My story october 2011 4


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A story of recovery from personal hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Also, the journey of a codependent wife dealing with her husband's addiction to prescription painkillers. Recovering from the grief of his death.

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My story october 2011 4

  1. 1. My Story Jill Broyles Fall 2011
  2. 2. Thank you for this chance to share my story. Every time Iretrace the steps of my journey, God reveals more and moreof the truth; and with that truth, comes freedom andhealing, as well as the assurance that I have never walkedalone. With the recent deaths of celebrities who have abusedprescription medicine and with the loss of many right herein our community, I thought this might be a good time to tellmy story. 5 ½ years ago, I lost my husband to an addictionthat began with prescription drugs; and clearly, at manytimes during my life, I’ve struggled with hurts, habits, andhang-ups of my own. I pray that God will use ourexperiences to touch lives for Jesus. Certainly, the gospel ofgrace and the glorious news of the Resurrection areproclaimed for people like us.
  3. 3. My story starts back in 1955. I grew up as a tomboy inbetween two brothers. My dad, who passed away in 2007, wasmy best friend, and even though I knew he loved me, I workedhard to win his approval. My mother was a good mom whowas, sadly, in fragile health for much of her life. As I got older, Ifound myself assuming the role of family caretaker at a timewhen I myself longed to be nurtured and emotionally close.Instead, I became self-reliant, emotionally detached, andsuperficial in my relationships with family and friends.Thankfully, we attended a church in Denver where I learnedabout God and discovered my identity in Christ. In high school, Iattended a Billy Graham crusade and committed my life to Jesus.I remember being so grateful for the unconditional love of aSavior who knows everything about me and accepts me just as Iam. A few years later, we lost my mom to emphysema. Herdeath exposed layers of heartache in me that only God couldheal.
  4. 4. After my mom’s death, I moved to Loveland. I graduallybecame acquainted with people and made friends, but mylonging for closeness and affection led me into a number ofunhealthy relationships, and I made some poor choices andengaged in behaviors that were clearly outside of God’s will.The magazines that came wrapped in brown paper did littleto satisfy my longing for real intimacy. I am so grateful thatGod intervened and took me out ofinappropriate, codependent relationships that I knew werewrong, but that I felt powerless to change. During this painfultime, I was diagnosed with depression and had to take a leaveof absence from work. I did a lot of soul-searching and spentmany hours reading the Bible. I sought Christian counselingand asked God for forgiveness. Soon, I began to sense theconfidence and peace that I had experienced when I firstaccepted Christ.
  5. 5. It wasn’t long before I met myhusband, Zenon, here at LifeSpring. He was thefriendly gentleman in the white shirt and fashionabletie who sang behind me in the choir. He was a giftedmusician with a sensitive spirit and the heart of aservant, and his love for God was an inspiration tomany. He had a good job, he loved the DallasCowboys, and he had a weakness for his mother’stamales. Within weeks, we began dating. As in allrelationships, there were obstacles to overcome, butboth of us had high hopes for a long and happy futuretogether. In June of 1993, Zenon and I got married andwere soon blessed with two wonderful sons, Samuel(in 1994) and Jonathan (in 1996).
  6. 6. Zenon battled chronic back pain and suffered fromdebilitating migraines and depression for much of hisadult life. Early on, I became concerned about hisreliance on prescription drugs for pain management, butdeluded myself into believing that as long as his doctorwas prescribing the pills, they must be safe. Zenon’sdrug use soon escalated to addiction. In 1996, he washospitalized after a near-fatal overdose of Vicodin andPercocet. He spent several days in a detox facilityand, upon release, seemed committed to using his painmedications responsibly. It didn’t takelong, however, for him to relapse. Oxycontin andOxycodone became his new drugs of choice.
  7. 7. I was in denial about how serious his drug habitwas and tried to overlook his self-medicating andhis rush from doctor to doctor to get pills. Irationalized his behavior and even popped a fewpain pills myself when the stress became toogreat. Reality finally kicked in when Zenon wasarrested for prescription fraud in 1997. One of hisdoctors recommended an out-patient methadonetreatment program in Denver, and Zenon faithfullymade that drive down I-25 to participate in theprogram every day for five years.Unfortunately, during this time, he continued toget prescriptions for pain pills and began usingillegal drugs as well.
  8. 8. By this time, it was difficult for me to separate theman I married from the addiction that controlled him. Iknew in my heart that it was irresponsible for me to stayin the marriage as it was and put our children atrisk, but denial, pride, and a fear of being aloneparalyzed me from taking any action. In my efforts tonot rock a sinking boat, I enabled Zenon in hisaddiction, and we quickly became a codependent familydrowning in dysfunction. Zenon’s health issues anddrug use affected his ability to hold down a job. Westruggled financially for years, relying on my dad, familyand friends, payday loans, and pawn shop deals to helpmake ends meet. The worries about money wereoverwhelming to me and left me emotionally andfinancially bankrupt.
  9. 9. It was then that I realized that my life hadbecome unmanageable and that I waspowerless over the dysfunction in my life. Ineeded a recovery program. I began attendingCelebrate Recovery and joined a Christ-centered12-step group. Being able to be open andhonest with others in a safe place was critical atthat point in my life. Deep down, I hoped thatZenon would start attending Celebrate Recoveryas well, and that one day, we would share ourjourney in recovery together. It was not to be.
  10. 10. Several months later, Zenon received a summons toappear on another, more serious drug charge. Onenight, I found him cowering in a closet when he thoughtthe police were at our door. Declaring that he wouldrather die than spend another night in jail, he fled to hisfamily home in Texas. Two days later, his brother calledwith the devastating news that Zenon had passed away.He collapsed in his parents’ home and died on the wayto the hospital. The emergency room doctor told thefamily that the damage was so great that there wasnothing that could have been done to save him. Theautopsy report confirmed this. Zenon died of mixeddrug intoxication and respiratory failure caused by yearsof drug abuse. He was 48 years old.
  11. 11. The last year of our marriage was very difficult; daysand nights filled with anxious moments, angryaccusations, and lies. I wanted Zenon to be honest withme about his addiction, but I was afraid to face the truth.I watched helplessly as his health deteriorated and hisspirit faded. On several occasions, I wanted to take him tothe emergency room, but he refused to go. I probablyshould have insisted that he be admitted to a court-ordered, long-term treatment program, but I had losthope. Zenon had been in and out of treatment programsfor years without any lasting change; and besides, Iquestioned, how does someone like Zenon cope withlegitimate pain?
  12. 12. In despair, I turned my will over to God. I believe now thatwhen I gave up control, admitted that I could not fix things, andhumbly asked God for help, He began a new work in us. Psalm91 says that God will deliver us from danger, even when we arecaught in a trap of this world. I believe that in taking Zenonhome, God kept His promise to protect us and delivered Zenonfrom a dark and dangerous trap that is destroying more andmore families everyday. To this day, I don’t know the details ofwhere Zenon went in the wee hours of the morning or fromwhom he got the drugs. It is enough for me to know that God’slove and mercy kept our family out of harm’s way and that Hisangels kept watch over us. Certainly, I recognize that theconsequences of Zenon’s addiction and of my codependencecould have been far more tragic, and perhaps even violent.Through many dangers, toils, and snares … we have alreadycome; t’was Grace that brought us safe thus far, and Grace willlead us home.
  13. 13. I miss Zenon. The boys miss their dad. I can’t begin tounderstand how God works, but I do know that He doeswork and that He’s bringing joy and purpose in thoseplaces in our lives where we had only pain and conflict.Zenon was at his best when singing and playing his guitarin praise and worship bands in local churches. Amidstdifficulties with chronic illness and addiction, he foundrelease in lifting his heartfelt praise to God. In doing so, hetouched thousands of lives for Jesus. Zenon’s music is agift to our family and a legacy to all who loved him. As afollower of Christ, Zenon may have lost the battle, but hedidn’t lose the war. Victory is his in Jesus. I am confidentthat God will use our loss for greater good in our lives andin the lives of others, and we are at peace knowing thatZenon is finally free.
  14. 14. I am so glad that God uses us even in ourbrokenness. I thank Him for His faithfulness to me inevery aspect of life and for the freedom I’ve found inChrist. Being involved in a Celebrate Recovery ministryand in a small group helped me learn to takeresponsibility for my role in the dysfunction of ourfamily and to trust God with my weaknesses andmistakes, as well as my strengths and hopes. Myrecovery, in turn, has touched the lives of ourchildren, and for that I am truly grateful. Thank youfor sharing in our healing by listening to my story.
  15. 15. "Cry Out To Jesus" To everyone whos lost someone they love Long before it was their time You feel like the days you had were not enough when you said goodbye And to all of the people with burdens and pains Keeping you back from your lifeYou believe that theres nothing and there is no one Who can make it right
  16. 16. There is hope for the helpless Rest for the weary Love for the broken heart There is grace and forgiveness Mercy and healingHell meet you wherever you areCry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus
  17. 17. For the marriage thats struggling just to hang on They lost all of their faith in love Theyve done all they can to make it right again Still its not enoughFor the ones who cant break the addictions and chains You try to give up but you come back again Just remember that youre not alone in your shame And your suffering
  18. 18. There is hope for the helpless Rest for the weary Love for the broken heart There is grace and forgiveness Mercy and healingHell meet you wherever you areCry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus
  19. 19. When you’re lonely And it feels like the whole world is falling on you You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus Cry to Jesus To the widow who suffers from being alone Wiping the tears from her eyesFor the children around the world without a home Say a prayer tonight
  20. 20. There is hope for the helpless Rest for the weary Love for the broken heart There is grace and forgiveness Mercy and healingHell meet you wherever you areCry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus
  21. 21. Celebrate Recovery Meetings Crossroads TimberlineFridays 7:00 – 10:00 Thursdays 6:30-9:00 Contact: Dana Cramer Contact: Chad Stone (970-481-7379) (970-482-4387) Grace Place (Berthoud) The Landing (for teens) Wednesdays 7:00-9:30 Mondays 6:30-8:30 Contact: Mark Johnson Bonnie Baker Clinton (970-532-9886) (970-213-1946) Crossroads