It was a roller coaster kind of week. Following Jesus’ footsteps from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday would have had me feeling dizzy. Just think of all the up and down, down and up curves packed into seven days. Those familiar with the Holy Week narrative know Jesus’ week started with a triumphal parade into Jerusalem, He celebrated a last meal with his disciples. Cried alone in the Garden of Gethsemane. A close friend betrayed Him. The next morning the crowd demanded His crucifixion. Bystanders spat on Him. Soldiers beat Him. In the end, the Son of God faced the trials of humanity alone. He traveled the downside of life in order to lead us to the upside.

In our own life, we face unexpected twists and turns. We struggle to stay ahead of the curve, have been graded on a curve, and others tried to strengthen their bodies at a Curves Fitness Center. But, how many of us know about the Jellinek Curve?


Used by addiction professionals, the Jellinek Curve charts the alcoholic/addict’s downside stages of decline. The upward slope offers a healthy reversal.

This attainable peak comes after we admit we have a problem. When you take the time to review the progression of addiction on the Jellinek Curve, you will find the predictable decline of human dignity also applies to the codependent.

Initially, I tolerated my loved ones increased substance abuse. At the same time shame insisted I ignore my family and friends. When I could no longer control the downward spiral, resentment led me down the slippery slope. My first step from codependency to recovery gained traction when I realized I was out of control. I, too, needed help. Instead of spending Friday nights obsessed because my spouse was still drinking, I went to Al-Anon meetings.

In the past month, opioid deaths in one Florida county overwhelmed the medical examiner’s office to the point they had no room for the dear souls being brought in body bags.

My prayer for their families is that they carry no guilt. We didn’t cause the addiction, can’t control it, and can’t cure it. I pray they will join the millions of us and focus on the upside of the Jellinek Curve. With our Higher Power’s help, we will make it one step at at time.


The pit is no more. The tomb is empty. Hallelujah! Easter did happen.The Savior’s resurrected life frees us from a life of bondage. Our Higher Power has gone ahead. He has shown us the Way. The choice is ours. We can continue on a downhill slide. Or we can follow His lead to the uplifting of life eternal.

God, my God, I yelled for help and you put me together. God, you pulled me out of the grave, gave me another chance at life when I was down-and-out  (Psalm 30:2 MSG).