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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Identity: 11 reasons I love being an addict

So much has changed in the last five years of my life. Five years ago I was an upstanding citizen. A passionate Christian with regular church attendance and service, who was willing to share her views on a variety of topics. An educated, accomplished young professional with a future somewhere in the world of nonprofits by Washington, DC.

Life is so different now. I retain an element of youth, but little else. I am an addict. I use alcohol and sex to drown my pain. I struggle with codependency. Intimacy is a constant struggle for me. I rarely find it easy to face truth. The effects of sexual abuse in my past follow me around in my daily life. I have nightmares. I tend to live in fear. I often love to please people around me more than God. I go to a psychologist once a week. Jesus and my 12-step meetings are all that keep me sober. My life is a disaster!

Good grief! What changed?

Over the last week, I have been thinking about how much I love being an addict. Here are a few of the reasons I love being who I am today instead of who I used to be:

1.) Life is so much easier without the facade. Fooling people took so much energy! Do people love that I am the real me? Not all of them. Some of them treat me like I am dirty. They struggle to speak with me or look me in the eye. Usually the ones who cannot engage in a real relationship with me are people so desperately trying to be who I was five years ago. I try to forgive them. Some days it is easier than others; but every day I am thankful I do not need to summon the energy to put on a facade.

2.) I no longer have anything to hide. Before I was an addict, I had to hide a lot of things in my life. Now I can talk about just about anything. Jesus could show up in human form, and I would be so excited to let Him accompany me for a day. Back when I had my life all together, I would have felt shame to give the devil a tour. (It probably would have scared the bijeebers out of me to see him in visible form, too. There is a chance it would have scared me sober!)

3.) I feel shame now. I did not used to feel shame. I used to get high. Now when I feel scared, angry, alone or rejected, I am not afraid to use the tools my psychologist has taught me to tap into the root feeling. When I tap into the feeling of shame, it somehow releases the power it had over me and allows me to reconnect with the world around me. I no longer have to escape shame because I can acknowledge the feeling, recognize its legitimacy in this broken world and be thankful Jesus has covered me with a robe of righteousness.

4.) Admitting who I am has freed me to need Him desperately. I used to wake up in the morning convinced I was going to do better than yesterday. If I tried hard enough, I would not fail. Now I wake up and know except with the strength of my Savior, I will fail. When I am weak, then I am strong. His power is made perfect in my weakness.

5.) I used to live life in the dark. Now I live in the light. Oops, I think that repeats #2 and #3!

6.) Knowing who I am in the flesh (my old nature), has allowed me to live in freedom as a child of the King of the universe. For the first several years I was saved, I dutifully repeated and memorized who I was in Christ. It did little to change my life. I did not know who Christ was, so I could not know who I was in Him. Becoming an addict has allowed me to know who I am without Him, which has allowed me to get to know Him and realize who I am in Him. No power in hell // no scheme of man // can ever pluck me from His hand. // Till He returns or calls me home // here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

7.) I have become a part of an incredible group of people. Ain’t no one love Jesus like a sober addict loves Jesus!

8.) My story has become about someone else. Having the focus on me was a lot of pressure. It changes everything when it becomes about my Lover. He is the hero of the story, and I am the helpless damsel in distress.

9.) What? I am not a damsel in distress! I am a warrior in His Kingdom. Goodness, but since I became an addict, He sure has taught me how to effectively fight!

10.) I have learned it is more important for me to know my weaknesses than my strengths. In some areas of my life I bow to culture and capitalize on my strengths. At work I do my best to work smart not hard. However, Jesus never said His power was made perfect in my strengths. He said it would be perfect in my weakness.

11.) I have bragging rights! Hey, the Apostle Paul is the one who told me to use them. Don’t blame me! I would have been too ‘humble’ to brag, but then I became an addict and took off the facade. What can I say?

But [Jesus] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10


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