My name is Sarah Hamon, and I am addicted to stress. I grew up in a Christian home. My family loved me but I had a hard time believing it as a child. My family fed me, housed me and gave me affection. The thing that I didn’t get that made me believe that I wasn’t loved was protection. Granted my family was ignorant of the abuse I went through and therefore didn’t know the necessity of educating me on how to respond to abuse.
It started at a pretty young age; the abuse came from cousins, in-laws, and neighbors’ kids. Through my distorted little-kid view, I began to believe I wasn’t a priority in my parents’ busy world, and at the age of seven I began my series of suicide attempts. No matter how many dangerous situations I put myself in, I didn’t die. I couldn’t kill myself. At the age of 13, I came to the conclusion that my purpose in living was to take the abuse so others didn’t have to endure it. I had a high pain tolerance and didn’t bruise or break easily. During the day, I took verbal attacks, physical abuse, and other deserved punishment. At night, I was tormented with night terrors or would feel so numb that I would self-inflict pain just to feel something. I became like the walking dead, no purpose – only to be damned in torment.
I thought it was my destiny; that God allowed me to be abused so that others could be free and escape torture and torment until they found God.
Entering into adulthood was traumatic. Although I had a great amount of wisdom for my age and was well-developed in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I had very little understanding of my true value and the love God had for me. My value was in my strength and ability to take pain for others. In a very selfish way, I was playing god. I survived on the adrenaline rush from stress, but even that betrayed me. In my early twenties, my adrenal glands started giving out. I was completely numb to pain, lost my strength, became very ill, and sulked in my delusion of suffering for the sake of others. I was so dependent on stress to feel valuable, even when I realized that abuse and torment was bad, I would thrive from high intense situations. Things that weren’t meant to be stressful became stressful, otherwise I wasn’t valuable in the situation and was just a burden. Eventually, I had to start facing the ugly reality. I fought the memories and emotions that surfaced which made the process of healing more painful. Like an addict, I made every excuse not to face the painful memories. My favorite excuse was, “I can’t be selfish because others need me or God more.” Don’t you love the moment when you realize your arrogance in a situation? It is like a slap in the face – a long time coming.
When you mistake disconnecting from your emotions or feelings as strength, your past will eventually catch up to your present.
Thankfully, God was there with me every moment. He waited over twenty years for me to humble myself and untie His hands, and daily I still have to do it. The difference is, it doesn’t take me twenty years anymore. I don’t want to deceive you, choosing to be vulnerable and starting the process of healing is probably the scariest, most painful thing I have ever done. Seriously, who wants to admit to being wrong?
If you have ever done Cross-Fit, you know that it is one of the most intense workouts you can face. It can be intimidating and scary. When you fight against the workout, the process of your body recovering can be a long one. You almost have to take the first week off from work. Even in the quick little workouts you do, you experience some intense soreness. If you don’t fight the process and find a trainer that actually cares enough to push you, your body will adapt and soon you won’t feel the pain any longer. Humility is similar; it hurts a lot in the beginning, but once you realize you gain sanity and health in exchange for your vulnerability you start looking for the “soreness” in your life. You do this by giving up control and choosing to trust those God placed in your life. Trust me, the pain that comes from the healing is completely worth it. My name is Sarah Hamon, and I am no longer addicted to stress.