Don’t Quit

As my head emerged from the water, I knew I was in trouble.

Stupidity, meanness had brought me to this place of cold and death.  Pride and humiliation had combined to make me step off the bank into the icey depths.  But, I don’t think I thought about dying until I resurfaced and saw them standing on the bank.

It dawned on me then that my brother had maybe been in the same situation all those years before.  He had stepped into a November river, been shocked by the cold, and then died.  Maybe he saw us figuratively standing on the bank.  He certainly died alone.  Maybe he saw nothing but his pain.

For me, the sight of my children there, watching me die, was enough to bring me back, to not submit to numbing lethargy, to not give up.  I swam back to the bank and pulled my soaking wet, frozen body out of the water.

I know God gave me strength.  I know I had a choice.

I think maybe there is someone out there who needed to hear this story today.  Someone addicted, someone struggling with pride and fear, with stupidity and anger, that just needs to hear, “Don’t quit!”

Pride and fear, being stupid and mean toward others are forms of quitting.  So is giving in to addiction.  Love, courage, understanding, humility, kindness, they take work,strength that is beyond our human frame.

God will give you strength.  You will have to choose.

I know I need Him every second of every day.  I know I have a choice, every second of every day.  So I say to you, and to myself.

Don’t quit.


4 thoughts on “Don’t Quit

  1. This is a very moving piece is it true? It feels very real in any case. And you are so right about not quitting. I was addicted to cocaine, alcohol, benzos, shopping, bulimia, self-harm and OCD. I also had PTSD/BPD and clinical depression as a child and wanted to kill myself for many years. But for all the 13 years that I was suicidal with clinical depression I always had a tiny bit of hope that things might get better so took myself to therapy instead of killing myself. At one point later in my life when my mother was in a terrible state after multiple strokes I did pretty much give up. I was killing myself with my cocaine addiction and bulimia and taking incredible risks to get drugs and was given 3 months to live. I actually enjoyed destroying myself as I thought I wanted to die. But then my family forced me into treatment and the enforced break from cocaine cleared my head and made me realise I actually wanted to get clean. I have never relapsed from that point, 11 years ago, and now I have done a lot of therapy as well all my addictions and mental health problems are in recovery and I am happier and more peaceful than I have ever been.

  2. Bill Hawkins

    Matt, I am blessed by pieces like this one. I had not read up on you in quite a while. Too busy and forgot. Sorry. You are one of my very most favorite writers! God is using you. Keep it up. I love it. I love you. Dad

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