Just like this school of Sting Rays, addicts get sober and then stay sober in groups.

Together we thrive, but alone we fail.

Today, a person said to me, “I am surprised that you have had the history that you describe.

You are articulate and well educated and you are intelligent.  How could you have fallen

to the level of a homeless addict, living on the streets like an animal?”


I told him that it is a very long and painful story spanning over 28 years of my life.

In my teenage years, I did not wake up one day and say to myself, “My goal is to lose

everything I am as a person, have my spirit crushed, and live in overwhelming fear, anger and

desperation and then drive myself over a cliff to my certain death.”

Nobody grows up wanting to become an addict.


Yes, it is true that I did lose everything as a result of my addiction to alcohol, marijuana

and cocaine.

I lost my dignity.

I lost my self-confidence and all of my self-worth.  I came to hate myself.

I lost my authenticity and my moral code of right and wrong.

There was no more integrity left in me.

I lost my mind, my emotions, my heart and my soul to a disease that was

determined to kill me.

I lost the light in my life, and I lived in the darkness.

I lost my inner peace and I was controlled by fear, anger and hatred.

I lost all self- respect and turned my hatred inward, so I could destroy myself day after day.


I lost my compassion for others and the love I once had in my soul.

I lost all but two relationships and I had destroyed the rest because of my addiction.

I damaged my relationship with Jesus, and I was full of shame and guilt.

Today, I know that my sin only temporarily separated me from Jesus.

Jesus had already forgiven me and He had already paid the cost of my sin

when He died on the Cross.  Jesus had always loved me and He always will!

Jesus was waiting for me to surrender to Him, so He could give me a new

beautiful sober life.  Jesus could see my future, but I could not.


I became a reckless lunatic out of touch with reality.

I was slowly self-destructing and I knew it, but I did not care anymore about anything.

My manic depression was eating away at my mind.  I could no longer function

and make good  decisions.  If a thought came into my mind, I would just do it,

regardless of the consequences.


My mind and soul were focused on only one thing—getting and using more chemicals

to get high.  I was controlled by the mental obsession to get high, and the physical

craving for chemicals.  I had become a prisoner in my own skin, and I had become

completely powerless.  I was lost like a cork in a raging sea, and there was no land in sight.


Inside of me was a powerful, all-consuming loneliness that hovered over me like a black cloud.

The loneliness was with me when I woke up, and it was with me when I closed my eyes

to sleep.  I could feel this loneliness aching like an infection in my bones.


Addicts will use chemicals to fill up an emptiness and a spiritual yearning inside of them.

I poured alcohol, pot and cocaine into that black hole for 28 years, and it never filled me up,

it never satisfied my soul.  My addiction was a murderous demon that smiled an evil smile,

as it tore me apart.


I take responsibility for and I am very much aware of how I created the chaos and pain in my life and

in the lives of people in my life while I was an active addict.  I made very poor impulsive decisions that

helped to determine the destructive course of my life.  Even though I was out of my mind, I still admit

that my choices took me where I was going.  No one else is to blame but myself.


I did not want to blow the man’s mind that asked me the original question, which was:

“I am surprised that you have had the history that you describe…….

You are articulate and well educated and you are intelligent.  How could you have fallen

to the level of a homeless addict, living on the streets like an animal?”


He was definitely ignorant about addiction, and I did not want to go into all of the gory details

that I listed above, so I gave him a description of what addiction is, how it progresses and

the fact that addiction is non-discriminatory.  The disease of addiction will destroy and kill

anybody regardless of race, income, personality, education or family history.

I think that he had a pre-set image of what an addict looks like, and he did not think I was it.


There is still a lot of ignorance and stigma regarding addicts.  Some people still do not believe

in the concept of addiction as a terminal disease.  They are stuck in the era of cave men,

and they  think that addiction is a moral weakness or a deliberate choice.

I told him that the miracle of recovery happens everyday and that addicts come back

to themselves and back to their families, and in time, there is healing.

The truth is that addiction is like a living, breathing demon that destroys us mentally,

emotionally, physically and spiritually until we are gone.


However, recovery is possible when we surrender completely.

If I can get sober after 13 treatment centers, manic depression and

one year of homelessness, then you can recover too!

One day at a time, with the help of other recovering addicts, you will recover!


Miracles can and do happen every day in the lives of addicts, once they make their final

surrender and become willing to go to any lengths to get and stay sober.

We have our recovery groups and we have God to bring us back to ourselves, and to show us

how to use our experience, strength and hope to save the lives of other addicts.

This way, our pain and our past has a specific purpose—to help others.

The key is to have a spiritual awakening and to find a power greater than ourselves.

My higher power is Jesus Christ, and he has saved my life!

My book, “Saved By the Prince Of Peace- Dungeon To Sky” tells my story

and it will give you hope and strength.

The website for my book is:

On the website, you will find over 100 blogs that I have written on various important topics

of addiction and recovery.

Peace, Love and Blessings to you!




About The Author

Robert J. Allison lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his wife Rochelle Allison. Robert survived a 28-year battle with chemical dependency, including 13 chemical dependency treatment centers and homelessness. He surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and began his new life of faith and contented sobriety. Robert has been blessed with 18 years of sobriety and with his new freedom he now is helping other addicts to find peace, faith and the priceless gift of sobriety.

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One comment

    • Robin Hallbeck

    • January 24, 2015

    • 4:14 pm

    • Reply

    Thank you Bob for your sharing of your journey that others may have hope and avoid some of the pain of struggling with addictions! Praise God for your 16 years of sobriety and love for others through your ministry! Trust God is going to work miracles for others in your sphere of influence! God is faithful to those who love him.

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