Archive for addiction

Food For Thought… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , , on May 28, 2021 by paulthepoke

I wanted to share my experiences and help you see a personal side of those who are hurting. I wanted to give you some insight into the moments that help and heal, as well as the moments that hurt and scar.

These appendices are specifically written for those who work in the helping professions or ministries or who desire to help the hurting. I want to give you a few tools to help you do your much–needed work as effectively as possible. What you do can open or close doors in a hurting person’s life. I believe in the work you do and I want nothing more than to see you fling those doors wide open for those who need it. So, this isn’t a story. This is a toolbox.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

I have been a hurting person. I have been broken, deceived from spiritual disenfranchisement, bought and sold, and trauma bonded. I have suffered at the hands of domestic violence. I have been consumed by the darkness of hopelessness and addiction, stigmatized by the world around me, and blanketed by guilt and shame. I have been harmed by professionals, leaders of faith, and the folks who seemed to be the okay people of the “normal world.” I have been excluded by agencies for services that cherry–picked clients to assist.

Unfortunately, there are many “helping agencies” out there that select to help only those with the highest chance for success. The successful clients are used to pursue grant money that would be impossible to access by those with the greatest challenges or barriers. If someone is deemed “too needy,” then they pose a risk, because if their success can’t be qualified and quantified, then there is no financial compensation for helping them.

This kind of repeated rejection can only happen so many times before individuals seeking help give up. Their view of help becomes so tainted that they believe they can’t be helped. As you saw in my journey, I myself reached this point after trying to seek help many times.

These experiences on their journeys shape their perceptions of “helping people” or “good Christians.” If these experiences have been negative, then your work is cut out for you. Remember: Every action, or inaction, has the potential to heal or to destroy. My goal is to help you increase the chance that your efforts to help will accomplish the former, not the latter. I don’t believe that the people in most helping agencies intend to compound the problems; they simply lack the inside understanding of these individuals’ experiences and true needs. There are some ways to become authentic and relational with these hurting folks that will assist you as well as them.

As you begin to read this, remember that you are engaging with hurting persons. Some of you engage with homeless individuals, trafficked/prostituted persons, rape victims, violent crime survivors, and more. While many of these tools are relevant to women/girls and the types of things they endure, the general approach and considerations can be used with men/boys who are hurting as well.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Through The Eyes of Grace – Christine C McDonald 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEj5RbFpuzjx_CuksAqgyXA/featured

https://crypurplemovie.com/

We Do Hugs Around Here… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on May 16, 2020 by paulthepoke

On a trip out of state a couple of months ago, I spoke to a large group of individuals exiting prison, as well as their families and supporters of faith–based recovery groups.

Photo by Kamille Sampaio on Pexels.com

Afterward, I was approached by a lovely woman. At first, she said she wanted to shake my hand. I said, “Shoot, we do hugs around here,” and I hugged her. She went on to say she had been in a recovery center/community that also had housing. They had an area for reading with a shelf of books, and my first book, Cry Purple, was one of the books on the shelves. She said she took my book to her room with every intention of reading it.

That night, her addiction called her, and the urge to use was out of control. She said she fought it for a while but finally grabbed her purse, combed her hair, and walked out of the recovery community center, but not before stepping back into her room and putting my book in her bag. She said she just stole my book. She told me she couldn’t help it and wasn’t sure what made her grab it.

She got high, ran out of money, and ended up in a house with other people getting high. She tried to settle into sleep. A day and a half passed. Then she picked up my book and read it. It took her four hours, but she read every page. She fell asleep, got up, and went back to the center with the book in hand. She said that even though she had stolen the book and gotten high, she had to return it because every female in the center/community needed to read it. So she returned to the center to return the stolen book and tell the staff that every woman needed to read it.

She was allowed back into the program, which is where she was at the time when we met. She thanked me for writing the book and said she felt like she was not alone when she read it.

It has been a couple of years since I met her at that event, but she still messages me from time to time to let me know she is still in the free world and has not returned to prison. She remains clean and tells me that I sparked hope in her to move beyond her past. She has thanked me repeatedly. She says she looks at her shame differently today and is now full of hope. The most recent message I got from her said, “I know stealing is wrong.” She said she had prostituted herself for money to get high, but had never stolen things before. She considers stealing my book the best criminal action she has ever committed in her life; she has no regrets. When she heard I would be at the event that night, she walked a number of blocks to ensure that she had a chance to meet me in person and to share with me that my journey gave her hope.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Precious in His Eyes… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , on September 7, 2019 by paulthepoke

…My hands were shaking. As I looked up, I saw a truck flash his lights as he drove past and turned the corner. I jumped out of the fountain and ran and jumped in his truck. I knew that if I had money to get dope, I could cope. It was the only way I could cope. It was how I removed myself and made the pain go away. It was how I kept the shame at bay and survived.

I heard once in a meeting that if I had not chosen to use, then I wouldn’t have ever faced the horrific situations I faced. I have often been perplexed by that statement. I am responsible for using, I guess. I suffered from a disease of addiction and the endless cycle it created.

However, I am not responsible for another’s evil actions. I am not responsible for those who seek out the broken, the weak, the invisible of our society, the ones everyone knows no one will go looking for if they go missing, the ones no one dares make eye contact with, the ones society has deemed less than human, without equal value as a human being.

Years later, as I reflect on my growth, I value myself as many things. From addict to child of God, I am human with as much value as any other. I understand the Word of God, and have my own relationship with Him.

The God of my understanding loves the outcasts, those who are shunned and viewed by others as disposable. I can’t help but remember the women and men who were homeless, who were prostituted, who were mentally ill, who were addicted, who were vulnerable, and who died horrific deaths at the hands of those from a higher socioeconomic class, death by people who see themselves as worthy of life while others are not.

What people like me and like them need is to be seen as the priceless treasures they are to the God who created them. Then, and only then, can they truly believe that a way out is possible, that the cycle can end, and that there is another way of coping and living with the pain they have experienced. They need to be set free from the pain and trauma, no matter who caused it or why they are the way they are. They need someone to look at them and say, “You are precious in His eyes, and He loves you. Oh, how He loves you.”

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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