#addiction #collab #alcohol #alcoholic #salvation
- by Theresa Ommert
You’re walking along a bleak, lonely path in a barren landscape feeling hollow and empty inside. Though there are others around, you feel alienated and disconnected from everyone.
“They don’t want me around anyway,” you tell yourself.
There’s a cold wind blowing and you feel it in your soul.
Nothing in this world feels right or safe. You struggle along, thirsty, until you find a well. It looks enticing – the water in it looks fresh and invigorating and you decide to try it. You drink from this well and the water takes away your loneliness and you feel a warmth spreading throughout your body, through your limbs, and to the tips of your finger and toes.
This feels magical.
You look at the well and think, “Where have you been all my life?”
Life is warm and pleasant. You no longer feel the cold, biting wind and the haunting emptiness that’s plagued you your whole life.
After a while the feeling dissipates and the old feelings of shame, inadequacy, and self-hatred return.
They creep inside you yet you also feel like they’re circling you like a pack of jackals – each one taking its turn charging at you and then mocking you when you flinch. Each one is snapping at you and you cower in fear. It’s torture.
While figuring out what to do, you unconsciously draw another drink from the well. What a relief! The water makes the jackals disappear and shuts down the accusing voices. It feels so good to be “home” again where you’re warm and comfortable.
After a while you notice that you need to drink from the well more often to keep the jackals and accusers at bay. All that matters is getting the pain and loneliness to stop. Life with the cold wind and barren landscape is unbearable. The wind gets colder and the world bleaker. People talk to you but you can’t understand what they’re saying and it only makes you feel more alienated.
You need this water to live so you decide to camp out next to the well…nothing must interfere with your access to the water. You’re hurting when you’re not drinking it and the emotional and physical pain is excruciating. Life is coming at you too fast and there’s too much chaos going on around you and the water calms you. People are still talking to you and you feel like their lips are moving without words coming out.
You sit and then lie at the well, drinking all that you can. By now the water can no longer repel the jackals and accusers and they’re relentless, following you wherever you go.
You need an endless supply of water and hauling it out of the well takes too long so you decide you need to jump into the well…that’ll fix everything. The tormenters can’t follow you there.
You take a deep breath and jump. There’s water at the bottom but you soon discover there’s something wrong with it. It’s not the same as the water you’ve been drinking. Surely this can’t be the same well! You must have made a mistake. You need to get back out and find the proper well.
You attempt to climb the rough sides but they’re slippery and slimy. Desperation sets in. You know you need to get back to the top and find the proper well and it’s cold at the bottom. You try to get a foothold but keep slipping down to the bottom. You’re full of slime and can’t seem to get clean.
Panic grabs you as you see the light at the top of this deep well darken and get dimmer and dimmer. You lie in a crumpled heap in the dirty water, giving up all hope of ever seeing daylight again. Looking up at the faint sky, you become resigned to dying down here with the water full of empty promises. You remember the people you used to know and wonder if they ever think of you.
“Help,” you say to no one in particular.
Suddenly you hear voices but recoil in shame. You’re dirty, bruised and feel unworthy of help.
“Why should someone waste their time helping me?” you wonder. “Nobody’s going to help me.” You sit in the darkness, feeling helpless and hopeless.
Time lapses and you don’t know how many hours or days have passed. You’re exhausted, weak and have come to the end of yourself. You’ve been wishing that you could close your eyes and never open them again. You want to die but you’re still alive.
“Help.” You say it very faintly even though you think there’s no one there to hear you.
You sense something in the darkness.
You’re not alone.
This something comes closer and envelopes you.
“Help!” You’re calling out now because you’re terrified.
Then you realize that whatever is enveloping you feels hot on your skin but it’s not burning you. It creates a light around you so bright that people can’t help but see it for miles around. They come running to the well and call down to you. You shout for help again.
The people at the top let down a rope ladder. You’re afraid to climb it but there’s no other way out so you grab a hold of a rung and place your foot in the bottom rung. The ladder is shaky and you feel like you’re too weak and exhausted to handle this. The people are shouting words of encouragement and actually seem to believe that you can do this.
You try again and this time you hold on tighter. The Presence around you is strengthening you and you manage to get to the next rung and then the next. You look down and start shaking so much that it looks and feels like you’re going to fall back down into darkness. The people at the top tell you not to look down, but to look up at where you’re headed.
One rung at a time, you get closer and closer to freedom. When you get within reach of the top, you feel like you can’t go on. This is too hard. Your hands are sore and you feel like letting go, and then a couple of people grab your arms and pull you up. The sunshine and fresh air feel so good and everyone cheers, crowds around and hugs you. You cry tears of relief and humility at the generosity that these joyful souls have just extended to you.
Then a man of brilliant radiance appears before you and you realize he was with you in the well the whole time. You didn’t notice him because you were panicking and focused on doing everything in your own strength.
The radiant man is full of love, a love beyond what you’ve ever imagined. Every molecule of his being is love.
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life,” he says
He gestures to the people who have gone quiet and are watching him, not taking their eyes off him.
“See these people? They’re my friends. They love others because of the love that I’ve given them. They’ve all been rescued from dark places and now they help me rescue others. They’re my search and rescue team.”
You realize that you want to be on this search and rescue team and follow this radiant man for the rest of your life on this earth and the life that you then receive for all of eternity. Because He loves you, you can now truly love others.
This is the story of my addiction. Thankfully, it didn’t end in an agonizing death, but in eternal life.
Please remember the addict in your prayers. If you’re part of God’s search and rescue team, hold out your hand and help someone out of the well when they call for help.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found
Was blind and now I see.
Theresa Ommert is a content creator, virtual assistant and soon-to-be-published author. When not pursuing her passion for reading, writing and learning, she’s loving her cat, houseplants, and playing with kettlebells. She can be reached at email@example.com
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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
~ Romans 15:13
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