“Some of us have taken very hard knocks to learn this truth: Job or no job – wife or no wife – we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 98
There is a Bible story that I was reminded of after watching a speaker on YouTube.
The story of Elijah and Jezebel.
In short, Elijah became extremely depressed because he felt Jezebel was out to get him. The truth is she was out to get him because of his prior actions. But equally true was God’s favor was always present in Elijah.
And Elijah knew it! It wasn’t like God kept it hidden. The Old Testament God was anything but subtle. But even still, Elijah became consumed about what one person thought and acted toward him. He quickly forgot about the power, love, and favor that God brought to Elijah.
I didn’t think I related to Elijah until I was reminded of this story.
How quickly have I blamed others for my character defects! “Yeah I might have a foul attitude but the reason I do is because of so-and-so.” That sounds a lot like I am not trusting and relying on God. It sounds like my happiness depends on how others treat me and that is a very dangerous way to live as a recovering addict (see resentments aka #1 killer).
Since arriving in Kuwait over a month ago I have made some good friends. I have developed some meaningful relationships both personally and professionally. I have also joined a dating app to test the waters of possibility regarding romance. What happens with me is that I quickly default to relying on other people for my satisfaction and worth. And even for my happiness. That is not what my program demands. That is not how I want to live.
If my worth depends on my ability to get a date on Bumble, then I am setting myself up for failure and back into the hands of the disease I might go. If my happiness depends on how many invites I get to game night, then sooner or later my spirits will fall and I will wonder things like, “Why am I unhappy? What’s the matter with me?”
Another example would be the feeling that I have regarding readership of this blog. Since May, there has been a steady decline of hits on this blog. If I’m honest, a part of me is very disappointed about that. I feel hurt that less and less people are following and reading my blog. My disease has been telling me to quit, to succumb to isolation and depression. My disease loves that this effects me in this way.
The problem was always other people. They said this or they don’t understand that. My addict convinced me that the reason I was unhappy was because others were out to get me. Or they had let me down. Most of the time that thinking was pure fantasy. They were lies. Even the times when people did let me down, the real problem was never about them anyway.
It was about me. It was about what was going on in between my ears and inside my heart.
No longer can I live my life always blaming Jezebel.