9/09/2010 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Vince ~
I'm not really much of a writer, so bear with me.
I was brought up Protestant for most of my life, and a couple of years ago I went through a Catholic conversion. I think I wanted to become Catholic to piss off the Protestants, more than anything...
Image by Don Hankins via FlickrI was told that God would take care of my depression. I was told God would deal with the people that I had been tormented by, in and out of school. I was told God would take care of the pain of not being able to find a significant other, or land a decent job, or do something worthwhile with my life.
Going back 5 years ago, I was at the tail end of a methamphetamine problem. Prior, I was having major anxiety attacks from having a girl I cared a great deal commit suicide on Oct. 4th, 2004, and I was convinced I killed her. I gave her the drugs, sure, but her crazy boyfriend who frequently drove her into fits was the last person to talk to her.
I started by drug habit in Feb. of 2005. I was sent away in a shit hole called the Set Free Ministry in Cabazon, CA on June 13th, 2005. Yeah, I volunteered to go in because I needed help.
I remember it well. The last week of my addiction I just completely fell apart, I imagine because I ran into a bad batch of meth from a shady dealer I knew.
Anyway, I called my pastor, the one that was working with me after the suicide. I quickly became his right hand man, and we were good friends in the beginning. He was the "read your books and let God do the work. You don't need meds" type. After the drug habit came, he said exactly the same thing.
On June 12th, I called him on the phone and said I need to get away for a week to mellow out, and I needed him to talk to my broker and let him know I needed a week off.
My broker, pastor, and I were pretty tight at the time. I thought, anyway.
I was a total mess. Totally broken down and in tears, and wanted all of this to just stop. They told me about the set free ministry, and that it didn't cost anything. My apartment, owned by my broker, would be packed up and moved to a storage unit. He assured me my car would be started regularly to maintain the battery, and my mail would be checked on. "Don't worry about anything. Anything you need. When you come back, you'll be a HERO!"
60-90 days. Anything I needed. So I went. Anyone who has been to this thing knows the program is crap. I have some stories. Users became leaders after two weeks in the program. Incompetence ruled. I'm not going to go into it now...
After 60 days I was deemed "cured", and I was more than ready to get back in action... another thing my broker assured me of. So I called him to let him know I was ready to get back into action.
"I don't know what you were led to believe, but I fired you the day after you left."
I was part of a major brokerage (think C21 or Keller Williams). They had a program where, if you recruited an agent, you would get 10% of their commissions. HOWEVER, if your agency was terminated, the 10% reverted to the brokerage. The agent was a top producing agent. It would have meant about $6-10,000 of additional income for me. Easily enough to take care of the tax debt I had incurred during my drug habit.
The pastor who advised me to go to rehab had been sleeping with a woman other than his wife, and was in the process of bailing out of a church that was getting into serious trouble. He was done bailing out of the church about 2 weeks before my "cured" date.
The other paster, who's family I had become practically adopted into 7 YEARS prior, was contacted. "Get your head around it. Its GOD working in your life!" No help at all.
My step-mom convinced my dad, rather easily I thought, that I was just a problem that they didn't need around. My sister, formerly a meth manufacturer and dealer turned christian, had the same opinion. So rather than 60-90 days, I was stuck there for 5 months trying to find a way out.
Sadly enough, through all of this I thought "Sure, this is God's will, so I won't be filing any lawsuits on anybody". Stupid.
(This is getting long... so to cut it short)
I finally landed a gig at a protestant camp where I live, but I was still plagued with depression and anxiety attacks. (Yes I tried to get medical help. Another story...). I finally got on meds, but still having symptoms. The camp manager (former alcoholic, piller of his church community) suspened me for 2 weeks because I wouldn't disclose what meds I was taking.
In my anxiety, I resigned immediately and was planning a lawsuit at this time. But, of course, I had a change of heart (I was a converted Catholic at this time) and decided not to sue. It figures that now that the statute of limitations is over for my case, I had to drop any religion I had altogether. Too little too late, I guess.
Religion is a lie. You are convinced that bad things happen for a reason, and God will take care of it somehow. And if not in this life, at least in Heaven it won't matter anymore right? During my depression, and my drug use, and every other critical time I needed help, prayer did nothing. I waited and waited and waited. My life is in shambles. I'm unemployed with no income. Everyone I knew has left. If I knew better I would have started fighting long ago instead of "letting go and letting God". Religion needs to go, period.
Really, I could type this thing for days and get into more detail about all of this. I hope I don't look like some kinda dumbass just because I can't type. Again, sorry I write like crap.
Filed Under: Testimonials