It’s been busy in the Hippie Hut so I’ve been a bit behind on the blog – and I am actually committing to remedying that now. I’ve decided I will be blogging daily from now on, even if it just a brief entry so a whole week doesn’t go by in the future without a post.
However, the busyness is part of what I want to talk to y’all about today too.
See, it’s the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Recovery Month, which, of course, I intended to observe anyway, but tonight it is particularly on my heart for a few reasons.
First, my pastor spoke on depression for the first time in his career yesterday – and he did so beautifully. I encourage everyone to watch this sermon as we all struggle at times:
As Pastor Chris said, “Your illness is not your identity. It’s okay not to be okay.”
I believe that is a message that has been too often missing from our churches.
Pastor Chris said that he had been lead to speak on the subject, in part, because of recent prominent suicides, including one heartbreaking loss of a young pastor of a large church in California. His name was Andrew Stoecklein and he left behind a precious young widow and three beautiful young sons he dearly loved. Tragically, he had been teaching on depression and anxiety at his church and reportedly “trying to preach himself through it.”
Here is much more on his story and the pain he was experiencing:
We all need help sometimes and we all need to know we are not alone all of the time.
As it is recovery month, both for mental illness and substance abuse, I want to talk about what I know and offer resources.
For my regular readers who feel like I revisit this often – and feel that it doesn’t apply to you – bear with me please. The statistics, as well as my own observations, suggest that more and more of us are struggling with these issues these days, so I want to be sure I am always open and sharing and using my experiences to help anyone I can.
As I’ve written about often, I have gratefully been free of alcohol since March 28, 2017:
And this precious little love came to our family as my service dog to help me with my anxiety disorder – and he has been an amazing blessing to all of us:
So I do know what it is like to experience both alcohol abuse and severe anxiety disorder.
And, as I mentioned earlier, I haven’t written as much as I usually do recently because we have been pretty busy – in a great way – here in the Hippie Hut:
In the midst of all of those fun things, football season started, so my better half and I have had some fabulous dates, watching our New Orleans Saints and our Crimson Tide play, with lots of snackies and yummy dinners and La Croix and Henry in his gameday best.
Of course, so much activity for me has also required MUCH spoonie rest and extra sleep and days spent in bed – the price we spoonies pay – but it has completely been worth it.
What I have found, since I stopped drinking, is how much more I love my life – even with my health problems and anxiety.
When my life was consumed by wine, I would have missed out on these wonderful things – because they didn’t involve drinking. Or, with games, I would have been drinking, and, therefore, I would not have been truly present.
I cannot express how grateful I am to be back to myself and fully engaged in my life and not missing out on my people and all of the beautiful times we spend together.
I want this, desperately, for everybody.
I want everyone to experience recovery.
I also want to say that alcohol use so easily gets out of control and it is truly frightening. The Instagram account “tellbetterstories2018” posted this a few days ago about the death of Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan and it just broke my heart:
Honestly, this could easily have been me or any of my Tt sisters once upon a time.
It’s just tragic.
In fact, the day this news popped up on my phone, I took a screenshot and showed it to Sara, who was standing next to me, but I can’t say I was surprised at all. It just confirmed what I, and my sober sisters, already knew in our hearts and minds:
If you feel that alcohol – or any substance – has become a problem for you, so much help is available to you.
There are resources both for substance abuse and for mental illness on SAMHSA’s Recovery Month site:
Other resources include:
On Instagram, much support can be found with the hashtags #hipsobriety, #teetotaler, #soberlife, #sobersisters, #sherecovers, among others. Just have a look around.
Also, many churches, especially larger churches, offer counseling services and recovery groups.
As always, and PLEASE remember this, if you are in crisis for any reason, please present to the nearest emergency room. They WILL help you, regardless of insurance status.
In addition to those resources, if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Crisis Line is 1-800-273-8255.
There is also a Crisis Text Line available:
Help is ALWAYS available.
Finally, last week, a precious young spoonie that I had followed for the past few years passed away from complications from a double lung transplant and it just broke my heart.
These were her last words on her YouTube channel, just before her surgery:
Recovery is possible and your life is so worth it. Keep on fighting.
Be well, everybody. Happy Recovery Month!
Grace and Blessings.