We Happy Few…

Carry wounded

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother”. This is a well-known quote from the St. Crispin’s Day speech. I carried that quote around with me in my wallet on my military travels. It always had a special meaning to me. “Shared misery” has always bonded men in the military in a way that is rather uncommon in civilian life…blood, sweat, tears, pain, death, loss, separation from family, hostile and uncomfortable conditions. Sharing those things with another just draws you close. I am learning that there is a similar bond among those in who are struggling in or have come out of addiction.

One of the most comforting things I found in rehab was that my life and my story is not unique. Addiction is nurtured in a variety of very similar circumstances in the lives of those who are stuck in the cycle of addiction. Most think that nobody understands my pain, my torment, the void in my soul. When you discover that you are not alone in your life experiences it somehow makes it easier to walk out of the darkness. Addicts have experienced their own type of combat…tears, pain, death, loss, absent or addicted parents, divorce, poverty, despair, rape, molestation, physical abuse, loneliness, shame, guilt, rejection, and the various forms of criminal or risky behaviors associated with chasing our drug of choice.

There is a bond there. A recognition that “you know what I’m talking about”. Our boots have some of the same dust on them. There is a bond in knowing that we are not alone in our struggle against our own thoughts and desires to go back for “one more run”. There is a bond that says when my brother falls or relapses, I will be there. Not to criticize wrong choices but to extend an arm, lift them up and help carry their load. Their struggle becomes your struggle. Your hope becomes their hope. Their victories and their failures are shared with equal kinship.

You discover that there is no benefit to fighting your battles alone. There is no benefit in keeping your fight a secret. Come out of the darkness and into the light. You need a fireteam around you with God at the center. We draw strength from eachother…back to back, shoulder to shoulder. We fight the same enemy on the same battlefield with the same source of Hope and strength. ” For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal in nature but mighty in God…” (2 Corinthians 10:4)

This is not unlike our Christian walk. You do not need to struggle alone in your own secret sins. It’s not the way God designed it. Tonight, a group of us gathered with a friend to pray for his family and his marriage. He knelt and we prayed. His struggles became our struggles. His pain was our pain. His tears were our tears. We walked with him and helped him carry his petitions to the throne. In his struggles, we faced our own shortcomings. Because in him, we were able to see ourselves and remember from “what” we have all been rescued. We shed some blood together tonight in that room, and are “all” the better for it.

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother.”

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About jrstover

Just a sinner Saved by Grace. Walking in the Spirit. Advocate for those struggling in addiction.
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2 Responses to We Happy Few…

  1. amylong1933 says:

    Beautiful. I was recently baptized with my 11 year old son. It was his idea. I have struggled between my Eastern Philosophies and my Christian faith until recently. My Pastor said that there is nothing wrong with learning about other religions and even applying some of their principles to our own lives if it fits. I feel that Buddhism and Zen are philosophies on life, not religions. Therefore, I see no harm in my quest to expand my knowledge and apply these beautiful principles to my life. “If it doesn’t apply, let it fly!” The power of prayer though, I feel its strength all around me, all the time now. I meditate but I pray to God and I even feel guilty if I pray for anything for myself lately. I am trying to find a balance in prayer and meditation. Change is lifelong and I would not want it any other way, I am constantly learning and growing, Six months ago I could not have been bothered by others and their struggles, I was engulfed in self-pity. Recovery is not all peaches and cream, it is carnage sometimes and painful. We must ride the storm to rebuild after its devastation.

    • jrstover says:

      I like your take on eastern philosophies. When I was deep in my addiction and totally rebelling against God I became interested in the ” Book of the Five Rings”. It was very interesting to me. I started to read a little more about Musashi Miyamoto and discovered “the way of walking alone” (Dokkodo). The title summed up how I saw myself. I liked being alone. I felt myself as this single strong soul battling against the world and everything in it. I was determined to be victorious. Anyway, there were 21 principles detailed in “the way of walking alone”…I still like a lot of them and see the wisdom behind the principle. If you haven’t read them, check them out. Sometimes I feel a little guilty for still thinking on them. Ehh, what do you do, right?

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