“We’ve all run from some sort of pain; we’ve all turned our backs and shrinking taillights on something.”
A few friends of mine had posted on social media about a new book that had just come out written by another friend of theirs. Reading the title and a small blurb about how this was really a journal, a journey of the first 90 days of their sobriety; how pain and fear left him in a spot where to escape, he, the author, Seth, turned to the bottle. I knew I must read this book as I am also continuing down my journey of recovery. The words of others stories of walking that road inspires and encourages me to continue to reach out when I start to sense I’m falling back into old habits. This is not an exhaustive book review, but simply a recommendation.
“Pain, whether great or small, is the reminder that we are not inanimate, plastic things. We are not machines meant to go about in numb, metallic, programmed action. We are not fungible goods, items that when broken can be replaced with other unbroken items. We are meant to feel the pain of our un-thingness. Pain is inevitable; it’s the irrefutable evidence of life.”
Pain does allow us to realize we are living things. Pain is not enjoyable. It’s easy, we think, to run from pain. But, when we run, it seems that pain only begets pain. Recovery to me, is living in the purest form of community. Where we lay ourselves open to those who
have walked are walking the journey and road of recovery from our hurts, habits and hangups.
Seth is honest and raw. He is honest about how his faith in God began crumbling as the result of another follower of Jesus claiming false witness. How those around him, not knowing what to say, said false truths out of ignorance. Who claimed things that were out of context wanting to fill the void of uncertainty with hollow words as if they would soothe him somehow, but really it was just to soothe them in their uncomforatbility.
But this is also a story of redemptive hope.
“I know it’s time to begin turning in to the pain, headlong, rather than numbing it away. It’s time to go back. How? Simple practice. Begin with the last hurt and ask myself, What emotions do I feel? Are the emotions chaotic, disorganized? Are they like a tempestuous sea or a burning atmospheric reentry? Can I sit in those emotions and write them down? I’ll consider the emotions, confess them, find the truth in the moment. And then maybe I’ll move into the practice of forgiveness. Maybe.”
What Seth shares is not easy though it sounds simple. It is hard turning into the pain. But Jesus turned into the pain. Coming Clean is something more than just becoming a sober addict. It’s about becoming clean in the act of true forgiveness the best we as humans can.
If you have never faced your pain, why you drink too much, struggle with control, grief, pride, sexual addiction, over eating or whatever your escape from pain might be, I encourage you to simply pick up this book and read through it. It is the story of one person turning into the pain, facing the pain, walking through the pain and the freedom on the other side. He has done/is doing it. I have done/am doing it. Perhaps there is hope for you as well.
If you are walking that road of recovery, I would love to hear your story by commenting below. I know there are others who would love to hear your story as well. We can overcome by the power of sharing our secrets with others.