Why Talking About My Aches And Pains And Health Issues In Depth With Others Isn’t Helping Me…

I have come to the conclusion only recently that it’s not helping me on any level to talk about my aches and pains or my health issues in depth to anyone but God for one really important reason and that’s the negativity it seems to create in me and around me whenever I choose to share it with someone.

A good example of this occurred just over a week ago when I attended my bi-weekly spiritual men’s group. There I opted to share in depth about the extremely pain-filled day I was having and felt that maybe if I talked about it there a little, I might end up feeling better. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Instead, I started whining and complaining, coming off as if no one in that room had ever experienced anything as painful as what I’ve been going through. That in turn created a wave of suggestions coming my way from each of those in attendance, which in turn created a wave of defensiveness and complaining on my part given the number of things I’ve already tried over the years to heal myself with to no avail.

The fact is, I believe the best person to share in depth any of my health struggles with is God because if a piece of God lives within me, then God truly knows exactly what I’m feeling inside every single day. And knowing that has brought me more comfort than any of those times I’ve ever attempted to share in depth my health struggles with someone else. Because no one here on Earth really can or ever will understand the depth of my suffering because they aren’t living in my shoes and the same is true for all of us as well in respect to each other’s pains and sufferings of life.

Case in point, whenever I’ve had people share with me their own various levels of pain whether it was mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual in nature, I’ve often thought that their suffering didn’t seem that bad. Yet, that’s precisely the problem because in believing that, I become motivated to say something like “Just remember that there are people out there in far worse situations than you…” or I become motivated to offer my own suggestions on things they might consider doing to alleviate some of it. Unfortunately, both of these things only tend to create a level of defensiveness and negativity in the one who’s going through the pain and suffering.

Why this is can directly be related to the reality that we each have our own unique filters, wiring, up-bringing, etc. So, something that is not painful to me may be totally painful for someone else and vice versa. It’s unfortunate that this fact tends to be overlooked more than not, instead of simply doing the very thing a grief-stricken person usually needs the most, that being to receive only reassuring words of support and compassion. But sadly, most human beings aren’t hard-wired this way.

That’s why I feel it’s better opening up in depth to God about my pain and suffering rather than another human being these days because at least when I go to God in prayer, I can safely bawl my eyes out, bear my heart and soul in entirety, and be angry if I so choose, without having any of those human filters come back my way.

This is why I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s for the best I don’t go into depths anymore with anyone about my aches and pains and health issues. It isn’t helping me  because I know where it always leads to, that being to become consumed with negativity, which is something I definitely don’t want to spread or be filled with anymore in life. So, I’m going to work harder on praying more to God about my pain than sharing it in depth with others, because I can clearly see now how that’s a far more positive light-inducing path.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Have You Ever Felt An Emptiness Within You That Nothing Seems To Fill?

Have you ever felt an emptiness within you that nothing seems to fill? If you have, then you can probably relate to my words today and how I’ve been feeling for most of the past several months. I honestly feel like there’s this gaping hole within me that I can’t seal no matter what I do. Helping others, positive affirmations, healthy eating, meditation, spending time outside, artistic expression, prayer, reading uplifting materials, listening to spiritual music, you name it, I’ve tried it and yet I still feel this profound emptiness constantly gnawing at me inside. And for a recovering addict like me, that’s when things always start to get a little dangerous. Because prolonged feelings of emptiness have consistently led to me giving into some type of temptation in the past, that at least was able to numb that sensation for a short while.

Regardless, I do know what this emptiness stems from and is about. But let me first say this. I don’t believe it’s about something I’m not doing in life and need to be doing, or something I am doing in life and need to stop doing. Rather, it’s about something that has proven to be 100% out of my control to obtain and that alone has definitely been oh so frustrating.

So, what is it? What do I believe this emptiness is coming from?


There, I said it and at least that weight is off my chest now. I’ve fought so hard to put a smile on my face when I’m out and about lately, especially when I’m engaged in recovery work. After all, who would want to pursue a life in recovery, seeking something Greater than themselves when the person they’re listening to is showing nothing but sorrow and despair all over their face.

But indeed, that’s truly how I feel inside, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY., where nothing I do, no matter how positive, how uplifting, and how driven I can be to get it ends up getting it. Instead, I’ve been left with this abysmal pit within me that is in stark contrast to how my best friend feels, the one who led me into a life of recovery and the one who guided me to seek a life filled with Christ.

He tells me that every day he wakes up feeling God’s presence bubbling up within himself and honestly, his smile, his words, and his actions all naturally demonstrate that. It exuberates out of him so much so that when you’re around him, you really do feel compelled to seek a closer relationship to God because of it. It’s the very reason why I sought a life of Christ and God again, after decades of giving into temptations to temporarily fill my emptiness.

Truthfully, I don’t know why I’m not feeling God’s presence right now, nor why I haven’t for as long as I have. I can only compare it to what Job or David described in the Bible in their respective chapters. Like them, I’ve felt God’s Grace before and lived for long periods being driven by such an amount of it, that no matter what pain I felt, I was always able to rise above it. Yet, that’s not what’s going on within me right now. Instead, it feels like I’m living in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

Some might say, like those church signs have often displayed, “If you’re feeling that far away from God, who moved?” The irony in that is that I haven’t moved. Not one bit. I’ve continued to do all the things I can to seek God. I have resisted all those temptations. I haven’t fallen back into addictions. And yet here I stand, feeling like God’s a million miles away and that’s precisely what my emptiness has been about.

I wish I knew how to feel God’s Grace right here, right now, as I type these very words. I wish I knew how to turn that switch on like it happened back in August over the course of an entire weekend, where one second I was feeling precisely like this and the next second I wasn’t anymore. For four days after that, I felt God’s presence exactly as my best friend describes and passed that on as much as I could while it lasted. But then it switched off again suddenly, as abruptly as it began, and for no specific reason.

So, that’s left me asking myself, what do you do when you’ve exhausted all avenues to fill that emptiness with God’s presence and are still left feeling empty?

Here’s my answer…

Stay the course.

As hard as it is.

And keep praying for the strength to not give up or give in to temptation.

So far, that’s helped me to keep going, to keep trusting, and to keep loving God, even as I continue to feel all this emptiness. Maybe this is what building faith is meant to be about? Who knows? What I do know is that I’d rather sit in this emptiness than fill it with something that will only cause more emptiness in the long run. Because in the end, I ultimately believe the only thing that will ever permanently fill it is God’s Grace…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Is It The Best Course In Life To Be Totally Honest And Forthcoming?

Is it the best course in life to be totally honest and forthcoming about one’s feelings and inner truths? I have traditionally felt it was until recently, when it seems as if me expressing myself as openly as I have, is only causing me and plenty of others greater distress.

I speak openly on my blog about the harmful addictive past I lived and do the same in recovery meetings, with friends over the phone, and everywhere else I go as well. In doing so, people have quite often misunderstood me and in turn, labeled me with plenty of their projections. This has frequently lead to me feeling as if I caused myself more drama by being so forthcoming.

In the process, I’ve become overly lonely and feel like an outcast in society, tending to feel lately that I’m still that little kid back in grammar school who was always the last to be picked in group events like in gym class.

People seem to like me from afar when they only know me a little and see me expressing those truths in meetings and such. Yet, when they get to know me better and see my total honesty up front and center, they are inclined to shy away from me and I end up being more alone than not.

I don’t have many close friends in life much in part because of my honesty. Yet, it keeps me asking the same question lately, do I keep this up?

Do I keep telling people about my life through the stories I go through, through what I’ve grown from and did? Do I keep myself in the firing line of people misunderstanding me and then projecting their own stuff back onto me, when I could just remain silent and say nothing?

Is my blog really helping anyone with all the honesty I put forth?

Is this writing even helping me being as honest as I am?

Is sharing my full truth even God’s will for me?

These are all the questions I ponder on most days as of late because back in the day when I wasn’t being honest and lived more in deception, it seems like I had way more friends and way less painful drama.

I’m not even sure what my purpose is in writing about this today, but in the spirit of all truthfulness, this isn’t even what I was going to post today, as I opted to scrap an entire 675-word article about something else that I felt would only cause me greater pain in publishing.

So, I’m at a crossroads right now in life that I know is being affected by the pain I keep having to go through, by the throngs of people who keep misunderstanding me seeing that I can’t seem to find a way to communicate to everyone successfully, and because no matter how hard I try to change my past and be a good, loving, Christ-centered person in the present, I feel like I keep failing and keep being judged that I’m more of a problem, than a helpful solution.

If you’ve ever felt like this in your life, then know I’m truly sorry for that, as it’s an extremely sad place to be in. I have great compassion for you, as living on this Earth in a life of truth and making ourselves completely vulnerable and open isn’t easy and probably never will be.

Nevertheless, I trudge ever onward, asking for forgiveness to those who have misunderstood me and taken my words in ways that I never intended. I’m not perfect and am flawed like I’m sure we all are in some way. But in the end, I know I can only keep on, keeping on, as my spiritual teacher once said, and hope that somehow my being as honest and forthcoming as I am about my life, is still doing what God wants me to be doing and is actually helping me and others as well…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Holiday Season Depression And Joy

It’s hard to believe it’s already the middle of November and the holiday season is now upon us. I feel like life is racing on by while I continue to wait as patiently as I can for guidance and direction from my Higher Power, a much healthier mind and body, and the one thing I desperately want more than anything in life, that being joy.

Some have suggested I might find all of that by just going and trying something new, but so far each of my attempts to do so haven’t had much success and instead only left me in even greater despair and pain. In the past few months I’ve become so exhausted with my life that I find myself struggling on most days to even do the bare necessities.

People would say that’s depression and while I may be experiencing that on some level, it’s only because of the intensity of what I keep having to deal with inside me. Because on the few days where that intensity has subsided even slightly, the depression completely lifts and that’s when I find joy automatically radiating from within.

Nevertheless, this time of the year is notorious for people getting depressed for all sorts of reasons. And seeing all the good cheer going on around those who aren’t feeling that at all makes it so very challenging to navigate through this season for them. I get that completely. I may have a partner who loves me dearly and a warm house to live in as I enter this holiday season and I may also have an abundance of food and water and the ability to go treat myself to a movie or dinner from time to time during it too. Yet the pain I deal with inside me robs me of truly enjoying any of it.

My faith is definitely being tested that’s for sure and I find myself continually asking lately, “God, are you there?” And I wonder if God has seen me crying as often as I have been, while I beg for help and answers. All of which of course is totally working against me being able to appreciate a season that is meant to be synonymous with joy.

Many Christians would say it’s a joy to follow Christ and that this time of the year is all about experiencing that because of the birth of Christ, yet I struggle to feel any of it because of that painful intensity going on within. I told this to a friend of mine recently who said I should just stop focusing on the pain and instead place my attention elsewhere. Trust me when I say I do my best in that, but even with my greatest attempts to do so, Christ’s joy continues to elude me.

If you don’t understand why, try doing the following exercise with someone close to you. Grab their arm with your hand and clamp down on it really, really, really tight, so tight it could actually leave a bruise behind if you did it too long. Now start having a conversation with them, make a joke, or do something that usually would get them to smile, and see what happens. Do they laugh and carry on the conversation with you, or are they just wanting you to stop hurting their arm? I would gather it’s the latter and that’s about on par with why I am not feeling joy hardly at all in my life as I enter another holiday season with that hand clamped down on my arm and everywhere else around my body as well.

I’m sure some may be wondering at this very moment as they read this, why I’m writing in such a depressing way today and why my writing has been more down than up lately. Ultimately, my writing has become an outlet to express my ongoing grief, especially as I enter the depths of yet another holiday season riddled in pain.

I may still have my faith and hope in God, a mustard seed at best right now, but I’m lacking the one thing I really want to have this holiday season, and that’s to experience true joy from within. True joy that’s not based upon receiving or giving some gift, or from any charitable act I do, or anything else that comes from an action outside of me. The joy I seek this holiday season is one I remember experiencing as a kid, one that fully emanated from within, and one that simply came from being alive and loving Christ.

So, that’s where I’m at as I enter this 2017 holiday season and if you happen to be someone who’s also going through something similar, please know I have great compassion for you as well. Know that whatever type of depression you are going through, albeit from health issues, being alone and single, penniless and broke, having family issues, experiencing abuse, or something else altogether, my heart grieves with each of you, as all of us wait upon our Higher Power for guidance, direction, and deliverance into a better place of joy, one that I know we all so desperately need and want in life.

I love all of you and thank everyone for the prayers of healing that are sent my way and to all others who are suffering during this holiday season. I do believe God hears each of them and I remain faithful and hopeful in God that they will be answered when they’re meant to and when they are, I eagerly await that life where I know will be filled with a lot more of Christ’s true joy…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson