The Back Door Friend

There are not too many of us– students of life–that would willingly sign up for Humility 101. As with any degree, we might take biology to become a teacher or numerous anatomy and chemistry classes to become a nurse, and so on. My life as a nurse, counselor, mother, and wife worked for me for a long time.

So signing up for any additional classes was not anything I was looking to do. But somewhere down the road, I must have inadvertently signed up for Humility 101. It took my addiction– thus me graduating with a degree in humility. Oh, I didn’t willingly sign up for these classes –Humble Pie. My addiction came decorated in a pretty package where I only later found the profound ugliness of my arrogance.

So back to the original question, would I have ever signed up for Humility 101?

No, my attendance to Humility 101 was through the back door only by  submission of my unwilling soul as I became truly humble.  As a result, I suffered severe pain from humility through my actions and their consequences. The beginnings of my classes were a smooth, sly, and painstaking process of the disease called — addiction. My dependence came in quietly through the back door. At first, my pill was occasional taken outside of what it was intended for. My drugs became inviting as my neighbor, friendly in a sort. Soon, her visits became more regular. Without realizing what was happening, my friend became a daily visitor. I soon anticipated this visit with great shame. I would justify my use of mommy’s little helpers till the rain had turned to snow and the nights were long and cold. There was no turning back.

One day, I looked out the back door as if waiting for a visit. I had not had a visit from “her” in a day or two so I begin to pace the floor. My family asked if I was OK.  “What are you looking for?” they asked.  I would tell them I was just fine.  But inside my soul, I was screaming. I was frantic. Where are my drugs? No, I was not waiting on an illegal delivery. Usually I was waiting on a call from my dear doctor– who always came through.

Had I come to this?


I had now completed Humility 101. I was so humiliated by my actions. There I stood at the back door crying at the lowness of my so-called life. Only there would be no degree here.  No graduation ceremony to stand up for. I will not be sending out invitations. I might as well have been lost on some deserted island. I was so alone. But that was my choice. I did not want to tell anyone. I let no one into my world.

Eventually, I had no choice. I stood up and said, “I have a problem. I am sick.” I hear that is the first step– that we are powerless over our disease. And hand it over to God.

(Psalm 34:18)

Today, when I stand at the back door, I see the beautiful flowers I have planted. I breathe the fresh air God has gifted me with. I turn around and see my family that I am entrusted to.

Humility 101 is not so bad.

2 Responses to “The Back Door Friend”

  1. Oh, thank you so much for this post. I want to read it again and again, to savor each word. I have an addiction, too. Not to drugs. But to something just as dark and divisive. It gives me comfort and encourages me to know that I am not alone in my imperfection and deep need for the Lord. I really sometimes think that it’s only me who doesn’t have it figured out. Thank you so much for your vulnerability.

  2. Marie, I used to think that I was the only one with problems… and that is what got me into the place I “used” to be in…. since I have been released… I have had more spiritual attacks that ever before…. the swords are flying at me from every angle… but God is watching me…. I’m going to be OK.

    You are too Marie…

    Beautifully Awkward…

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