Overcoming Adversity

My name is David. I am 62 years’ old. I have been married to my better half, Peggy for over 25 years and have two sons and three grandchildren – one great-grandchild on the way.

I am retired from the State of California, having served as an I.T. professional for 30 years.

I own and operate my own business “FavaWorks” and have been providing desktop support and web design services to the community since 1998.

I came into recovery in July of 2012 as a result of years of exposure to large amounts of benzodiazepine tranquilizers and other drugs I used as a way of coping with anxiety and panic – a result of untreated childhood trauma.

I was told once that the difficulties I faced as a child and as an adolescent could have had a permanent impact on my life, preventing me from experiencing what everybody hopes for, a career, a marriage, children, family etc. There were occasions when I actually believed that I was never going to overcome the adversities I faced earlier in my life.

What I can tell you today is that as I look back on those unfortunate experiences, each occasion, although difficult and seemingly impossible, was an opportunity that led to a success in understanding – wisdom. I can see now that each challenge I faced was and is a building block on character development. Getting through a difficult situation sets the stage for a better understanding and appreciation of the value of overcoming.

It is Psalm 23 that I see it clearly. “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” The key here is to “walk through” – not to hang around.

In 2012 at the age of 53, I experienced my most difficult trial. My whole life’s full of anxieties had brought me to place of addiction and reliance on benzodiazepine tranquilizers. To the degree that I was taking and had been taking large doses for many years and had caused severe damage to myself physiologically. Psychologically, I was spent. The situation was critical. I had to get treatment or I was going to lose a battle and succumb to my addiction. It took me years to get to this point and it was going to take me years to get out of it.

When I reached a point in my life of total surrender, I admitted to my inner most self that I was helpless and needed help. My life was unmanageable. I realized that in and of myself, I could do nothing. I needed a power greater than myself to restore me to sanity. I needed to take a rigorous and thorough inventory of myself. I was entirely ready to ask and have God remove my defects of character. I was ready to make amends to those I had harmed. I was willing to take a daily personal inventory and when I was wrong, promptly admit it. And I would seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of his will in my life and for the power to carry it out. And lastly, having had a spiritual experience, I have to carry the message of my recovery to others and practice the principles of recovery in all my affairs – to the best of my ability.

These “lessons” have completely changed my outlook on life. The years of withdrawals and the recovery from the effects of prolonged exposure to benzodiazepines have helped me to recognize that in each episode of my life, whether it was trauma as a child, abandonment and abuse as an adolescent, or a myriad of faulty choices as an adult – each experience was an opportunity to appreciate recovery and to overcome adversity – to receive the blessings that comes after trials.

I realize today that I alone am not the reason I am an over-comer. I am not the designer and implementer of my success. It is not through my hand that I am blessed and have learned such valuable lessons in life and that have brought me such wisdom. I recall the “Footprints” that tell the story of how God carried me through each experience and to this day continues to bless me and my family and give me His grace when I fall short.

Life still delivers adversity. Today it is the COVID-19 pandemic. Some may look at this adversity in the worse light. These are very difficult times and depression and anxieties are at an all-time high. Again, I am reminded that this is an opportunity. God has blessed me as I am able to help those who rely more heavily on technology during this difficult time.

I am grateful to my wife, my pastor, my sponsor and those who, over the years, have supported me but especially I am grateful for my faith and the way God has blessed me and my family and still does each and every day. My encouragement to others is to hang on through the adversity long enough to realize the blessing that comes from the experience.

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