Most of my life, I’ve struggled with addiction. It’s something that I wanted when I was younger, then wanted out of when I was older. I never could kick it.
I grew up in a good home. My parents are still together, and they treated me good. Our family is very close. We do everything together. We love bikes (we’re a Harley family). My family has been by my side from the start.
I got addicted to drugs and alcohol from an early age. It started interfering with my life. I started pushing friends and family away. But still, my family was right there, fighting for me.
I got into lots of bar fights and mischief, and ended up in the drunk tank a few times. I would make the worst choices when I was drunk. My drug use spun out of control over the years. I was using to live and living to use. I was moving from job to job. I was one of the best workers when I was there, but my attendance sucked. So I was always looking for a new job.
My parents were supporting me, and I would lie and cheat and steal from them to get my next fix. I always felt bad because I love them, but at the time, drugs were more important to me.
This went on for years, and I couldn’t take it. I thought about taking my life a few times. I tried talking and wrestling with God, but I didn’t get any answers I wanted to hear. So I would curse God. If there was a real God, how could all this bad happen to me? So I went on trying to live for myself.
I had a lot of good relationships with intimate partners, but my drug use got in the way of that as well. So I moved from one woman to the next. I suffered from depression for years. Still, my family was right there.
Then, over a two year period, I was out of control. I drank until I blacked out, and I violently offended, not remembering what I did. I went to remand (which is where they put you when you’re on bail or in custody), and I ended up getting bail.
I was released to treatment for four and a half months. I’ve been lean and sober ever since. I was on bail for four years, until I was found guilty and got sentenced to six and a half years.
A few months into my sentence, I picked up a Bible and started reading. I met this guy that spent eighteen years in prison, and the only thing he read was the Bible. He told me all kinds of stories from the Bible that made me curious. I figured if a man who was once a hardcore criminal believes, then maybe I should see what it’s all about.
So I started reading the Bible every day and started doing the Bible studies. I was excited to find that, when I completed them, I got feedback and encouragement — and sometimes I even got cool books to read!
As I did my studying and reading, I found that the way I view my life and people started to change. It made me hungry for more.
Then I started interacting with Christians! I liked how they acted. It was like they had an aura around them, always happy and friendly and willing to give you their time.
So I started going to church. I got involved in some church programs, and was studying the Bible with lessons I could get in the mail from every prison ministry I could find.
Soon, I’m going to get transferred to minimum security. The prison I’m in is a hard place, and I’ll be happy when I’m gone. The best part of this place is my chaplain. He is very good at what he does.
Through all this, I kept my faith growing. I am now a true believer. I’m so blessed and thankful for what Jesus has done for us, and am happy to know that I have a place in eternity with Him. I’ve just recently finished reading The Purpose Driven Life, and I’m on a mission to spread the Good News.