“But if you will seek God earnestly, and plead with the almighty, if you’re pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your prosperous state. Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous your future will be”. ~Book of Job

From Darkness to Light….~ At a very young age I felt a disconnect spiritually.

A lot of times I felt less then or that I didn’t quite fit in. I would use sports to compensate or lose myself In collecting baseball cards. I started experimenting with weed and liquor in middle school. When I was a freshman in high school my step father passed away. That crushed me. The disconnect I felt as a child got worse and there was a void inside me that I could not fill.

The pain led me to use drugs and alcohol on a regular basis. I was addicted by 16 years old; selling to support my habit. During this time I put myself in some horrible situations. I was robbed at gun point with a shotgun put to my head; not something I ever thought would happen to me growing up.

I found myself in my first treatment center at age 17. I was by no means ready to get sober. I continued to use and was confronted by friends and family and was tearing mother a part. I can only imagine the pain she felt watching me slowly kill myself. I was on the fast track to prison or the grave yard. I was living couch to couch and roamed the streets but most of the time I stayed with my buddy Rich in his fathers trailer park home.

At times I couldn’t even speak or complete a sentence. A combination of lsd , cocaine and x pills had just about driven me insane. I was very angry and found myself in violent fist fights almost every night. Consequences kept happening, DUI’s , arrests, failed relationships, and I couldn’t hold a job and was kicked out of high school. I would always ask myself, “How did I get here”? I started to seek out relief from the mental torment. I was experiencing, guilt, shame,remorse and unbearable panic attacks and anxiety. I went to a doctor and was prescribed Xanax and Lortab and for the first time in many years I felt relief. The pills gave me self-esteem and made me feel connected to the rest of the world. They took away the pain and anxiety, I had found a solution to my discontent with life .

Little did I know that the pills would eventually run out and I would end up sick and in worse shape then ever. I started using I.v opiates at age 21 (Dilaudid and OxyContin). At 22 I was married and my first child Rylee was born. I attempted to get sober a few times, things got worse. I overdosed and nearly died a few times. I didn’t stop till I got a brief glimpse of sobriety when I was 26, I had ruined the marriage and got divorced. I stayed clean for two years after many try’s in rehabs. My life changed dramatically and I was a productive member of society for the first time. I was working, married again and my wife was pregnant with my son Greyson.

 I still wasn’t sold that this is a disease and didn’t respect or comprehend the demon I was up against

I started using again and suffered tremendously in and out of jails and treatment centers for the next 11 years, the lust for comfort the dope provided murdered my soul and any passion I had for life. I ruined two marriages. I had two beautiful children and I couldn’t even stay clean for them, I wanted more then anything to stop for them but could not muster up the will power to quit going back to the thing that was killing me. I felt like a huge failure in life and thought that I was going to die with a needle in my arm. I came to my surrender throughutter defeat and desperation.

There’s no way to adequately describe the darkness and pain I felt when I came to that morning at Through the Archway. I took a look in the bathroom mirror and didn’t recognize myself, I was a grayish pale color, my eyes sunken back into my head. I remember shaking violently, sweating and being freezing cold at the same time. My stomach throbbed and I was fighting the urge to vomit. I was trapped in a mental prison of obsessions, past violence, failing my kids and was completely engulfed with fear. I had met my match!!

 I’m grateful for the darkness I experienced because only in that darkness could I begin to see the light. God’s gift came in the dark night of the Soul.

 

On my knees day and night I began to beg God for help. He answered and began to breath life back into me. He placed me with the right people and teachers to help re-light that divine spark deep inside me that was barely flickering. It’s my belief that God lives on the inside and His spirit now burns deep in my soul. In essence I was resurrected From The Grave, reborn and made new by His loving hands. What I’ve learned through many failures is that if I don’t take action and continue to fight the tyrant will take over and wield it’s doubled edge sword over me once again. One thing I know is that through the 12 steps God gives me the ability to do the things daily that are necessary for me to stay sober. Helping others, service, meetings , prayer and meditation and to keep trudging forward no matter what obstacles are thrown in my path. Today I have happiness and peace in my life that no drug or material possession can produce. I work at Through the Archway, the program I got sober in. They gave me a chance when no one else would. Working there gives me purpose. Through prayer and grace I’m back in my kids lives and that brings me more joy then anything else. I have to always stay vigilant, keep moving forward and CONTINUE TO FIGHT. #FTGARMY

 

Michael Fitzgerald