Looking back on my life and how my addiction started, I can trace it back to finding a group of kids in middle school that would accept me. I was advanced in school, which made me feel like I couldn’t relate to most kids. The kids that drank and did drugs didn’t care if I was advanced or not- so I gravitated to them. Fortunately, at 11 years old, a neighbor friend took me to Calvary Church and I was saved. Nevertheless, that friend and I had a falling out. I then turned back to drugs. This downward spiral got me arrested for something I didn’t do. A older man came on to me, I told him off and to get back at me he called the police to tell them I was responsible for burning down a medical clinic. I was arrested and without my parents or a lawyer present the police were yelling at me, trying to get me to confess to a crime I did not commit. My dad came down to the station, but when questioned, he couldn’t confirm I was home @ 2:30am that night. They eventually found fingerprints that did not belong to me, still I felt betrayed and didn’t trust adults after that.
Throughout my life and through many trials I made, God was with me. He always helped me find jobs so that I never was starving or living on the streets. He also brought people into my life who helped to guide me back on the right path. One perfect example ; my best friend became sick while in New Jersey with pancreatitis and high blood pressure. He ended up having heart problems and was taken to L.A. County Hospital. While waiting for a bus to go visit, I tried to buy some pot from a guy, who happened to be witnessing for Calvary Chapel West Covina. I started going to church, bible studies and even witnessing. When my friend got out of the hospital and started going to church with me, some of the people seemed to shun him because he had tattoos and had been in prison. This bothered me, so I stopped going to church.
After finishing school at DeVry, I got a job repairing copiers. One day I went to fix a copier, I noticed their network was not set up properly, so I fixed it even though it wasn’t part of my job. The woman was so impressed she told me to apply for an opening in their IT department. I was hired as a Sr. Systems Analyst doing mostly business analyst and top tier support at a bank headquarters. Here I was a 29 year old, high school dropout, with no computer related college (except industrial type stuff), in an advanced position. I knew God had his hand on me. The values that were instilled in me by being a believer in Christ, helped me go out of my way to help others and expect nothing in return. God always brought me to the right place, at the right time, with the right people. Even though I would continually back slide, God stayed with me and blessed me.
Life then threw me a curve, my friend got sick with Hepatitis C most likely from sharing needles. He made me his power of attorney and I discussed with him all the scenarios that could possibly happen. He started going into renal failure and needed dialysis to live. He told me he would rather die than to keep suffering. I had to tell the doctors to let him go. I felt like I murdered him and became very depressed, I lost my best friend who was like a brother to me. I then decided to move back to Pacific Beach, where I was originally from ,and party to forget my pain. I drank mainly on weekends and then went to Germany where I drank for 15 days nonstop. I drank everyday for 7-8 years after that. I eventually stopped drinking and moved to North Park where I got into a relationship with a meth addict. During this time, I was forced by doctors to go into pain management as a result of former work accidents and two spinal fusion surgeries that caused me to have chronic pain. Physical Therapy made my pain worse. I was given Subutex which made me throw up for 8 hours and having every symptom on the bottle. I was already taking 5-10 Norco. Subutex did not stop the pain either. I started buying pain medication off the street, since the doctors cared more about government policy than their patients. Eventually I could no longer get the pain medicine, so I started buying Heroin. I was in a battle for my life, I came across my bible and opened it to Job. God wanted me to repent. I ignored Gods voice. Instead I started taking meth to stay awake, because heroin made me want to sleep. I lost my mind and my job. I became suicidal, from not being able to manage the mental and physical pain any longer. I tried to kill myself with a combination of drugs and alcohol twice, even praying to God to kill me. My dad called the police to try to help me. Then drug dealers wanted to kill me thinking I would rat them out. I was staying up longer and longer and sleeping less and less. I eventually was arrested the second time and was looking at serious time.
I spent the majority of my time in jail reading the bible. The Holy Spirit was helping me work through the steps, before reading them. I was not stressed. I trusted God and knew He would get me through this difficult time. Even when I wasn’t walking with Him, He was always there. I tried to do God’s will in jail. I started a bible reading prayer circle with other inmates. I also attended a Christian Ministry group where the leader told me if I was going to go into a rehab program that I would be wasting my time unless it was Christian. It so happened that my lawyer got me a deal with probation to go to a rehab program and the only one that had room was Restoration Ranch, which happened to be Christian.
I now have a relationship with Jesus again, better and stronger than ever. I am no longer depressed, I have less physical pain, and my relationship with my parents is restored. Jesus did not leave or forsake me. I am a prodigal that He left the 99 for, even as much as a sinner I was. I realize now that I was in bondage in the life I was living, running away from my creator, the one who loves me the most. Now, I plan to stay connected to my Savior. There is nothing better that the peace hope and joy He brings.
To sum it up, I think Romans 8:28 says it all. ” And we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, to those we are called according to His purpose.”