- Friends & Family
- Other Addictions
My name is John M. I was caught in the vicious trap of addiction for eighteen years. Honestly, I never imagined I would be an alcoholic, a thug, or a dope head.
When I try to point back to a place in my life where pain began, I see it began when I was 8 years old. I really didn’t know why it happened or how to deal with it, but I felt strongly rejected by my father. He wasn’t giving me the attention I desired, so I began searching for other attention and approval.
I first smoked cigarettes at nine years of age. I felt cool and it was exciting. It quieted the pain for a moment. Then, as the excitement wore off, I tried other things: alcohol, marijuana, porn, pills, and more. I found myself in this ongoing chase to numb reality. I hated to face reality. Reality meant dealing with pain.
I was nurturing a wound. I didn’t even know how to fix the pain, or I would have. When the heart is sick, the whole body is sick. When you properly address your heart issues, then the body can then operate as it is intended. The more I experimented with drugs, the deeper I went and I only became increasingly numb to life and people.
On a warm September evening, my home was raided by task force agents. We were caught with a major shipment of drugs. We were all facing up to 40 years in prison for the crimes we had committed. I laid on my jail cell floor and cried out, “Oh God, give me a second chance!”After many months of being in jail, we were all released.
About a year later, I was invited to a Bible study at a coffee shop where I met a group of men that had been radically changed by God. Every one of those men I met were all in a faith-based drug rehabilitation program. I knew I needed to be around guys that would push me to do the right thing in every situation. I got connected to their church and began to help out with the sound and media team. They invited me to help set up chairs at the support group meetings and services they attended.
Little did I know that after eight years of serving, helping, and mentoring there, I would be given the opportunity to be the leader of that meeting. If you asked me what kept me off drugs and living a productive life, I would tell you first and foremost that it can be attributed to my relationship with God.
The second thing that kept me from going backwards was me helping other people come out of the pit and ditch of addiction. When people are looking to you and counting on you to make it so they have hope, it forces you to make great decisions when no one else is looking. When you begin to see God put people’s lives back together and give them a better life than they ever had, you become addicted to seeing these type of miracles.
The third thing that can keep anyone from going backwards is the act of keeping a community of people who love you, believe in you, and support you in the good days and the bad days. Family is a great tool to drive you and support you to make great decisions over and over again. My addictions started by me making one bad decision followed by another then in the same way, my freedom from addiction started by me making one good decision after another.