Turbulence is a way of life living with addiction in its many forms.  Thus sayeth the women at the Lighthouse, a fifteen-month, faith-based residential treatment program for those recovering from substance abuse. Turbulent enough that Nicole suffered a panic attack while drawing a twisted heart surrounded by black spidery figures, her image of turbulence. Hyperventilating with the memory of what it was like when she was deeply in her addiction – the backwash of blood  into the syringe as she needled the next fix.

For Chanel, who sees herself as a star, syringes played a pivotal role in her turbulence. They were instruments associated with being beaten up repeatedly, multiple arrests, always handcuffs, and often jail. Tricia’s image of turbulence juxtaposed a myriad of bleeding eyes, her eyes, weeping as her grasping hands strained for freedom from the fires of hell. Sabrina’s addiction was a swirling hurricane with clutching hands and a turbulent sea that tossed her boat on the rocks.  Yet…she also holds onto a slender gold thread of hope. 

Each of the women hold onto a slender thread of hope when they enter the Lighthouse. For many that thread becomes a rope, a life line that each woman represented a slightly different way in her art work. For Chanel, the green areas on either side of her blue star tell it like it is – the grass is greener on the other side of her addition. As her faith deepens she’s experiencing the key to freedom offered at the Lighthouse, the love and power of the Cross that wipes away what each thought was unforgiveable.  

As you click on and open the right image, you’ll see that Sarah continuing her story. Where she was alone in her boat in the turbulent left image, now her children are with her, the waves pushing the boat ashore toward the open door of the lighthouse which she portrays as built on a firm foundation. Hands of hope are ready to embrace them.

Facing the turbulence of addiction isn’t all over for the ladies of the Lighthouse once they enter the program. There are still the turbulent questions:

will I relapse?
will I be able to make it on my own?
will I find a job?
can I stay clean and sober on my own?
will I get custody of my children again?

At times the inner turbulence of their faith, the wondering, the questions about the future, seem endless. Nicole captured the essence of that in her oil pastel of present and future turbulence – “There’s no rainbow without rain.” 

When you’ve encountered turbulence in life, what were the things that dashed you against the rocks, or twisted your heart with overwhelming anxiety? What was the slender cord of hope that you clung too? If you were to draw a picture of your turbulence, what would it look like? If you were to create a picture of your inner turbulence – your wonderings and questions, what would you title it?

I hope you give lots of thought to these questions and are willing to share your comments.

The women appreciate them enormously!






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