Our family moved to Long Island when I was 7 years old. I had a great childhood growing up. We played a lot of sports. We had a lot of kids in our neighborhood. I started early on drinking and drugging, but it wasn’t until I was nineteen that I started to do cocaine, which is when my life started to become unmanageable.
Over the next 10 years, all I did was work and do cocaine. It got to the point when it all caught up with me. I finally lost my job and went into my first rehab at twenty-nine. After I completed the rehab, I moved down to Florida, and actually did well for a while. It was only a matter of time before I got back on cocaine, and basically, I’ve spent the last twenty years or so going in and out of countless rehabs, detox centers, halfways houses, and jail.
I never used at home, but I did use when I would travel around the state on business trips. It started out that I would get stuck for a couple of days, then that turned into weeks, then months. I’ve gotten stuck in just about every major city in Florida and even a couple of Third World countries. I was very good at cleaning myself up and getting great jobs, doing well for a while; then I would relapse, lose everything and have it start all over again.
The year before I came into Faith Farm was the toughest. I lost my mom during this period. I ended up blowing an inheritance of about $50,000 prior to me coming here. I was a mess spiritually. I had lost my soul to drugs. I realized early on that I didn’t have another Faith Farm in me. What I did realize was that God was with me the whole time. It was my choice not to give my life over to Him.
When I got here, I had to humble myself and work hard. I focused on the classes and what they were teaching me. I learned that in order for me to survive, I had to trust God and surrender to His will. I learned that I had to change the way that I thought. I learned that our thoughts determine the way we feel, and our feelings determine the way we act.
Faith to me is finding answers in the heart. If you read and study and of the gospels, you know that if you do the right things, good things will happen. If you do the wrong things, bad things will happen. It’s that simple. I also know that God has a purpose and plan for me to go out and help others and show them what He has done for me and what He can do for them.
God wants us to go out and be smart without being suspicious, innocent without being naive. The challenges for you and I are great, so we have to take it seriously. We are sheep among wolves. I’ve been eaten alive a few times, and I have the scars to prove it. The best advice I received at Faith Farm is to stick with my Shepherd.