The purpose of this post is give hope, encouragement, faith and love to the person who is both an addict and suffers from manic depression. If you are anything like me, I had no confidence that I could ever recover from the dual diagnosis of chemical addiction and manic depression. I am living proof that it can be done, with the love and power of Jesus Christ.
Sixteen years ago, I was homeless on the streets of Denver, Colorado. This was the end of a 28 year battle with chemical dependency and manic depression.
In the end, I had lost everything and was a shattered soul, beaten down by an enemy much stronger than me. I spent a full winter outside in the cold living where I could and spending my days panhandling and hustling for enough money to drink in the bars each night.
I found an electrical utility closet in an alley behind my favorite bar that had the luxury of a push button lock on the inside, so I could be safe from the killers on the street. Down by the river, homeless people were being killed as part of a skin-head gang initiation rite. The river was no longer safe, and I had already been attacked by a knife wielding lunatic one time before.
I had a beautiful Husky mix dog named Princess who saved my life in that fight, and looking back on that terrifying encounter, now I know that she was an Angel sent by God to protect me.
Over a 28 year period of active chemical dependency and untreated manic depression, I went to thirteen chemical dependency treatment centers. It was not until my 13th treatment center at Hazelden in Minnesota, that I began taking Lithium Carbonate for treatment of the manic depression.
I learned a very important and valuable lesson: unless I received treatment and help for both my chemical dependency and my manic depression simultaneously, I would never recover and I would die an ugly death. Imagine experiencing a powerful mental obsession to use drugs and at the same time a physical craving to use drugs, then turbo charge this with mania — a highly excited state, and you have the perfect storm for relapse. When you are bombarded with the mental obsession, the physical craving and mania all at the same time, it is difficult to make sane decisions.
To make a very long and painful story short, when I had become completely defeated by alcohol and drugs, I asked Jesus to help me. I said a simple but powerful prayer: “Jesus, please help me”.
Two days later, I was sitting in a group of addicts at Hazelden Foundation — one of the best chemical dependency treatment centers in the world…… Jesus had come to save me. I spent a total of seven months in long term treatment and then a Half Way house. Today, God has blessed me with 16 years of continuous sobriety and my manic depression is stabilized.
I discovered that once I trusted in Jesus, and took the necessary steps to move forward, a whole new life opened up to me and now I am motivated to encourage others to “take the road less traveled”.
Together, we can do this!
Love, Peace and Blessings to you.