Out of Addiction – Tyrone

Out of Addiction – Tyrone


Welcome to the Cliffs of Hope. I’m here
with my good friend Tyrone from Waterford. Tyrone, tell us, how did you
find yourself in addiction, and how did you get out of it. I didn’t initially
recognize that I had a problem with alcohol. It wasn’t until a family member
approached me, and started to point out to me that my lifestyle was starting to
get out of control. Unfortunately, at that time, I didn’t really take any
notice of their voice. Then things just gradually became worse. After a
couple of years I found myself in a situation where I did recognize that I
had, in fact, a serious problem with alcohol addiction. The effects of my
life were a lot more noticeable than the start: I was having blackouts, I was
getting into trouble with the law, I was being arrested, I was finding myself in
court, I was drunk driving, and I was being prosecuted for assaults. So when I
finally did recognize that I had a serious problem, I did seek help: I went
to group counseling, I went to one-on-one counseling, and and I went into rehab. I went
into rehab for a month. But unfortunately, when I came out of rehab,
I was back to my old ways. After a number of months, I was back drinking, I
was back fighting, back getting to trouble with with the police. I tried everything, absolutely everything.
This went on for a number of years, and it wasn’t until one morning, I woke up. I
was on a bender for a few days, and it just finally… I just realized how
serious the situation really was, and that I was lying in bed and I knew if I
did not stop drinking, that it was going to kill me. That my parents were going to
put me in a box, and I remember just the hopelessness of just lying there, in the
bed. Just finally accepting where my lifestyle had brought me and
then a voice said to me clearly, “you know, but you have not tried God.” You know, I
was after going through all my options, I was after trying absolutely everything,
but I just could not break this chain of addiction. But God reached out to me, and
he said, “Look, there is hope found in me.” and a couple days later, I rang my
brother, he was he was a Christian, and I went to his local congregation, and
initially I was quite shocked when I saw in church, people praising God with their
hands in the air. Coming from my background, I found that shocking, almost
disturbing. But I saw something in those people’s eyes: I saw hope. They had
something. At the time I did not understand what it was, but it was
something that I really wanted. It was something that I longed to have. I I saw
the peace and the hope that they had, and I kept coming back to church, and
someone explained to me that the hope is found in Jesus, and through his
grace. If I accept him as my Lord and Savior, that I can be saved. I knew I
was a sinner, and I did not need someone to convince me of that. So I gave my life
to the Lord, and my addiction, [it’s a miracle], my addiction instantly was taken
away from me. I don’t know why some people who become Christians still
struggle with all types of addiction, but for me, my alcoholism was
taken away taken away, and I came to know the Lord 10 years ago, nearly 11 years,
and I haven’t drank in 11 years. But the miracle of that is I haven’t once wanted
or longed for a drink, and only people who go through addiction can
truly just understand what a statement that is. For me personally it was definitely
self-preservation, you know. I did not want to die, and I did not want to have
my parents to bury me, you know. I was terrified, because I knew that it was
close. I just knew, you know. I put myself through 10 years of of hell. I put other
people through 10 years of hell: family, friends, loved ones, and I just got to
this point where I knew I had to stop, you know. And you got to ask yourself
that question. Everybody who’s lost in addiction has to come to a point where
they have to ask themselves that question: Do I want to stop? Do I
have to stop? For me it was a life-and-death situation, and it’s the
same for many addicts. It could take six months, it could take 15,
it could take 20 years to come to that realization, but in that
time frame, you are putting yourself through so much pain and anguish, and
those around you. It’s always the people that you love the most, that you
hurt the most. So that’s when I realized that I needed to stop, and it is
obviously down to the individual, you know. How far can you go, you know? Will
you get a chance? Will you get that opportunity to make that decision. That
yeah, look, I’m going to try, at least, to stop drinking, because many people before
me, and many people to come after me never got that opportunity to make that
decision. That, look, I need, I want to stop drinking. Salvation is free: it is
freely available to everyone, and it’s everyone who calls on the name of the
Lord, you know. I came, from you might say a Christian background. As such, I grew up
in a Catholic home, and I kind of believed in God. I knew there was
something there, but I did not truly understand that, and when It was explained
to me, that salvation is found in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone, it made
sense, you know. I could understand it. I could
almost touch it, because I knew it was the truth. For the first time in years I
was listening to something that I could actually trust in, and believe it. And it
was explained to me: look, if you confess your sins, and accept Jesus Christ as
your Lord and Saviour, you will be saved, and all those who call
upon his name will be set free. Now, I honestly did not even try and
contemplate that my addiction would be taken away from me. I understood I was a
sinner. I knew that if I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior,
that I would be saved, but I was looking at it from from a perspective of the
afterlife, like death. But I didn’t realize that you could live life here
and now, and you can live abundantly, and that is what God has blessed me with.
It just blows me away, and it’s a gift. It’s free. It’s his grace. You know, that
morning, when he reached out to me, and said, “Look, you haven’t tried me, Tyrone.”
That was the day that sparked hope in my life, and from that moment then, it led
to my salvation, which is found in Jesus Christ alone. And praise God I haven’t
looked back, and my addiction has been taken away from me. And that is
an absolute miracle. Now it doesn’t mean that every day is rosy. It doesn’t mean
that every day, I’m having a good day. I have bad days as well, like
everybody, but God assures us the hope is found in him, and if we rely on his
strength, he will enable us to do anything that he wills us to do.

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