Shae Jackson, My dad was an alcoholic as well. He passed away in 2004.

From early childhood, I remember him bringing home the insidious brown paper bag. Inside was the bottle filled with broken promises, lies, deceit, hidden anger, self-loathing, bitterness, and wrath.

He broke the seal and drank straight from the bottle until Hyde manifested.

A similar story is told by numerous households worldwide. The story varies a little in detail, but the theme and the end are all the same — generally a tragedy.

I buried myself in Fundamentalist Christianity for about twenty-five years. About ten years ago, I resurfaced from a God Addiction. I am not blanketly saying that people who turn to God or religion are addicts. But if one has an addictive proclivity, they can end up down that path.

I discovered that anything could turn into an unhealthy addiction. Some are more detrimental than others.

Children of addicts often reject alcohol or drugs but carry the addictive traits into other areas of their lives.

Seeing the damage that alcoholism did to my father and family, food and Fundamentalist religion were my addictions. My addictions were on the verge of killing me. I had developed type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol: my unmanged stress and chronic depression fed into the downward spiral.

My view of God only complicated my life. My religion taught me that I was unworthy of God’s love, I could never please him, and worthy of his just punishment.

No matter how hard I tried, every church service, bible lesson was a reminder that I was an undeserving sinner.

What was supposed to be liberating and redemptive had become a set of chains forged and placed on my anguished soul.

Several months before my 50th birthday, I had a heart catheterization. I was fortunate no major blockages, stints, or open heart surgery — just a wake-up call.

What helped me to begin healing? Writing, walking, Yoga, meditation and mindfulness.

These practices have given me tools for healing and helped me overcome my periods of depression. Do I ever feel depressed? Indeed, but the meditation and mindfulness practices have helped me to get out of the thought processes that feed into depression.

After over fifty years, I finally feel a sense of well being. I am physically healthier at 58 than I was at 45.

My best wishes to you for our your healing and may you find peace and joy along this journey.

Writer, philosopher, humorist, observer of life, an all-around lovable guy.

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