Welcome to our Blessed Chats series! Each month, we will dedicate an entire week of blog posts to a topic that affects many of us. These conversations often come up in our Facebook groups and in our real life friendships. We want to share a variety of perspectives on the topic at hand, so we’ve asked women to share their stories and how the teachings of the Church have guided and comforted them. In this series, we’re talking about addiction, compulsion, and loving those who suffer this cross. We’d love for you to join the conversation!
I was talking with my husband last night about my faith journey, since it started in autumn. Four years ago, at this time, I was at my lowest spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. I was so badly beaten down by my addiction that I had lost all hope for a better life.
Failing to Heal Myself
I’d tried everything (or so I thought) to get and stay clean. The last house on the street—the one thing I hadn’t tried—was prayer.
In rehab, I was so desperate to not feel sick that, one day, I knelt at the end of my bed, bowed my head, and asked God to take away the pain. A total foxhole prayer. Imagine my surprise when I started to feel better that night.
I kept praying, my brain began to heal, and I started to believe in something. An avowed atheist, I started to believe in a power greater than myself.I kept praying, my brain began to heal, and I started to believe in something. An avowed atheist, I started to believe in a power greater than myself. #blessedchats Click To Tweet
For two years after leaving rehab, I continued go pray. But I couldn’t decide if I wanted to get back into religion.
I started attending evangelical churches with my husband. I really wanted to feel a pull toward Protestantism. I attended different services but they they all somehow felt empty, devoid of the spirituality and fullness of the Catholic Mass of my youth.
The pull I felt was toward Catholicism, the one Faith I didn’t want to return to. In my mind, Catholicism was linked with childhood boredom and difficult high school years in Catholic school.
Uh uh. No way.
I resisted, but God kept calling.
Write + Pray
Discover your story within His.
Two years ago, I was fortunate to find the Saint Joseph Retreat House (and the Oblates of the Virgin Mary) where I began to turn toward God and listen to His calling for me.
A year ago, I made the decision to return fully to the Faith I was confirmed in. I’ve been exploring modesty, veiling, and the Traditional Latin Mass (unthinkable!). I can feel in my bones that this is where I belong.
When I think back to the broken, confused, sick person I was four years ago, I now feel compassion instead of disgust. I truly believe that if not for the hell my addiction brought me through, and the spiritual emptiness that accompanied it, I would never have turned toward God, Who was there waiting all along.
If you want more help with finding your own story, our popular Write + Pray course offers 9 topics, nearly an hour of guided video, and almost 50 Scripture verses and questions for you featuring Managing Editor Nell O’Leary. Find your story today.
Allison is a recent returnee to the Catholic Faith. A psychology major in college, she works with people struggling with substance abuse. Allison lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two dogs.