Posts tagged ‘street youth addiction’

August 7, 2013

Recovery and Integration


During recovery counseling, we often encourage clients to separate the bad things they do from themselves. We talk of “the addiction” or “the urge to steal” or whatever it is. And as the client regains balance, “the addiction” loses power and shrinks. And at some point, we encourage integration once again, the recognition that “the addiction” is within them and part of them. Eventually they can use that knowledge to be stronger and to be just exactly who they are.
This poem was written by a client in recovery with 12 steps, who was recently baptized, and who attends church and small groups regularly. This poem is about his “shadow self”–a dark part of himself that has driven the self-destructive behavior in his live for many years. He writes about what the shadow-self wants in order to gain power over if and to be free from it. While it’s dark, look at the consequences of knowing this! With knowledge and submission and humility, this client is free from sin and free to follow Christ! 
As you read this dark poem, remember that is is written in first person from the perspective of the thing within that wants to harm. The words of “the shadow” are full of desperate lies, hoping to gain control of what is not rightfully his. This client is free! And he knows the words are untrue! May it be so for all who seek recovery.
Shadow Mission
The thief in the night that stole my life
in an enemy’s grip that chokes the light.
Bending the soul, he buried the knife.
The blackness came in a bloody fight.
He said, “Here are the tools. Take what you want
from family and friends. Then you can flaunt
an arrogance that will make them blush,
while they speak of you in a quiet hush.
You don’t need them. You just need me.
No need to love touch and see.
How quickly and quietly their hearts will flee.
No need for salvation, a lord and savior.
You can run around in bad behavior.
The illusion of freedom I give to you
until I take everything, even your shoes.
Walk around the world your head stuck in glue.
Reach out for anyone, and no one is there.
The embrace of your loved ones becomes a blank stare.
Your hands always dirty with knots in your hair.
You’ve given up everything, the ability to care.
A cage in a cage with a side order of chains.
You hold me, your enemy, as I blow out your brains.
No keys can free you, I made you a slave.
Your only serenity becomes an unmarked grave.
You live as a coward, and envy the brave.
Your mine for eternity , unable to save.
Join us at SYM.
“To know, love and serve street dependent youth.”
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I’m a notary for benefit of clients and supporters. Ph: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online

via Blogger http://streetyouth.blogspot.com/2013/08/recovery-and-integration.html

July 27, 2013

Advice to a Client Fighting With Relapse


I am contacted by clients who are recovering but fighting with urges to relapse from time to time. They come to me wanting a Christian viewpoint. Here are some of the things I give them to meditate, think and pray over. We’d love to know what you think or would add…
There is no sin in considering a relapse. Only the doing would be a sin.
Christian sobriety occurs by being weak in yourself, humbling and submitting yourself to God, and allowing Jesus or the Holy Spirit to be strong in you. Strength comes from allowing yourself to be weak and leaning on Him.
Jesus has already done everything it takes for you to be forgiven, fully healed, and make you into more than you could ever imagine. You have to accept that GIFT from Jesus and allow it to happen. It won’t happen over night. And it’s not without struggle (for anyone). And it’s not always “up” and “happy.” But the life God has planned for your, dreams for you, wants for you, is better than any drug or high or drunk you could ever attain.
Jesus is with you. So if you were to relapse, he’s right there with you. Don’t try to hide or shrink away. Sometimes knowing that is enough to stop people. He can be the ultimate accountability buddy.
Staying sober is for you. It’s a choice you have to make. But relapsing hurts more than just you. And staying sober will benefit more than just you. Following God’s plan for your life will allow you to be a blessing for many, many people in future situations you can barely imagine. So don’t forget those reasons outside of yourself not to mess that up. It’s for you and for all of them, too.
Stay sober for you. You’re a beautiful and wonderful person, created in God’s image and for many great purposes. The devil tells you many lies about drugs and highs and drunks. They are just that… lies.

There are many ways to become involved with SYM.  

“To know, love and serve street dependent youth.”
Who We Serve   What We Do   Get Involved  Support Us   News  Publications  Ministry Needs   Speaking   Service Projects   Sign-up

Become a fan on Facebook!Mobile? No problem: m.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
I’m a notary for benefit of clients and supporters. Ph: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online
Arrange a meeting with me: tungle.me/terrycole
Follow SYM: Facebook LinkedIn Blog RSS Twitter Plaxo Etsy Etsy Blogger Google Buzz Tungle.me YouTube Google Plus

via Blogger http://streetyouth.blogspot.com/2013/07/advice-to-client-fighting-with-relapse.html

May 20, 2013

New Beginnings


The first time I saw him, I was afraid. He had wild hair, talked to himself in an animated way, and didn’t make eye contact. It took me repeated times to work up the courage to speak with him. But it was the beginning of something surprising.
Nick had come from Dallas and was living on the streets. He didn’t have any ID because he had left it at his previous place of residence. He kept his money in his shoes. We served him a street lunch every Friday for weeks. Unfortunately, Nick began to change. He got wilder and began using drugs. His hair grew into artful dreads, with a few ornaments inserted. On several occasions, we found him passed out or overdosed, and he went to jail many times as well.
But recently I found myself sitting in prayer time, and Nick was the only participant. I figured God had cleared our everyone else for a reason, so I kept asking questions. Soon, Nick was telling me his whole story. It started out typical for a large segment of my clients: he lived at home with his mom. After puberty, his mind began to betray him. He suffered from delusions and visions. As a 17 year old, he felt that the medications he took almost destroyed his personality, and so he stopped taking them. He learned that heroin somehow helped his mind become calmer. To mediate the heroin, he began to use cocaine. These things led to his leaving home, living with a girlfriend, various drug addictions, criminal offenses, and eventually going to prison.
In prison, Nick joined a brotherhood and learned Islam. As a young man, mostly without medication, and mostly without drugs, he survived seven years in prison. Upon his release, he lived in a halfway house in Dallas. Without help with his transition, Nick found that he couldn’t live by the rules and left one night. That’s when I met Nick in the streets of Austin.
During prayer time, Nick expressed a desire to get his life together. After hearing his whole story, I realized this would be a completely new life for him. And so, we made a plan. First step was to review his taking his medication again. Nick–typical of many of my clients as they reach brain maturity at 25–was willing to reconsider medication. He knew how to get them from MHMR. The next step was getting his disability benefits started. We agreed that, for now, Nick was in no shape to work because of his mental challenges and lack of soft skills. We hoped that eventually he will go back to work, but for now, God might provide for him through disability benefits. Nick wants a place to live, where he can do his art and music. And so again, we developed a plan. I left Nick to take the first steps, and I got his permission to follow-up regularly to see if he’s doing it.
After that, I asked Nick about his Muslim beliefs. It turns out that Nick believes in Jesus today. I explained the Gospel and asked if he understood it; he did. Then, we prayed that God would reveal himself more fully and that Nick would begin trying to live a new and grateful life as a Christian.
Since our conversation, I have seen Nick many times. He has obtained medication. He has applied for disability. He is exercising great restrain to stay away from damaging drugs and activities. And he is trying to walk closer with Jesus. According to Nick, it’s difficult. He told me the other day, “I need to take a vacation. This is hard.” And I understood him. Rebirth is not easy. Renewal is not usually immediate or occurs overnight. It requires patience, strength, endurance, and strong faith. I don’t know what the future holds for Nick, but I am so privileged to walk alongside him.
It’s a time for rebirth and renewal. I pray you see it in nature. I pray you see it in your faith, community, and even in your family. Furthermore, I pray you sense renewal in your personal life.
It’s a privilege for me to be your representative in this work! And, together on a daily basis, we can encourage people who are often ignored, invisible, and unwelcomed. Thank you for your support.

“To know, love and serve street dependent youth.”
Who We Serve   What We Do   Get Involved  Support Us   News  Publications  Ministry Needs   Speaking   Service Projects   Sign-up

Become a fan on Facebook!Mobile? No problem: m.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
I’m a notary for benefit of clients and supporters. Ph: (512) 553-3796
Volunteer or donate (tax deductible) online
Arrange a meeting with me: tungle.me/terrycole
Follow SYM: Facebook LinkedIn Blog RSS Twitter Plaxo Etsy Etsy Blogger Google Buzz Tungle.me YouTube Google Plus

via Blogger http://streetyouth.blogspot.com/2013/05/new-beginnings.html