Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Agape Love in 75 Days

There are many ways to stop smoking crack-cocaine. As simple as this seems, it really is true. Crack-cocaine lies. It convinces you that you can have IT and a life, you just have to work it out…again…and again…and again.
This booklet is in a format that without a doubt saved my life. When I was jotting down all these notes, I had no idea it would come to this. As we know GOD has weird ways to get us where HE wants us to be. HIS way works.
It takes 75 days to completely get the spiritual possession (not the secular addiction) of crack-cocaine out. The secular addiction is an on going life long dilemma as long as we buy into we can never completely get rid of an addiction. Well this is not true. This is from our experiences and truths. Clinically it can take about 75 hours. This is not a clinical battle. The spiritual and mind possession can tempt and prod you for quite awhile longer than this format is set up to do. When you do get to the end of the 75 days, the plan and goal is to be exposed to the real truths about crack-cocaine and to have disarmed it to the point that it has started to leave you alone so you can work your program and fight the spiritual battle of your life, for your life. The following pages are set up to be a daily guide. Each day will have one spiritual issue with a scripture of reinforcement. My daughter Sue says we should do these as memory verses. I agree. We also have a quip of the day. There will be more than one spiritual issue per day coming at you, but our focus is on how to accomplish one issue at a time. Each day away from crack-cocaine brings us closer to being completely free from crack. With a true desire and the understanding of where this stuff is really coming from and its only mission to destroy; this understanding and desire will bring you the strength necessary for success. Our measure of success is in our 1st belief and to quote: We believe in each success, not every failure. Success is what you make of it. When contaminated, an hour can be great success.
I do suggest that when a fall, slip, relapse, or picking up again, or whatever term works for you…IMMEDIATELY get back up and go to where you LEFT off…and do it again and again and again until you get it right. Ultimately it goes full circle…and remember…it took me 3 years AFTER I knew what I know now as the truth revealed to my soul as to what this stuff really is…this approach works for me and crack-cocaine will never penetrate me again…this is ONE thing I do know for sure about crack-cocaine… BUT do not worry…I am not too confident…it is just when you do finally get how to do this…it is simple.

from Agape Love by Marilyn Lyon

Todd called me as soon as he was able to tell me the news. Pat the social worker at the Bail Bond Dept. had already called me to tell me she had appeared in court and Todd was definitely going into a Re-Hab Program. Todd and I waited anxiously for an opening to come up. He was euphoric but very nervous and very serious.
He had wished for a long-term residential program for so long and thought it to be hopeless. Now that this had arrived he was terrified that it too would not work. He was terrified that he was hopeless. He was moving neared to that place where crack-heads can not stop and can not live as a crack-head any more.
He finally heard of an opening and was scheduled to move in immediately. He called and gave me a list of things he needed me to buy at the store, and which of his clothes he needed. I had already packed his bag. It had been waiting for weeks. When I arrived with toiletries from the store he had made a list of the cost of each one and totaled them including tax.
"I can get a job and a pass to go to work after I have been here a month. I will pay you back from my first check". And he did.
I visited him every Saturday afternoon for 2 hours. He was both serious and euphoric with energy, zest, confidence and dedication. The old Todd was back. He was very happy and impressed with his caseworker that was on the premises every day. She was able to put what was best for the patient 1st. She gave him many books to read and he devoured each one, taking notes on them! He would bring the book and his notebook to the visiting room when I visited and talked about each one in detail. He even had me get the books I had read from the library and let her read them. Todd was ready to take any program, good or bad into his heart and try and make it work.
He talked non-stop for 2 hours every week. It seems he had lucked out at this facility, which housed people from a large area, even out of state. It involved some serious felony prisoners and all types of substance abuse. Consequently the program was broad and varied. The reading material covered a range of ideas about crack. The lectures were balanced with a variety of types of people with a variety of approaches to various abuses. Meetings were held with a format ranging from AA's to a newer more free-form supportive more positive approach. Todd soon found leaders he admired and identified with. Something that had never happened at meetings he had gone to before.
He was both terrified at the thought of leaving the facilities and impatient to have a life again. He took to heart one of the main aspects of the program, which was whatever is bothering you, whoever is bothering you, however small and insignificant, please, please tell us immediately. Your happiness and peace is very important to us. Your recovery is #1 in our life. We will do anything to help you get there. He became an avid complainer. It always worked. This was his first taste in 6 years of wanting to live his life in a certain way and having control over something that was making this difficult or impossible.
Of all the things he devoured here, that one helped him to take the biggest step. Control over his life control over crack.
While he put everything under a microscope, in every aspect of his life, he began to separate the people around him. Those who were not interested those who were weak and those who 'might' make it. This was another mark off point for him. Seeing himself and seeing those around him just as they really are.
People in the program assured him continually that his recovery was his recovery. Whatever program worked, was the right one. Whatever people helped him, were the right people. He was the free agent here who could design and find exactly what he needed. He was OK. He did not have to fit into an AA program. He could find his own personal program. If someone designated as help, and this person did not say things that had meaning to him, he had the right to reject them and find other people. In spite of this TLC, Todd constantly admired those counselors who also had, a you can not bullshit me, I know all the moves tough and brutally honest, and even a little cynical. He recognized this combination as real tough love.
The counselors did not spend a lot of time on how lethal crack was, or how desperate the life of a crack-head was. Most were pretty well aware of by now. There were those there who did not want to know. The why's were left a lot to the individual to find. The what's were stressed. Not so much here is a list of how to's, but what could work for you. In the midst of a monolithic mortally lethal substance epidemic, with no road maps, were these brave souls-the counselors and addicts were trying to find their way out of the wilderness together. That is what made it work. Together. Crack-heads do not need experts to write out a program in stone. They need people to work with them through this wilderness, pooling resources as if they were a combat unit shedding real tears when one of them did not make it.
I studied his body language. I studied his words. I studied his program and for the first time I was content. I would not hook myself into making stone chiseled proclamations. It would be 9 months out of the program before any of us would say, "I think he is going to make it". But I felt something shift in him. There was new grease in the gears.
He felt it too and there were days when he knew positively that he could do it. And days when he was terrified to be out there alone again. He wanted to leave every day and get restarted on recapturing life again, but he was terrified too. As though some monster from "Alien" was out there looking for any organization of society to eliminate, and it was just him and this slimy grotesque animal to battle it out. He counted the days to his release and clung more tightly to what was around him!
It seemed that no matter how strong he was, how armed, how padded, there was still this terror of this monster out there. Was he really strong enough, armed enough, and padded enough? What was enough? It was the nightmare of all nightmares. It was the creature of all creatures.
It was that his brother Scott who came down every Sunday to pick him up and drop him off at a church. By then Scott believed only GOD could give any real guarantees in Todd's life and none of us cared who gave Todd the key, we just wanted him to have it. We were all dedicated in our own way to try and bring it all into Todd's life, to try.
If you ask Todd what was the key that finally took away that terror that still lurked inside him, even with the Re-Hab Program working miracles in his life, he will tell you he prayed and prayed for GOD to take away the desire for crack. Because this was the terror inside him even with all the tools, the strength and the steps to help him, he was terrified that the desire was still there and might be more powerful.
Until one day he walked out of the church and the desire was gone. He said from that day on, "I never think of crack. I have no thoughts about it and am not interested in it. I have no reason to or no need to ever do it again.
The terror inside him was so great, this miracle to Todd was above and beyond anything else. His need to have; no thoughts or interest or desire for crack, as well as the emotional and intellectual tools and so eliminate the terror of a monster that had gripped his life for 6 years was so important to him that there were no miracles above this one.
I can live with that. Certainly I believe most completely in miracles, and GOD"S power. I also believe GOD helps those who help themselves and who know what to do with that help and who truly needs it. And HE helps those who help others.
Todd's miracle was a package deal. He did try to help himself and we learned how to help him. Many people including a society of people, the counselors bravely walking through wilderness with no road map for crack-heads. Pat at Bail Bonds Dept., whose last name I never knew, came into our lives so briefly yet was part of this miracle. I would not want to take one card form the house of cards for fear it would all tumble down. It is hard for me to separate any one part of all the things that helped Todd, and say this is the one that really did it. He traveled a long road with many people to even get miracle status. Perhaps he needed to. But for Todd, after collecting all he had collected on his journey, and taking this journey with all the people he did, his terror of the desire was the greatest obstacle and only GOD could remove that. And HE did.
My daughter said, "You had a lot to do with this. I do not know if it would have happened without you". Why didn't I feel that's true? I would stop and think when she said it, of what specifically did I do that made a difference? I never could pinpoint it. I do think it was not as people think it was. Similar, but not the same. Certainly there were things I did with no motivation other than help or cure Todd. But that could not be sustained for long in the chaotic ups and downs, disappointments and failures of having a crack-head son. What I did was sustain myself. Help myself to get through it. Made myself feel as good as I possibly could to endure it. Had he died, I would have been able to draw on this. As it was it got me through. And in the process helped him. It did not cure him. Only he could do that.
He was not entirely alone, either. Neither was I, because it was a very lonely time for both of us. To death, or to life, I had to take that walk with him, or I could not have lived with it.
AGAPE LOVE? It seems too perfect a feat for me. Maybe a mini Agape Love was achieved-sometimes.