Faith Fitness and Freedom
Submitted by: Amy Cooper
FAITH in God…working daily to be spiritually and physically FIT… and by God’s Grace, I’m FREE from addiction
The definition of faith is “strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.” My life over the past seven years has revolved around faith. Some days are, of course, stronger than others. I am reminded daily how my trust that God will always reveal the outcomes that are most beneficial to me.
I recently had a conversation with someone who relapses regularly on drugs (mostly meth). That person told me that I personally didn’t understand those experiences and my opinion and that my advice on how to change things to stay clean for any length of time were invalid. I gave that person space and respected the request for me to be silent and not share.
Well, about a week ago, the gift (the true raw gift of desperation) hit that person and I received the message of, “I am ready, will you help?” I shared some advice about detox, treatment, and a plan of action. I also shared the truth that getting sober off of the drug, drink or habitual addiction is ONLY the beginning! It is a step-by-step (some prefer the 12 steps, which I highly recommend) life-altering change that we process 24 hours at a time based on our spiritual maintenance.
Which brings us back to: FAITH. Full circle.
Faith is real! It is a spiritual (not religious) experience in which everyone who wants it, CAN HAVE IT! Faith is every day: 24/7/365.
Page 76 in The Big Book of AA reads, “Now we need more action, without which we find that faith without works is dead.”
Luke 17:6 reads, “He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”
Something so simple may seem so overwhelming at times.
You become spiritually fit when you are able to be peaceful in any situation or circumstance. You are able to care for yourself and others simultaneously. You are able to refresh and be hopeful in many ways.
After getting sober, I decided (well, God decided and I am smart enough now to listen) that helping others who want to help themselves was the life-long mission that would direct my life. I created a group called Faith at the Beach as a path to share what I did and why I did it. Now it has evolved to share not only my experience, strength and hope, but allow others, as well.
Maybe, just maybe we as a team can help even just one overcome the disease of addiction. I can be honest when I tell you I am not always peaceful in every situation. Especially when it comes to those who I love on this earth. I am going through a situation right now which will help me to help others that are presented with the same or similar issue. So, I will be able to share first-hand with them, not only textbook, but true experience. Life is not easy even sober, but at the end of the day, your worst day sober will always trump your best day high!
To be physically fit is to be in a state of physical health and well-being. When I was growing up, I really never thought about my weight. I cheered from second to twelfth grade, and looking back at pictures, I guess compared to today’s standards, I was a bit chunky. Today is so different. Kids obsess about their weight… heck, adults do, too!
When I first started using cocaine, I did lose weight. I always compared myself to others around me who were the size zero or two. After years of use, my body changed. I used the alcohol to even my high out. Alcohol is calories galore. Also, after two days of barely eating, I would binge eat, and it wouldn’t be healthy– it would be sugar, sugar, and sugar.
After a few years of that abuse, my body didn’t respond to much. After my first year of sobriety, I ballooned up. I gained weight because I replaced the drugs with food. I became an emotional eater. I traded one addiction for another. Drugs for food– not good!
When I refer to “freedom”, I like to describe it as the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. I refer to FREEDOM from addiction. The disease of addiction enslaves our mind, body, soul, and our being! It attacks every molecule from our head to our toes. Our beautiful minds are under attack with this disease. It is in my opinion that addiction and mental illness are diseases of the brain.
As addicts, we fight for our freedom 24 hours at a time. Our spiritual fitness maintenance is important for us to maintain freedom from the disease of addiction. I am grateful to live in a country that allows services to help those in need. I have been in a place where I had no faith, was not spiritual nor physically fit and was imprisoned by my addiction and the feds and I was not free. I lived the life on the edge for years and hurt my girls, my family, and my friends. I have been in the pits of an earthly hell that I created from stupid and pathetic self-serving choices. I can relate to most everything. I am sharing with you only because I am living proof that FAITH, FIT and FREE exists.