Posts Tagged ‘addiction’

Hole to Whole

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

6a00d83451df4569e201b8d0ce078b970cToday is one of my favorite days because it is September 14. It is my yearly day of personal reflection and thanksgiving to my “Big G God” for a new life. It ranks up there with the day I was born, got married, son was born and the day that I found a personal relationship with Jesus. So on this day, I can see that I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.  Eleven years ago this date, I was on an airplane to the unknown, as I flew to Tucson, Arizona  to begin  rehab in the Trauma and Abuse Program at Sierra Tucson (http://www.sierratucson.com). I was an emotional basket case. I re-felt the same fear that a terrified fourteen-year boy had felt when he was afraid people were going to “find out”. Yet, I knew the awful secret, that I had kept tucked away in the darkest recesses of my being, was the reason that I was on that flight.

Undoubtedly, things were going to be different from now on; but I was horrified of what was ahead and what was going to happen to me in the process.  But most of all, I feared what people would think about me. I was terrified that people would stop loving me; very few did. That was the exact fear I had experienced 45 years earlier. Now, suddenly the secret was out; everything had changed, while nothing had changed. In a real sense, the fear, pain, and remorse of the next several weeks that would stretch into the spring of the new year, would be nearly more than I would be able to bear.

Yet, all along the way God, in his mercy and love, strategically placed people who loved me, people who took my hand and walked with me, when I could not walk on my own. I have quite a list; they know who they are.  During my rehab and the months that followed, I cried several lifetimes of tears. It was not easy; I thought I would never smile again, but I have. Today, I smile quite a bit in fact.  The truth is, since the day Cathy put me on that Southwest plane, I have been, more and more, seeing life and myself with a brand new set of eyes. For most of my life, I had a “hole” in me; today I am able to see that I am “whole”. That is why September 14, is such a notable day in my life.  On this day I will pray for folks who are still carrying emotionally crippling secrets.  God wants you to be blessed too. Remember, doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. The greatest regret I have is that it took me so long to choose sanity.

More about my journey to wholeness in my free book for free @ Part 1 UNSCREWED – Becoming Whole Again

Special People

Monday, April 6th, 2015

7840_chelsea-home-jersey-2013-14-with-special-1-printing---xxxxl_03_lThere are a bunch of guys and gals at the “Y” who are training like crazy for the Music City Marathon. I know exactly what they are going through. Many years ago, at the peak of my running addiction, I decided to run a full marathon and to do whatever it took to succeed. I trained at 50-70 miles per week for months. Running before the sun came up and after it had gone down were common. I ran when it was hot and when it was very cold — every day come hail or high water. I looked like skin and bones. As nutty as it may sound to you, it made perfect sense to me.

The day of the race the weather was perfect, in the mid 50’s with a fine mist for the first ten miles or so. As I ran along, I never had any doubt that I would finish without puking, stopping or walking.  Those were all a part of my four-pronged goal. I didn’t puke, stop or walk, but I also did not finish in my personal goal of under four hours either.  However, crossing the finish line was still an experience that I’ll never forget.  It was pure joy, euphoria and satisfaction rolled into one. As exhausted as I was, I sure felt good about me. I felt invincible.  I recall that day in Huntsville with an enormous sense of personal pride and accomplishment. Like the time is was briefly in jail, I would not take anything for the experience.  I also, never had a desire to do it again.

So why did I do it?  Why did I go through all that to run 26.2 miles with a few thousand others? I did it for me; I did it to feel good about me. When it is all said and done, we all have an inherent soul need to feel good about ourselves, to be winners, to be special, to stand out.

 We all have different ways of trying to get our needs met – some better than others.   I expect that may have been the reason that when many of us were in college, we kept count so we could tell our buds how many Buds we had downed in a given time. Of course we always lied about it by adding a fudge factor.  We all have a God-given need to have folks think we are special.

Most all of us have stretched the truth a few times for that very reason. Whereas the beer drinking was more about fitting in; running 26.2 miles was more about standing out.  Either way, it is about feeling good about ourselves and that is a normal desire.  Another way to have that desire met is for someone to simply tell us we are special.

My Podcast  @   http://www.buzzsprout.com/41402

My Book  “Unscrewed – Becoming Whole Again” My personal story of abuse, addiction, shame, guilt, rehab/ recovery  and wholeness. Free at  http://johngouldener.com/?page_id=3877

Showtime

Monday, November 10th, 2014

music_city_miracle_12I had a delightful lunch with a friend who is a director for ESPN. As we were talking I noticed that my television guy used the word “show” instead of “game” when referring to the broadcast.  At first that seemed a bit strange.  He then reminded me that the game is what takes place on the field, but the show is all that appears on my television screen. Actually, the show is a great deal more than just the game.  The show is made up of such eclectic ingredients as the personalities of the broadcasters and coaches, the camera angles, the graphics, the features, the interviews, the cheerleaders, the bare chest guys painted in school colors, the mascots, the commercials, the blimp, etc.  The game is one thing, but the show is whatever my friend and his producer decide to show us.

Quite often life itself becomes a show.  The real us is one thing, but what we decide to show is often something else. For good or bad the image we decide to send out is the show. Like when we live with the compulsive desire to project the perfect image, hoping somebody will admire us, that is show. When our insecurities pound us to the point that we have to always be right and everybody else is wrong, or when we embellish ourselves — show.  When we say yes to things we really don’t want to do desperately hoping folks will like us — show.  When we bury ourselves in unnecessary debt to have things we can’t afford in order to appear better off than we actually are —- show.  When we pretend to be one thing, but we are really something else — show.

Sadly, sometimes we lose sight of where the real me ends and the show begins. The sure thing about a show is it always comes to an end. At ESPN they end the show on their own terms at a predetermined time and live happy ever after. On the other hand, in real life the show often comes to a screeching halt at the most inopportune time.  More often than not when the lights suddenly go dark on our self-directed shows nobody lives happy ever after.