Listen to my cry for help, for I am sunk in despair.Psalm 142.6
The progression into life threatening addiction was so gradual that we didn’t even realize that it was happening.
Little by little the slope became steeper and steeper until it was like we were on a very slippery slope with no handholds to grab onto to stop the increasingly rapid descent. We had no idea that there was a big, empty hole that would swallow us if we didn’t get help—that we could die because addiction is a fatal illness if its progression is not stopped.
It was both thrilling and terrifying. Thrilling because it caused such intense feelings that we looked forward to each time we used whatever our chemical or behavior of choice was. Terrifying because we didn’t know how to make it stop—to take us back to where we had been before. And there was no way that was going to happen, even though we told ourselves that we could go back to the beginning.
It never occurred to us that we were entering into a place of hopelessness because we kept telling ourselves, “I’ll be okay. All I need to do is just stop.” But we couldn’t stop because we had developed a progressive disease called addiction.
“Listen to my cry for help, for I am sunk in despair” cries the Psalmist.
Maybe the one who wrote those words had experienced an addiction and who knew just how hopeless that place was. Maybe there was darkness all around. Maybe there was no light of hope. Maybe all he or she could do was to cry out “Help me!”
God hears us when we cry out for help. God reaches out, reaches down in our despair and lifts us up when we ask for that help.
There is no depth into which God cannot and will not reach. All we have to do is ask.
Prayer: Gracious God. Thank you for hearing my cry. Thank you for reaching into my despair. Thank you for lifting me up when I needed it most. Amen.