Recovery is for everyone

I have been writing a lot about my experiences growing up with a mentally ill mother in a hoarded home. I am grateful because I know that I have many regular readers who are COHs and thus could be turned off by the onslaught of my experiences. My intent when I started the blog back in December was to remain brutally honest with myself and others as I journeyed the path to healing. Although because of my personal experiences most of my posts have centered around the hoarding and untreated mental illness, I believed then and now that if I were honest about the process here, I would be able to reach others who needed healing even if it were from some completely unrelated issues.

I am Christian, and it is my hope and prayer that even when I don't quote Bible verses here there is still something about the process and what I share that speaks of grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, and above all else: HOPE. Without hope, the other things may never come. I have always loved the quote, attributed to St. Francis of Assisi:

"Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words."

That is my heart's desire. And I hope that my words encourage others to go through the process of healing and recovery.

From the viewpoint of a Christian, I believe that everyone could benefit from a recovery program. Each of us, by simple fact of having been born into and living in a sinful, fallen world have been hurt, beaten down, had our value defaced, and our dreams smashed in some way. Perhaps it is not as "out there" as my experience, but I challenge each person to look inside themselves and ask: Didn't it hurt when my dad worked all those hours and missed dinner with the family? Didn't it hurt when so-and-so made fun of me because I did X-Y-Z?

Deep within each of us there is a hurt that someone else caused. We pushed those things aside or pressed them down to a place so deep in our heart that we almost forgot that they happened, and yet we know that there is an ache within us that we can't really explain. Some part of us longs to be the hero, fighting for a noble cause, or to be captivating, holding the attention of our beloved. And yet we do horrible things to ourselves and others. Each of us is hurt and acting out in our way to define ourselves exclusive of our pain. I do it all the time.

But I know that there is hope, and I know that I can change. It is my deepest desire to change myself with God's help and then to testify to that change so that others may find the healing that I've been blessed with. Children with a hoarding-affected parent need a recovery program as much as children with an alcoholic parent. We are different and yet similar.

This is my dream...to have a fellowship for these adult children like me, a place to share common experiences and information, to heal with God's help and to know we are not alone.

This is my hope...to see love, grace, and forgiveness touch each life within and then expressed outwardly.

Father, I know that I have nothing to offer others without you. I want so badly to see healing, to touch it and know it. And I know that I am not alone. Remove the part of me that would seek this for selfish reasons, and grow a heart within me that beats to bless others. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

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