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By Age Ten, I Was Getting Drunk

 Editor    Feb 04 : 15:20
 None    Recovery Stories

God brought me into his Kingdom in the summer of 2000, just as the Chemical Recovery ministry was being started in the Church in Los Angeles.

God brought me into his Kingdom in the summer of 2000, just as the Chemical Recovery ministry was being started in the Church in Los Angeles. I had first heard about this ministry from Mike Leatherwood and Willie Flores as they shared in meetings throughout the various regions in the church. My drug use started at an early age. At seven or eight years old, I was smoking cigarettes while stealing sips of wine and beer from unattended glasses. At age ten, I was getting drunk and by thirteen, was using inhalants. Cigarettes were a constant abuse for me, as was alcohol. I grew up in the sixties and LSD also became a drug of choice.

...some days, smoking non-stop the whole day
I was soon mixing every kind of drug to get higher. At age 20 I injected heroin for the first time. This I did while I was already high on LSD. By 1974, I had an eighty dollar a day heroin habit. I supported it by selling drugs, turning others into junkies to support my habit. Many of them women, many of them with children. I didn't care. I was arrested many times. I still didn't stop. Couldn't or wouldn't, it was all the same. I liked the lifestyle. I thought I was cool. A modern-day outlaw. God was only a passing thought to laugh at.

When I did get tired of that life, I thought that by moving I could change everything. I was wrong. I was still me and I still liked drugs. I thought."Well, at least I'm not using heroin anymore." Alas, I soon found myself back using needles again. I was still the same person, nothing had changed except the scenery. Heroin was replaced with Percodan, this I melted down and injected, as well as cocaine.

Fast-forward twenty-five years to the year 2000. I'm no longer using needles, now I'm smoking the pipe daily and on some days, smoking non-stop the whole day. Crack, heroin, cigarettes, alcohol, pills, I was consuming it all. The only reason I held a job was, I believe, that God allowed it. I worked in a restaurant (fast cash, no hassles). I would watch a family who dined there regularly and saw what was missing in my life. I saw the love that they exuded from deep in their hearts, their love for others above themselves. This was definitely not the phoniness I had come to expect growing up in Los Angeles. Because of this family I saw what I had always wanted.

Of course it took God letting me bottom out before I could really get help. God allowed this to happen on July 17th, 2000. I had gotten the phone number of this family of disciples and after much drama on the phone with my sisters and myself, with one sister telling me "No, you can't come here" and the other sister telling me to call somebody and get help. I was yelling and screaming that I was going to come over and kill my youngest sister and myself as well.

My one calmer sister kept pleading with me to call someone. I told her I had no one to call. I was alone with addicts and drug dealers. She said there has to be someone and that's when I looked down and there on the floor was the phone number I had gotten from Kip McKean. I hung up on my sisters and called Kip. No one was home but I left a message. He returned my call at ten that evening. We talked and made plans to meet the next day, I was tempted to back out, but didn't. We had dinner and talked some more. I met other disciples and went to service that Sunday. At the service, I saw a performance by the band Eye To Eye and made the decision to study the Bible.

I heard more about the Chemical Recovery ministry in the coming weeks while I was studying the Bible. The drummer from Eye To Eye, as well as Mike Leatherwood and Willie Flores preached to us about the miracles God was performing through the CR ministry. God performed a miracle on me the day I made that phone call to Kip. Since then my desire to use had diminished as did my withdrawal symptoms, but I must always be on guard. I experienced great relief and clarity. I knew God had given me the chance to become sober and free of my demons and free of being a slave to sin. God allowed me to see that I needed him and it would take a lot of work to get comfortable not using. This I choose to do.

I was baptized on Sept. 4th 2000 and entered CR on Sept. 23rd. God has a great sense of irony. I attended CR at the "Upside Down Club" in Hollywood. This place had been a notorious punk hangout before it belonged to the church. I had many memories of hanging out there back when I was using. Here I was, in a place where I had consumed alcohol and drugs many times but was now trying to do what God wanted me to do.

When it came to writing my journal (that is, a history of my drug abuse), it was definitely a journey. There were four decades of use and abuse to write about and the fact that God has allowed me a great memory didn't make it easier. It took a lot of prayer, a lot of sacrifice from others, and the clarity that without this ministry I would soon be back to the person God wanted me to change from. I wrote and wrote and read and read and on March 17th,2001 graduated. I am still with the CR ministry, having been allowed by God to assist and lead other groups. I know that without God in my life, the power of writing my journal and the miracle of seeing someone's eyes being opened because of this ministry, I would very easliy slip back into that life I once led.

There's is so much more of my story and what God did for me that it would take all day to tell it. Suffice to say that God timed everything just perfectly so that I could become sober and grateful. Thank you, Almighty Father. You are truly awesome.

© 2001-2004 ChemicalRecovery.org. Names and places have been changed to protect identity. May not be used without written permission.

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