Growing up, I loved running around outside with friends, riding bikes , playing sports. It gave me a sense of freedom. I had trouble in school, behaving and paying attention, so I was sent, to multiple tutors and therapists, one thing that i felt which i never brought up, was that I felt different, something wrong with me, I felt this deep pain of lacking, and emptiness but wasn’t capable of putting my finger on it but, I knew it was there.
I got into more trouble as the years went on, and started hating rabbis and religion. So I made sure to go to less religious school. I threw my self into learning, giving it a second shot, and enjoyed it quite a bit, but that internal pain that i described ,was slowly getting greater, which came with a deep sense of misery. So I decided i need no restrictions and went to a school for extremely rebellious kids. Right off the bat i dropped religion. I saw kids using drugs which was attractive to me, because they seemed to be happy with life, no problems.
I got some drugs and the first time i got high, was the first time all my fear, anger misery loneliness disappeared. More then that, i felt the deepest feeling of life in me, “Now I’m alive!”. after three weeks of getting high, that phenomenal “joy” dissipated. I was getting more miserable with my existence. I was in deep pain ,why is the answer to my life not working any more. To make a long story short, i progressed to all sorts of pills and heavy drinking, but couldn’t seem to numb the pain. It was the opposite it was getting worse.
I followed my friends advice, and joined a narcotics anonymous meetings, following their suggestions religiously, with a powerful desire to stay clean and fix my life problems. On purim I left the drinking scene in case of a relapse. non the less 8 months later i relapsed, and the drugs ,drinking, misery was getting so progressing rapidly. I thought maybe work will fix it. only to find myself high and confused, “why do i keep relapsing, why is this happening?.” it was a deep feeling of loneliness which was very painful.
At this point I was such a wreck, fighting with my parents, twisting my siblings with my wild behavior, attitude, and life style, especially since I was so anti frum people. I stopped going to my addiction specialist, because i knew the techniques they teach, I’ve applied it numerous times, and always failed me.
At this time the only thing that stuck out to me was my friend who returned from Israel. he was stable in life, clean,and happy. In a short time I was on a plane to Israel to turn my life around,also with the idea ill try religion (for the third time). i was attracted to what the rabbiam were saying, wishing i could be like them, just ok with life, and have purpose. However I ended up in the hospital from drinking and back on the pills.I couldn’t take it anymore. I went crying to my Rebbi ,”please help me I want to stop,but cant. how did i end up here again!” I followed the direction i was give precisely, and relapsed 7 days later. It was only getting darker so much quicker, to the point of wanting to die, i felt no life in me at all, absolutely pain. This is while I had the car, money, girl, freedom which I craved so bad. Speaking to a friend of mine about whats going on, the thought came to mind “rehab” he asked you sure? i said “100%, I need help now.” A few hours later I was on a plane. naturally chugging beers at 6 a.m.
When I got to t -12, right away I related to everyone, in regard to drugs, drinking, and life.
I knew these people had the same problem as me, and aren’t like me anymore. Something I’ve never witnessed. through the guidance of this group, I saw through my relapses, that in spite of me not wanting to get high as a direct result of the consequences I always get, addiction always wins. Addiction has me, and nothing can stop a relapse. Then i was looking at life with out drugs. Every thing I thought would make me happy, never lasted, and was always let down. Then it hit me my entire life I’ve been trying to attain happiness, and I became extremely selfish. everything revolved around me. “What do you have to offer me?.” In this pursuit, I developed a extremely selfish character, lying, manipulating, resentments, believing something I’m not(delusional), fear, constant pity,and as I got older I went deeper into this way of living. then it hit me like a ton of bricks, “I’m so deep in this, i cant change it, and my entire life i will live this way. that came with a deep experience of utterly doomed, truly being alone. immediately my hate for GOD and religion was gone. i searched for the truth, “is Hashem real”? the question i always had. Then it hit me with indescribable conviction , a recognition of Hashems presence. That was the first time I prayed , knowing he is listening, knowing Hashem is the one with the real power. After that everything changed clicked. The reason why felt so empty, lacking was because i never had a connection to Hashem .
Then i was told to think about why Hashem would save me? I was observing others in this process and i saw Hashem was enabling them to help others, keeping them clean , taking them out of there selfishness. Why, because they are doing his will and trying to help others. for that same reason , he would help me.
With that in mind, I made a decision to make my life about this, to carry this message to others who are suffering, like I was. That hashem is saving me , He is the only one who can remove addiction and fill that deep emptiness I’ve experienced for many years. HE can change my selfishness and bad character . Their is an answer!