Once an addict, always an addict. I remember my mother making that statement about her father who had been an alcoholic for many years. She honestly believed that. Is that what she thought of me when she looked at me? I had been a drug addict for nearly 8 years at the time of this conversation and I know how deeply my addiction impacted her and my family. They were devastated. What is even weirder is for some time they even blamed themselves for how I turned out. It was their fault. They did nothing wrong. They raised me to the best of their abilities and they did a fantastic job. The problem wasn’t them, it was me. I was broken and rebellious. I had no motivation to change because I didn’t think I had a problem. I could stop whenever I wanted to, but that was a lie. I was an addict.
An addict: physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects. This was me and had been me for 10 years. I started using marijuana when I was 14 years of age and graduated to the drug called ‘all.’ All of them! It didn’t matter what you put in front of my, I would do it. If it took away how I felt about myself or erased some of the memories of the things I had done, I wanted to do it and as much as I could. It wasn’t until I had woke up one night in the middle of my own vomit and then a few days later waking up underneath a pair of baseball bleachers did I think I have a problem. This was my TSN turning point. I remember walking over to my parents house and telling them I had a problem and i needed help to stop. It wasn’t going to be easy, but I knew I needed to make some changes. I sought treatment at a place called Teen Challenge. It was a one year, faith based approach to dealing with addiction. The program was intense and it taught me a lot about myself. It gave me the tools I needed to start making healthy choices. Upon graduating the one year program, I took a job in BC to help establish a Teen Challenge Centre in Yarrow, BC.
It has been 15 years since I last touched and drugs or alcohol. I am thankful for the opportunity at another chance and do something with my life. Today, I am not the same boy who walked through the doors of Teen Challenge. I am changed! It wasn’t a program that changed me. It was making a personal decision of allowing Jesus to become Lord and Savior of my life. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This is true about me and the countless others who have allowed Jesus to come into their lives and change them.
Once An Addict…Not Always An Addict!