The very first time I experimented with alcohol I was 13 years old. One weekend my 16-year-old cousin and I decided to have a party and we purchased a case of beer quarts. We didn’t even get past the first beer before becoming totally drunk and passing out. I remember waking up the next day in my bed in a pool of my own puke. Alcohol was a common thing in my home. There was always a braai or a party at our house over weekends. Alcohol and partying became quite the norm for me growing up as a young boy.
I grew up a very insecure boy with no real father figure in my life. At school I was always trying to fit in and be accepted. My first introduction to smoking marijuana was during my first year at high school. I started high school a straight A student. During my matric year, I had dropped to standard grade for all my subjects. By the end of my matric year I barely passed the year and failed one subject. Partying with my friends was all I was interested in doing. When I matriculated, I went to College to try and further my education and was expelled from the College a few months later. My Mom didn’t really know what to do anymore as things had spiraled out of control. I was partying, drinking and drugging with no sense of responsibility. My Mom eventually sent me to live with my Dad, in the hopes that it would bring some change to my life and help me get my life straightened out. I moved from Durban to Johannesburg, but the party just continued and nothing really changed. A few months later my Dad enrolled me in the military with the hopes that it would give me some direction for my life. The two years I spent in the military did me the world of good. It instilled in me a sense of responsibility, discipline and a good work ethic. I was in a controlled environment and didn’t really have a choice but to focus and apply myself to the training. I decided to get married shortly after I finished military service, however old habits started to creep back into my life style. I started drinking and smoking marijuana again and after three years my marriage ended in divorce. At this point I packed up my bags and moved back to Durban with the hopes of getting away from the party scene. Moving back to Durban wasn’t the answer as things continued to spiral out of control. I was back in my home town and the partying, drinking and smoking marijuana just continued. As time went on I started using harder drugs like ecstasy, cocaine, crack cocaine, mandrax, LSD and magic mushrooms. The evenings always started with a few drinks and a couple of joints and always progressed to taking harder drugs. At this point things really began to take a rapid downward dive. I eventually lost my job and turned to selling drugs to support myself and pay the rent. Being a drug dealer just fueled my addiction even more. The money I was making on the drugs just went straight into supporting my drug habit. Life for me became all about going from one drugging session to the next. It literally consumed my life. Taking drugs was all I used to think about. I was always focusing on how I was going to get the cash to buy the next big score. The drug that really took me down before I went to rehab was crack cocaine. I would leave work go straight to the dealer, pick up a few crack pieces, go home, smoke it up, go to work the next day and the process would be repeated. Each day was pretty much the same as the one before, wake up, go to work, go to the dealer, go home and drug it up. Each day just rolled into the next. This pattern in my life had been going on for years. I had lost all sense of responsibility, reality, purpose and self-worth. I had lost my identity and no longer knew who I was.
Over the years I tried many ways to quit drugs and alcohol. I tried will-power, I tried going cold turkey, and I even tried outpatient programmes. On an outpatient programme I would have to report to the clinic every day for a urine test and collect medication that would help me come off the drugs. The trips to the clinic were short-lived because the weekend would come around, and that meant a braai at a friend’s place or a few drinks at the local pub. After a couple of drinks it was straight to the dealer and a drugging session would begin. Going to the clinic every Monday and testing positive for drugs each time was quite challenging so I just stopped going to save myself the embarrassment. The drugs and alcohol had such a firm grip on my life and I couldn’t break free from using. Deep down inside I really wanted to change. I wanted a life free from the bondage that I was in, I just didn’t know how to break the addiction and be permanently free. At the age of 28 I realized that I had absolutely nothing to show for my life. 15 years had passed me by as one big blur of parties and hangovers. I booked myself into rehab and was determined to try and get my life on track. At this point I had made a quality decision that I wanted to change. Booking into rehab was the first step of many steps needed to recover. The first rehab I went to I spent 21 days there. Things were looking really good for me. I was sober for 21 days and I honestly thought I was going to make it. The big test came when I left the rehab and went home. Needless to say within a few weeks I relapsed and was right back where I started. I booked myself into a second rehab with great hopes of recovery. This time I was in the rehab for 28 days, and again things were going really well. When I left the rehab and went home, things still seemed to go well for a few weeks, however that cunning addiction caught up with me and I relapsed again even worse than the first time. At this point my back was against the wall and I didn’t know what to do. I had tried everything. I had tried going cold turkey, tried using my own will-power, tried outpatient programmes, and been in and out of two rehab centers, yet nothing was able to help me permanently break free from the addiction that had such a firm grip on my life.
During the time spent in the rehab centers and also attending AA meetings, I had heard about putting your trust in a higher power. Religion and God had always been “A way out there” thing for me. I thought that there was maybe a God out there somewhere but was not fully convinced that God was real or that He even existed. Whilst in rehab I started asking questions about God as I had really run out of options. In my mind I started saying, “Well if God really does exist then maybe He can help me with my addiction problem.” The second relapse was really the major turning point in my life as it had led me to a point of desperation. Shortly after checking out of rehab for the second time, a friend of mine invited me to CRC Durban and I started attending church services there just before the second relapse. During an evening service when Pastor Glenn gave the altar call, my friend and I, both gave our hearts to Jesus that night. The very next week I relapsed. I went to the dealer and picked up R1500 worth of crack cocaine and smoked it up on my own. I came home late that afternoon after my relapse drugging session and remember sitting on the side of my bed, feeling guilty, confused, depressed, and full of regret with no hope. I had no more answers and had no idea of how I was going to recover or get free. I was right back where I had started. A few weeks before I was given a Bible by a friend of my Mom. I picked it up and opened it to try and read it and find some answers and solace in the midst of the challenging situation I was facing. As I paged through it in my drugged-up state I came across Psalm 51. I began reading the Psalm for the very first time and realized that the writer of the Psalm was crying out to God in repentance for his sin. In my desperation, I cried out to God and prayed the Psalm 51 prayer of repentance. Once I had prayed the prayer, I remember saying out loud; “God I don’t really know if you are real, but I’m in a really bad place right now, I’m in a seriously desperate situation, if you are real and all powerful like the Bible says You are, then You are the only One that can help me, so please help me! At that moment, I felt a presence come over me like I had never felt in my life before. The presence was so strong and real it was almost tangible, and it filled the whole room. I felt the burden and yoke of bondage being removed from my life; it was like something broke over my body from my head to my feet. At that point, I knew for sure I had just had a God encounter and something supernatural had just happened! I sobered up in an instant! A peace that I can’t describe came upon me and I went to bed that night feeling like a huge weight and burden had been lifted off my life. The next morning when I woke up, the physical cravings were all gone, the mental obsession for drugs was completely gone, and my mind was completely clear. Something had radically changed on the inside of me. I am so excited to testify today, that from that day until today, I have been sober and free from drugs and alcohol for 13 years. What I had been trying to do on my own for many years, God did for me in one moment. I give Jesus all the honour, praise and glory for His grace and saving power. The presence of God is the bondage-breaking, yoke-destroying power. One touch from God can change a human life forever!
Isaiah 10:27 (NKJV)
It shall come to pass in that day
That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder,
And his yoke from your neck,
And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.
If you are struggling with an addiction or know someone who is struggling, take heart, there is hope, and there is a way! Jesus is the answer to the heart’s cry of man! Addiction can be beaten!
My prayer is that people who are struggling with addictions would come to know the Lord Jesus as I have. I pray that He would break the shackles of bondage that is keeping them trapped in addiction.
When Jesus comes on the scene everything changes. There is no addiction too strong or circumstance too dire that can stand against the power of Jesus Christ! All you need to do is turn to Him and invite Him in.
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
The real journey of recovery began after I gave my life to Jesus and encountered Him in such a powerful way. The rest, they say, is history! On the journey of recovery, I have learnt many practical things that have helped me stay sober and not just stay sober but also helped me to start rebuilding my life. God doesn’t just want you sober, He wants to take you on an exciting journey to discover life, and what He has called you to do. Just keep reading and ask God to open your heart and mind to the steps and principles in the pages ahead. God is good and seeks to do only good in your life. You may come to God in broken pieces, but if you give Him a chance, I can guarantee you, your life will never be the same again!
Overcoming addiction is a battle you can win!
Addiction has become an epidemic in our society that is destroying the lives of people around the world at a rapidly increasing rate. When families have a loved one or even a friend who has been drawn into the world of drugs and alcohol addiction, or addiction of any kind, they are faced with the same challenging question: is there a way out? Can a person truly break free from the bondage of addiction? The answer is YES YOU CAN! Addiction of any kind can be beaten. There is hope and there is a way. The journey of recovery is a process of rebuilding every aspect of an individual’s life. It’s the exciting journey of discovering who you really are and who God created you to be. No matter how bad the situation, God has a plan to restore and redeem the life of an addict. Your best life is just one decision away!
Brennan was addicted to drugs and alcohol for 15 years before he gave his life to Christ. He has overcome drug and alcohol addiction and has been sober for the past 12 years. This book is a practical guide of his first-hand experience and his personal journey in overcoming addiction. May God bless you and empower you to overcome as you read this book!
My last encouragement on this page is to never give up on a person who is battling addiction. People can recover and there is a way to help them. With the right advice and the right plan anything in this life can be accomplished. Never ever give up!
If you have any questions, please feel free to post comments. I am more than willing to give advice and assist where I can.
YES YOU CAN has been a work in progress over the past three years. It has recently been reviewed, re-edited and an additional chapter added to make it a complete volume. The updated version is now available in kindle format on Amazon and also available in paper back through Micromega publications.
The Kindle app is available for download on Amazon for FREE for iPhone, iPad, Desk top PC, Laptop, Android tablets and smart phones.
To DOWNLOAD ebook in kindle format click on this link: AMAZON.COM
To ORDER paper back copy click on this link: MICROMEGA PUBLICATIONS then click on BOOKS and search for YES YOU CAN
Paper back copies also available at CRC Ballito church office
For further info email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Promotional packages are available for bulk orders and for Rehabilitation centres send email for details
NB: Please give book a review on Amazon once you have downloaded and read it.
YES YOU CAN Win the battle over addiction
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- THE JOURNEY
- MAKE A QUALITY DECISION
- KEEP THE SCOREBOARD TICKING
- LIFESTYLE REVOLUTION
- RENEWING THE MIND
- PEOPLE, PLACES, SITUATIONS
- ITS PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL
- COMPLIANCE vs SURRENDER
- THE LOCAL CHURCH
- FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD
© 2016 Brennan Dauberman