I’m writing this blog about thirty minutes removed from attending the memorial service of a cousin of ours. He went to school with my daughter.
He leaves behind a twelve-year-old daughter and many family members and countless numbers of friends.
He died of an opioid overdose.
Over the past five years, my hometown of Covington, Ohio has lost at least eight people from opioid overdoses.
The epidemic keeps on going and good people keep on dying.
I write today’s blog in memory of my cousin Tyler with the hopes of turning one addict’s life in the right direction.
My latest book, “Victory Over Opiates,” speaks directly to opiate/opioid addicts as well as friends and family members affected by the disease. It’s my journey and it gets up close and personal. It’s an attempt at trying to make a positive impact on this horrible epidemic.
“Victory Over Opiates,” is available on Amazon.
The following is an excerpt from the dedication section in “Victory Over Opiates.”
Years ago, I shared a eulogy for a young man who attended our recovery service at my church. When I met with his mom before the funeral service, she told me she found a book I had written, “In Search of P.E.A.C.E.,” in her son’s backpack after he passed. She shared with me that she found comfort in the fact that he had made notes in the book, which indicated to her that he was trying to overcome his addiction disorder.
The following is a part of my eulogy to this young man. Out of respect for the family, I changed his name.
As I prayed, thought, and reflected upon what I would talk about today, the thought occurred to me that I should talk about a couple of things Jeremy and I had in common.
First, we both battled opiate addiction.
But, for the grace of God, I’ve been spared another day, and as an addict, I’ve learned to live my life in daily increments and know that I’m only one drink or drug away from destruction and death.
Addiction is a bitch. Actually-it is more than a bitch; it’s living in hell on earth.
No addict ever woke up one day and said, “I want to be an addict.” I didn’t, and Jeremy didn’t.
You see, most of us start an addictive behavior to escape something, but none of us realize that through this “escape,” we are slowly building our prison cell one fix at a time. It amazes me to think that something that started by making us feel so good could suck us in, turn on us, and in the end, try its best to destroy our life and the lives of those around us.
As addicts, most of us have several chances to quit before we cross the line into addiction, but once we cross the line, we are no longer able to stop on our own accord. Stopping and staying stopped requires a total transformation of our “being,” and even when our “being” is being transformed, there is a voice we must fight which tells us, “You aren’t that bad, you can control this thing; one hit or drink won’t hurt a thing.” And if those thoughts don’t suck us back in, shame and guilt pull on us even harder.
These are all ploys of the devil.
Some people want to debate whether addiction is a disease. No matter what you call it, it is the only condition I know that destroys a person mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually. It is also the only condition I know where the cure is a spiritual one, and the cure isn’t forever; it merely gives the addict a daily reprieve.
I have no idea why I lived to see this moment and Jeremy didn’t. Only God knows.
In addition to our battle with opiate addiction, Jeremy and I also held a common belief in Jesus Christ. We both believed He is the way, the truth, and the life.
I got very emotional when told Jeremy was reading my book, “In Search of P.E.A.C.E.,” just before his passing. It was one of three books in his backpack, and they were all devoted to recovery.
Jeremy would not have been reading my book if he wasn’t searching for an answer to his problem by forming a deeper relationship with Jesus.
But this shows the battle he was facing. He was trying. Lord knows, he was trying.
Tyler–I know you were trying. The good news is you were baptized three years ago and I am certain you are at peace and in a much better place.
I’ll see you soon.
1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”