Prayer & Praise: 04/03/2022

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22 Responses

  1. Reuben says:

    I am sending this to my therapist as a prescribed therapy homework. She told me to write my daily struggles. This is today:

    It’s Wednesday April 7th

    I just came home from the liquor store after 3 days of fighting the urge. I was up till past midnight last night, my mind racing about all the mistakes I have made in life, even back in High School.

    I don’t know why my mind does this, except to say that it is what my mind does when I am sober. I have resorted to asking a god I hate to show me any glimpse of hope. Yet I am reminded by a Dave Matthews song, “Bartender one more drink, could you make it strong because I don’t want to think” and a Pink Floyd song that says, “Sit back, relax, just a little pin prick, there will be no more AAAAAHHHHHH, but you may feel a little sick”

    When I was in 30 day inpatient rehab, I was there with primarily heroin addicts, a group of people I became very fond of, because they are among the smartest people I have ever known. Musicians with extraordinary talent, code programmers, making hundreds of thousands of dollars, even a dentist who had the largest market in the county. I never tried heroin, but the way they described it
 an almost instantaneous escape from everything, and an immediate sense of warm and joy. I am horrified to try it myself, because I know I would not be able to stop.

    Thinking back on the discussion from my last therapy session, I have been contemplating that I am a product, that this life was not my fault. But my reactions still make me feel guilt, and I still can not overcome the guilt of my life. I always feel as though I must be punished, but never understand why.

    When I started drinking some 12 years ago, it was very intentional. I did it on purpose. I think it was a to fold mentality that precipitated it: 1, I could temporarily stop the pain, 2, I could use this as the way to self destruct. To sabotage myself. To become nothing. A form of punishment I guess.

    My entire identity as a pastor was gone after 12 years of absolute dedication to this one thing, loving the church, serving it, and I scrambled to find a new one. My first stop was to start a whole new career. I did so in HVACR by total accident, and quickly became very good at it, somehow understanding the way things work, how to diagnose properly, how to make even better repairs than conventional solutions, making mission critical equipment even better than what it was. I went even further, designing ground up solutions for people, solutions that blew my clients away with how effective they were. I had built a name for myself in a short period of time when it comes to the industry. I was honored to design and manage the install of some of the most prestigious jobs there were. These were massive jobs including various trades that I managed as well, and all of them for critical purpose customers like hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, hard drive manufacturers, world famous beer breweries, distillers, and even a world class competition rock climbing gym. I did it all drunk, all of it, and half the time on narcotics as well. This had a strange effect. The using made me invincible. I was becoming defined by my drug and alcohol induced success, like Jimmy Hendrix.

    I used to joke in the morning meetings with my crew that I was pissing pure grain alcohol, but ready to have a cooling system fully automated by the end of the day. My workers respected me. They did what I asked above and beyond, and loved their work, actually took pride in it. I turned them into stars as well. Some of which now own their own HVACR companies, and they have gone on to astounding success in the industry.

    That identity started to crash when my company owner mandated a restructure of my contract with the company. He cut my salary and my commission, and did it with a smile saying I was going to make more money, “the sky is the limit”. I delivered all my work associated materials the following morning and left a 9 year job in which I had made the company millions of dollars. My only solace was that most of the people worked under me left within a few days to a week as well, including two of my assistant project managers. One of them stayed behind, having refused the restructure, the ownership literally gave him whatever he wanted to stay and take my place. The company lost 29 people when I left. A number of them followed me to my new job, where I had decided to just be a simple repair guy again, in a van with tools. I subjected myself to rehab in the middle of this job, and did it because I realized maintaining the drunkenness had become a painstaking chore.

    It was a huge company we were working for, and we all discovered that we were numbers, not names, and a number of us left to help start a new company with a former client of mine who wanted my skills to develop a critical purpose HVACR company for his clients, as he managed their buildings. I was made the General Manager from day one, hand picked my crew among former employees who did their job beyond well. I stayed sober for 3 years, but my mind tormented me.

    Everything about me began to change. My politics, my social interactions, my views on god, religion, global affairs in politics, economics, and cultural relations. I became a strident anti-theist. I joined the communist party. I marched for months in the streets with BLM and other political activist communities. I was shot at, and threatened by police who had come to know me and my leadership by name. I was sober, in torment, but finding an identity that meant something other than someone else’s profit.

    I was daily bombarded with guilt, pain, unceasing reflections on the past that actually cost people their lives as a result of the things that I taught them, leaving people hopeless. I had become hopeless. I decided I needed a total drop kick reset of my life. I left my wife and son, and attempted to leave the country to start a hole new life with different people, different passions, different career, different loves. It all failed when I fell in love with a woman from the UK, and she turned out to be married, and having affairs with 8 other men just like me. I started drinking again. I attempted suicide by cop, even held a loaded gun in my mouth in a hotel, the entire building was evacuated and the entire region of police flooded the parking lot and streets, and I was arrested by a riot squad with machine guns pointed at my head, protecting themselves from me with bullet proof riot shields.

    My life was collapsing at such a rapid pace, and the alcohol was not making me an absolute winner anymore. It was failing me. It is still failing me. It’s high noon on a Wednesday, I have not eaten, but I have already drank too much. I fought this urge for 3 days, but the urge won.

    My fight with the Christian god is over his results. He has a horrible religion that has cost more lives throughout history than any other. This is historical immutable fact. My fight with religion is that it has no way of being accused of anything but being the single most destructive force on the planet in the history of the damned planet. It still is this very day with the Russian Orthodox Church, a history repeated with Putin as it was with Stalin.

    I am learning of a philosophy of universalism that years ago Ould have been burned by me, claiming heresy, and the vast majority of Christianity would have backed me up with the passion of hell fire. But I am grasping. I am looking for any hope.

    I have followed a man named Joel Sterling Brown on Facebook since the Russia/Ukraine war started. I feel like this is the first time god has attempted to speak to me in over a decade. Joel rejoices in the ability to feed and clothe and house and bring hope to tens of thousands of people fleeing a war torn country that millions are trying to escape from. It has inspired me.

    But I feel I am again trying to find a new identity that will fail me.

    I am bipolar, suffering from severe depression and PTSD from a life of being beaten by my parents, to a life of being beaten by the church, to a life of beating people in the church, to a life of utter regret and self hatred, absolute failure, and no direction.

    Yesterday, I went to a drug screening for a possible job with another critical purpose HVACR company. Today I found out I passed, because I provided prescriptions that could be verified by screeners as to why I was on benzodiazepines and barbiturates. I am a drug addict again, and probably going to win this job, but I have grown to hate everything about myself, my job, my existence, my lack of purpose.

    I am begging for prayer. I don’t even know if it works. I am to drunk now to try to articulate anymore.

  2. Josh says:

    God Reuben. That breaks my heart. Honestly man, I want for you to be well.

    I will gladly pray for you, and this may be the odd time that he answers. He has before, but I can’t figure it out. Fingers crossed.

  3. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    Praying here as well…T is having a rough time too, so when I pray for him I pray for you…which is constantly…

  4. Officerhoppy says:

    Reuben
    You’re gonna make it. I am not a therapist and not some BSing pastor type. But in reading your well worded letter or diary, i sense a lot of anger but anger is often the result of pain and obviously, there is a lot if pain in your life.

    Glad you’re talking to a therapist.

    BTW, Keep these posts. You’re a good writer. You may be able to use them to help others with the same struggles.

    Again, with help, and time, you’re gonna make it to calmer waters

  5. Kevin H says:

    Reuben,

    Man, have you had it tough. I’m really sorry you have experienced all this and continue to do so. You are a tormented soul but you have much to offer to this world. I will pray for you.

  6. Reuben says:

    Michael, T is on my mind quite a bit. Like a lot. I feel a profound connection, can’t even explain why. I know his mind torments him. Maybe that’s the only reason why. If I knew god would listen, he is the first person on my list to pray for as well.

    Thank you all for the prayers. I know you folks mean well, and maybe that is all that matters
 the heart behind the prayer

  7. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    Thanks…there is a fellowship of suffering that is real.
    I know God hears, but we want Him to act…and I think He does at times, but the actions are disguised in the prayers of other people and just enough stability to go another day.

  8. Reuben says:

    I need another day. I was just approved another job with enthusiasm. I fear I will fail them. I don’t have control of my own life, and they want me to take a lead position over theirs.

  9. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    You’re good at what you do…and this is a start…one day at a time.

  10. Em says:

    Michael @ 4:16
    AMEN, AMEN, AMEN
    praying up here

  11. Dread says:

    Reuben

    I’m praying for you too. I hope you make it.

    The city has no need of the Sun or the moon to shine on it for the glory of God gives it light and it’s lamp is the LAMB. By its light will the nations walk and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it and it’s gates will never be shut by day —and there will be no night there.

  12. pstrmike says:

    God gives it light. . . even in the darkness. It often looks much different than we expect, but that becomes the real beauty of the dark night.

    Reuben,
    Adding my support and prayers along with the others here. Peace.

  13. Michael says:

    In ER. Prayer appreciated.

  14. Alan says:

    “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
    ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:7-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    Draw near and heal oh Lord.

  15. Dan from Georgia says:

    will pray now Michael…dl

  16. Reuben says:

    As well as I can Michael

  17. BrianD says:

    Praying

  18. bob1 says:

    Praying.

  19. Em says:

    Praying Michael
    Above all God keep you

  20. Linnea says:

    Praying, Michael


  21. Kevin H says:

    Praying Michael.

  22. London says:

    Praying Michael, hope you’re feeling better soon.

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