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Head Shave. Part Seven.

I think I had been in treatment about two weeks when I begged one of the workers who was also a barber to shave my head. I was dead set on it. She tried to talk me out of it, but it was a lost cause. It was, by far, my best day there. One evening she grabbed the clippers, and I said, "I want it all gone. Like the Katy Perry look." And as she cut and buzzed away- it was like she was shedding the weight of the world off my shoulders. I adored it. And while it appeared to be a mental breakdown, it rejuvenated my spirit. In a way, I do think it was part rebellion but much deeper. I was trying to figure out who I was, and I wanted no part of who I had been. Eric loved it and my family thought I had completely lost my mind. The level of concern about my drastic appearance sent shocked waves down my mama's spine. "What have you done, Hope? I mean, it's cute. why would you want to do that? You look like a boy. One of them dykes." I defended myself, "Its hair. it will grow back. I have been wanting to cut it." That is true, but it was also extremely personal- it was my way of controlling 'something' in my life because everything else felt out-of-control.

I was very naive in my first treatment center.

Addiction is deceitful and it will make you deceive yourself and everything you care about. With one lapse in judgment, it can take me, a strong woman of God to hell. Figuratively and literally speaking.

Eric brought the kids to see me at "school." Sadly, mommy leaving for "school" became a re-occurrent theme for the next couple of years. Seeing my babies, especially Bentley, run up the stairs and say, "I am not leaving. I am staying with you mommy" broke me down after they left. It was my first real breakthrough of emotion. I could feel the pain and confusion I was causing my babies being away and I wanted to make it stop. My heart hurt for them. I thought, "I will NEVER drink again." It was painful living through the moments of guilt, shame, and indignity It takes a very strong person to pick up the broken pieces and keep moving forward. Most do not do it, because it requires total reliance on God. No one is immune to the broken pieces. We all have them or had pieces in our lives that seemed no matter how we rearranged the pieces (our lives), detoured, or sought new ways of living the brokenness was still there. What I have learned through experience is, life is messy for us all. My mess may be different from yours, but you have your mess too! In order to live a life free of condemnation, shame, and guilt we need Jesus. That is why Jesus came as flesh to this world! It is not about religion for me. It is extremely personal. As I continue to write my story, Jesus is in every detail. Have you ever been in so much agony you cried out, on your knees, and begged for redemption. I have. And that is the difference between mediocre religion and a relationship with God. To know him, you have to seek him.

Isaiah 55:5-7

Surely you will summon a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you will run to you. For the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, has bestowed glory on you.” Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked man forsake his own way and the unrighteous man his own thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.…

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