Dear Addict (or family of an addict),
I know you. I know who you are. I may not know your name. But I KNOW you. I AM you. I’d like to tell you a few things.
First, let me say that I know at no point in your life did you choose to be the way you are. I know you didn’t just decide one day that living every day of your life looking for the next fix, the next drink, the next high was the way to go. I know that wasn’t your goal. But regardless of our intentions, we are now battling addiction. You deserve better.
Maybe you got hooked under a doctor’s care. Maybe you did like to party, and it got a little out of hand. Maybe you used because of peer pressure. Maybe it was the only way you knew how to cope with some unimaginable pain in your past. Maybe something else got you to use that very first time. It doesn’t really matter how it got started, does it? We’re still here battling addiction. You deserve better.
I know that some of us lost, literally, everything. Some of us were sleeping under bridges with only the clothes on our backs, no food, no money, no friends, no family, no nothing. Some of us wound up in prison. Some of us still had families and jobs. Some of us were well on the way to losing all of those things. I know that all of you who are reading this letter wound up in one of these positions, are in one of these positions now, or are heading to one of these places. The only other option is death. And if you’re not yet there my friend, for God’s sake and yours, please reach out for help before you get THERE! It is a certainty that every addict ends up in one of these places. The only question is which one? Are you willing to play Russian Roulette with your life and hope you don’t end up dead; hope you don’t end up under a bridge completely alone? I have news for you if you think you’re safe because you still have a job and a family. Those things are slipping away from you even as you read this (whether you know it or not) because addiction takes EVERYTHING, ALWAYS, EVENTUALLY, unless you get help. I guarantee if you walk this road of addiction long enough, without help, you will certainly end up alone and afraid if not dead. You deserve better.
I know the shame you feel for who you still are when you wake up every day. I know the hurt you harbor both from things you’ve done and things done to you. I know the regret you have for continuing to give in every single time when you fight yourself and SWEAR, “Never again. This is the LAST time.” I know the longing for yesterday that tugs on your heart every day. It is a longing that says, “if I only knew then what I know now, I would’ve chosen a different path.” I know that the most painful point of any day you face is every time your eyes meet your eyes in the mirror. You can lie to everybody around you. You can even lie to yourself until you look in the mirror. That’s when the memories of everything thing you have ever done come back. You remember every time you ripped somebody off. You remember every promise broken. You remember every lie told. You remember every disappointed look. You remember every broken relationship and every broken heart. You remember every missed opportunity. But worse than all of this, you remember who you were before. You deserve better.
You see, to quote Det. Joe Kenda (From the TV show Homicide Hunter)
“Drugs chemically reprogram your brain. All of your loyalties, all of your concerns,all of your loved ones, and EVERYTHING you’ve ever been fades away into the past. All that matters now is the next high.”
I stole large amounts of money from my parents. I stole jewelry. I stole pills. I stole guns. I stole my children’s’ Christmas money. I stole anything I could. I lied. I cheated. I did whatever I had to do. And in the process, I destroyed or significantly damaged every relationship I had. I deserved better, just like you do.
I know that most of you have begged God to “fix” you. I know that many of you have pleaded with God to kill you if he wouldn’t fix you—because I did. I know those of you who prayed that God would kill you when he didn’t, you asked why. I’m here to tell you that He didn’t because you deserve better. You are too valuable to Him for Him just to throw you away. We deserved better.
I’m here to tell you there is hope for deliverance from the chains that bind you. There is freedom from the hell you are currently entangled in. There is redemption from the consequences you’re facing. There is restoration for the things you’ve lost. The Home of Grace will put you face to face with Jesus Christ every single day, and you will have the opportunity to receive the things you’ve been crying out for, begging to receive from God, every single day.
I’m here to tell you that even if you don’t have a family currently that the minute you walk onto campus at the Home of Grace, you WILL have a family. The staff, the counselors, the clients, the speakers, they will love you, and you will not be judged and condemned for the things you’ve done in the past. They will see you for who you CAN be, who you were before, not who you are now. They will see you for your potential, not your past. It is not shame and regret that will be served to you daily. It is hope, forgiveness, redemption, restoration, acceptance, and VICTORY!
I also want you to know that the clients who are there with you will become brothers for life, just as much if not more, than your biological brothers. They will love you. They will walk beside you in your recovery. They will give you tough love when you need it, and they will move heaven and earth to help you in any way you can—because you deserve better.
Brothers and sisters, I know the chains grow heavy. I know the burden of your bondage. I know the overwhelming task of trying to fight the addiction and living life at the same time. I know the prison you feel trapped in. I’m here to tell you there IS freedom. There IS victory. You DO deserve better.
I’m here to tell you that I love you. The alumni love you. The staff loves you; the counselors love you. But more importantly, I’m here to tell you that Jesus Christ loves you. God loves you. He sent His son Jesus who voluntarily died on the cross to pay for your sins and my sins while we were still sinners. This means He died for us while we were at our worst so that He could provide for us a way to become our best. Please don’t live in that cold, dead, oppressive, and ultimately fatal world of addiction any longer. Make the call today. Send an email. Show up. Contact them on Facebook. Do whatever you have to do to get there because if you do, I can guarantee you will find what you’ve really been looking for your entire life. I can show you thousands of men and women who have already taken that journey to prove it to you. They also deserved better, just like you. So why settle for less?