in both our cases, have deep non-healing scars and scar tissue, are tender beneath our feigned Hemingwayesque facade, and possess deep loss related to our children!

I have found “recovering” addicts to be the brightest, most resilient, empathetic, messed up people in the world, and I feel at home around them and safe in so many ways! I know I’m one drink or one puff away from hitting the abyss on a dead run next time!

If you go into treatment/treatment facility with an open mind and let God help you accentuate the positive and not get eaten up by the negative, it will change your life! Ain’ easy though, but doable, enlightening, cathartic and freeing!

If you don’t go into treatment, you can still really get what you need if you will go to AA or NA mtgs.

I mostly hit NA—as addiction covers more of my dysfunctions, including a love for John Barleycorn—but the meetings and the Recovery principles consistently remind me that I’m not a John Donne island unto myself, and when I retreat to that island—I flounder!

Recovery also serves as a catalyst putting feet to my Christian faith: while it doesn’t supplant the Church Universal, it augments my faith in ways I don’t often get from organized religion!

I just hit 15+ months clean/sober and made it through my second Christmas without numbing myself with drugs or alcohol; but, I’m still an addict and hit the calories instead—still not good! 😢

Three verses that helped me daily early on in Recovery and still do are found in Psalms 103:3-5.

“He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!”


Sorry for the soapbox, Brother! All I wanted to say was: God bless you, I’m proud of you, will continue to pray for you and your beautiful family daily, and please please call me or hit me up 24/7 if you need a listening ear full of acceptance and love! I mean it! Love you, Brother! 🙏❤️😃

—Chilly Billy


 

Confronting demons and dealing with addiction can be a lonely struggle. If you find yourself needing a listening ear, reach out and ask for help.

 

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