This is part two of my healing from addiction to marijuana through my consecration to Jesus through Mary and the miracle on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Here is part one in case you missed it or want to refresh your memory.
On December 12th I realized that I was healed. I did not want to smoke and I was not tempted whatsoever. My non-practicing Catholic husband was in awe of this transformation and believed it must be a miracle from God because I could never have quit on my own.
It was December 6th, six days before the year anniversary of my sobriety. I landed after a long European business trip and came home to a friend who was watching my dogs. My husband was out of town for a few days. I was tired and while I was driving home from the airport I had this overwhelming temptation to smoke pot. I knew this person was going to have some. I began to convince myself that I wasn’t addicted. I had gone for so long without it. One day won’t hurt. I will stop after tonight. It will be a good test for me. It isn’t a big deal. I deserve it, I worked hard.
I walked into the house and asked if I could smoke some with this person. That individual did not want to be responsible for me falling off the wagon but I gave that person full reprieve of any guilt. This was my decision.
I smoked and then proceeded to fall into the pattern of uncontrollable eating through the house. I would have eaten my house, too, if it was a gingerbread house. I was so full that I went upstairs to purge because I was going to explode. The rush of guilt and shame came over me as I cleaned up. “What did I just do? I am so pathetic, I am so weak, I am such a loser!”
When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).
I was early in my journey. I didn’t understand that Satan would be lurking around every corner telling me lies to pull me back into sin.
Running From God
I ran from God because of my shame. I couldn’t stand the feeling of guilt and I just wanted to numb it away. I began to drink more and found some more pot so I could deaden my pain. I was distancing myself from God. I was trying to hide from Him. I even missed two weeks of Sunday Mass because I didn’t deserve to receive the Eucharist. I felt so dirty.
My husband finally called me out on it. He came home from work and I was high again. He was angry and said, “What the…” and before he could get the next word out, I interrupted him and said, “Stop – this is between me and God.” He looked at me straight in the eyes and said, “Well, you better have a conversation with Him soon!”
I realized then, I couldn’t run anymore. I saw my old life starting to come back in a big way and I had to get myself to confession. I had no peace, my joy was being smoked out and I was becoming this lazy, lethargic creature neither my husband nor myself liked at all.
I felt like Simon Peter the Apostle when many of Jesus’ followers fell away during The Bread of Life Discourse. I knew Jesus was the Truth and the Life and I felt as if Jesus was asking me the question that He asked Peter, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life (John 6:68).
I knew my answer to Jesus’ question. I went to confession and it was even more freeing and life-giving than my 26-year confession when I first came back to the Church. Why? Because I didn’t know God as I did at this time in my journey. I knew there was a grace that I received from Him through Mary and I shoved it back in His face. I had never felt the guilt of my sin like I had at this stage.
I still didn’t understand the true spiritual war we face for our eternal souls. If I had, I would have been able to discern the spirits and make the right choice. I was in a gunfight with a knife. My weak prayer and minimal understanding of the meaning of life was not helping my fight.
The second time I fell was after a very powerful Lenten season. I was learning more about prayer and I was able to commit to giving up alcohol without fail. I was happy with where I was spiritually. This time Satan seduced me using the Feast Day of Easter.
This was only months after my first fall. I still wasn’t deep enough in my understanding of the fight I was in and this time Satan was clever enough to twist God’s truth as he did to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Looking back, I could feel the good and evil spirits battling in my soul but I wasn’t deep enough spiritually to understand what was happening.
Now the snake was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden’? (Genesis 3:1)
Satan convinced me that I had a great Lent; I sacrificed and succeeded! I did not fall. So, why not celebrate and eat, drink and smoke on Easter? You can because it is one of the biggest Feast Days in the Church. It’s only one day. You can go to confession for forgiveness.
After days of battling internally – I decided, with a very uneasy feeling, that I would smoke. I even told my husband about my plan for Easter and he said, “I don’t think that is such a good idea.” I replied, “It’s only one day.”
Then I heard we should celebrate Easter for eight days, that it is an octave celebration. Oh boy, this meant I could smoke it for a week. It was at this moment that I saw the light and I ran to confession. I saw through the ploy and the lies and I came out of that confession with my answer. I could no longer smoke … ever.
Years later, as my prayer life and my ministry started to blossom, I sought out a spiritual director for regular guidance and discernment. My relationship with God was strengthening and many supernatural spiritual experiences happened in my life. I dove deep into learning from the saints about deliverance and other practices to fight the spiritual battle we face on our daily journey of faith.
Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground (Ephesians 10:13).
When you are faced with temptation, know that Satan has no chance against Jesus and His precious blood. Mary is also a powerful weapon and praying the Rosary daily is one of the best weapons you have in your arsenal. You can say binding prayers and renounce addiction, temptation, lust, gluttony and whatever else begins to stir in the body.
When those uncontrollable urges come, say,
Spirit of temptation (lust, gluttony, etc.) I bind you, in the name of Jesus by the power of the Holy Cross, by the power of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ and by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Michael the Archangel and the Apostles, Peter, and Paul and all the saints, and I command you to leave me and go to the foot of the Cross to receive your sentence. Mary, keep me wrapped in your mantle of protection and lead me to your Son. Pray the Hail Mary … in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
May the power of the Truth be your weapon and may you continue to walk the path with no fear. Have a blessed and inspired day.