Out of the darkness of addiction

This article is adapted from a Sentinel “News of Healing” podcast, “… and the darkness did not overcome it,” on JSH-Online.com. It was also published as a Web Original on July 7, 2014.

On and off, for over 18 years, I struggled with addictions to alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, crack cocaine, and cocaine used intravenously. Drugs were my solution for everything. For every kind of feeling, whether I was happy or sad, I would take something. It was a back-and-forth kind of thing—I would stop for a while, then start back up again. In addition, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was continually in and out of treatment centers.

One morning I was standing in my kitchen; I had been awake for about seven days. The sun was coming up, and I thought to myself, “You’re doing it again. How long are you going to keep doing this?” I was in a state of emptiness and hopelessness such as I’d never felt before. I had alienated myself from my family and all my friends, so I was isolated. I was at the place where it was very dark, I was lost, and I wanted to come home but didn’t know how. 

In that state—I like to call it the gift of desperation—the thought came to me, “I can pray.” I went back into my bedroom, got down on my knees, and said, “If there is a God, please help me. I don’t know any way out, and I am placing the entire outcome of this situation in Your hands.” I completely surrendered to God for the very first time in my life. 

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Divine protection at the artillery range
August 11, 2014

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