Please Pray for Joseph Suaiden

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Please Pray for Joseph Suaiden

Postby 尼古拉前执事 » Sun 25 April 2004 3:36 am

He publicly announced on all of his sites that he has decided to enter rehab for a month. Please pray that he is able to face his demons and confront his issues.

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Re: Please Pray for Joseph Suaiden

Postby Suaiden » Sun 25 April 2004 6:01 pm

Nicholas wrote:He publicly announced on all of his sites that he has decided to enter rehab for a month. Please pray that he is able to face his demons and confront his issues.

Well, um... it's not exactly "rehab", but I need your prayers regardless. Turns out I can't go into the program until Monday anyway. I am entering into a recovery program at a homeless shelter. I'll explain.

The recovery program at the shelter indeed has rehab facilities-- since many people in shelters are addicts--but is not neccesarily a rehab program.

This all started Friday night.

On Friday I went to a club, and had a few drinks. A lot of drinks, over the evening. Yet, because I was at the shelter, I had to be in by 7 or wait until the next afternoon to return: since, when I was younger, I could stay out all night, I figured I would just do it again. Yet, as I "dried", ate breakfast, et cetera, I started to ponder the events of the night before, fresh in memory. I realized that my life-- since my marriage had ended-- had become completely empty and that my behavior at the club was boorish, rude, and altogether horrendous.... I acted, sadly, like a typical drunk.

It dawned on me that morning: something has been seriously wrong for a few months now. Of course, separation and impending divorce are horrifying and life changing experiences. But the events of the past month, culminating with Friday, made me realize that I had been on an unwitting self-destructive path for years-- and Friday made me see that I had gone too far. I was committing a form of suicide.

I realized, then, that I needed help. Help to sort out who I am now that one of the central aspects of my personality (being a father) is simply gone. And because it was gone, I went into a spiral that I cannot explain to someone who has never been through it. Nor do I want to.

Which leads to the question of my drinking:

I don't consider myself an alcoholic. Alcoholics cannot live without alcohol from a practical standpoint. But over the past few months, more often than not, I had abused alcohol a number of times with disastrous consequences. And I realized I had done that for years. Even in marriage, I had drunk to excess.... regardless of how miserable I was or whatever my excuse.

As I looked at some sites yesterday on alcoholism, there were made distinctions between "alcoholics" and "alcohol abusers". I don't believe I am the former.

But I am CERTAIN, without doubt, that I have become the latter.

I still believe, and likely will after this is over, that it's ok to have drinks, at home, when the kids are asleep, and relax. And if that was what I was doing (which is what I was doing most of the time during my marriage, but not all the time) I wouldn't go into the recovery program.

I'm going in because as I drank, I didn't care. And it was that very lack of intrinsic value in my surroundings that made me realize just how far I was. I used to have a nice drink outside at night when I was married, and look at the trees, the stars, and just thank God for such a beautiful world. Then I went to bed, and went to work, and life was fine. (Not really, but the point is that the alcohol, like everything else in my life, was categorized.)

That wasn't me on Friday night. On Friday night, nothing mattered. Not a single thing. I was simply.... empty. And it is precisely that emptiness, which has become a part of my life now for months, that I must deal with. And all I had been doing was covering it up, and covering it up with alcohol.

We cover up our sufferings with lots of things. But until we deal with them, until we confront them, we are only engaging in piecemeal self-destruction. In Christ, we have freedom from all bondage; we are free people, with free choice and choose to act in a manner pleasing to God-- and this means that our primary goal must be to act in a manner that is not self-destructive.

In December, I realized that I had abandoned that goal for months, and that I didn't want to die anymore.

On Friday, I realized that without my family around (and indeed, I have never been on my own)-- that I didn't know how to live.

I am going in.... because it's time for me to learn.


Postscript. I should expand on this (I had to move to a different computer, at the library).

I decided to write this much because abuse is too common. We all run the risk of becoming "unbalanced" in our lives. The abuse of alcohol is as dangerous as the abuse of spirituality, sexuality, or other aspects of human life. Some of us have to ask ourselves (and I saw some of the illness over the past few days in people, even if it alcohol was not the symptom) and seriously: is my life in order?

The mark of control in one's life is indeed order-- and God is the author of order. A life totally chaotic, where the center is not one's life but something else-- is unbalanced. In the center I met someone who used to be an addict, but became a Protestant and simply dropped the drugs. Yet it was impossible for her to have a normal conversation. If someone mentioned (this happened) seeing a movie, she answered "have you seen (insert Bible verse here)"? This occurred so often that it was indeed almost impossible to speak to her at all. Yet when I chose to speak in her "language" (I have been writing about little stuff like, say, the Bible, for years) I realized she was simply telling herself over and over that someone loved her.

I caught on immediately that this young woman has probably felt nothing but abuse for years.... but when I brought up her life's difficulty she went back into some sort of denial mode. She was escaping from her pain with a new drug. Perhaps one that wouldn't kill her as quickly, but one that would make it impossible for her to live, as it was now.

Another, smarter Joe pointed out on his blog that addiction can take many forms.... balance, which is so much a part of why we Orthodox have right-practice to begin with, must be the center of our lives, because without it we cannot hope to understand... part of why I didn't just write "I'm not really in rehab" is because I hope that folks on this list who might share in their problems with me will see something in what I am writing and do something about it.

We can never escape our pasts or our sufferings. We can only confront them. I ask everyone for their prayers.

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Postby Tessa » Mon 26 April 2004 5:03 pm

Where in Florida are you?
Господе Исусе Христа, Синe Божји, Помилуј ме грешну!

Justin Kissel

Postby Justin Kissel » Tue 27 April 2004 4:54 pm

Thank you for sharing Joe, my wife and I will indeed be praying for you.

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Postby Seraphim Reeves » Fri 14 May 2004 4:08 pm


I'm sorry to hear of your hardships, and will pray for you (for what it's worth).

After reading your story, I empathize with your situation. It's the situation of a lot of young (and not so young) men in the modern world - even without dramatic hardships (though we all have a few of those thrown in at some point - I found this out quite recently), life becomes such a flavourless, dreary, miserable affair (the best symbolic image I can think of is waiting for the train in a dirty sub way at 6:00am to go to work) that the only way to "make it" is to anathestitize one's self - whether its booze, drugs, pornography, "casual sex", etc.

Many modern young men are self medicating depression cases. Unfortunately, this "medicine" will only make things worse, as the "thrills" become increasingly passing, and the "dose" has to keep going up, and up. It is gradual suicide, as you put it.

However, the truth is that the only real way to deal with this world of chimeric joys, is "suicide" - by this I mean death to the world. This can happen one of two ways; the devil's way (whether it comes out of the barrel of a gun, or slowly out of a bottle of rum), and God's way - that is, martyrdom (once again, whether it comes immediately at the hands of an infidel, or gradually, in a lifetime of Godly mortification.) Either way, the world is passing, and you're not getting out alive.

Some, have clearly made their choice (professed diabolists, or living saints); many (like myself) continually sway back and forth, barely holding on to one or the other. May God help us both, Joseph.


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Postby Jakub » Sun 16 May 2004 3:47 am


I think we all have our personal demons that we deal with daily, some are more complicated than others.

I will pray for pray for you.


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Thank you for all your prayers

Postby Suaiden » Tue 18 May 2004 9:24 pm

I needed that month....

What I got was not nearly what I expected.

For this I can only thank God.

Thanks for all you prayers. I really appreciated them.

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