Thank God I’m an Addict: A Prison Letter

Thank God I’m an addict; that I’m an alcoholic; that I’m always addicted to something.  I know that sounds horrible to say, but you will see by the end of this letter that I’m not kidding.  What are the common attributes of addicts?  Well, number one, we don’t live life on life’s terms; we like life on our own terms.  Secondly, we know how to be resourceful; I mean, how many times in the past have we had to go without what we needed or wanted?  Third, we are very committed to our drug(s) of choice; we have a hard time walking away from our lover.  We would drive for hours to places we are not familiar with; we would beg, borrow, or steal to make sure things went as we wanted; we can make things happen even if there is danger involved.  Plus, we are willing to put our life on the line, if necessary, to get her and keep her.  You see, there are some very good qualities there if you look hard enough:  rebels that don’t care what anyone else thinks, resourceful, faithful, and willing to lay our life down.   If you are one of us, then you know darn well you are the same.  Every time you take a ride for a hook-up, you risk getting caught by the police; every time you use, you could die from it one way or another; every day all our thoughts are on making sure we keep the status quo.  Do we have enough, and if so, how long will it last before I need to re-up?  We plan for rainy days, dry spells, closed liquor stores, dry counties, a friend on the way to where we’re going; we surround ourselves with people like ourselves so we know how to stick together as well!  The army is stronger than ever; it grows every day, we are taking over society.  From alcohol, to prescription pills, to heroin and all forms of cocaine and amphetamines, to porn sites, to many other forms of addiction; it’s everywhere.  And today I’m thrilled to be an addict.  But why?

I’m happy that being an addict has showed me exactly what I really am.  I had sold my soul for my lover; but my lover always wanted more and more from me.  She is never as good as the first times, but I chased that feeling of first being in love, patiently waiting for the return of bliss.  But it never returns.  I switch lovers, but it always ends up the same:  her first impression is always better than life with her.  When she is done with us, there isn’t much left if anything.  Ever heard that the “wages of sin is death”?  You get paid chasing her with death; little by little she eats you up until there is nothing left.  You may still be alive on the outside, but on the inside:  nothing.  All us addicts, have been full time employees, working overtime until we have nothing left to give.  And we have been paid in full.  Some of us lie in graves and warn of a really bad retirement plan.  Hopefully, you haven’t given up hope, because God can take your addiction to a whole new level.  He can use the qualities I talked about earlier, and transform them into great things of beauty.  I know, because I’m one of you.  I don’t use anymore, I don’t drink anymore; but I’m still an addict.  I was finally broken and brought so low, that I had to look up.  Most of us have to be broken, addict or not, to look up for answers.  And that is the point.  How long, my friends, will it be before you look up?  It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, it’s a coin toss as to whether you will get paid by her sooner or later.  How many bottoms do you want; or better yet, how many do you think you will get?  How low can you go?  I’ll tell you how low:  death.  Death in a real bad way.  I’ve buried and said bitter goodbyes to my share of fellow addicts, and it isn’t pretty.  It’s not some glorified, “gangsta” code of respect for a fallen soldier.  Maybe it will be a relief to your family and friends to see you go.  Have you been the source of love in their lives, or a source of pain?  Have you lost the ability to care?  Good, then you are in the perfect position to receive the greatest gift that has ever been given.  You have heard people say, “wake up from the dream that is life”; but for us it is “waking up from the nightmare”.  The main point is waking up.  It is easier to desire a release from a nightmare than just a dream.  Sometimes we don’t want to wake up from nice dreams, but I doubt any of us have had anything else but freakishly scary nightmares ever since we gave our hearts to addiction!  Now you know the secret:  wake the hell up!

Everyone who is to hear Truth must come to this place:

“For my iniquities have gone over my head;

Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.

My wounds are foul and festering

Because of my foolishness.

I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly;

I go mourning all the day long.

For my loins are full of inflammation,

And there is no soundness in my flesh.

I am feeble and severely broken;

I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.” Psalm 38:4-8

“For my life is spent with grief,

And my years with sighing;

My strength fails because of my iniquity,

And my bones waste away.

I am a reproach among my enemies,

But especially among my neighbors,

And am repulsive to my acquaintances;

Those who see me outside flee from me.

I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind;

I am like a broken vessel.

For I hear the slander of many;

Fear is on every side;

While they take counsel together against me,

They scheme to take away my life.” Psalm 31:10-13

If you are an addict and haven’t been here, you will be sooner rather than later.  That’s a promise.

I am writing you this letter to free you from prison.  Man’s prisons can only hold you for a while; but the prisons that we build together with the liar are far stronger and hold us forever if we let them.  Don’t for a minute think that you can free yourself; don’t fool yourself into thinking that this Message is for you later.  If this letter is speaking to you, then you are wise; because “Wisdom is known by her children”.  You have to hear with your heart, the call of freedom.  Many people are in bondage.  Some behind bars, some trapped by addiction, some don’t even know they are living in a cage.  Be happy that you are where you are right now so you can look up and finally find the Answer.  Think of those who don’t even know that they are living a lie?  At least you know!  And that is a good place to be:  waking up.  Did you not feel trapped way before the actual imprisonment began?  Wasn’t your heart already beginning to waste away into nothing but selfishness before you started staring at walls?  You bet.  I remember getting out of jail after a 45 day stint and thinking, “Awesome, I’m free!”.  And no more than 3 months later I was in worse shape than ever.  I had not been loosed of my burden of addiction.  The 45 days just got my mouth watering like a thirsty dog drooling after a summer-time run through the park.  I went without drugs and alcohol for 45 days; I had been sober for 45 days.  Wrong!  All I thought about for that 45 days was how much fun it was going to be when I got out.  Daydreaming about getting high, getting drunk, and partying like a rock star.  I am ashamed of it now; but remembering it is part of the healing.  I never left my prison; I left a small room for a bigger room.  Still trapped in a prison of my own making, but my sanity was too far gone to understand the trap and to see the transparent walls around me.

Now for the good news:  Inside of you is a spirit that cannot be destroyed by anything and that spirit is eternal; that spirit part of you longs to be with the One that created it; the One whom it belongs to cannot take it, it has to be given back; there are powers in this world that work 24/7 365 to keep each of us unaware of the spiritual existence; by focusing on the self and the visible world, those forces blind you to the fact that this is temporal and your spirit is eternal.  As long as you are still alive, you can choose to know the Truth.  The emptiness in life is quite simply a void that hungers and thirsts for the Creator.  That emptiness cannot ever be filled by anything other than what was designed to fill it.  You can’t fill it with things of this world:  no amount of money, power, sexual fulfillment, possessions, popularity, or even human love can ever fit in the spot where He is longing to be.  With God Himself as my witness, that is the Truth.

“but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:14

So that void not only gets filled, but it overflows as well.

“And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’” John 6:35

Can you hear what Christ is saying?  He is not talking about real food and water, and He is not talking about some sappy, philosophical notion to ponder.  He is speaking of spiritual truth:

“It is the SPIRIT who gives life; the flesh (living to please ourselves) profits nothing.  The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63 (note added)

Jesus is letting us know that He can give us life if we can wake up and realize that we are spirit.

“I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 7:12

“You are from beneath; I am from above.  You are of this world; I am not of this world.” John 7:23

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the SPIRIT is spirit.”  John 3:6

Here is the challenge:  when you come into Truth, you must be willing to step into the light.  When you step into the light, all of you is exposed:  you come to God with nothing to hide, because He sees it anyway.  There are no “dirty little secrets” and you can’t hide who you really are.  He wants you just the way you are, confessing to Him what He already knows.  You just have to know His place and know your place in your heart.  God doesn’t expect us to make ourselves presentable to Him; He only wants your spirit and heart to cry out to Him like the Father that He is.  Once you see with the eyes of your heart just how desperately God wants you and loves you, you will be forever changed.  You don’t have to try to believe when you stand in His presence; you just know because you have been re-born in spirit and that spirit recognizes its Creator.  You don’t have to be convinced when His power is pulsing through your being.  What you can’t see becomes more real than what you can see:  it’s spiritual and real.  No matter where you are or how awful you think you are, God looks into the heart and pulls out the part that He wants!  Praise God.  See, you can’t hide from God; but, why would you want to?

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world (you), but that the world (you) through Him might be saved.” John 3:17 (emphasis added)

The only problem is this:

“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds be exposed.  But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:19-21

So how long will you avoid the light?  At the end of your physical life, all will be known anyway.  Are you afraid of the light?  You should be, unless you choose the light and accept the ultimate reality.  Christ came to wake you up; He asked me to write this letter to you to help you wake up.  Can you hear us?  How long will you live in the prison of lies?  How long do you want to selfishly serve your addiction?  Jesus is the best drug:  He makes you feel alive, He heals your pain, He opens your eyes to see His unexplainable love, He binds up your broken heart, He will never leave you or give up on you, He gives you life and life more abundantly.  Did our drugs and addictions ever do that for us?  We may have thought to ourselves at one point that she would or could solve our problems; but, hopefully now, you realize that simply is not the case.  We don’t want to be slaves any longer to sin; we don’t want to be a prisoner of death another day.  Freedom is the calling; truth bears its own witness:  Truth is truth, whether you believe it or not; it will not change.  Not for you or anyone else.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6.

So because of our addictions, we have been brought low.  Hopefully, as it was with me, this low will give you the opportunity to look up.  If I had never been broken, would I have ever awakened?  I don’t know, but I’m glad I did.  Could this be your opportunity of a lifetime?

Think about it.  All the attributes I laid out to you at the beginning of this letter as qualities of an addict can be glorified and used by Christ.  We don’t live life on life’s terms:  we live our life on His terms.  We are resourceful:  oh, the stories I could tell you recorded throughout time and in my own life that show just how creative and resourceful we can be for Him!  We are faithful:  He is our King and the Bible tells us that there is nothing in heaven or on earth that can separate us from His love; we are faithful because we are so blessed by a merciful, forgiving, loving God.  And yes, we give our lives to Him and for Him every day.  So you see, the characteristics of an addict are exactly what our King asks!  Praise our Savior!  So what once was a curse is now a blessing.  You can’t get enough of “living waters”, you are addicted; you long for the bread of life every day, you are addicted.  You can’t stand the thought of being away from Him, you are addicted.  You give your life to Him, and…

“Then your light shall break forth like the morning,

Your healing shall spring forth speedily,

And your righteousness shall go before you;

The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;

You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am’.” Isaiah 58:8-9

I love you all so much, may Jesus bless you with His outstretched hand.

Peace be with you,

Gideon

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11 thoughts on “Thank God I’m an Addict: A Prison Letter

  1. I just found your blog yesterday, 10-21-15. I have been searching for someone with the same affliction for sometime and there you are. God led me to you. I too am an addict. The Psalm you quote above I had highlighted in my Bible several months ago as I was looking for strength and hope after a nearly sucsessful suicide attempt because of my alcohol addiction. When I first read your blog yesterday I thought, “yes, finally, someone that understands!” Then when I was reading again this morning it was confirmed. You are like me, Thank God! Finally someone that truly understands where I am (other than God himself of course). Another human being that has suffered just like me and Psalm 38 cinched it for me. I actually titled that particular Psalm “I have given up”. In reading the Psalms I found much of my miserable life told in those very words. The misery, the pain but the hope, deliverance and the absolute promise of healing and peace, promises of love and acceptance, promises like no human power is capable of. Psalms 35 is most powerful for me as I have run into many that have come up against me in my journey, not just in human form but in the spiritual war that goes on in my still very sick mind, I did not mention that I am just 7 months sober, but have known that God has been a powerful presence in my life for many years, but only called on him when it was convenient, if you know what I mean. Now, however, at 61 years old, after having been literally delivered from the pit of Hell, have realized that God has greater things in mind for me. I am so grateful for your blog. God bless you. I will continue to read and be inspired by your words.

  2. This weekend I am saying goodbye to my father, dying from a failing liver that has been watered with alcohol for decades. He is most definitely an addict, with all the wonderful traits and characteristics you shared. Is it too late for him to look up? I know it is not. I am an addict as well. I had my drug of choice, but now I now choose light. To be exposed and surrender. Please pray that in these last days, my father will finally get it. That he will never be satisfied with his “friend” in the dark. That he will choose to step out, and live in the Light.

    • As long as your father is breathing, there is profound hope! I will lift him up in prayer right this minute. If you will continue to pray for him earnestly and with all your heart, the Lord will hear your cries…He is a good Father and He will hear and answer a sincere and contrite heart! The Lord is a master of building out of the ashes…in fact, He prefers to build out of brokeness..it is His M.O.! Let God change you and fill you with His living waters and that will flow outward to your father…God is never, ever silent in these matters I can assure you. The Bible tells us that it is “the goodness of God that brings us to repentance” and “He desires that no one should persish”…In the name above all names, in the name of Yeshua, Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour, I claim that He will draw your father to Him…because He loves him…Amen and amen.

  3. Amazing weblog! I dont believe Ive seen all the angles of this subject the way youve pointed them out. Youre a accurate star, a rock star man. Youve got so much to say and know so much about the subject that I believe you should just teach a class about it…HaHa!

  4. WOW, what an amazing letter, I have never really suffered from addiction, never did drugs, smoked, yes I drank but the occasions when I drank were few and far between. But I feel this time around I am addicted, to Jesus.

    • The fact is that all of us have our “demons”. The benefit of being an addict is that we recognize the handicap…Some wander through life and never identify the handicap…because we all have them! That I believe is why a successful, wealthy, content person has a harder (yes harder) time recognizing the need for God! It is easier to see the light in pitch black…a little more challenging on a hazy, grey day…God bless you and thank you for your comment.

  5. Many of us are addicted to Christ but we are not addicted enough. We have been in the early stages of addiction for years. Every time we take 2 steps forward we take the same 2 steps backwards. We have become stagnant and spiritually bankrupt. Thanks for another thought provoking post disciplegideon.

    • You know, Noel, I believe we should be preparing ouselves for a magnificent movement of the Holy Spirit! I, like you, have grown weary of a weak and disfunctional church…but I feel a ground swelling happining all around me. Keep up the hope and prayers that this generation will finally wake up! Remember Paul told us that his ministry was not so much in words (for he was awkward with speech, self-admitted) but rather in Power. We need the Power and if we prepare ourselves, I honestly think we will see in our lifetimes the revival that trumps all revivals! Where the Word of God will be written on our hearts, where the power of the Holy Spirit will be present with us, and where healing with love will transform this broken body of Christ…I believe…I pray…I hope…what else do we need?

  6. You have the Words of Life, and the heart, to help set the captives free. We are all addicted to sin before He rescues us from the pit that we make of our lives. Praise God for a way out of the desolation and the death of our misery. That way out is Jesus Christ. Blessings.

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