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Guest Post: Lincoln’s Story: How a Recovery Survivor Found Hope

lincoln

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Addiction continues to grip our country in ways we never imagined. Every day there are countless news stories about overdoses, drunk driving incidents, and violence associated with the drug trade.

Then you have the stories of people who are stuck in the quicksand of addiction. And while we hear about the criminal aspect of addiction, we don’t hear the human aspect. We don’t hear about the struggles associated with addiction or how people are finding their way back to a real life through recovery.

Truthful and scary as the news stories are, it’s important to counterbalance the negative with the positive. Those who suffer from addiction are humans, too; humans who need support and strength to help them right their ship. Sometimes the very best way to consider the other side of addiction is to hear the story of a survivor — particularly a survivor who found his way back and now dedicates his life to helping others.

“People with the ability to change lives have the responsibility to change lives.” – Lincoln, proud graduate of addiction treatment

Lincoln came from a family of alcoholics. His father and grandmother, both former alcoholics,  helped found AA support groups in their community, and none of his sisters ever suffered from addiction. But Lincoln said he always felt like addiction was patiently waiting in the wings for the day he would arrive. Sadly, that day came.

As a college student, Lincoln found himself caught up in a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol. Unable to manage his studies, he was ejected from school. And after a revolving door of detox programs, he became homeless. In a rehab program associated with a homeless shelter where he was staying, Lincoln found himself talking to a Marine recruiter. With a perfect opportunity to force himself into sobriety, Lincoln immediately enlisted.

However, even though mandatory testing kept Lincoln off drugs, he found himself drinking more and more.

“Once I was in the military, I realized I couldn’t stop drinking,” Lincoln said.

After having neck surgery, Lincoln was prescribed pain medication that he couldn’t stop using, and he kept finding ways to get more. Finally, another visit to rehab prompted by his commanding officer forced Lincoln to quickly wrap up his service. But being out of the military made it easier for Lincoln to return to his former lifestyle.

“The military had kept me sober, so once I was out, I quickly went back to drugs. I was doing heroin, cocaine, pills, weed … anything I could get my hands on,” he said.

As his life began to spiral out of control, Lincoln’s family recognized that he was a danger to himself. Thanks to a Kentucky law, his family was able to commit him to involuntary drug treatment. He didn’t realize it at the time, but Lincoln’s arrival at Treehouse Rehab started the journey of a lifetime.

When he first arrived, Lincoln said he wasn’t convinced rehab would work.

“Nothing had ever worked before — not that I had really tried. But I knew something had to change,” he said. “At the Treehouse, I hit the ground running. I knew if I was going to be there, I wanted to be 100 percent. … I immersed myself in it and went to all of the classes that I could.”

“I showed up at the Treehouse as a Godless, fearless man,” he continued. “While I was there, I connected to a 12-step program and came to find my higher power.”

But Lincoln said he also realized the only way this was all going to work was if he flipped the script.

“I learned I needed a new start. Anyone who knew me would have never imagined that I could do it. I didn’t want to uphold my reputation. I needed to establish a new identity and not conform to what others thought I should or could be.”

And so it began that Lincoln not only found a way back to himself, but he realized he could be a force for change with others suffering from substance abuse.

“I’ve found a God of my understanding and I’m working with other alcoholics and addicts. It’s a passion and joy for me – and that’s what drives my life.

“I regularly attend AA meetings and have nine sponsees. It’s a snowball effect that’s infinite. It’s such a joy in my life that wasn’t there before. It’s a joy I never knew I could find,” Lincoln said. “Being an outlet for people has been my greatest joy in recovery.”

Here’s a man who hit rock bottom but was able to carve out a new life for himself through sobriety. Lincoln is a shining example of someone who found the support and strength needed to pick up the pieces. Let his story be one that can inspire others to do the same.

Written By: Constance Ray at information@recoverywell.org

Stand Firm In Your Faith So You Can Withstand The World

Isaiah 7-9

 

Every day our faith is tested and every day we have to dig in deeper, stand stronger, and turn toward Jesus. The world is always pushing us around trying its best to make us stumble. But, when we are rooted in the word of God and when it is planted in our heart and minds we can stand and withstand the lies of the enemy. When we fall in our faith we’ll fall in the world. Stand strong my sweet sisters!

Teach Your Kids to Save Their Pennies The Old School Way

Save Your Pennies Old School

When I was younger, I remember my grandmother would put her pennies and extra change into these little paper cylinders and then stack them up in a box. I was always astonished at how quickly a few pennies could add up!

Teaching kids how to save their pennies is one of the most empowering skills to instill in our children. Learning the value of a penny will go a long way. So, I decided to bring back my grandma’s good old fashion way of saving! Anya and I have made a pact to be intentional about saving our pennies and loose change. Just from emptying my purse and car, we already have about $25.00! Can you believe I had $25 extra bucks just hanging around and didn’t even know it?

I was also inspired by listening to a podcast from Donna Otto. She started saving pennies and eventually saved enough (over a 100,000 pennies) to pay for her daughter’s wedding dress! That’s amazing! So, we decided to save all our loose change until Anya graduates from high school which is another six years. We haven’t decided on how to use the money, but some ideas have been to put the savings toward a European mom/daughter trip, a cushion for her to use at college, or a mission trip.

Wrapping your family’s pennies is a fun way to collaborate on a project together that not only teaches them the value of saving but saving and reaching a goal.

Here are 5 Simple Steps to Get Started:

  1. Purchase Some Coin Wrappers: We bought an assorted bag from Walmart for about $1.50. You can find them at the Dollar Store,  Target, or office supply stores.
  2. Go on a Change Hunt! When you first start saving go on a fun change hunt with the kids! Look everywhere for loose change, the car, purses, under the bed, in the couch, in coat pockets, or anywhere you can think you can find some pennies!
  3. Created a Designated Change Jar: After your change hunt, put all the change in one jar. Make it a practice every day or at the end of every week for everyone to put their loose change they have or find in the jar.
  4.  Insert the Change in the Wrappers: This is the fun part! Give everyone some change and let them put it into the wrappers!
  5. Decide on a Family Goal: What will you spend the money on? This goal should be agreed upon by all your family members and motivate you all to get saving!

Keep a running tally of how much you save every month on a chart so you can measure your progress. This will keep everyone inspired and excited. Not only will your kids get into the habit of saving money, work toward a family goal and learn the value of a dollar or should I say penny!

Happy Saving!

Daily Dose of Scripture: Who is Guiding Our Footsteps?

Jeremiah 10-23

 

Every day we are inundated with choices and paths that we can take. We always have a choice to choose the direction toward. But, which path is the best? The Lord’s path will always be fruitful, not saying there won’t be steep hills to trek up or some rough terrain, but it is a path that is protected by our Sovereign God. When left to our own devices without God’s guidance we may instinctively veer toward the path that seems clear and easy, but that way comes with its snares and is usually deceiving. Who better to direct our footsteps than our Creator, the Author, and our Father?  Keep walking with God as your compass and you’ll end up in a field of righteousness!

Dragging? Try These 10 Simple Steps to Boost Your Energy!

-my mother used to tell me that all the time.it was the best advice i ever got.-allie chardin

Are you dragging yourself out of bed in the morning? Or is it the afternoon slump that hits you hard? I’ve experienced both and on the same day! Life is busy as a single mom! You don’t have to feel depleted.

Try these 10 Simple Tips to Boost Your Energy!

  1. Make a Date with Jesus- When our spiritual life is out of whack we lack energy. The very first thing you should always do is have a little talk with Jesus! When you dive into the word and get spiritually fed it carries over to every area of your life.
  2. Sleep! Consistent shut-eye can do wonders. If you’re staying up until the wee hours of the night and waking up exhausted you’re doing some serious damage to your body. Get a good night sleep, ideally 7-8 hours, but if you can’t figure out the amount of hours you need to sleep to not feel like a zombie the next day.
  3. Exercise– When you start physically moving all kinds of endorphins are released that make you feel good! There are gyms such as Planet Fitness that are $10 a month that make it incredibly affordable. Not a gym gal? It’s okay! You can get exercise simply by walking or even jogging in place. Try to make exercise a part of your daily routine and not only will your health improve, but so will your energy levels.
  4. Feed Your Body with Healthy Food- If you feel your body with junk you feel like junk right?Try to incorporate as many fresh fruit, veggies, lean meat, and grains. Instead of grabbing a sugary donut for a snack opt for some pre-cut veggies and fruit. Prepare small baggies so you can just grab them on the go.
  5. Stay Hydrated-When you’re dragging it can simply be because your dehydrated. Drink water. It’s that simple.
  6. Take Vitamins– Ask your doctor about the vitamins they suggest you take. Most common are a multivitamin and a B12, but you may be lacking a certain vitamin that has your body completely out of whack.
  7. Stay Away From Emotionally Draining People– This isn’t meant to come off harsh, but there are people who literally drain you until you’re a puddle on the ground. Try to keep a healthy distance from people who are negative and live in a place of stinking thinking. It’s contagious so the most effective antibiotic are boundaries.
  8. Talk to Someone Who Is Uplifting! We all need those friends who can pick us up and when necessary whip us into shape. They are energy boosters! Maybe it’s your parent, a friend, a minister, whoever it is have a good old heart to heart, you’ll walk away feeling a whole lot better.
  9. Take a Time Out– When everything is spinning out of control, chances are you are too. Sometimes you have to get off the crazy train and take a time out. You don’t have to hop on a plane to a remote island (although not a bad idea!) but you can create some serenity by simply taking a step back. Maybe your time out place is your bathroom, a closet, the back porch, or your parked car. Find a place to unwind and take a breath.
  10. Do Something You Enjoy– When we’re happy, engaged and passionate we have boundless energy. When you’re feeling low go back to your sweet spot, that happy place and do what it is that you love! It will give you the boost you need.