Learning as i go.

The older I get the more I realize the damage that was caused by my life style. My belief system and the lack of real love for myself.

  I have never truly been able to fully understand why I feel the way I do about so many things. Like love and any other relationship that requires intimacy.  Was it all the abuse both physical and mental that I received at such a young age that sent me down this path of loneliness and abandonment, I think so? However I just don’t know how to correct it. It seems the more I the more I feel apart instead of included. I am a man that truly loves his family. But I often don’t feel that they love me. Granted I am not a easy person to love. I do come with a few flaws. Like an addiction to drugs and alcohol, a slight tempura and somewhat of a misguided god complex.

I have always needed to be a part of something. However I have never truly committed myself to any one thing. With the exception of my addiction to drugs and alcohol. I believe my addiction started at a very young age when my parents separated. When all the abuse started happing to me. I would watch the adults around me find happiness in drugs and alcohol. When they would have card parties, family get to gathers’. To me I couldn’t believe that these where the same people that would treat me the way they do with such anger and resentment. I would treat each other the same way. And here they were now enjoying each other’s company having drinks laughing with each other, arguing with each other, yet still seemed to be enjoying themselves. I would watch my cousins and other young members of the family sneak drinks. Take the remanence of the drugs and go do them themselves. Then I would watch how they to became joyful and playful. However I was still left to fend for myself.

     Here I was. Just too young to be included in anything, with the exception of being the whipping boy. The avenue that everyone around me with the exception of my brother and my father. My brother was my protector. However on occasion his anger and frustration with the things he was going through would overflow and my actions, mainly my need to be part ”of” would drive him jump on me to put me back in my place. Enough that he could deal with his own issues. I really didn’t understand that at the time. But as I got older I began to understand. Anyway needless to say after seeing everyone around me using the drugs and the alcohol to relieve there stresses. I learned to do the same. And because no one really paid much attention to me it was easy for me to drink and smoke both cigarettes and weed with no one ever saying a word.  I would drink until l passed out. I can truly say my addiction was off to the races after that. Now there were plenty opportunities along the way for me to get off the tracks before the train came, however now I was becoming somebody in my neighborhood, an all-star athlete, a young black man with a car and an addiction that would find new life with the introduction of crack cocaine to the neighborhood.

     With the insertion of cocaine to the mix I now found myself not as popular as I once was. So I did what any lost and ungrounded young man would do with access to money and drugs. I started using. I was still a star athlete however I was no showing up to games high and drunk. Even though I never got into any trouble for it. Not from the coaches or my parents. My life was now officially out of control. Because of my love that was now raising its head for the streets and all the excitement that it was providing. I was now putting myself in a place to lose my scholarships. Which I would eventually lose because my life was now spinning out. Because of my stealing from my father. Mainly his cars. He put me out. And would have nothing to do with me. I found myself homeless. Sleeping under trees, stealing out the grocery stores for food. My bother came back into my life. I don’t know how he found me. But he did. I was at the Salvation Army when my brother found me. We he decided when I finished the program that we would go into the military. Which also turned out not to be a place for me. Now here I am. 21 years old no family that really wanted anything to do with me. A child on the way. Lonely and in a place I didn’t really want to be. I have never really been a person that fit well in structured environments. But here I find myself in one of the most structured environments the United States has to offer. The United States Armed Forces. Damn, this is not where I thought I would be.

To make a long story short, this too would present another opportunity for me to get my life on track. But leave it to the alcohol and my addiction to destroy this opportunity as well.  Long story short. Got kicked out the Army, however the lord saw fit for me to get out with an honorable discharge. Anyway after several years I found myself staying with my bother in Texas. He was stationed there. So I stayed with him for a while. Until the unthinkable would happen. My bother whom I love dearly, got shot. Him and two of his friends while waiting on me to buy some drugs.

      This would turn out to be a pivotal part in my life. And not for the good. After taking care of the situation and making sure my brother was ok. I left Texas and headed home, back to Colorado. Now truly screwed in the head. There has been so many highs and lows along the way it will have to wait for the book to come out. But make no mistake. My life has been out of control for a really long time. So with all that being said I have truly decided to really give my recovery a chance. By doing the work this time. Getting involved service work. Doing the steps and taking some suggestions from my sponsor and those in the program that have put in the work and are willing to help.  I believe that God has a plan for me. I’m not sure where God will have me go. But I do know that My God does not want me to go back from where he has brought me from.   

Looking in the mirror.

Bible Reading: James 1:21-25

We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

How many times do we look in the mirror each day? Suppose we looked in the mirror and found that we had mustard smeared around our mouth. Wouldn’t we immediately wash our face and clean up the problem? In the same way, we need to routinely look at ourself in our “spiritual mirror,” the Bible. Then if anything is wrong, we can take the proper steps to fix it.

James uses a similar illustration to show how God’s Word should be like a spiritual mirror in our life. He said: “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what is says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it” (James 1: 22-25).

This illustration supports the sensibleness of making a routine personal inventory. As we examine our life, we need to respond with immediate action if something has changed since we last looked. if we put off taking care of a problem, it may soon slip our mind. Just as we would think it foolish to go all day knowing there is mustard on our face, it is not logical to notice a problem that could lead to a fall and not correct it promptly.

A Little Something To Think About.

My dad once told me “if you don’t have a dream of your own. Someone else will give you theirs and you will spend the rest of your life helping them fulfill their dream.” So remember your dream and pursue it with a passion. But remember purpose and passion for, are to different things. However when purpose comes together with the talent that God has already placed in you. Success is soon to follow. The road may be difficult and you may have to travel alone. Do not however be afraid to go. Keep the faith and remember God the father is always with you.

Being ok with who you are.

Just another day.

   Those of us that deal with mental illness often find ourselves lost and looking for answers. Those answers are usually right in front of us. Nevertheless, we find it hard to see sometimes. There is Typically a reason for this. It’s either Because most of us are either afraid or unwilling to deal with our past. Ashamed to be existing in the moment or deal with the life we have created for ourselves, as well as having no idea on how to move forward in the future. In a positive, productive way.

So today I was talking with my dad. He was giving me a seasoned approach to being successful in this life. We talked about money, property, family, friends and the ministry. But the conversation kept coming back to one thing. Put God first. Keep your integrity intact and continue to do the next right thing. And if you do that, ask God to guide your steps. Don’t get ahead of him. Line up with him and stay the course. God will open the door for you if you are patient and can hear his voice when he calls you. However, he said something to me that I had been speaking with my brother about earlier that morning, which was to tell the truth about how you feel and what you have been through, Good or bad. Because those things are all a part of you. They make you who you are. That person. The one nobody gets a chance to see. That one you have to learn to always be honest with. Him or Her. If you truly would like to have a taste of sanity and the ability to live a life you enjoy.

Being honest with yourself is the beginning not the end. God is willing to forgive us of our past indiscretions. If we will repent and turn back to him. However, you must learn to forgive yourself and self-forgiveness is probably the hardest part of this whole thing. That’s been my experience. But it’s something you can’t avoid. Let me also say this about this journey to understanding yourself. The struggle is real. don’t give up when it gets hard. be mindful of this as well. (You are bound to make mistakes along the way). Just do your best to learn from them. . Then once you’re able to get a grip on that honesty and forgiveness part. That means, not only be able to forgive yourself. It also means being able to show forgiveness for others as well. Once you’re able to do that, you will begin to see things in your life change, however be mindful. “EVERYONE AROUND YOU WILL NOT BE HAPPY WITH THE CHANGE.” And a lot of people that you thought would be there to support you will not be there. The truth of the matter is. They might wind up being the same people that want you to stay in the same place, doing the same things, so they can continue to treat you the same way.

Some of them might attempt to discourage you. Some may smile in your face and talk about you like a dog behind your back and that’s ok. Change is difficult for everyone. And if you find yourself in that position it might hurt at first but pray on it. Encourage yourself and keep moving. Also remember this, everyone that’s with you might not be meant to go on this journey with you. If you are honest with yourself. You will know who should and should not be there. Also do not be ashamed to ask for help, be it from a canceller, therapist, pastor or whoever you have in your life that you can confide in. also remember to pray, pray and pray some more then watch and listen for the response. (That’s that staying in Gods will thing). Let me also say this. Everybody you talk to doesn’t need to know everything about you. However, when you decide you are going to tell your story. “Tell the truth.”

PuttingGod first Ministry

DeaconDante D Craig Sr.

2manyfaces.net

 

 

 

Appreciate the moment.

I was walking away from the movie theater with my wife today and a thought happens to cross my mind. “What a beautiful day to be alive.”I found myself thinking about all the things I’ve been through in my life. All the pain and disappointment as well as all of the good time and blessings of a life lived. Not always good or bad. Not always right or wrong. Just a life lived. Then another thought hit me. How grateful I am to be alive to see this day. To still be in my right mind ( MOST OF THE TIME). To still be In Pretty good health and to still have my beautiful wife by my side. If it wasn’t for Gods grace and mercy, there would have never been a day so beautiful, like this one for me. Sometimes you just have to slow down and be present in the moment long enough. To truly see the beauty that shows its self in each and every moment. All you really need to do, is be willing to see it. What a beautiful day. What a beautiful day indeed. To God be the Glory.

Never give up

Never Give Up

A tree stands alone on the precipice, Its fingers dug deep in the sand. Although time and the elements eat at its world, It proudly, defiantly stands.

Its branches still reaching for heaven, Its roots bare and washing away. To all others its fate has clearly been seen, Yet it stands, more determined each day.

One more day it gives shade to the weary. One more day it replaces our air, One more day it is given to fulfill the plan Of the Almighty Father up there.

We can learn from this proud little sapling, When we look deep into our own cup. When the things of this world seem to wear us away We can bend, but must never give up.

Trapped in a box.

I’m screaming, running, jumping looking for a way out. Trying to tell anyone who will listen the box has changed. I know how to think outside the box. I just don’t know how to get out of the box. My vision is getting worse by the day. My memory is slipping to a point I’m forgetting the things I need to do for my family. I’m having anxiety attacks almost daily and to top all that off I’m afraid of what’s happening. Everyone is beginning to see the actions rise from the fear. A sense of loosing control of the fees things in life that I cherish. Has anyone seen a doorknob a latter anything that can help me get out of this box. I’m sending up flairs,smoke signals everything I can think of but I guess no one can hear me from inside of this box. It’s been a minute since I heard back from my Heavenly Father I know he’s there but I can no longer see the light that he’s held on the path for me. Everyone around me continues to want me to do for them. Even I’m telling the something has changed and when I don’t do something they want me to do. The way they want me to do it. I get the you don’t love me. You don’t care about me. I poor everything I have into my home. I give all my time. So why can’t I get the same love they say I’m not giving them. I need a way out of this box. Why can’t I get someone to come into this space with me so I can communicate with them. Family is a strange thing to deal with. My dad says it all the time but now I understand what it means. Would they do it for me. Everyone has something to say about what’s going on with me. But no one’s willing to listen to the man in the box to get a better understanding standing. I have no more to give. My health is at stake. But I truly think everyone likes me in this box. Where they can look down on me. Use me as an excuse for their unhappiness. I just have one last thing to add. Has anyone taking a good hard look at the man in the box. He’s human. He’s flawed and he has feelings too. If you love me, hear my heart and know I love you. Things have changed and now I have to find a way out of this box.

Days like these.

It’s a really disheartening when you see all your progress disappear. All the hard work building back relationships with family and friends. God give me the strength I need to continue to do the next right thing. To continue to move forward and to help me to forgive myself. Help those close to me. To not give up. To keep me in there prayer and to understand. That this to shall pass. To God be the Glory.

Never Give Up.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, 
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, 
When the funds are low and the debts are high, 
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, 
When care is pressing you down a bit, 
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns, 
As every one of us sometimes learns, 
And many a failure turns about, 
When he might have won had he stuck it out; 
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow– 
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than 
It seems to a faint and faltering man, 
Often the struggler has given up, 
When he might have captured the victor’s cup, 
And he learned too late when the night slipped down, 
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.