Updated date:

Eric's Sunday Sermon; Recovery

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

Water Falls of Life

Walk in nature.

Walk in nature.

Recovery From What?

So many folks will jump right into recovery from an illness and more likely they mean recovery from addictions and surgery. “He is on the road to recovery”. He is in recovery but we are not out of the woods yet. In military terms recovery is to bring home isolated personnel and we all know that can be captives or our falling soldiers. I know a guy that is in recovery from recovery. PTSD. He saw a fellow die during a recovery action for my guy.

I once had an illness that the treatment for it was so bad that I have to recover from the recovery. Some diseases just go into remission. But recovered means it is all gone. Some folks just equate fully recovered as a “survivor”. But it seems worthy to speak of mental trauma as the hardest thing to recover from.

I wonder about that “Blowing in the Wind” song; How many seas must a white dove sail before it can rest in the sand. May age and body have flown those seas, yet my mind is nowhere close to resting in the sand. Seemingly beaten and battered by the winds of change, ready to just take it easy and recover. But the mind insists we keep going upward or downward. Perhaps we are all in recovery.

Guilt is a tough one to recover from. I am not recovered from it, but I am in a state of recovery. Maybe that is good enough. I know a fine gent who is an addict, he is in recovery for 30 years without a drug. We do not celebrate that he recovered. We celebrate that he knows he has not.

Could we say that a mom who lost her son to war has recovered from the loss? No we cannot. There is a wonderful term “Forgive and not Forget”. I think we are in recovery if we forgive. But we would be in serious trouble if we forget. Does the same hold true for the addict?

There is a concept that goes a little like this; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. They are referred to as stages of grief. (they can be out of order) Seems we could call them stages of recovery from grief. I know some folks who years latter are stuck in the anger part over a divorce. But I think that is a condition that we can fully recover from by embracing the cure for anger. Which in the end is acceptance.

How Many?

Better Days

Looking forward, not back.

Looking forward, not back.

Rock Bottom

Depths of hell. I have been there. There really is hell on earth. Hopelessness and loneliness seem to reside there. Unquenchable “fire” is “anger”. Despair is a companion as are thoughts of not wanting to live. Void of love of God and others. Physical pain is not always present. But oddly enough loss of worldy goods is normal. Some kind of huge loss including one’s mind and soul. For some reason even a sunny day becomes dark. Depression is too light of a word.

If the above is beyond sad to think about we can excuse that for it can consume. How does one recover from such depths of hell? Well probably they do not. One of two things happen. Suicide or somehow and in some way a path to recovery appears for no good reason lest you believe God has reasons. I am quite sure God has reasons. I just never have a clue what they are.

I think we can call the choice to take that road and call it “the road to recovery”. But we do not say “the road to recovered.” There was an old joke at parties. People basically do not like lawyers. So I was introduced as a recovering lawyer. Folks would laugh and not run away. After my 3 elder children grew up and on with their lives. I was a recovering dad. Empty nest syndrome is a bummer so I had to use the grieving tools. That worked. That one I fully recovered from.

But there is a special place in recovery. Almost like all the “suffering” was worth it. It sounds very bizarre. Somehow we get to look in the mirror and know it is us staring back. And that reflection gets better day after day. After a bit you see someone you like. And really cool is that others see that new you. You could have coasted along just being “OK”. Little things bothering you, foul moods you did not even recognize as such are gone.

A farmer has a term rock bottom – a noun. It is when the topsoil is clear all the way down to the rock’s surface. The end of the hole in the ground. But it is now used to mean when psychologically you just cannot fall any lower. You lost everything. That is where one can find solid footing from which he can dig his way out of.

Trees

Trees do not recover their leaves, they grow new ones.

Trees do not recover their leaves, they grow new ones.

We All Got To Be Loved

Help Someone

The problem with that man in the hole is that if you reach down to try and pull him up, he is just as likely to pull you down instead. He simply must start for and by himself. There were two man in different such holes. The one kept trying to dig easy steps so he could just walk right on out. The other just started digging and digging at the edges and then pack the dirt beneath his feet. He just kept digging the dirt around him and trampling it. He filled the hole up. He was so happy getting out. The man who just kept trying to make an easy way out did not.

There are no quick fixes in recovery. Just hard work and solid footing.

It would be my great joy to tell you that a ton of love and abundance of prayer is all it takes. Like all things of love and prayer, it also takes action. And generally speaking the first step is back to that mirror and deciding that warts and all you love yourself. The work to be done is like filling the hole.

Covid and anger.

One of the important things about recovery is habit. My favorite is an attitude about having gratitude for gratitude. In an act of magic we can change our attitude. Instead of poor me I am sick, we can say “now I would not be sick if I were dead”. And we can be grateful for this change of attitude. Then we can be so grateful that we are now grateful. Need I go on? Bummer, I have got to go do the dishes. Hey I have a kitchen!!

I am quite certain that the man in the hole was grateful for the shovel. And I would just bet that there were those above that not only cheered him on but maybe even helped him fill his hole. Of course they could have just lowered a ladder but then he could have fallen from the ladder and broken bones. The reality is that he had to decide to recover from that hole on his own.

And here is my favorite part. Once out of the hole he will be loved for his bravery and hard work. There will be many hands there to keep him from falling back in. He just needs to take those hands. Love will hold him up. No one can recover and heal wounds as an island. We just are not made that way. But no man can start until he himself wants to. “Suffering” a loss is a choice. Choosing to accept the love of others is also a choice that leads to recovery. Please choose love and recovery.

Comments

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 06, 2020:

Thanks much Lorna. People sure do look at me funny for being thankful for things like past mistakes. I was reading Corinthians and there is a cool verse in there that would indicate the blessing of going through tribulations so you can help others.

Psychologically I think it is irrefutable. Some things you just cannot get through self-help books. Probably something to do with empathy.

Lorna I do not copyright these sermons. And it is my hope that they are shared.

Lorna Lamon on November 05, 2020:

I missed this wonderful sermon Eric - work at the moment is all consuming. However, there is a real honesty within your lines and this is what mental health needs. Having an unashamed conversation brings sunlight into a world that can be very dark.

The most wonderful and inspirational people I know are those who have known suffering, and have found their way out of the depths. They are blessed with compassion, sensitivity and a deep loving concern for others. People like you Eric just don't happen.

Bless you for sharing this article and if you don't mind I will share it with my inspirational friends.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 31, 2020:

Millicent thanks. One of the cool things about recovery is learning the tools. Then we can apply them not just for ourselves but for others as well. I wish you many speedy recoveries.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 31, 2020:

Dora it is good of you to come by and leave a note. I think we need to honor our freely given "Free Will" by letting God in to fill us with love. In recovery this is especially true.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 31, 2020:

Linda thank you. Sorry for such a delay getting back to you. It is good to have close family. And time is the best contribution I have. There sure is a lot of me in this one. Maybe too much?

Millicent Okello from Nairobi, Kenya on October 31, 2020:

Hi Eric. Recovery is a great step in life that one has to accept and move on in, or walk in. What bothers most is that do we ever recover from recovery? The pain of loss and forgiveness is a one step at a time journey. Thank you for this article. Very educative. God bless.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 28, 2020:

"There are no quick fixes in recovery. Just hard work and solid footing ... Choosing to accept the love of others is also a choice that leads to recovery." There are some touching moments in this piece. Thanks for the empowering message.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on October 27, 2020:

Eric, I love this one because it speaks so much pain and reality and truth. And I love this one because it is YOU. I really can't find the words. Beautifully composed and full of love.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 27, 2020:

Devika, how true that life is what we choose to make of it. I think much of mine has just been accidents along the way ;-)

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 27, 2020:

Hi Eric your journey has brought you down and put you up and has taken you to all places in your mind. It goes to show how you have passed the years and now sharing your life here. A brilliant take to what I would say, '' life is what you make of it.''

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 26, 2020:

Mary it is such a helpless feeling to watch someone decide to stay in the hole they have found themselves in. I reckon we can just always let them know we are there for them.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 26, 2020:

Thanks Manatita in writing this I paused and thought if I knew anyone without some sort of addiction. I am sorry but in this time in my land many have become addicted to anger. They seem to look to the outside for peace inside, and of course they find the opposite.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 26, 2020:

Some people have reasons to stay in the hole so it is hard for them to take the hands offered. Unless they do, no one can really help them. Great article.

manatita44 from london on October 26, 2020:

What a brilliant piece of writing! Sometimes you write in pain and sometimes you are vibrant, energetic ... like a flowing river. I love this article which, by the way, is so full of 'wordplay.' I also loved this line: 'despair is a companion' in fact the entire paragraph to boot.

Now I think I know this fine gent of an addict. I'm sure he'll be fine. Stay well and blessed. - Lantern

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 26, 2020:

Chrish, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. Love is almost always the best medicine -- along with others of course.

Your good intentions mean so much to so many.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on October 26, 2020:

After the sufferings, the human hell

(I'm still young so maybe what do I know about real life sufferings) those mentions above about sufferings pains and broken hearts is a life challenge I always pray to endure. At the end

LOVE will always WIN!

_i wish you happiness for the rest of your life:-) so as my mum you guys are in the same spoon I feel sad about it but to all those who have been through acute illness I wish them happiness and so much love.God bless and enjoy the rest of the day;-)

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 26, 2020:

Flourish I have a disease I will never recover from. But the docs say not to worry I will die with it not from it. Strange thing, but after a bit I can just accept it and sometimes it makes we more positive about life.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 26, 2020:

Linda I have a dear friend in the last (hospice) stages of Alzheimer's some times love is the best we have to offer.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 26, 2020:

Thank you MG. It was a good journey for me.

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 26, 2020:

Bill it is great to hear from you. I am glad it is the computer with a glitch and not you. I pulled up that song and ended up listening to the whole album. Great memories.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 26, 2020:

This is an interesting take on recovery. I recently read a book that unsettled me that stated that there are some things that one never recovers from and we need to meet others where they are, living forever in their changed in-okayness. Part of me understands that but it is troubling too. I think I like your message better.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 25, 2020:

This is another thought-provoking article. Thank you for creating it, Eric. I love the message at the end.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on October 25, 2020:

Eric, nice sentimental journey. Nice reading it.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 25, 2020:

Well, Eric. My computer crashed two months ago, and I´m still using borrowed equipment, but I couldn´t wait any longer. I had to get back and see what my Buddy has been up to. And I see much. There´s too much here for my brain to comprehend right now, but I did listen to The Captain and Me. That was one of my favorite 70s albums. Good choice!

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 25, 2020:

Louise thank you. Perhaps the two worst ever words are "poor me".

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 25, 2020:

Pamela I am sure glad you choose to recover. My world is better with you in it.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on October 25, 2020:

Thanks Eric for another lovely Sunday Sermon. I think it's always important to be grateful for what you have got and not feel sorry for yourself.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 25, 2020:

Love and recovery.are good. Misery is optional and I would chose to recover. Love always feels right and good.

I really like your sermon today, Eric. Have a great week!

Eric Dierker (author) from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 25, 2020:

Bill, I hated it down there. I have a real impotence not to go back. I figure every day I have gratitude is a good day. No gratitude and here comes the bad day.

Celebrate this day friend!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 25, 2020:

I was taught a long time ago to have an attitude of gratitude, and Lord Almighty that was good advice. I had to stop with the self-pity and realize that everything I need for happiness has already been given to me, no matter my circumstances.

Hell on Earth? You betcha, and I ain't returning to it.

Loved it, dude! Carry on!