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TO HELL AND BACK.....

LIFE AND BEYOND.

While an entire nation commemorates its independence from colonial rule,a small section of people celebrates liberation of a very different kind,their freedom from the dangerous obsession of drugs.
Four birthdays.Celebrations.No,it had nothing to do with the age of any member.For the 30-odd members who had gathered in the dimly-lit room one balmy evening,it was a celebration of a very different kind.The birthday signified the date on which each one had gained freedom from drug addiction.And now,they were celebrating their independence by sharing their experiences with fellow addicts...
I met Shabana.She said and i quote,'I had a painful childhood.Grew up hating everything about my life.Religion,society,parents,i wanted freedom from all as i felt they had all contributed to making my childhood a miserable affair.I turned to drugs,it provided me instant relief.But eventually drugs became a huge dependence.All i cared for were my doses and anyone who tried to stop me became a hindrance i wanted to get rid of.My relationships ended,friends didn't want me,my parents felt i was the biggest blot on their reputation,my seven year old relationship fell apart,i lost my job.I was penniless and in the worst possible health.Then i wondered,if i died,no one would even know about it,my body would rot and nobody would care.That was the moment i decided to quit.it was not easy,a lonely,long fight..Today,i am happy,to be alive,breathing,living life.The blue skies and the green grass makes me happy.I have new friends and my old pals are back.."
As the evening progressed i get to know many more stirring accounts of ex-addicts who have been to ''HELL AND BACK''. Guess all one needs is the 'resolve to quit'.
I conclude with a quote by Buddha, "It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell

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Your article is very well written and true. I used to run 4 substance abuse clinics and I have 4 grown children 3 who were addicted to alcohol and some drugs. Seeing people in severe dependence states with little to motivate them to change is very painful.To see the struggle to rise above it and not let it control you is amazing and not always successful. Here in America we have AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics ANONYMOUS) A free, daily,nightly meeting all over the country where people could go for support anonymously and to help. It is based on the 12 Steps to sobriety that one should follow. Each year a person gets a coin commemorating another year of sobriety. They are not scorned if they relapse.

It is a very very serious disease that those of us without it do not understand. Luckily my 3 children no longer have a problem but they continue to go to groups to help others. You are right it is pain based and it is important to get at the source of the pain. As someone once said "The only way out of it is through it". Thanks for bringing this awareness to us. It is a very seductive drug also meaning you can be doing fine for years and then out of no where relapse which is why the meetings are important, a healthy lifestyle and why they coined the word, "One Step A tIME".

There is an old but good true story movie called "Machine Gun Preacher". It is about a bad heroin addict who did bad things and then goes through a spiritual transformation and does magnificent work in war-torn Africa after he sees the attocities. Perhaps some people would like to see this. I am bringing it to Zambia so my street orphans and vulnerable children can see it.

Keep up the good work and please keep us aware of the need so we can help.

Ubuntu,

Wendy Stebbins

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

arunima dutta's picture

ONE GOAL....

Thank you for all the encouragement showered.
We have NA operating in our country as well,praiseworthy work done by the group that fights addiction through sharing and caring.
With a simple motto stating ''WE NEED YOU.KEEP COMING'' the body is welcoming members helping them come out of the walking hell.All one needs is a firm resolve to quit,stick to the resolution,attend regular meetings,be in touch with members and share their struggle openly with group members.The bonding is almost instantaneous as everyone,from volunteer to the mentor who has been through a similar experience at some point of time...
My love to your children,i am sure they are and have already grown up into stronger,better individuals..encourage them to be the torchbearers showing light to thousands trapped in this dreadful hole of gloom and darkness..
God has been kind to you.....spread the message....
''Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful''
BUDDHA

Regards,
Arunima Dutta

Wendyiscalm's picture

Arunima, Just curious. Do you

Arunima,

Just curious. Do you also have AA in your country and any other Anonymouse groups like for sex, etc. like we do in the USA?

Thanks,

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together)

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

Wendyiscalm's picture

AMAZING LADY

Arunima,

I am so heart warmed by you. I have copied the Buddha "Let us all rise up" quote and will keep it handy for myself and others. Thank you. I was feeling very depressed about something today and now your Buddha quote has come.

As a thank you, I want to send you one of my favorite quotes. It is attributed to Nelson Mandela from his 1994 Presidential Inaugural speech in South Africa. But actually it was written by a woman author, Mariam Williamson. My street orphans say it daily.You may have heard it already. When I had my substance abuse counseling business I used to give it to many of my young clients.

"Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually who are you not to be?

You are a child of the Universe (or God or Allah). Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of our soul that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Namaste, my friend,

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

arunima dutta's picture

A PRAYER FOR LIFE...

Dear Wendy,
As i woke up this morning and checked the comment penned by you i felt a shiver down the spine progressing throughout my body..your quote brought tears to my eyes and i was momentarily robbed off speech..for the rest of my life the quote will be my prayer,my guardian spirit,my strength,my slogan....
Wendy,cant thank you enough....you truly are ''.ONE IN A MILLION''.

God bless!!
Stay connected....
Arunima Dutta

Wendyiscalm's picture

Thank youi

Oh, Arunima,

I am so moved that I have moved you and so happy that i have in some small way contributed to your well being.

You are a miracle. Always remember that.

With love and ubuntu,

Wendy

P.S. The qutoe is from a book by Mariam Williamson in "Return To Love". I believe she has a free website and writes some pieces that you could check out if you every chose to

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

you know that this is what we really lacking sometimes. Some just try to stick and stay in hell without thinking of moving out of it. You are so courageous and wonderful really and let me send you millions of flowers just because you shared this with us. sometimes it is worth sharing this kind of personal experiences so that the others can learn from the lessons that you learned. i suggest that it is so good if you can be a part of the process ( if there is any organizations or movements as such in your country) to rehabilitate such individuals using your own experiences they will trust you for sure because you are talking through your experiences.

all the best in future and take care .....................

arunima dutta's picture

hi..

dear sandika,
thanks for your kind words,would like to clarify though that i am fortunate enough not to have treaded the hellish path of addiction,i happened to meet few people who became victims of drugs and were brave enough to have chosen the path of recovery..they have come out of it and are trying their best to help addicts citing their own struggle and victory..

Regards,
Arunima Dutta

Sandika's picture

Thank you very much my friend

Thank you very much my friend for the clarification Yeahhhh some paths are like that some are hellish other paths are too boyish, girlish or childish i am learning these days about other paths it is ones choice totally to choose the path he/she prefers but in a very intelligent way i know. this is my very, very personal view about paths. if we get the chance to walk in the healthiest path we can naturally be able to walk in all other paths in a fearless way and a very clear way.

i have my own preferred path to walk and relax i guess worldpulse path is a good path that helps meet different people from different paths of the world that holds different ideas, criteria s, experiences.

thank you my friend for replying again like to wish you luck! in life

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