I was brought up in a somewhat dysfunctional family. My parents divorced when I was about 4-years-old. My sister and I lived with my mother. My mother had her own alcoholic issues. It seemed to be a 24-hour party. I took my first taste of beer when I was 8-years-old. I did not like it. My mom went to rehab when I was around 10-years-old, and I went to live with my aunt in Orlando. My mom came to Orlando to take care of my sister and me.
When my mom got home, I noticed I could take advantage of the situation. I’d tell my mom it was 6:00 pm when it was really 11:00 pm, and then I’d stay out smoking weed all night at friends houses. My mom and aunt saw I was out of control, and I was reunited with my father. I moved in with him in Merritt Island. In 8th grade, I started to get in trouble. I started smoking weed and drinking a lot. This progressed into middle school, and I was introduced to Percocet, Xanax, ecstasy, and cocaine. I was introduced to oxycontin at 15 and started to smoke them regularly. I held down a job at Sears for 2 years while going to an OJT high school program and spending every penny on Oxycontin and ecstasy.
Between the ages of 18 and 25, I’d been to multiple detox, rehab, and halfway houses. I went to rehabs costing from nothing up to $30,000, and nothing seemed to work. After leaving the programs, I got back into drugs faster and harder. I started to shoot pills and heroin, overdosing 3 times where I turned blue in the face, and my skin became pale.
My addiction became a full-time job. So, I started robbing and stealing. I stole from my dad, from my grandmother, from anyone I came in contact with, as well as people I didn’t even know.
The last year before I came to Faith Farm, I was at my lowest. I was spiritually broken.
Katie, my girlfriend of 5 years, and I were getting evicted out of our apartment. We moved to a friend’s house. We were robbing, stealing, conning, and scamming to get money for drugs. The friend’s house, where we were staying, was sold due to foreclosure. Once again, we had to move. We moved into a Motel 6 for 3-months.
In the smoke-filled room of Motel 6, I had an epiphany. The way that Katie and I were living wasn’t right. My addiction wasn’t only bringing me down, it was bringing my family down and the woman I loved. I knew this wasn’t the way God wanted me to live my life. I knew I had to be a man, the leader and the strong one. I had to say, “This is enough.”
While Katie was out of the room, I called my dad to come get me and take me to the hospital for detox. He came, and we went to the hospital and back to the motel. This happened 4 times. The devil was trying to pull me back. I surrendered and went back to the hospital and walked in. I went to detox. Weeks later, I arrived at Faith Farm. I promised myself and Gold I would finish the program, and I would learn as much as I could about God, what he wants me to do and learn about myself.
I’ve had a lot of trials through this program where I wanted to pick up and leave. Instead, I leaned on God and not my own understanding. He has taken care of me and all that I have been worrying about.
In my past rehabs, I thought I was getting what I needed to get and stay clean. But, the one thing they weren’t teaching was who God is and how much He loves us. I came to Faith Farm and noticed God is in the equation. I’ve held on to what I’ve learned in the past rehabs, and when I put God into the equation, it makes sense now. I am worth. God has helped me change. I am a new creation in Christ. The old ‘me’ is dead. I am set free.