One answer to the impossible question

Ever wonder why you go through hard times? They take so many forms: health problems, money issues, family struggles, broken relationships, job loss, or worse, the loss of a loved one. Ever wonder “why me??” as you suffer through weeks or months or years of pain and darkness when nothing seems to break your way? There’s at least one answer that applies no matter how often you ask the question or how frequently you feel like the bug instead of the windshield.

We struggle through difficult times so we can support and encourage other people going through the same things.

Whatever you’re facing, you’re not alone. Whatever you’re going through personally, professionally, mentally, or emotionally, you can be SURE countless other people are struggling with the same demons and fighting the same battles at the exact same moment. It’s taken me a long time, but I now realize that knowledge isn’t enough. In order to make sure the dark stretches in my life don’t go to waste, I MUST open my mouth!

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is waging a war with drug and alcohol addiction, and it’s no secret. He waited eight years before making his MLB debut, thanks to failed drug tests and subsequent suspenions. After his trade to Texas in 2007, he turned himself into one of the best players in the game, even collecting MVP honors in 2010. Fans won’t ever forget his emotional appearance in the 2008 Home Run Derby at Yankees Stadium when thousands chanted his name as he belted a record 28 homers in the first round. But amidst the glory, Hamilton has made at least eight trips to rehab and suffered through a pair of relapses in the past three years. Instead of hiding his missteps, he’s faced dozens of TV cameras to admit those relapses and apologize for messing up again.

I’ve heard from recovering addicts who admire Hamilton’s courage and vulnerability in going public with every bitter step. He answers the same questions over and over, never shying away from the harsh spotlight that constantly exposes his mistakes and regrets. Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is the same way. He spent two years in jail for his role in illegal dogfighting, and he never misses an opportunity to talk about how prison made him a better man, a better father, and a better leader.

What good are the struggles we face if we don’t SHARE them so others know they aren’t alone when they stare up at those same gigantic mountains? My dad was a deadbeat who refused to pay child support for most of my life. His verbal abuse, constant lying, and drug use left an indelible mark. But I’ve crossed paths with many other people who bear similar scars. That’s not an accident. When I hear from someone else with a past like mine, it never fails to lift me up and remind me I don’t walk alone. By opening up, we can offer hope, encouragement, support, and the promise of light at the end of the tunnel. We may be a lifeline for people on the verge of giving up.

We may never fully understand why we suffer through hard times, I’m determined not to waste the tears and the pain and the struggles. And if that’s the ONLY answer I have to “why me?” … it’s enough.

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8 Responses to “One answer to the impossible question”

  1. Richard Casriel Says:

    I believe there things in Hamilton’s past that brought to him to this point in his life. I hope he finds the solution. He’s admitted to driving his car after Ian Kinsler took him home from that first restaurant. When he makes a decision that jeopardizes the safety of the public, my sympathy and empathy ends. He’s not only hurting himself, his family, his employer, his friends, he’s endangering all of us!

  2. Mac McFarlane Says:

    If you never experience sadness, how can you enjoy happiness.

  3. Each of us have thresholds that we must cross throughout life. Sometimes more than once. Not one of us is without a scar. However, it is what we continue to do that eventually defines us. I believe strongly that God gives us what we can handle and no more. In adverse times is where you find and develop your strength and hone your will. These events won’t make you perfect, but they can make you better. They won’t entitle you to greatness, but can help lead you to it. They rest is up to you.

  4. Diane Howell Says:

    Something else to really think about is that no matter how bad things seem to be, there are always multitudes out there who have it worse than you. Just imagine some of the truly horrible things that other people have to go through. Sadly, this way of thinking comes as a person gets older and has more life experiences. The world and it’s possibilities are not always visible to the younger generation,

  5. Your wisdom stretches far beyond your years. You speak the truth, Amy. I know because I, too, am going through a difficult time. Difficult, but not impossible because I have One on my side Who sees me through each waking day. I am more grateful because of this struggle, more kind, more at peace with what I have…a place to live, food to eat, friends like you, and a family who loves me despite my many mistakes. How can I ask anymore, why me? I know why me and why you. It’s just as you say to help another understand that this too shall pass but not before making you and better you. Like diamonds we are refined and made more brilliant under pressure…right?

  6. beautifully said. thank you.

  7. The thing about an addiction is that you’re an addict for life. There’s no cure for it. One can only hope to suppress it so that one can live a normal life as much as possible. Josh has a lot of supporters in the Dallas area but business wise how many chances should one person get. His next contract will for sure be filled with stipulations and incentive laden. Personally I root for the guy in life that he gets through this for himself, wife, and daughters. Professionally when it comes to his contract I hope the Rangers think with their head and not their heart.

  8. Dennis J. Gasper Says:

    Hey Amy…
    That is such a great topic because we see it in sports so much and in the everyday lives of the many people that we meet.

    I believe most addictions have their roots way before many years before it actually occurs. They come from the array of negative experiences that happen to people when they are much younger… ranging from not feeling safe, abondement or abuse and neglect. These experiences have powerful influences as we grow into adulthood… not getting critical needs met affects us, some more than others.

    I think one of the reasons that people don’t share because going back to those experiences is just too painful, a reminder of an emptiness that still resides in us. Painful experiences are easily covered ny addictions or other behaviors. Glad that you found others to share your experiences with others who have gone through similiar circumstances. It just seems thbat Hamilton has to dig deeper why he keeps doing this destructive behavior.

    ds met in our youth has consequences for us. ThereK

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