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- Angels & Demons
Jesus Saved Me from Crystal Meth
I'm more costly than diamonds, more precious than gold,
The sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
If you need me, remember I'm easily found,
I live all around you - in schools and in every town
I destroy homes, I tear families apart,
I take your children, and that's just the start.
I live with the rich, I live with the poor,
I live down the street, and maybe next door.
I'm made in a lab, but not like you think,
I can be made under the kitchen sink.
In your child's closet, and even in the woods,
If this scares you to death, well it certainly should.
I have many names, but there's one you know best,
I'm sure you've heard of me, my name is crystal meth.
My power is awesome, try me you'll see,
But if you do, you may never break free.
Just try me once and I might let you go,
But try me twice, and I'll own your soul.
When I possess you, you'll steal and you'll lie,
You do what you have to? Just to get high.
The crimes you'll commit for my narcotic charms
Will be worth the pleasure you'll feel in your arms.
You'll lie to your mother, you'll steal from your dad,
When you see their tears, you should feel sad.
But you'll forget your morals and how you were raised,
I'll be your conscience, I'll teach you my ways.
I take kids from parents, and parents from kids,
I turn people from God, and separate friends.
I'll take everything from you, your looks and your pride,
I'll be with you always? Right by your side.
You'll give up everything - your family, your home,
Your friends, your money, then you'll be alone.
I'll take and take, till you have nothing more to give,
When I'm finished with you, you'll be lucky to live.
If you try me be warned - this is no game,
If given the chance, I'll drive you insane.
I'll ravish your body, I'll control your mind,
I'll own you completely, your soul will be mine.
The nightmares I'll give you while lying in bed,
The voices you'll hear, from inside your head.
The sweats, the shakes, the visions you'll see,
I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.
But then it's too late, and you'll know in your heart,
That you are mine, and we shall not part.
You'll regret that you tried me, they always do,
But you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen, many times you were told,
But you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.
You could have said no, and just walked away,
If you could live that day over, now what would you say?
I'll be your master, you will be my slave,
I'll even go with you, when you go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do?
Will you try me or not? It's all up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell,
Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell.
FEAR OF HAVING NO SELF CONTROL
FEAR OF MYSELF
FEAR OF GOD
FEAR OF PEOPLE
FEAR OF THE RADIO
FEAR OF DEMONS
FEAR OF JUDGMENT FROM OTHERS
FEAR OF MY OWN THOUGHTS
FEAR OF BEING EMOTIONLESS
FEAR OF BEING A BAD PERSON
FEAR OF REHAB
FEAR OF LETTING MY FAMILY DOWN
FEAR OF POLICE
FEAR OF CAMERAS
FEAR OF EYE CONTACT
FEAR OF LOOKING IN THE MIRROR
FEAR OF NOT TELLING PEOPLE MY STORY AND INSTEAD DOING METH WITH THEM
FEAR OF ANYONE FINDING OUT HOW LOST I AM
FEAR OF BEING ALONE
WALKING THROUGH FEAR
I’ve been considering writing this for a long time. Deep down, I've known this story needs to be told. I have kept silent because of the overwhelming fear I had about what people might think. My goal is to finally be able to let some of this stuff go, because it causes me a lot of pain. I would also like to give back to the people who shared their stories on the Hubpages article, “The Truth about Crystal Meth, Witchcraft, and Demons.” When I found this site, I found word-for-word experiences of what I went through myself. Finding this website was a big part of me finding Jesus and getting sober. This is a summary of what the site had to say about crystal meth and how it affects you spiritually:
Crystal Meth deceives its users into thinking it is like any other controlled substance, but it is not. It is a form of spiritual witchcraft. Other drugs cause hallucinations, but crystal meth actually opens your eyes to an evil and invisible realm. On crystal meth, people commonly report seeing shadowy figures who appear and disappear quickly with a small flash. These figures are real, but they are not men. They are demons. People often believe that they have psychic abilities or divine foresight while using crystal meth. But this is a lie. Demons are simply lurking about listening to your "worries and concerns" and help bring the destruction to pass. When you use meth, the Devil and his minions see you as an opportunity, an opportunity to control you. Devoted Christians around the world often 'Fast and Pray" to feel closer to God and to find God’s Will in their lives or gain spiritual insight. We believe the typical crystal meth user is essentially doing the same thing while under the influence of crystal meth, but it is a forced fast/prayer. Crystal meth often curbs the desire to eat or drink and this lack of nutrition has an impact in the spiritual realm—It signifies our 'empty vessel' allowing either Life or death to enter into our lives, especially if prayers are included whether to evil or good entities. When you use crystal meth, you are inviting the devil into your life and when he has access to you he will deceive you and separate you from your family, friends, finances, sanity, life and soul. Stop being a fearful crystal meth puppet.
The devil is a copycat of the True God. He believes himself to be god and desires worshipers. Satan serves himself only, Christ serves others. The devil focuses on himself but Christ put all his desires into His Father in Heaven and God’s Will. We, therefore, have a choice set before us, A Choice to choose Life (Christ) or Death (Crystal Meth). We either choose Life or Death by our actions. The devil does not ever deny himself, but this is what you have to do to be free from the lies around you: Deny yourself, deny your own desires because your desires are killing you and leading you to hell.
Finding the Hubpages was a big part of me finding Jesus and getting sober. I am going to say the name, Jesus, throughout this story instead of God or my Higher Power. The reason is that through all my experiences, I have come to believe that not only is God real, but that Jesus Christ is God. If you aren’t a believer, trust me, I get it. A few years ago, I would've read the first couple sentences and completely shut down once I heard the name “Jesus.” My idea of spirituality for years was eating hallucinogens. After experiencing these different levels of consciousness, I became very interested in a lot of New Age stuff which lead me to eventually believe in a God but most definitely not Jesus. I’m asking you to please not let the name Jesus stop you from reading further. This is the story of how a God that I wanted nothing to do with never stopped loving me and transformed my life when I was about ready to give up. I’m currently writing this in rehab with 8 months sober. I’ve been doing drugs for the past16 years and this is the longest I’ve ever been sober.
Growing up as a child, I was raised by a very abusive mother, who I always believed to be mentally ill. She said that she talked to God and forced religion on my brothers, sisters and myself. I absolutely hated God and wanted nothing to do with him. If God was real, why would he leave me alone with a mom who was mentally ill and unable to provide for me and a father who wasn’t in my life? My mom would say my dad was evil, and my dad would tell me my mom was crazy—not something either of them should be telling a little kid. My mom didn't know how to talk to me unless it was about God. I never felt like I had a mom. No matter what I asked her, the answer was always—God. It was enough to drive a little kid crazy. I felt very alone as a child and was in a huge rush to grow up and get away from the chaos.
I found drugs when I was 13 and was finally happy. I found my best friend. As years went by, my friend went by many names: Marijuana, Alcohol, Ecstasy, Ketamine, Mushrooms, DMT, Nitrous Oxide, Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine, and Pills of all shapes, colors, and sizes. Although the drugs I did had many different effects, they all had one thing in common: they filled that hole deep down in me. They made me feel whole and loved and took away all my loneliness. I’ve been addicted to pretty much every drug there is. Drugs were always there for me. Well, at least in the beginning. Everything changed 10 years ago when I started smoking meth. My best friend turned on me and took me to a very scary place.
Early in my meth addiction, I was able to stay up from anywhere between 1 to 2 weeks before I started to feel crazy. I would experience all the typical symptoms of paranoia: thinking that the police were after me, being suspicious of everyone around me, and questioning my own sanity. This only furthered my deep-seeded loneliness and contributed to my abuse of drugs. I started to feel just as crazy as my mom.
I’ve been trying to stop smoking meth for the past 10 years. When I was 19, I had been up for a few days and a commercial came on the TV. It said, “Aren't you sick of destroying your life, living in constant pain and suffering?” It started talking about Jesus; it showed a few books on the screen and on the book it said, “METH.” I knew at this point I was going crazy and needed to sleep; God’s not real. I blocked this out of my mind for another 7 years. As an addict, I’ve hit every kind of bottom you can imagine…drug charges, jail, probation, teeth loss, numerous rehabs, the death of friends, the loss of jobs, and isolation from my family and friends. None of these were enough to keep me sober.
Three years ago, everything changed. On meth, I felt like I could feel the presence of evil. I’ve done almost every drug imaginable and none of them compared to the complete hopelessness I felt on meth. I felt like my soul was gone. I would become robotic, emotionless. I wouldn’t be able to look anyone in the eyes. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I looked evil, and it scared the shit out of me. Numerous friends have told me how sinister I look on meth. I felt like I was being attacked by demons, which I always thought were shadow people. On meth, it is very common for the meth user to see shadowy figures. In the trees, out your window, out of the corner of your eye. Sometimes they are as plain as day. It feels like they are watching you, and it is very scary. This is so common that meth users refer to them as “shadow people.” I couldn’t turn on the radio, TV, or look at my computer without seeing evil stuff pour out of it.
The events I am about to describe were not an isolated incident; they would happen over and over again when I decided to do meth. I want to preface this with the assurance that I am not mentally ill. I know meth can cause a state of psychosis and I have been through meth induced psychosis many times. But these experiences were different—I knew exactly what was going on when this stuff happened.
I would play a song and it would be talking about what I was previously thinking. I would look at the name of any song playing, and it would describe what was just talked about. I would turn on the TV and couldn’t get my eyes off it. I thought I was paranoid and psychotic, but it eventually got much worse. Still not believing in God but terrified of what was happening, I stayed up for days pleading to God for my life. I asked God to come into my life and show me the path he wanted me to follow. I swore an oath to God that I would never do meth again, but it wasn’t that easy. I'm a drug addict, and meth had me.
One would think that after going through all this, I would never put myself through this ever again. But once every couple months, I’d get drunk, forget all about this, and crave that rush so badly that I would do it again. It would be fun for the first few hours, but then the madness would set back in. I felt so ashamed. And now I wasn't only letting myself down, I felt that I was breaking my promise to God. I tried to hide from God but nothing worked. I turned on the radio and Highway to Hell was playing. The next song was a song about being fatigued with lyrics talking about how I should have slept. The next song was about breaking promises. Over and over again; hours at a time. The TV did the same thing. I would think something and the TV would make a comment about it. Everything that would be on the TV would be my deepest fears right in my face. I went on Facebook and out of nowhere, tons of people were talking about meth and posting negative things about meth on there.
Around this time, I found Hubpages and realized that what I was experiencing wasn’t psychosis, but rather a spiritual awakening. If one continues reading other people's stories on this website, one will find nearly identical stories to what I just stated. One of my greatest passions is dj’ing in the rave scene, which I’ve done for a very long time. I believe that God used music to reach me when I was unreachable.
One time while in a state of fear on meth I began playing records. I put on a random record and started noticing its lyrics. It's by an artist named Ben Sage and Savvy, remixed by Evol Intent: “I’m sleepless / you’ve got me wide awake / I’m dreamless / my soul is yours to take / I’m haunted when I look in your eyes / I want this and I won’t be denied.” I never heard this song before, which is remarkable because as a dj, I’ve collected a large amount of music. Hearing this song just reconfirmed what I was doing to myself and to God. My friend, who had no idea what I was going through, was playing records. He played a song by Massive Attack titled Paradise Circus: “The devil makes us sin / but we like it when we're spinning in his grip,” which I related to being spun out on meth. I made it a few more weeks without doing meth and then decided to get high with my friend one night. I had some meth at my mom's house, and we decided to go pick it up. My mom and I started talking and before I left she was almost crying. She said, “Sometimes you have to really experience evil before you see the light, and God will come to you no matter where you are in life.” My friend and I were shocked—I’d never explained my feelings about meth with her. However, we’d already decided we were gonna get high. The next night, I opened my Bible, filled with anxiety. I turned to Psalm 102 without ever having read it before. I started to read my exact feelings and thoughts:
A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the Lord. Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my plea. Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen and answer me quickly when I call to you. For my days disappear like smoke, (been up for days smoking meth) and my bones burn like red hot coals. My heart is sick, withered, like grass, and I have lost my appetite. (Haven’t eaten for days at this point) Because of my groaning, I am reduced to skin and bones (forty pounds underweight). I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far off wilderness. I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof (sitting in the upper apartment at my friend’s house). My enemies taunt me day after day; they mock and curse me (radio/shadow people). I eat ashes for food (chain smoking cigs). My tears run down into my drink. Because of your anger and wrath, my life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass.
I was chain smoking a cig and slamming a bottle of vodka, trying not to feel paranoid, but I couldn’t stop crying.
After this experience, I was so convinced that Jesus was real I made it close to a year without doing meth. But during this time, I never once spoke about Jesus to anyone, except one person, because I cared too much about what my friends would think to tell them this crazy story. Throughout this year, I used alcohol and every other mind altering drug that I could get my hands on. I figured as long as I’m not doing meth, I’m okay. Time and time again situations would happen that would keep pointing me to Christ. I was donating plasma and the phlebotomist started talking to me about Christianity. He told me I should read the book, More Than a Carpenter. It’s a book about Jesus. Later that week I found that very book in my roommate's closet.
I had a friend who was into witchcraft for a long time and had also recently started believing in God. I would tell him about something bizarre that happened to me, and he would have very similar stories about his experiences. We both finally had someone to talk to about this stuff. We didn’t know if we were both just crazy and had finally done too many drugs, or if this God was real. His problem was heroin. He was trying to get sober but relapsed and decided to get some dilaudid. Dilaudid is a prescription pain medication that is similar to heroin. I was sitting on the couch and he came and sat by me. He was all high and really wanted to show me the mushroom cloud of blood hitting the syringe. Apparently he thought it was cool. I looked at the syringe and all the letters were scratched off except for 3 letters: sin. I freaked out and asked him if he was messing with me because if he was, that wasn't cool. He looked down and started crying. I said, “Holy shit, we’re both such hopeless drug addicts, God literally has to spell it out for us.” After that, he cried for about 5 minutes, and I nervously paced around the room. We turned the radio on and Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum was playing:
When I die and they lay me to rest
Gonna go to the place that's best
When they lay me down to die
Goin' on up to the Spirit in the sky
Goin' on up to the Spirit in the sky
That's where I'm gonna go when I die
When I die and they lay me to rest
I'm gonna go to the place that's the best
Prepare yourself, you know it a must
Gotta have a friend named Jesus
So you know that when you die
It's gonna recommend you to the Spirit in the sky
Goin' on up to the Spirit in the sky
That's where I'm gonna go when I die
When I die and they lay me to rest
I'm gonna go to the place that's the best
Never been a sinner, I've never sinned
I've got a friend named Jesus
So you know that when I die
It's gonna set me up with the Spirit in the sky
I made it a little longer without doing meth.
A while later, I moved to a new city and started hanging out with old tweaker friends, and I started using meth again. But now there wasn't a single time I could do meth again without knowing that I was breaking my promise to God. I was hanging out with a girl I had recently met. High out of my mind, I once again felt tons of anxiety. I laid there, pretending to sleep, letting the radio torment me because I knew if I opened my mouth, I would embarrass myself. She left and a song came on Pandora. It said, “I’m tired / I’m tired / aren’t you sick of all the lies? / Wandering around searching for answers / looking for pieces to the puzzle? / You are the key.”
I made it a few more weeks not doing meth, but, once again, it pulled me back in. I worked in a factory and had to go there after days of not eating or sleeping, just tweaking. The whole night at work I was miserable--filled with anxiety, hearing stuff, and afraid that I was going to lose my job. I kept repeating in my mind, “Satan please come into my life!” I thought, “What the hell, why am I saying this? I don’t want that!” But it would keep repeating in my head all night at work. I got into a coworkers car for a ride home, and he turned the radio on. My nickname is twitch, and the radio host said, “Here’s a song for someone filled with anxiety and terror.” It began, “Frosty the snowman stayed up for days, snorting meth. He went to work and twitched all night and only thought of death.” I got out of my coworkers car, went inside my house, flushed my drugs, and started praying to God, “Please help me stop messing up.”
I made it another month or two without doing meth. But, once again, I got drunk and did it. There was a song playing that had meditation themes in it. It was trying to get me to relax and breathe. I laid down and started feeling the most amazing feeling I’d ever felt before. I started smiling the biggest smile I’ve ever had, and felt waves of energy pulsating throughout my entire body; something I’ve never felt before, not even on acid. The song said, “As you lay there smiling / know that everything is okay. / You are blessed, you are loved. / Stop worrying about what you can’t control. / Repeat after me, God is here, God is now, God is here, God is now. / I love you, but time is running out.” My friend walked into my house and started to panic. The song said, “Don’t worry about them, they can’t hear me, to anyone else, they just hear music”. I started thinking to myself, maybe God knows I’m a drug addict, and I can't control myself. Maybe it’s ok I do meth once in a while. I fell into a deep trance and woke up to the song being scary as hell, with demonic voices chanting, “six, six, six.” All the lights in my house were flashing on and off - by far the scariest feeling I’ve ever had.
Throughout this past five years, I had been doing heroin about once a month. I never really liked it but because I’m an addict, I would end up doing it. I started doing heroin every day to stop doing meth. Anything would be better than being on meth. When I did meth, I knew very well that it was wrong. Heroin for a short time numbed me and let me escape from all of this. I managed to quit meth for six months, but I developed a heroin addiction and started getting dope sick. I used suboxone to try to quit heroin, but after 3 weeks, the urges to do meth started coming back really strong.
After getting sober, I was told that addiction has three parts to it: mental obsession, physical craving, and spiritual malady. This concept of mind, body, and spirit has kept coming up in my life. Around the time I found Hubpages, I found a book that was about someone trying to get his life together, coming to know Jesus, and talking about the 5 departments of life: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial. The book said that people are usually strong in one or two areas, and are completely lacking in the others, but that all these areas are connected.
Throughout the years, I would get really freaked out by the TV. It was like it knew I was on meth. I always chalked it up to a combination of lack of sleep, a guilty conscience, and a drug induced psychosis. But a movie came on that I know was a sign from God to help me change. The movie was called Chasing Mavericks. So many parts of the movie reminded me of myself. It was about a boy named Jay who wanted to ride 50 foot waves called mavericks. He lived all alone with his mom, Christy (My mom’s name is Christine). His dad wrote him a letter before leaving him that he was too scared to read (My dad also wrote his children a letter before he disowned all of us, which I never read either). He met this man named Frosty who helped him overcome his fears and taught him about the four pillars of life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Jay ended up riding mavericks. He went on to be a world famous surfer. To me, those waves represented my life; I was completely consumed by fear and when I did meth, I stopped eating (body), which would cause mental anguish (mind), and this dark realm (spiritual) would appear in my life. I had such big dreams like Jay did but was crippled by drug addiction and fear. Jay’s best friend was into drugs and he died at the end of the movie. Jay’s friend represented my future if I did not change. There was a graffiti wall that said “Live like Jay.”
The last scene showed a scene of the beach, and the tides looked just like giant lines of meth.
A song played before the movie ended called I Need a Energy by Greg Holden:
I need a lift. I need a shake. I need to find another chance that I can take. / I need a fight. I need a energy. I need something that will take me quickly. / I gotta just let go, whoa. / I gotta just let go, whoa. / It's all that I know. It's all that I see. It's all that's been here controlling me.
That song says it all. I didn't see a beach on the screen. I only saw giant lines of Meth. It's all that I know. It's all that I see. It's all that's been here controlling me.
I laid in my room crying and couldn't believe how much this movie applied to me. I looked it up online, and its release date was 10/25/2012. That was the exact day I was watching it. My friend just downloaded it that night and played it. I was convinced that if I could stop doing meth and could focus on these areas, I would be okay. I was ignorant that this mind, body, spirit issue had everything to do with recovery and addiction.
I would see the number 333 all the time while high. I would see 333 on my cell phone. I would see a license plate: 333. My machine at work would break on 333 parts. I looked up what 333 meant and found out that it represents mind, body, and spirit as well as the trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So this brings us up to the last time I did meth. I went with my friend to a vintage clothing store. Randomly, I won a 75 dollar gift certificate to the store. The whole thing seemed very strange to me. I looked around the store and there was absolutely nothing that I wanted. Then I looked up and on the shelf was a sweatshirt that said, “mind body, spirit.” Every Time I saw “mind, body spirit,” it was a reminder that I was breaking my promise to God. I went back to my friend’s house a day later, still up on meth while he was playing records. I looked up at the name of the track playing and it was titled Judas (the one who betrayed Jesus). I look again in a few minutes and he was playing a track titled, Mind, Body, Spirit. I never told him any of this crazy stuff before. I decided, “This is getting too much for me. I need a nap and a sandwich. This is getting weird.” I immediately asked him to drive me home, and I knew I was acting very strange at this point. At home, I lied in bed for 40 hours straight trying to sleep, crying for hours at a time, praying to God, “I’m sorry for what I’ve done. I'm sorry for what I've done. Why can't I just stop doing this horrible thing to myself. I hate myself.” I finally decided to get out my head and put on Netflix, a random episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. In the episode, they’re playing a game called “mind, body spirit.” It was a drinking game, and they were making fun of it.
I shut off my computer and laid in bed and continued to pray. I looked up at my ceiling and started to see a face in the ceiling, and it looked evil. I looked closer at the face and realized it was my own face staring back at me. I made a decision that, this time, no matter what, I will do whatever it takes to stay sober; not only am I fighting for my life, I am fighting for my soul. I couldn't imagine going through this even one more time. The only options I felt I had were to get sober or to eventually kill myself. But I was scared to do that because I knew where I would end up if I did not change. But I honestly couldn't imagine hell being any worse than my life the past few years. I was living in my own personal nightmare, and I hated myself so much that I couldn't stop and had absolutely zero self-control.
I also couldn't live with the fact that I knew all this information about how evil meth was and instead of warning people about it, I was doing it with them. To me, that's kind of like having someone dying in front of you, and you have a pint of blood that you know will save their life, but you do nothing. I really cared about a lot of these people but figured they would just laugh at me or think I’m crazy if I told them anything like this. The shame I experienced just got worse and worse with every failed attempt to get sober. I could no longer look in the mirror. Who is this monster I had become? I thought that if anyone I loved would see me like this, they would never love me again.
But throughout all this, God never stopped loving me. He was always there to help pick up the pieces of my shattered life and empty soul. A week later, I packed up all my stuff to go to my mom’s place and get into rehab. I looked at the GPS to see what time I would be arriving; when else? 3:33. But this time, I knew I was seeing it because I had decided to get help. I had a week until I could get into inpatient treatment, and I watched a pastor preach online. During the sermon, the pastor had said that God had given us a miracle. And we need to go out and share it instead of leaving it on our bookshelf. I looked at my bookshelf and saw my folder with the story I am telling you right now written in it. I got into treatment and was shocked at how they wanted us to check in every morning in group, none other than physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This was crazy to me, and I knew I was finally in the right place.
They offered church services at the rehab facility I was in. I met this kid in rehab who gave me a hat that said, “Not of this World.” I went to church that Sunday and the sermon was about how Jesus said that he was a king that was not of this world. I finally started telling people about Jesus and my faith. I was no longer ashamed of it.
The opportunity came for me to move 2,000 miles away from my house, to Prescott, Arizona. It is the “recovery capital” of the country. They have NA meetings with 200+ people in their twenties trying to get sober. Everything started to make sense once I learned more about addiction and about how it is an addiction of the mind, body, and spirit: a mental obsession, physical craving, and spiritual malady. Looking back, I can see how God had been showing me, this whole time, what I needed to do. I laugh because he was actually taking me through the first 4 steps of AA without me even being aware of it.
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
Not only was my life unmanageable on drugs, but it was without them too. Take away the drugs, and I’m still the problem. Drugs were my solution. The problem is that as an addict, I have a mental obsession, physical craving, and a spiritual malady.
Step 2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourself would restore us to sanity.
Step 3. Made a decision to turn our lives and our will over to the care of God.
I decided to go to rehab.
Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Part of this step is writing a fear inventory. In Chasing Mavericks, Frosty has Jay write an essay of his fears. He needs to do this before he is ready to surf mavericks.
I now realize God uses hard situations for good. I am actually happy I went through all of this, because if I didn't experience this misery, I would have never been broken enough to seek God. I spent my childhood resenting my mom for being mentally ill and forcing God on me. God allowed me to know what it was like to be crazy myself while on drugs. I can't imagine what it would be like to have kids, and try to teach them about God without feeling like I was forcing it on them. Looking back, it's not that she was mentally ill that was the problem. I no longer believe she is mentally ill. Just because she says God talks to her does not make her mentally ill. Who am I to judge her experiences? This was the problem: she was very selfish, abusive, and not there for me emotionally. Being a drug addict, I know what it's like to be selfish and abusive, trust me. Selfishness is at the core of addiction. I couldn't emotionally be there for the people I loved either. I drowned my feelings and emotions with drugs since I was 13. Finally sober, I’m getting my emotions back. It’s amazing to feel human again. God allowed me to experience all these things and, through all this, I now have a great relationship with my mom. I have forgiven her for my childhood. I hate even talking bad about her because she has done so much to help me throughout my drug addiction. I now hope she will actually forgive me for causing her and my family so much pain with all of the horrible stuff I’ve done.
I have also forgiven my dad for not being a part of my life. He was one person I thought I would never forgive. My father never taught me how to be a man. He taught me how to be a coward. He disowned all of his kids when I was 17. I could never turn to him for help. He actually has no idea any of this even happened to me. I spent my life searching for a father figure and searching for someone to love me. If God can forgive me for all the pain I’ve caused others, who am I to refuse to forgive my dad. After all, he’s human and makes mistakes just like the rest of us. Also, maybe I was never meant to have a loving dad in my life. If I did, I might have never felt the need to seek my Heavenly Father. Though I recently called my dad and had a great conversation with him. My father and I are now working on a relationship again.
At the halfway house I am currently staying in, I found a book called, The Purpose Driven Life. With everything that I've been through, I've been trying to discover my soul purpose. Why did God give me all these burning bush moments? I believe that with all these experiences I’ve had, there is something big God wants me to do. This book has helped me out greatly. The beginning of the book opens with the following dedication: ”This book is dedicated to you. Before you were born, God planned this moment in your life. It is no accident that you are holding this book. God longs for you to discover the life he created you to live - here on earth, and forever in eternity.’’ The old me would have said, “Sounds like a good sales pitch to sell a book.” But with all that's happened to me, I no longer believe in coincidence. This book is absolutely amazing, and I believe I found it for a reason. It’s a 40 day commitment to God, one chapter a day. I would be reading this book and numerous times whatever I just learned that day would be exactly what would happen to me. I would learn something and people would start talking about exactly what I just read the night before. At the end of the book, I noticed the ISBN numbers. I had to laugh- 3 3 3. I then turn to page 333 of the book and it was filled with Bible verses, so I started to scan them over and knew in my heart of hearts, Psalm 102 would be listed and it was; the very verse which started my whole journey.
Psalms was written by King David. On the final day of my 40 day journey, the last chapter states, “For David… served the purpose of God in his own generation” (Acts 13:36). I think that God has been showing me this whole time that he wants me to live a life liken to that of David’s, a man who dedicated his life to fulfilling God’s purposes on Earth. Throughout my teenage years I always had a painting of King David hanging in my room, which for some reason I never could bring myself to throw out, even not knowing who he was or what he was about. Coincidentally, David’s father’s name is Jesse, which is also my middle name. I smile knowing God has a sense of humor.
After finishing The Purpose Driven Life I was thinking to myself, “How cool is it that God keeps putting things in my path that show me how to live? I bet when I’m done reading this, God will place another book in my life.” That night I went to an AA meeting at a church called Trinity and got up to go to the bathroom. I noticed they had a library and sitting directly on the table, away from all the other books, except a book about healing your mind, body, and spirit, was the book A Purpose Driven Church, which is by the same author. The first chapter is titled Surfing Spiritual Waves. This was mind-blowing. The waves from Chasing Mavericks were spiritual waves. Waves of revival, waves of growth, and waves of spiritual receptivity. God showed me how he was going to teach me to ride the spiritual waves he is building. But first, he taught me about the importance of the balance of mind, body, and spirit. Crystal meth is absolute poison to every part of my mind, body, and soul. I am so eternally grateful that not only is God helping me to get off drugs and saving my life, he actually wants to use me to help others. Someone who, at one point, had zero self-control and was close to suicide. I couldn't even help myself, let alone another person. Now I want to live a life of service and help others to know Christ. It's not my job to create a wave. Only God can do that. But he is going to teach me how to ride them. There is also a chapter in this book called Turning Members into Ministers with the word “core” in parentheses on page 365. When I was in the previous rehab before coming to this halfway house, I met with a pastor at a church called The Core. I told him everything that happened to me. I told him once I make it a year sober that I want to come tell my story in front of the church. I am supposed to speak there in a year (365 days). I prayed to God and decided to start writing my story.
This book also mentions the four pillars. It says the church is built on four pillars of lay ministry. Pillar 1: every believer is a minister. Pillar 2: every ministry is important. Pillar 3: we are dependent on each other. Pillar 4: ministry is the expression of my shape. This book mentions surfing spiritual waves from Chasing Mavericks, it mentions the four pillars from Chasing Mavericks, and it also ties together me speaking at the Core in a year. This all confirms for me that Chasing Mavericks was literally a sign from God to help me change.
A week after I started working on my story, I went to another AA meeting at Trinity Church, where, deep down, I knew there was another gift waiting for me. I found the book, Say Yes to God, written by Kay Warren, Rick Warren’s wife, just sitting on the table. I opened the book and the first page I flip to, highlighted in yellow is written, “Two things I know for sure. When you respond to God, your days will become an adventure, and you will see miracles.” This really spoke to me. Deep down, I am a little kid at heart. My whole life, I have wanted to go on an adventure. When I had the opportunity to come get sober in Prescott, I told my counselor how I would love to go, as it sounded like an adventure. When I arrived in the airport in Phoenix, I saw a travel guide for Arizona which read, “Welcome to Arizona, have an adventure.” A couple weeks later my drug counselor described the experience I would have in treatment as an adventure. Towards the end of my treatment, I was praying to God about what my next move is after graduation. I have come such a long way but also have a life that was completely destroyed by drugs. So many things to do: get out of debt, make all sorts of amends to those I’ve hurt, find an apartment, get back into school… The list goes on and on. Most addicts tend to be very impatient. We're so used to instant gratification with drugs that the act of patience is very new to us. I spent 16 years doing drugs. I can’t honestly expect to fix the last 16 years in a few months. God likes to speak to me through books I've noticed. I walk into a thrift store, and I found a book entitled Wisdom for the Graduate: 180 Devotions for the Adventure of Life. I've been so excited to open my graduation present from God, I can hardly wait to graduate. These parallels have deep meaning to me--sharing my story is a new chapter in my adventure.
In A Purpose Driven Life, I learned that God wants me to share this story. It said, “Sharing your testimony is an essential part of your mission on earth because it is unique. There is no other story just like yours, so only you can share it. If you don't share it, it will be lost forever.” So that's what I'm going to spend my life doing. I know a lot of people will hear all this and still just think that I was only going through a meth induced psychosis. Maybe some of it was, but I believe God is in all things. He saved me when I was completely lost and broken. And so many amazing things just keep happening to me sober that show me that God is truly with me.
While in treatment. I needed to find a job. Employment has always been a struggle for me due to my criminal history. I almost went to prison when I was 17 for selling ecstasy. I received 2 felonies for manufacturing and delivery of designer drugs. This has always made looking for a job extremely hard and usually I give up and go back to what I know….drugs. Not this time. The treatment house I'm in takes the job search very seriously. 20 job apps a day. If you don't complete this, you have consequences. After doing this for about 2 months, I was about to give up hope. Guess where I got a job? At a car wash called Richies--In case you forgot, my name is Richard. And there is a sign next to the Richies’ sign that says “777 tint.” The number seven is thought to be God's number. It represents both completion and perfection. It appears hundreds of times in the Bible.
Looking back, the only people who ever called me Richie are my nephews. They would always call me Uncle Richie. When I think of the name, Richie, I think of a new beginning and a chance to actually be Uncle Richie to my family. That's what this job means to me. It also shows me that I don't have to worry. God is in control of my life and he wants to bless me if I continue down this path. Right above the sign for Richie's, is a sign for a lawyer named David. Sometimes signs from God are literally on signs. I'm a slow learner, and the addict in me will keep trying to justify all these experiences as coincidences so that I will give up on God and pick up where I left off--A meth pipe leading straight to hell.
I believe God knows my inner battle so he keeps showing me I’m on the right path. He is not a mean, angry God but a loving God who knows my weaknesses. If you tried to show someone the right way to do something—let's say 100 times—and they would get it right once but then forget over and over again, wouldn't you just give up? I know I would. I would think, this guy is hopeless. But God will never do this to you.
I would like to share two events that happened at Richies that meant a lot to me. I’m drying cars one day, and I start thinking about how I have group that night. They always want you to bring stuff to group to talk about. They don't want to have to pull stuff out of you. I started thinking, maybe I should bring up my panic attacks. I get filled with fear and have horrible anxiety attacks. I find I'm less embarrassed about them if I'm open about them with others. As I was having that thought, a car came through the car wash. It had this written on the window with paint: God can take your anxiety and replace it with his peace. Philippians 4: 6-7. A couple hours later, I realized the date was 4/6/16. I thought to myself, how amazing it would be if God turned my anxiety into peace. A couple days later, I noticed a Christian magazine sitting at my work. My friend had brought it in. He told me he had never read it, but he figured I might like it. I opened it up and there is an article in it about God and anxiety. A few days later, I started telling my mom this story. I was laying in my bed and had the book Wisdom for the Graduate sitting on my bed. I was waiting until I graduate to read it, but I flipped it open while talking to my mom without realizing I was doing it. This is what it said:
Fear vs. Anxiety
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you
Have you discovered the difference between fear and anxiety yet? They are not the same. For one thing fear is productive. Fear is that heart thumping movement when you know it could all be over. The car that appears over the hill while you’re passing another car causes a stab of fear, which in turn gets you back into the right hand lane as fast as possible. Fear can be dealt with by an action you can take. Most of the time fear helps you save yourself. Anxiety is never productive. There is no immediate danger in sight, just a vague, overpowering feeling of impending disaster. Anxiety over car accidents may keep you out of cars, but it never teaches you to be a good driver. Anxiety paralyzes you, takes you out of the action altogether. It's a useless emotion that cripples a perfectly good life. The Bible tells us to shun anxiety, to throw it all on God. There's enough in the world that deserves our fear, but nothing in the world should make us anxious.
Father , when anxiety takes hold over me and paralyzes me, teach me to give it over to you.
I want to share one of my biggest fears with you. I'm afraid of driving. I'm 29 and have never had my license. This is something I don't tell many people. I felt it made me look weak and definitely not like a man. When I was young, nobody ever taught me how to drive. After a while, I was doing so many drugs and my life was already consumed with fear. And looking back, I think I would have hurt someone or myself if I was on the road. So as you can see, this page hit home. I got off the phone with my mom after reading this and said, “God take all my anxiety. Please take all of it. I’m giving it all to you. I can't bear it any longer.” At that moment, he took it all from me. He filled me with peace better than any drug I've ever experienced. It was like a river of joy flowing through my body. I could not stop smiling and thanking God over and over again. My roommates were watching a movie called Everest. I tried watching it with them but was way too happy to just sit there. I decided, I can't waste this. I need to go lay in my room and spend time with God. I type in “christian meditation” on youtube. I start scrolling through and see one with a mountain on it. I decided, since my roommates were watching Everest I'd put this on. I’m weird like that. I laid down in complete euphoria and meditated on what God had given me. Then the meditation said…Can you guess? Okay, I'll tell you: Philippians 4:6-7.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Now this is the cool part. I’m at the library right now typing this. I grabbed the book Wisdom for the Graduate to find that page about fear and anxiety. What do you know, I flip right open to the same page once again. I know a lot of this sounds bizarre. However, all these signs from God keep happening, and I'm sober. God is truly amazing.
Finally, the last event I would like to share. I was so inspired by The Purpose Driven Life that I decided to send Rick and Kay Warren my story. After all their books inspired me to finally tell my story. Back when I was using, there was no way I was going to get this personal with anyone, especially strangers. The old me would go to any length to never get embarrassed in public. Also, I lived a very secretive life and wasn't ready for people to know this. I didn't understand how to be happy without drugs and also needed validation from others. I am now set free. Kay emailed me back and told me about Celebrate Recovery. It's a biblical 12 step group for addicts. Celebrate Recovery is a 12 step group started by John Baker. John Baker is a pastor at Saddleback Church. This is the church Rick Warren started. Celebrate Recovery is in 29,000 churches worldwide. This was taken from the celebrate recovery website.
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered program with foundations firmly established in Biblical truth. The 12 Steps with accompanying Scriptures and the 8 Principles based on the Beatitudes offer participants a clear path of salvation and discipleship; bringing hope, freedom, sobriety, healing, and the opportunity to give back one day at a time through our one and only true Higher Power, Jesus Christ. The 12 Steps and the 8 Principles work seamlessly together, tying historical recovery to timeless Biblical teaching.
I spoke to the regional director of Celebrate Recovery, and he told me about meetings here in Prescott. I wanted to check it out, and there was a meeting in a few days. The next day at work I'm drying cars and this man got out of his car and started talking about drugs and how bad they were: “Thank God Meth wasn't a big problem back when I was a kid.” He started talking about how God had delivered him from drug addiction. He had my attention. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to tell him that God did the same for me, but I’m at work. I can't just start telling customers about my personal life, but this was too weird, even for me. I blurted out, “yeah me too. God saved me from my meth addiction. He has done so much for me. It's amazing” I offered to send him my story to read. He asked me if I've ever heard about Celebrate Recovery. I decided that I'm going to check out Celebrate Recovery no matter what. Guess where the meeting is at? It’s at the project 180 building. Wisdom for the Graduate says on the cover, “180 Devotions for the adventure of life” I go to check it out and had an amazing experience. They asked if anybody wanted to come up front and have hands laid on them and be filled with the Holy Spirit. I decided I'll go up there. I’m open to all sorts of new experiences. I went up there and started to feel that amazing feeling I mentioned I felt a couple years ago and also once again when God took my anxiety. I can't really even describe it with words. I definitely felt the presence of God. When I was getting ready to leave, I noticed some pamphlets on the table. The pamphlet was titled Pillars of the Faith. It says, “The Christian life can be likened to a building, whose chief cornerstone (or foundation) is Jesus Christ. As the building is raised up, God has seen fit to support and sustain it by means of 4 “spiritual pillars:” bible, prayer, church, witness.
The 4 pillars is what I first learned about in Chasing Mavericks. However it was physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The next part in this pamphlet is a bible verse. 1 Peter 2:9. As you embark upon this great adventure, thank god that he has forgiven you of your sins, and “called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” I look forward to going to Celebrate Recovery again.
I want to thank everyone on hubpages who shared their experiences because without your stories I never would have had the courage to write this. I hope that if you’re reading this, and are still struggling with meth addiction, or any addiction… just know that God loves you and is trying to bring you closer to him. You might think you have messed up too many times for God to love you. I want you to know that there is absolutely nothing you have done that will stop God’s unending love. I know through my experiences that God gave me as many chances as I needed to finally get it. My whole life I thought I only had one life to live, so I was gonna live it without regret. I spent my whole life in the pursuit of pleasure: women, sex, drugs, popularity, materialism, and wealth. All this I thought would make me happy, but it’s an illusion. Happiness comes from within. The truth is, deep down I was in more mental, spiritual, and emotional pain than anyone should have to deal with. I was empty because I didn't have God in my life. To make it even worse, I knew he was real and was living with the constant guilt and shame of turning my back on him. I am now proud to say that I am filled with the Holy Spirit. I don’t have a dollar to my name and am 2000 miles away from everyone I know. But for the first time in my life, I'm proud of myself. I know my family can finally sleep at night knowing I’m safe and not having to worry about getting a phone call saying I'm dead or in jail. I can look at myself in the mirror and actually love the person I see.
Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11.28 I finally have rest and peace in my life, knowing that I don’t have to make God happy by living a perfect life. He already lived that perfect life, and he gave it to me on the cross. Now I know I’m saved, I’m in the palm of his hand, and I want to stop doing meth because I’m thankful he saved me and loves me. And if I ever do fall back into old problems, he’s right there, still loving me and helping me back out of the hole with his unending forgiveness and love. I know I can’t be perfect, but I want to be a better person for him and for my family. I know he has a plan for me, even if I don’t know what it is, and I’m now looking forward to a future of being with him: forgiven, and loved.
The following prayer I have learned which enabled me to bridge the gap between me and the God of the universe “Lord, Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner, and I surrender my life to you right now. Come into my life and make me a new creation, and give me the power over sin and addiction that your death and ressurerection gives me the power to overcome. It is in your name that I pray these things, Amen!
If you would like to contact me, feel free to email me at the following address: email@example.com