Twenty years ago, I began work on finishing my first book, “Saved By The Prince Of Peace — Dungeon To Sky“.
I also created a web site, dungeontosky.com On the web site, I wrote 101 blogs (including this one) on the subject of addiction and recovery. These blogs are my original, intense and heartfelt writings that communicate my experience, strength and hope while living through 28 years of addiction and a year of living homeless outside on the streets of Denver, Colorado.
I have decided to write a second book that includes all of the blogs I published on my web site.
The title of the second book is the same as this blog, “101 Ways To Leave Your Addiction“. I believe that addicts searching for recovery from addiction will relate and respond to my story and the hope that it holds for any addict.
We addicts face the most aggressive, devious and deadly disease on the planet. About one in ten people suffer from some form of addiction. There are hundreds of different types of addiction, for example, alcohol, other drugs, food, sex, power, money, gambling, obsessive compulsive addictions like hoarding, excessive exercise and many more. Chemical addiction is particularly devastating because it destroys a person mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It destroys all relationships.
The addict becomes overwhelmed by this simultaneous attack and death is often the result. There is definitely hope. An end to the suffering is absolutely possible. I know, I lived the life of a terrified addict for 28 years and although it almost killed me, I found a solution. The solution to addiction, and this includes addiction to any chemical, can only be found outside of ourselves. Addicts do not have the solution to their addiction within them. As the Big Book of alcoholics Anonymous indicates, “We must find a power greater than ourselves”. Each of us has the freedom to choose our own conception of a power greater than ourselves.
When I reached my final and 13th treatment center at Hazelden Foundation in Minnesota, the group of addicts and the counselors served as my temporary Higher Power, until I could make my way back to Jesus Christ. I had separated myself from Jesus by my sin and all of the things I did while chemicals dominated my life. Jesus never left me, but I could not communicate with him because of my lifestyle and my failure to ask Him for help. Jesus is always available to help us, no matter where we are or what we have done, but we must ask for His help, then He will be with us.
The turning point in my life was when I made my final surrender. As I mention several times in my other blogs, at the end of my addictive journey and the nightmare that it brought me, each night, I was sleeping in an electrical utility closet in an alley behind my favorite bar. My disease of addiction had progressed so far that I had lost 40 pounds and developed pancreatitis.
I was devastated emotionally, mentally and spiritually. My mind was dominated by fear and anger and rage. I was barely living and I felt like a caged animal. I felt like I was on the outside looking in on the world. I did not feel a part of the world and I had hate in the heart. Prior to developing the disease of addiction, I was a very kind, warm-hearted, loving soul who loved people and enjoyed being of service to others. The disease of addiction destroyed who I really was and turned me into an outcast, burning with loneliness and fear and hating the world.
So what happened that changed my life? Jesus happened. I woke up one morning stiff from sleeping in the closet, I was physically very sick and fear was all around me, suffocating the breath out of my lungs. I felt cold death breathing down the back of my neck. There were people dying around me from addiction and random street violence. I knew in my heart and my soul that I was close to death and that I needed to ask for help.
My final surrender was simple, powerful and effective. I got up out of the closet, and closed that door for the last time, and said the most powerful prayer I have ever said, “JESUS PLEASE HELP ME!”
Because of Jesus’s love for me, I have been sober for 22 years.
My story is a story of hope and comfort and encouragement to any addict either sober and not yet sober. If I can get sober, then anyone can get sober. Jesus became my solution and He has never let me down. Jesus loved me when I could not love myself. When I was in the process of destroying myself, he still loved me and He waited for me to come to Him for help. I can tell you that Jesus saved my life and all I had to do was say, “Jesus please help me”. There is hope for you and there is hope for me. My mother’s faith also saved my life. She said to me many times, “Bob, someday you will recover“. When I was living in the alley, I could hear her voice saying, “Bob, someday you will recover“. My mother’s faith helped to save my life.
Today, I have been blessed with my wife Rochelle, and we have been married for 18 years. We have a beautiful home in a quiet neighborhood, we have two grandchildren, Mickey who is 9 years old and Natalia Rose who is 7 years old, and two West Highland Terrier dogs who like to chase squirrels in the back yard. My relationships with my family members have been restored and they respect me for the life we Jesus has helped us build from the ashes of addiction. They recognize and respect the miracle that Jesus has given us. I am involved in service work. I do public speaking at local high schools, treatment centers and AA meetings. My writing and my web site are also ways for me to reach out to addicts with love, hope and encouragement. I believe God’s plan was for me to go through the pain of addiction, so that I can help others to recover from addiction. My life therefore has not been a waste. If I can can help save just a handful of addicts, then my life has been worthwhile and my suffering has purpose.
Jesus brings us hope, surrender and love to open the door to a new life. I pray that you find this door and walk through it to the blessed life that you deserve. Jesus loves you.
Peace and Love to you.