Last week my Dad was the featured speaker at Families Against Narcotics’ monthly forum in East Lansing. He was selected to share his experience of being a Minister who also has a son -ahem..me – who is a recovering heroin addict. Among other things he spoke about, my Dad gave a quick summary of my addiction and went into detail about my last year in active addiction and how bad it actually got.
Let me just say that listening to him tell a big crowd about how messed up my life actually was and realizing how much I put my family and I through was very hard, to say the least. It is one thing to tell a group of people that you are a recovering heroin addict and lived a life of drugs and crime, but its another to actually tell them some of the horrible things you did during that addiction. Even though it was hard, it was necessary. I have repeatedly offered my story to the cause of recovery and changing the face of addiction and I have no problem with it at all. In fact, it helps me to know I may be inspiring somebody else, but it is nonetheless embarrassing at times.
In that last year of my active addiction, I checked myself into several rehabs and left most of them after just one day because my heroin withdrawal would kick in, I overdosed two times and went to the hospital another time for an infection from a bad batch of dope, I had to live at two different homeless shelters, I jumped out the window and ran away from the police when they were trying to pick me up for a warrant, I flipped my car in an accident on US 127 going 70-80 mph after nodding out behind the wheel, repeatedly stole from my family who gave me many chances, and much more. All of that was shared while I sat there and listened while my Dad cried in front of the microphone. I shed a couple tears myself, but didn’t want anybody to see because I absolutely hate crying in front of people.
I guess I haven’t ever listened to somebody else share all of that and it hit me over the head. How did my addiction get so bad? How does a child of a local, successful minister wind up with not only a heroin addiction, but become a thief and felon? Even more strange to me is the question I ask myself every single day of my life: “How in the world did I ever quit heroin and find recovery?”
You see, all of that stuff that happened to me, you would think, would have opened my eyes and inspired me to get better. But I just never had hope! I thought I would never be able to quit for good so I never wanted to go through the pain of withdrawal or deal with my crazy feelings, two important things needed to start recovery. I flat out did not want to quit, until a miracle happened.
All of the sudden, one day I woke up and had this miraculous feeling of desperation to get better and try a new way of life. Desperation was the one thing I never had. Overdose didn’t do it, spending a full 12 months in jail didn’t do it, living on the streets didn’t do it, seeing my family have to kick me out didn’t do it….but somehow later on I woke up and wanted to quit dope. I, still to this day, have no idea how that happened.
My parents and loved ones prayed every single day and night for my recovery. I begged God to give me the desire to quit and the strength to do it, but I never wanted to go through the pain of actually putting the drugs down. But waking up on that morning, I finally had a desire to stop using and try recovery. I finally wanted to change!
I firmly believe the reason I am sober and in recovery today is because of prayer. Even though I still question how it all happened the way it did, I am confident my recovery was God intervening and blessing me with the desire to change. For many years I had no hope or desire to quit heroin and I was sure that recovery would never happen for me. But today I can say that I have been in recovery from drugs for over 18 months. It has been an up and down battle and there have been many hard times, but somehow I am clean. God works in mysterious ways and I am positive that without him, I would never have done what I did. In fact, with the way I kept overdosing around that time period, I may have died.
God performed a miracle in my life. He did for me what I could not do for myself. Hopeless, stealing, addicted, miserable Aaron Emerson woke up one day and had the desire to change. I now am in college and have a job that I love. My family has forgiven me and I am reunited with them again. I have an amazing girlfriend that I have been with over a year and my daughter is in my life. God had a plan for my life and he had to give me a nudge to start fulfilling it, but here I am. If you are in doubt today that you or a loved one will never quit getting high or drinking, please have faith. I was as hopeless as they come. Recovery can and does happen, even after years of terror. God is a forgiving and miraculous God, and he cares for everyone, even drug addicts. God bless you and may you have peace today!
Did You Like This Blog? Sign Up For More:
Enter your email address in the form below to subscribe to our blog. You will get every new blog sent straight to you right when it is posted. It is totally free.
[jetpack_subscription_form show_subscribers_total=0 title=”Subscribe to Our Blog” subscribe_text=”Enter Your Email to Get Our Blogs Sent to You:” subscribe_button=”Sign up now!”]