God’s Perfect Love

love-fear-1-john-4-18-red-bible-lock-screens-christian-iphone-wallpaper-background-home-screen-158753_260x315So…here I am again.

Twenty-five days clean and sober, yet still neck-deep in paranoia, shame and remorse.

I’ve been avoiding writing about this, praying it will begin to fade as it has in the past. However, there seems to be no end in sight to the consequences of this past relapse and the drug-fueled plummet into the darkness of mind and spirit it entailed.

I am writing about it, in case God answers my prayers and begins to filter out the insanity from my obviously damaged brain. I don’t ever want to forget these past weeks…though every fiber of my being would prefer doing just that.

I need to remember it all: the sense of being followed by vehicles everywhere I go, the blackened feeling of my soul when I first emerged from the deep pit of meth use, the pain i’ve caused my husband and those around me. I need to remember how, once again, I felt that God could never love me…this sick, fucked up human being who chose to convert my output of positive energy into an intake fan that pulled in only the choking fumes of the negative.

I need to remember this so it doesn’t happen again, should God see fit to make the fear go away.

A few days ago, I was in suicidal despair, and pocketed a handful of my psych meds and sleeping pills and prepared to walk to West Hollywood Park and end it all, just make the fear and the shame and the despair go away once and for all.

And that is when God intervened, by way of a phone call from my friend Le Maire.

Lovely Le Maire, along with my equally lovely friends Maria and Phillip, have been telling me for over a year now that God loves me no matter what I’ve done, that he loves me even though I turned my back on him for over thirty years, refusing to acknowledge gifts and blessings that were so obviously given to me: Love. Shelter. Food. Friends.

My friend picked me up and drove me to Plummer Park…also in West Hollywood…and in a quiet-ish corner of the park she reassured me…once again…that everything would be okay, that God does love me. We read from the Bible, and it was the first comfort I’d felt in weeks.  We then attended a prayer seminar at a church in the Korea Town section of our city,  where I once again cried like a baby…not from shame, but from the sensation of much of the shame I’ve been carrying being flushed from my body.  It was a surreal experience, to say the least, for someone who was so anti-church, anti-religion, and for a long, long time, also anti-God.

Yet, it helped.

It didn’t fix the paranoia, it didn’t completely wash away the shame and guilt. But it helped because for the first time in ages I felt like God was listening to me. I felt a connection, and it was beautiful.

As much as I’m still suffering, I’ve come to appreciate that without this suffering I might never have found firm footing in my relationship with Him again. Yes, I am prone to doubt His existence….thirty-something years of the self-programming of an ex-Catholic turned semi-atheist do not make for a wrinkle-free transition to Believer…but something has changed. I can feel God with me, and the solace is comforting. That connection waxes and wanes, but when I feel that I’m losing touch with Him, I pray, and I feel renewed. The shame and self-hatred rise up in giant waves still with alarming regularity, but I can pray and push them back before they inundate me completely.

12354_10201789142865376_999522833_nI still loathe myself frequently and deeply, but I no longer feel God is disgusted by me. I know now that I’m his Child, not just the sick, sad person I feel like when I’m out of touch with Him.  He loves me as much now as he did when I was a young boy, before I was introduced to darkness via hardcore porn and ill-intentioned hands.

I’m still battling fear and paranoia, but I’m not doing it alone.

I have my family, who never give up on me.

I have my friends in recovery supporting me, checking in on me, letting me know that I am loved.

I have my amazing husband, who despite my checkered history of incomprehensible and demoralizing relapsing, still loves me fiercely.

I have my friends Le Maire, Phillip and Maria, who continue to help me strengthen my connection to God.

And, most of all, I have God himself, who may not be working as quickly as I’d like Him to, but has kept me safe from harm thus far.

Even in my diminished state, my God wants me to help others, and I’m doing so wherever I can with my limited resources.  I’m also reaching out for help…asking for rides to meetings, prayer requests…which for me is among the most difficult things to do.

I have little idea of who the 1,500 people are who read this blog, but if any one of you is considering using crystal meth…or using it again if you have already…hear my plea: do not do it. Not even once. The repercussions, the damage, the despair and the soul-sickness it causes can never be justified, not even once.  Once is all it takes to get hooked on that insidious bitch of a chemical.

You trust me on this, just as I’m trusting God with my continued recovery.

(God’s) Perfect love casts out fear.

Please keep me in your prayers.

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About andy nicastro

I'm a producer, writer, graphic designer, former overachiever, current procrastinator and occasional catastrophic fuckupper living in Los Angeles.

Posted on September 23, 2013, in addiction, alcoholism, Crystal Meth, drugs, God, mental health, psychosis, recovery, spirituality, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. I’m reading and I’m praying and I’m hoping!

  2. I’m so glad I found your blog. I can certainly hear the mental pain you are in however I must tell you that you have a wonderful gift for writing. I too am a recoverying addict and can relate very much from what I’ve read so far. I look forward to reading more of your articles. Remember “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” Nice meeting you and many blessings to you! ~~Michele

    • Thank you, Michele….I feel a strong connection with Him again, and even more so when I read comments of encouragement like yours. This one, like so many of the others, seem to arrive at just the time I need to read them the most. Nice meeting you too, and Blessings in return — Andy

  3. Andy, I love your blog. I relate so much to everything you share, including the feelings of being unloveable to any sort of God underneath so much self loathing. Funny how I dig a little deeper each time I have fallen off the beam. I understand a little more. A new pair of glasses, every time. The falls have gotten fewer and further between. I wish the same for you and hope you know you are helping others on this journey we share.

  4. At Your Darkest, You Were Loved

  5. Andy, I read your blog all the time, but I never really comment. Today, however, I feel led. You are redeemed my love. You are a beautiful and wonderful child of God and He hears your prayers. He has brought you back from hell time and again, more than likely, because He has Big plans for you. We can see you have a strong desire to live becuase you continue to fight deep inside. You battle yourself, your demons and your addiction, but your God much bigger than those things that want to bring you down. I will pray for you. Becuase despite everything that you have faced, you continue to overcome. And that is inspiring, it is courageous and it is grace like rain. May you be blessed, may you be freed from your addiction and may you be filled with all the love and joy that only He can give. I leave you with this, Psalm 35:23 “Contend for me, my God and Lord.” (NIV) Love and Prayers!

  6. Hannah mcpherson

    Andy you haven’t left my heart since I first heard your story in January. Someone dear to me is still struggling and fighting with recovery & it’s given you a place in my thoughts and prayers as well. ❤ bask in His love. Sleep sweetly friend.

  7. Andy, I read your blog all the time, but I never really comment. Today, however, I feel led. You are redeemed my love. You are a beautiful and wonderful child of God and He hears your prayers. He has brought you back from hell time and again, more than likely, because He has Big plans for you. And you have a strong desire to live becuase you have a strong will to fight deep inside. You battle yourself and your demons and your addiction, but your God and your will are so much bigger than those things that want to bing you down. I will pray for you. Becuase despite everything that you have faced, you continue to overcome. And that is inspiring, it is courageous and it is full of grace. May you be blessed, may you be freed from your addiction and may you be filled with all the love and joy that only He can give.

  8. Darling Andy….you are more than a worthwhile human being and someone who so many love and are concerned about. Stay with God…he’s there, he loves you no matter what! You gotta know it’s the crazy drugs talking..not God..not even you…It’s like a possession…God will be your exorcist! Out damn shitty thinking…out I say. Love you Andy…always here if ya need a Deb chat…xoxoxox Love you so much.

  9. I am so glad that God intercepted your plan with a call from your friend Le Maire. i have no idea what lays ahead for any of us but by sharing your stories you are doing so much good for others. Please stay strong and know that we are all praying with and for you. Peace.

  10. its times like these that make us grow stronger. Not everyone gets straight and narrow path. Take in the pain but eject coclusion Understand it all You are a wonderful soul and god loves you I love you so hang in there and call if you ever need to relate to someone with similar experience LOVE YOU
    SASA KNEZEVIC

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