Tag Archives: drugs

Grace Beck’s Story

I was born April 4, 1995, to Robert Klingensmith Beck III and Elizabeth Beck in Phoenix, Arizona. The day after I was born my dad took off for a love affair with the bottle. This would be indicative of what most of my life would be.

My earliest two memories involve my father. First, I remember my mom holding me while talking to police officers when my father went missing. The other memory is building a snowman family with him. I made each snowman anatomically correct to show him how “smart” I was. I adored my father and constantly sought his approval. Every time I made a point about something happening in a ball game or something outdoorsy, it would follow with, “Huh, Dad?” He would always reply, “You’re right Gracie,” even if I was completely wrong. My life was filled with extreme highs and extreme lows with my father.

When I was in middle school I was a troubled kid. I talked back to teachers, didn’t do homework and had conflict with mean kids in class. Things at home made me feel as though I was not important, that I needed to act out to get attention. My father was, what seemed constantly, going on binges. Every few months it would get to the point of taking him to the hospital so he could detox. When he was on medication he was reserved to his bedroom all day, every day. A child living in this environment begins to ask questions like, “why does he choose drugs over me?”  “Am I not important?” “Does he not really love me?” “Am I the cause of his alcoholism?” None of that is true.

My father’s childhood was filled with one tragedy after another, but the worst part was that he had no outlet to deal with his deep wounds and suffering. The only thing that helped ease the pain was drugs and alcohol.

My relationship with my father was rocky and sometimes nonexistent. I distanced myself from my father because I loved him and it hurt too badly to be around him.

As I got older, the only time we talked was when the Steelers were playing, the Diamondbacks were doing well or anything college football. But he never owned up to the way he damaged our family and never was truly repentant for being an absent father.

Last year, I experienced some things that gave me a perspective on what my father dealt with. I didn’t want to feel or think, I wanted to escape, I wanted to die. God allowed me to feel a fraction of the pain my father felt, that same pain that led him to drugs.

People told me growing up, “Be careful, alcoholism is in your DNA.” I am destined to be just like him, right? Wrong! There is a commonly believed lie about addiction; that it is an illness, an incurable disease. This is a lie that releases people’s responsibility for their actions and condemns them to a life of affliction. Addiction is an emotional disease, perhaps. In its purest state, addiction is selfishness, pride and sin. Addiction may end with physical dependence on drugs, but it starts with loneliness, insecurity, guilt, suffering and more. All of us tend to use things to escape reality.

My father bought into this lie and died because he felt trapped. Robert Beck died on October 13, 2016, from an overdose of several different prescription medications.

After my father died I went into shock. I started going downhill, fast. I was unable to process or put into words the feelings I had. My grief was not just for my father, but for the relationship, I would never have with him, the one thing I wanted my whole life. I used alcohol, extreme sarcasm (being a jerk), Netflix binging and partying to numb the feeling of my heart being torn out of my chest every single day.

However, God began showing me that the things I turned to only made me hurt more. I’m sure if my father could tell me one last thing, it would be that he regretted the path he took in life, he wished he would have dealt with his issues instead of hiding behind addiction, and life is meaningless without faith in God.

I share my father’s story with you because it is my story. Everything my father did when I was growing up has shaped me to be who I am, good or bad. I know my dad would want me to express to others that the only way to truly heal your emotional wounds is to reach out to God, the only One who understands ultimate suffering.

I used to dread waking up in the morning. Now when I wake up, I am hopeful for the future.

Hope For Addiction saves lives, mine included.

I have learned that addiction is not different from the sin with which I struggle. The only difference is that addiction is ugly to society and Christians. Jesus sought out the outcasts. He loved them unconditionally. To me, that is the most poetic and beautiful way God works. I was the outcast, but God’s promise to His children is He will never leave us or forsake us. I have experienced that promise in my life, even through the suffering.

For more information, please visit our website at myhopeforaddiction.com

If you would like give HOPE to someone in need, please view the needs HERE 

Is Addiction A Disease?

What if I told you that I didn’t think that addiction was a disease? Would you think that I was crazy or uninformed? If so, maybe I can change your mind. I believe that there are people on both sides of the fence that benefit from addiction being classified as a disease, both those who suffer from addiction and those who do not. Let me explain…

“Addiction is defined as a disease by most medical associations, including the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, addiction is caused by a combination of behavioral, environmental and biological factors. Genetic risks factors account for about half of the likelihood that an individual will develop an addiction. Addiction involves changes in the functioning of the brain and body. These changes may be brought on by risky substance use or may pre-exist.” (Addiction as a Disease 2016). These are some very strong words and may prove to be quite convincing. When something is classified as a disease, it is owned by the medical profession, by doctor’s, psychologists and drug companies. If addiction is a disease, then it would be a disease like diabetes and cancer, one where there can be no permanent cure, because relapse could happen at any time. It would be a disease that is managed, with medication and psychiatric care.

Classifying addiction as a disease is beneficial to the person who is addicted, in a way it lets them off the hook for their addiction. A person addicted can now say, “hey, addiction isn’t my fault, I have a disease. Blame big pharma, it’s all their fault for creating the drug I abuse”. This is exactly where we are today, people blaming drug companies for creating medicines that have a legitimate use but are abused by some. The addict is let off the hook at every turn and is not held accountable for their part in the equation.

Society benefits from having addiction classified as a disease as well. You see, by classifying addiction as a disease, parents of addicts can remain in relationship with their children blaming the disease rather than the child. Social programs can be created to fight the disease, rather than to hold the addict responsible for their behaviors. Addiction as a disease creates an abstraction so that it is a disease that is being targeted and not the actions of individuals.

The lines are blurred daily regarding addiction as a disease. When the news comes across a story where a child is put in harm’s way because the parents are on drugs, it is totally the parent’s fault, but when a story is presented where a person is down and out because or an addiction, it is the addiction that is vilified.

What if addiction is not a disease, but a choice. Yes, it is true that the body becomes used to having certain chemicals in the system in order for things to function properly and this is the physical effects of addiction, but once the drug is out of the system, the body can once again function properly. This process is called detox and it required by anyone who has taken a substance for an extended period of time. This is no different than someone who has used caffeine for a long period of time when they go off of caffeine, they suffer from headaches and other physical symptoms. Once that phase passes, it is as if they never consumed caffeine at all. It is the same for other substances as well, once a person is weaned off of opioids, the body begins the process of repairing and restoring processes that were interrupted in the presence of the drug. Once the physical desire for the drug is concurred, the only thing left is the individual’s choice to go back to the drug. This is not the case with something like diabetes or cancer, a person’s actions cannot affect the symptoms of the disease.

Addiction is a disease today because it makes it more palatable to society and to the medical profession. We live in a time where personal accountability is waning and blame should be placed on something other than individuals. This epidemic will continue until we are willing to throw away the moniker of disease and to treat individuals as responsible for their choices. If we choose to ignore this call, there will be generations of people who will suffer because of it.

Lonnie Clardy,
Guest writer and “Hope for Addiction” group leader

If you need help battling addiction, please contact us. We can help! There is HOPE!

THE GAME CHANGER NEWSLETTER

Being a teenager in today’s world brings heartache and challenges that most of us never had to face. The realities of the ugliness of the world, the busyness of our schedules and the decline in our knowledge of God has created a mess for our children.

Why do teens use drugs?
Teens turn to drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons, but the main reasons are coping with pressure, numbing their pain, boredom or rebellion. The availability of substances makes the problem even greater. For decades the government has tried to address teen drug and alcohol use with campaigns like

“Just say No,” “This is Your Brain on Drugs” and other fear-driven approaches. The new trend in anti-drug messaging is trying to relate with teens and an attempt to offer “something better.”

Why aren’t these approaches successful?
There are many well-intentioned people truly trying to make a difference in the world, yet positive affirmations and nice words are not enough. Words alone cannot fix the problem. The only words powerful enough to change someone are God’s Words (Hebrews 4:12). This is what makes Redeemed2Repeat different.

In July 2016, we began a teen support group called “Fighting for Hope” in response to a number of hurting teen girls needing help. These girls have experienced much pain and suffering in their life. The pain caused by addicted parents cuts deep and without the correct help, kids medicate their pain with destructive behavior.

The Redeemed2Repeat teen meeting helps girls who have deep wounds to understand God’s love for them, His ability to heal them, take away their shame and give them a new life. The meeting is real, raw and we don’t shy away from the realities of their pain. But we don’t stop there. We identify their pain, acknowledge it and connect them with scripture and practical application for their life. We teach them how to fight for hope in the darkness that is their life. We provide a safe place for them to share honestly about what they are going through and help them to understand how the Bible, God’s very Words to us, can help them, can heal them and can give them hope in the darkness of their suffering. We don’t talk about details of what has happened; rather we talk about how the things that have happened in our life affect us, how we feel and think about these things, and how we can have hope and healing through Christ.

What does this look like and is it enough?
I’d like to tell you about 14-year-old Brooke. When I met Brooke she was afraid. She had been so hurt that she had trouble having a conversation and couldn’t look me in the eye. When we began the teen meetings, most of the girls could not openly share and mostly answered shallow questions. They were afraid to trust because they have been so deeply wounded by people who should have protected them. In our very first meeting, we talked about pain, about suffering, but we also talked about hope and how to find hope in the midst of our pain and darkness. The girls didn’t talk much but they began to see a life-changing connection to God.

One of the things we do to help both adults and teens understand and apply God’s Word is through growth assignments or homework. Change doesn’t happen in the meeting, it happens when they take what they have learned and engage with God through the everyday situations in their lives. One of the growth assignments was to read Psalm 139 and write down how God’s Words spoke to them personally.

 

Here is what Brooke wrote:

Psalm 139:5, You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
“This stood out to me and I thought that I am all put together and He knows what is going to happen to me in my life and He knows from today to the day I die and go live with Him in eternity. Also, that He will always help me through the journey that He has set up for me. It says to me that He’s looking at us from all sides and watches and leads us to follow Him. Another thing is, He will sew up our life that was in the darkness and help us get through life even if it is a hard life and road.”

This young woman, with all the horrible things she has endured in her short 14 years is learning how to hear God, how to believe God and how to trust God. Isn’t this the very struggle we all have? Redeemed2Repeat helps people who have been conditioned to think that they are different than “normal people” to see that we are all the same and our greatest need is met in Christ.

Brooke has great support in her life now and Redeemed2Repeat is just a small piece of that. She doesn’t have to hide or pretend. She has grown so much in the past year. She smiles. A lot. She is more comfortable with herself and others. She continues to learn about God and how He loves her and helps her.

The leader of the teen group, Chris Harris, has done an amazing job in bringing deep truths to a very practical level. She purchased journals for the girls just for use in the group. They write notes during the meeting, and when we ask questions that might be too scary to answer out loud, they write the answers in their journals. Over the past year, I have seen these girls grow, become more comfortable with who they are and open up and share. The girls are learning how to go to God with their pain instead of to other things like cutting or drugs or alcohol.

How do we reach teens?
The best anti-drug message we have is God’s Word. But I’m not talking about clichés or “Bible band-aids.” I’m talking about helping people truly understand Who God is and what He has done. Their greatest need, as is true for all of us, is a Savior to rescue us, a big God, the creator of heaven and earth, who loves us, and has given us everything we need to live this life (2 Peter 1:3).

This journey takes time. A long time. This is what Redeemed2Repeat does. We walk with people. Sometimes we have to get in the darkness with people and walk with them there for a while so they see the light of Christ. John 1:5 says, The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. This is what Redeemed2Repeat is all about. This is why your prayers are so needed and appreciated. Thank you for standing with us. Lives are being changed.

For more information, visit us!

Help us grow our teen program! We desire to expand our reach with teens.
We would love to be able to offer these girls a weekend retreat, movie night,  or coffee time to talk. If you would like to help us with this, you can donate here. Thank you!

Lasting Change for Addiction, the Long Journey to Rebuild Lives

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The destruction that happens when someone is in their addiction takes years to sort through. They are learning life skills that were neglected, rebuilding trust with family that was lied to and hurt, addressing legal and financial issues and learning to live life in the open and in the light of truth. This process does not happen overnight. For family members, they have seen “change” before only to be disappointed time after time. It takes a long while for the walls to begin to come down and for family to be ready to trust and tackle their issues. For the person who is excited about their new life and ready to move on, this reality can be discouraging and many people relapse at six months or a year because of this. This is why Redeemed2Repeat works with people to be ready, to be patient with their family and remember that their loved ones lived this roller coaster for years. We know this is a journey and we are committed to walk with people and help them rebuild their lives… for the long haul.

Where are some of the people whose stories we have shared over the past three years? What are they up to? You may read their stories and think, “Wow, this is amazing, there is no more work to be done.” The reality is, they are just beginning. We wanted to update you on a few people so you can see that they are continuing to do the heart work required for lasting change. God began a good work in them and He promises to complete His wwe-have-the-priviledgeork (Philippians 1:6). We have the privilege to be a part of God’s ongoing work of transformation.

Tracy: Tracy is more than two and a half years sober. She continues to serve on staff with Redeemed2Repeat and is a vital part of ministry to other women coming for help. Tracy’s family was almost destroyed by her addiction and she continues to face the difficult task of owning her sin against her family and working through reconciliation with them. She has made her marriage a priority and in recent months deeper healing is taking place. I am so proud of Tracy. She has looked at some really harsh realities, and with ttracy-marchhe support of her discipleship team, is working through the next level of healing with her family.

Michelle: What a miracle Michelle is! She is one month shy of two years clean. Two years ago, she could hardly articulate her thoughts, was filled with anxiety and was headed to court for a divorce. God has changed Michelle and after eighteen months of hard work and consistent faithful heart work, she has been reconciled with her family. She was excited to learn how to cook and clean and serve her family. She volunteers in her kids’ classrooms at school and is an example to the new ladies coming to Redeemed2Repeat. Michelle’s life shines with hope for others. Everyday tasks used to overwhelm Michelle. Now she calls or texts with celebration in the everyday, mundane duties. Recently she sent a text with photos of her teaching her kids to cook. What a joy!

Jason: Jason just celebrated twelve years! Although Jason came to Redeemed2Repeat sober, he was unfulfilled and felt that something was missing. He discovered that Jesus is what was missing. How Jason has grown is remarkable! He desires to lead his family and is learning to be the husband and father he always wanted to be. He has men who are helping him to know what this looks like in everyday life and working through the challenges. Jason is also one of our disciplers, working with men early in their journey.jason-march-newHe also serves as the Redeemed2Repeat representative on the Town of Gilbert Behavioral Health Task Force Crisis Team Training Sub-committee.

Tracy, Michelle, and Jason continue to work diligently, growing in their relationship with the Lord. They exemplify the meaning of our name, repeating in the lives of others what they have been given; a new life in Jesus Christ, free from addiction!

 

We are thankful for our donors who are a part of God’s miraculous work through prayers and financial partnership! The partnership makes it possible for lives to be changed and for us to walk this journey with people who were once without hope. Prayer and faithful giving brings hope for addiction!

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Want to learn more about Redeemed2Repeat? See why we are different at myhopeforaddiction.com