I hope to reveal the major points of trial and success that were imperative in my development. Through the drugs, Anorexia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, constant moving, family troubles, and my intellectual struggles I want to provide something that someone else might relate and receive encouragement from.
I progressed from drinking in junior high to pot to acid and culminating with a cocaine addiction. All through these years (which this band lasted through high school), I was able to deal drugs to all those that came to our concerts. And I took might advantage of this. I started dealing just pot to coke and anything else I could get my hands on.
The drugs were to be a consistent and devastating crux for the next 5 years. In addition to this I started a downward spiral of Anorexia. My senior year provided another chance for reflection, as I realized I had not been in a relationship all through high school. I decided that it wasn’t due to my personality, drug problem, or my irresponsibility but my weight. So, mid-way through my senior year I decided to start eating less and less. I went through this process continually for over a year, but during the remainder of my senior year I lost 60 lbs. For the first time I had women actually looking twice at me, and I thought I had finally found the solution to my lack of relationships (although I was to found out later I couldn’t have been more wrong). I would get up each morning at 5 a.m. to go and work out and weigh myself or else I would’ve been miserable for the remainder of the day. I still remember waking up every morning to see the scale go down and down; if it did not go down, or if it went up, I would be held captive to my ruminations of misery.
I started to party a lot, and I left my plan to attend Wright State University. I almost never went home, dealt consistently, and completely abandoned my family. I felt no regard for anyone else; the only thing I was concerned of was my own desires. I was invited to live with two of my friends. Since I was already absent from my family, I decided to move out. My family moved back to Tipp City, and I stayed in Versailles. I received a lot of money for graduation and that only perpetuated my growing cocaine addiction.
Cocaine was to be devastating. I spent thousands of dollars in a few short months. Cocaine, not only kept me high, but it also acted as an appetite suppressant and calmed my mind while I was high. I spent incredible amounts of time and money into this terrible addiction. The drugs took hold of me, and I was in way to deep with using and dealing. I was suspected in several drug trafficking cases. One of which, involving Oxycontin, that I almost got busted. Although none of these instances slowed down my fervor for drugs and money.
The Road to Sobriety
I was forced to swallow my pride and move back in with my family in Tipp City. I started working at a McDonald’s when I was in Versailles, and I transferred that job to the Tipp store. I made a promise to myself to not spend any more money on cocaine. When I received my first check living in Tipp, I took that money and spent almost all of it on cocaine. I went with friends to Miami University to party, and it was this night that was to be my lowest point of my life (and still is). After a night of indulgence I lay awake, geeking for cocaine, and was lying on a floor in a dark apartment of someone I barely knew and was forced to think about what had happened. It was the most empty I have ever felt, but that night was also the last time I ever used cocaine.
I started a road of recovery. Even though I stopped using cocaine, I still used pot and hallucinogens. I did mushrooms one last time, and I would in Feb of 2002 get busted for drug possession (marijuana). I did marijuana one more time after that, and that was the last time I used any form of illicit substance. I decided to go to school, and I started at Wright State for the spring quarter (my admission was still valid from my previous application). I remember so vividly pulling myself up on those days off work to go and find information about WSU. I got everything straightened out, and began my life anew in school.
Even though I stopped doing drugs I still struggled with Anorexia. I remember a time of low in that disorder when I looked at myself in the mirror and could count all of my ribs. I weighed in that day at 147 lbs. This would also be the last time I looked down at a scale (and have no intention of doing so again). All-in-all I lost 80 lbs (227 to 147). I took the scale that day and ran over it in an emotional, freeing event. I also kept drinking; I knew I couldn’t do drugs responsibly, but I thought I could do so with alcohol.
I enrolled in a treatment program for drugs, my eating disorder, and a budding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). My OCD became a manifestation of my anxiety to which drugs formerly covered. I habitually washed my hands, and I was in a continual state of rumination. I received treatment by way of anti-depressants (to which I take to this day), and I was in an intensive outpatient treatment program. I was told to start going to N.A. (Narcotics Anonymous) or A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings. I didn’t like N.A., but I did find a home, and a sponsor, in A.A. I just celebrated three years of sobriety on Oct 22, 2005. This is largely due to my involvement in A.A.
The Spiritual Endeavor
As my mind was clearing from the addictions, I was able to focus on things that I haven’t had the chance before. A.A., got me to take spirituality seriously. I was in school, and I was exposed to a plethora of thoughts and religions. During my addiction and early studies, I was gripped by Buddhism and metaphysics. I was a professing Buddhist and Taoist for a short while. They appealed to my intellectual desires, and both religions, being atheistic, didn’t force me to belief in God or a god. But ultimately pantheism (although it continues to affect me) was un-fulfilling. I had always believed in a Divine Creator, but I had never taken the time to find the manifestation of that Creator (even through my sparse upbringing in a Christian church).
I became entranced with new age/postmodern thought. I subscribed to a relativistic worldview. I went so far as to attend a Unitarian Universalist church. I remember studying Judaism, and I wanted a monotheistic God (polytheism never interested me). Judaism I saw as absolute monotheism (as opposed to the Trinitarian Monotheism in Christianity). I started attending the WSU chapter of Campus Crusade for Christ. At that time I looked for a new group of friends at Crusade. In the beginning I could care less for Christianity, but I just wanted a group to become social. They took me in and invited me to all their events regardless of my current beliefs.
I started studying Calvinism, and it completely altered how I viewed God and my purpose. I embraced it as truth (before I was even a Christian), and it molded how I came to God. I felt God pulling me closer and closer, but I would continually deny it. There was a point to which I could no longer resist His call, and he softened my heart to receive the Gospel that I finally heard clearly (through the book of Matthew). It was our year-end party for Crusade, I left in a spiritual high. I finally realized that Jesus was what He said He was. I stopped on the way home at a board of education, and amidst a dark and empty parking lot, I got out and prayed to the Creator and asked for His forgiveness.
Starting The Christian Life
I embarked on ministry in Crusade leading Bridges International. My interest for internationals grew and climaxed at the IT Project where God broke me for the unreached peoples of the world. I realized how merciful my God was to me for breaking my shackles of sin, and I can’t keep this truth to myself. I graduated which opens up my next step in ministry which is going to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to get training in theology and church planting. My current church, Kemp Road Baptist, has been instrumental in my spiritual development of late.
I feel for the first time free. I have nothing but glory to the Creator of the heavens and earth for his mercy upon my soul. He saved me from death and made me alive. “How Great is Our God.”
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.