It comes with you…

The devil is clever. Even if that devil, is you.

In all honesty, I do thank the church for helping not just me, but many, in this journey to sobriety, peace, and completion. The church is the last place that anyone would think is a trigger to start using again. But, this is what most people don’t realize.

“You bring with you ideas, experiences, and answers that others wonder about.”

Every member of the church has what is called a “testimony.” It’s your elevator pitch containing the “TLDR” story of what brought you to change and start serving God and His people. They say “blessed are the ones who came from the world and into the church versus the ones who were born in the church.”

After a year, I was 21, sober, and brainwashed to the point that they convinced me to enter the ministry. This idea that a drug dealer and user came to the church and changed his life was my testimony. This testimony spread like wildfire — It was my new addiction.

The church would pay for my plane rides to tell this story about selling drugs and being a user. In hindsight, I was a meme. The reason I stopped everything wasn’t that I wanted to be sober; it was because my ego was stimulating me.

I had never thought of my self to be physically attractive since I lack most of the qualities that women recognize. However, this testimony attracted most of the millennials in the church. They wanted to experience being high, and some even tried asking me to get them some.

After two years, I had already completed what most students in the ministry were either scared to do or weren’t educated enough to be trusted. Before being dispatched to your local church, you had to be able to defend the doctrines of the church.

One of the Bishops would play the devil’s advocate and pose as another cult, and it was my job to be able to defend and convince the Bishop that I could represent and protect the 32 doctrines. There was 33, but that’s for another conversation.

Even though I was new to the church, I was already a fast learner. Anything that stimulates my mind, I can easily learn quickly because I needed to learn how to keep it from getting away from me. It’s the same with drug dealing.

It started because I always wanted attention and praise from others.

Your phone is always ringing when you’re the plug.

Each call was an opportunity for income or an opportunity to use. Either way, I was the center of attention. I never realized this about myself until years later, when I left the church.

It was just this year (2019), where I decided to “close my account” with the church. What made me famous now made me infamous and even neglected.

But before that, I abused my position in the church. I used that power to exploit people for their money, hook up with several “sisters,” and travel the world using the member’s weekly tithes and offerings (10% of each member’s income).

It was here, in the Philippines, where I would eventually be exposed.

You see, every organization has levels of secrecy. It’s just like politics. Most of my co-workers knew what I was doing.

The leaders had an idea but never questioned me about it because I knew how to hide my private life. When I wasn’t on stage preaching or in the streets evangelizing, I would be in the most expensive restaurants, brothels, beaches, you name it.

And even in all this time, I was still sober. I believe it was because I found a new kind of high, and it didn’t contradict my testimony.

Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

Until it did contradict my testimony.

I’m currently finalizing the first draft of this book, so I don’t want to say too much besides the obvious. It probably won’t be a best seller. It probably is not as impressive as I think it is.

My main message today is that addiction never really goes away. Most of the time, it becomes supplemented or traded for something just as stimulating. When that reality becomes dried up, we again, begin to search for an “artificial” route of administration.

The same church that brought me to sobriety brought out of me the worse. When I came in, I was struggling with alcohol addiction. I’m not ready to begin to tell you what I struggle(d) with next.