I grew up in a very strong, solid Christian home. My childhood memories are extremely happy and filled with love from my parents. My life revolved around church and school, so I knew only Christians. Accepting Jesus as my Savior at the age of five, I enjoyed many church activities as well as attending Christian school throughout my elementary years.
Although I was aware of a “world” out there somewhere, I had no clue what it
was all about. My parents were careful to shelter us from outside influences. When I was in 8th grade, my mother quit teaching to home school my brother and me. As I grew, I felt overly controlled. Although taught to obey and honor my parents, sometimes I didn’t understand all their rules. During my home-schooled high school years, it became very important to act right, speak right, and look right at all times. That’s when the games began.
I began “playing” Christianity because it seemed like the easiest solution. I went to Bob Jones University where my way of life was reinforced. By then, apathy had turned to rebellion—I was tired of playing church and just wanted out. Dropping out of Bob Jones my senior year, I went to bars; but I hated all the superficiality I felt there. I needed substance, and there was a big emptiness inside of me. I started searching, reading different philosophies, drawn to free thinkers like Timothy Leary, William F. Burroughs, and Hunter S. Thompson. I sought other people engaged in the same way of thinking. They were, of course, “drug people.” I started experimenting with hallucinogens that made me even more confused and the big empty hole even more hollow.
My Addiction to Cocaine
Then, one day, I was given my first line of coke. I remember thinking, “I finally found what I was looking for; I’m finally home.” Selling myself out, stealing, lying, and manipulating everyone I knew, produced guilt and the need for more drugs. Losing job after job, trying to quit, out of control, hiding my habit, more guilt, more drugs, losing all self-respect, my morals going down the drain, doing whatever I had to do just to get high. How glamorous did coke look now?
My Cocaine Recovery Story
One night, God gave me a wake up call as I was flat on my back in a hospital bed. With my life out of control, I went to a secular outpatient program. It helped me understand how addiction works, but that big gaping hole that was still inside my heart. Then, I went to RU Recovery Program and learned that, in spite of everything I knew about the Bible and Christianity, if I did not have a growing, personal relationship with Jesus to allow the Holy Spirit to guide me, I could not know true peace and contentment. Further more I would never gain victory in my cocaine recovery.
My RU leader came to my house every week to disciple me. She taught me to love the Lord in a way I had never known in all my years in church and Christian college. I continued to go to RU and church as much as possible. Unfortunately, as a single mom and a waitress, I had to work most Fridays and Sundays. Nevertheless, I stayed in the Bible, praying and trying desperately to be a good Christian woman and mother.
Now I know that I was trying to do it in my own strength. I thought that was what I was supposed to do—try really hard all by myself. I started to get down, really tired, overwhelmed, and eventually depressed. I believed Satan’s lie that I couldn’t do it anymore. “Once a coke-head, always a coke-head,” people had said about my attempts to get clean. I fell back into my addiction after almost two years clean and trying to live for God. I thought I would be in cocaine recovery forever. That’s when God worked in a miraculous way to bring me to Rockford. I couldn’t do it in my own power.
I felt very blessed to be able to come to the Ladies’ Discipleship Home. God used it to show me so many things that could never be expressed in writing. This is where my cocaine recovery really started. The teaching and preaching that I got to sit under definitely helped me grow spiritually and develop a much closer walk with the Lord.
One of the most important things that I learned is that under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the rest of my life on earth will be constant change and growth towards being more Christ-like. I will never and should never be comfortable and content to stop growth and learning. The other important concept I needed to learn was concerning my self-righteousness.
I learned to die daily and dedicate myself everyday to knowing and doing God’s will. God taught me and changed my heart towards others. Now I realize that I had lived my life selfishly, and that it’s not about me, but others.
God has blessed me with a godly husband, and the restoration of the relationships with my family, especially my mother; but most of all, the relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ. I no longer am living with all the anxiety and depression that I once felt. That big gaping hole in my heart is now being filled.
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