I was asked this week how I got so involved in the world of recovery since I was never alcoholic or a drug abuser. I started using the 12 Steps when I was first diagnosed as having PTSD some twenty years ago. In most of that time I had little understanding of how these steps worked or how to work them These last few years I have learned so much more and am grateful to all my transparent teachers and guides.
One of the most helpful things about these steps is the prominent place self examination has in it. Early on I was introduced to the concept of a “fearless moral inventory”. The way I ‘learned’ and applied this was; I looked at my past, and present and itemised my character flaws and personal failings, I looked at those I had harmed. This came pretty naturally to me, for I am an introspective person. Like most things we learn and apply, though, I had more to learn and I did just in the past few weeks!
I sometimes find myself free on a Tuesday night and go to the Celebrate Recovery Program in our area. A little over a week ago they were focused on the concept of this inventory. The speaker shared about the need for a balanced inventory. This may well have been said in my presence before, but I heard it that night. The penny dropped! (I decided to use this phrase while there is still a collective memory of pennies) My fearless moral inventory had, rightly, been on my defects but God’s promise is not limited to victory over these but of a new and abundant life. My new inventory will include: the gifts God has given me, the things for which I am thankful, and my reasons for hope.
After worship and a teaching or testimony, people break off into supportive groups. Usually I go to the A – Z group which is a catchall kind of group. But last week I noticed there was a group for PTSD folks, and I decided to venture into that group. It had been much easier to fade into the background with the bigger group but in this gathering of 5 of us there was no fading. The sharing was raw and intense. It was a wonderful experience to be with men who understood the issues of PTSD. I have had much healing in this area but in many social situations I can still battle a rush of adrenaline with the accompanying ‘fight or flight’ reflex. Most people do not understand this battle, but these guys got it! I don’t know what practical difference that makes but I feel a bit lighter as a result.
We are looking to establish a firm date at which Threshold House will become the permanent home for Street Hope (we plan to continue our Drop In at Stone Church). Upon that date our ministry will be assuming our share of related costs of the building and full unfettered access to its precincts. It is my hope to then have a Grand Opening this year of our Street Hope home with another event the following year as we launch our Threshold House project. All this requires continuing prayer and financial support.