Addiction, Eviction, & Prosperity
For 10 years, I took Adderall for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) religiously four times a day. The meds became my fuel, my saving grace, and ultimately my life.
I took it to wake up, I took it to do work, and I took it to pull all-nighters to study when I was in college.
As far as I was concerned, if I could rule the world one day, I would require everyone to take it.
Sounds ridiculous, but it was such a miracle drug for me that I could only imagine the world would be a better place, filled with more productive people with that little orange pill pumping through everyone’s veins.
That is at least until I got saved in 2010 and the day came about a year later that the Lord asked me lay it down for Him.
Talk about fear …
I couldn’t imagine my life without Adderall.
Until that moment, I didn’t even realize I had a problem or that I was addicted to it!
But I knew if something was standing in the way of me saying “YES!” to God, then it was an idol and it needed to go.
As a small business owner, I “needed” the medicine to stay focused and stay motivated. And honestly, I was afraid of what would happen if I went off of it.
I feared the failure that was sure to follow.
But I knew this was part of the Lord preparing me not only to be free from it and more dependent on Him and His energy, but I also felt it was Him trying to prepare me to grow my business on His terms.
So as He was encouraging me to start dreaming of a life without Adderall, I also felt the Lord promise me that I wouldn’t still be taking it by the time I got married, which I assure you felt like an impossible dream (both to be free and to find a man worth marrying).
My prescribed addiction had made its way deep into my identity and into my everyday life. It had its dirty fingers wrapped around my emotions, because I feared going off of it would result in a huge plunge into chemical depression and extreme fatigue (which I had experienced twice before when I ran out of pills). So should that happen, it would also directly affect my ability to produce in my business.
Are you seeing the spectacular mess I had inadvertently signed up for with my miracle pill?
I had probably a hundred people pray for me to be set free over the next two years. But nothing seemed to make a difference.
I was certain I was going to have to go to rehab, which at the same time also seemed silly because Adderall is such a commonly used legal drug, and I was taking it according to my prescription.
Long story short, one night the Lord asked me to confront someone about something, which I really didn’t want to do. I was afraid of what they might think of me, or that they wouldn’t like me as a result of what I had to tell them.
But the Lord perfectly orchestrated the conversation, and I had the opportunity to be obedient. As I went to bed that night, I felt the fear of man melt off of me.
Over the next two days, I completely FORGOT to take my Adderall, which was unheard of for me!
On the third day, I did notice I hadn’t taken it, but wanted to ride it out and see how long I could go without feeling like I needed it.
On the fourth day, I woke up incredibly nauseous at 5am and continued to throw up all day. On top of that, it felt like I had needles sticking into every cell of my body.
It was unlike anything I had ever felt before.
I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink, and I couldn’t even breathe without being in pain.
I was just lying on the floor, sweating profusely, waiting for it all to end, or just frankly, my life to end.
Then I finally realized I was going through withdrawals. I had the same symptoms of what heroin addicts call being “dope sick.” Crazy right?!
But then, around 5pm that day, it all stopped. I was finally free!
I then realized my addiction to Adderall was directly connected to my fear of man. It was all knotted up in a nasty web of lies. So once I was free of my fear, the addiction no longer had a foothold to stick around.
Looking back, I don’t know why I had to go through the withdrawals, because I personally know a few former addicts whom God miraculously set free without any pain or sickness.
I also had to walk through 10 months of slow recovery that was devastating to my business. I could barely stay awake for more than 4-6 hours a day, much less do great work for my clients.
The Lord told me early on in this healing process to reach out to my church family for prayer and support, but I was under so much shame that my business was running in the red that I kept it in hiding (sounds silly, I know).
Eventually, I broke through my fears and was able to share what I felt was a shameful situation with those close to me, hoping they might be able to help me financially until I was back on my feet.
Thank God, two individuals from my church offered to each pay the full amount of my 2 months of back rent (which in New York City is no small amount), which literally (yes literally) saved me from eviction. Others along the way gave significant amounts that kept the electricity on and food in the fridge.
During this time, I realized God was trying to separate my identity from how my business was doing all along. He never meant for me to get so close to eviction (1 day to be exact), but He used what the enemy meant for evil and turned it around for my good.
So I was free—and humbled—and I realized that I had real friends and family who would stand by me in the midst of my darkest struggles. It was painful to not be self-sufficient for a season, but it was only the pain of my pride dying.
And just as another testimony to God’s goodness, after that very slow couple of months in my business, I saw six consecutive months of growth that not only covered the losses, but helped pay for a wedding that was beyond my wildest dreams.
So I am here to tell you that God has a promise for you and you get the privilege to believe it even when circumstances look very different than what you expected.
That’s where internal prosperity grows. It’s a process of learning to trust so you can come out on the other end blessed and more connected to God than you were before.
So what process are you walking through? How can I pray for you and support you in your journey to the building your business with God?
Roaring with you,