I Don’t Like the Addiction Anymore…

by Mike Stonehill

First off let’s start by changing the question to “Why can’t I apparently seem to change?” I want to encourage anybody reading this to change the perspective to begin thinking yes you can stop. I am not a “positive confessor” or “name it and claim it” person. But I do believe if your mind is set on a particular thought process, it will control your actions. If you keep the perspective that you apparently can’t stop, you probably won’t.

We are creatures given to taking the lazy way out. I would say that there is a certain level of security in being in bondage to something because you always know what to expect. Even if you don’t necessarily like the outcome, you always know what to expect. We all usually don’t like change because we like to know what is going to happen next. We basically like to be in control. When we make the decision to tackle overcoming an addiction, regardless of what it is, we don’t like the fact that we don’t “know” if we are going to succeed. We don’t know what steps we are going to have to take to succeed. We don’t know when we are in an accountable relationship what is going to be asked of us. We don’t know if we are going to be exposed, embarrassed, rejected, or if the “happiness” we experienced in our addiction will be actually replaced by something we are going to equally or more highly enjoy.

I don’t like the addiction, I want to change it because I know God wants me to, my wife wants me to, my kids need me to, etc. But the step of faith is so filled with unknown questions. Bottom line is we have to understand the need to change is important enough that whatever the risks, we HAVE to do it. But, understand that you are not generally going to succeed without steps involving failures and setbacks. The instant victory is not the usual.

I was a heavy drug addict in my late teens and early twenties. I began to see the need to change because I didn’t like the way things were going. But I didn’t take any real steps to change. Until one night when I was stoned and drunk, and I ran over a man walking down the street. I thought I had killed him. The police came, of course, and I was taken to the hospital for drug and alcohol testing since they found large quantities of drugs in my car. Of course they found out I was wasted, but strangely, they sent me home without further word. I never heard from them again regarding this. I took this as a Divine intervention and a serious wake-up call to get sober. I swore off drugs forever.

That lasted about two weeks. I continued in drugs until I was taken to a church service, mostly against my desires, and amazingly enough I ended up giving my life to Christ that evening. I believe God gave me a wake-up call that night because I had such a strong feeling that if I didn’t give my life to God that night, I may not get another chance. Whether a drug overdose, accident or whatever, I felt I may not get another chance. God instantly delivered me that night from drugs and I have never touched them since then. God had tried to get me to change earlier, and I didn’t have follow through. I don’t have the answer, but one thing I know, God is taking us through a process. He is taking all of us and making us more like Jesus through this thing called life. If He is not instantly delivering you, He is transforming you and teaching you things you otherwise can’t take the time to learn. But one thing I know, with God you can do it. You can change if you don’t try to do it alone.