When my sister killed herself, my mom had her aneurysm, and then my dad died within a few short years, I thought I was fine. More than that, I thought I was handling everything in a heroic way. In fact, considering all of this, I was kinda proud of myself. However, I did not know how vulnerable I was. My mind set up a wall of protection so that I could stay strong for my family and help take the place of all they had lost. This wall was hard to keep constructed, but I had to power through it for the sake of everyone.

It was a perfect storm for a major fall.

So when I took the pain pills for my back while taking care of my mother, I did not know they would replace the wall I didn’t even know I had constructed. When I would stop taking them, I didn’t like the new world around me that didn’t have that wall. I didn’t know how to exist in this world and keep my head up. And if I did not keep my head up, who would keep my family’s head up? So, from my perspective, for the health and well-being of everyone, I needed the pain pills. Of course, my back was still bad so I had a perfect excuse to tell myself.

That is how addictions happen. They come in and fill a void that, most of the time, you didn’t even know you had until it is too late.

Again, as I do every year at the anniversary of my recovery, I reflect on the how and why of those lost horrible years.

I thank you all for sticking by me during this time. Even when I let you all know, so many of you didn’t flinch. I hurt a lot of people. I can’t get that back. I am not an abuse counselor and I am not too good at helping people through addiction. But I can put out little messages like this and hope they mean something to someone.

I guess my message is that no matter how strong you think you are, pain has it’s way of taking its toll, one way or another. No matter how strong you think you are, we are all exceedingly weak. There are no superheroes “under the sun.” We all need to be lifted up together.


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Find him everywhere: Find him everywhere

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