My name is Kuba, I’m from Poznan and I’m twenty years old. Drugs entered my life when I was in middle school. I want to say how evil the consequences can be; they enslave and destroy you, but it is so easy to try without really thinking what you are doing. It usually starts with grass, then something stronger… then addiction.
I was in my third year of middle school when I first tried drugs. It was just for fun, with my friends. We tried marijuana. However, that “fun” cost me a lot: it was the first step to drug dependency. Later, when we were in secondary school, we started to use designer drugs, and that ruined my life. I fell into addiction, together with my three friends. One of them was working, which is how we had money.
At that time, my self-esteem was very low, I felt something was missing in my life, and drugs make me forget about it. This escape from reality gave me “happiness” for a moment. So I then started to reach for it more often: at firsteverymonth, then every two weeks. It was a process.
However, addiction is not only about taking drugs. It’s a lot more: the enslavement in many areas, the constant thinking about the pleasure it brings, the need to do something to be able to satisfy this “hunger”, spending all your money on drugs, the unceasing effort to look for ways to get cash. It results in mischief and dishonest transactions with different people. There are many bad things in that kind of world. A drug addict feels extremely lonely, nothing cheers him up.
It seems to him that the whole world is senseless, that everything is grey; he easily falls into depression.
When people radiate goodness, he thinks they are pretending. On one hand, that kind of world rejects him, but on the other (especially when conscience calls) it attracts him very much, because he desires happiness and goodness. Addiction enslaves you in such a way that you gradually abandon everything: your interests, establishing relationship with others… You look at everything according to its use. You only think how you can get something from someone. It is enormous egoism. You cannot free yourself from it. Even if you desire it very much, even if you go to a meeting for drug addicts or to different groups or communities, without God there is simply no chance.
In the snares of addiction
I am convinced that in rejecting God, my life became a “slippery slope”. As a first year pupil in middle school, I went to Mass because my parents wanted me to. Later, I finally rebelled and decided to give up going to the meetings preparing for confirmation. I stopped goingto church as well. I began to declare myself an atheist. I was not interested in God and the Church. In fact, I wasn’t interested in anything. I thought all that was simply obsolete.
I was in secondary school when I started using drugs. I took them in increasing quantity and ever more frequently. It happened to me twice that I was high on drugs consistently every day for six months. I took them in large doses, which could have led to my death. Some people die after taking such quantities. But I lived despite the many brushes with death. God and the Blessed Mother did not allow the worst scenario to happen. Perhaps it is because I was born on the same day as the Blessed Virgin and I feel Her protection over me.
I had reached the point where I could not live, talk or relax if I was not under the influence of drugs
There were many situations where God literally saved my life. For example, I remember one day while I was walking on a very hot day, I started to feel dizzy and weak. I started to faint and fell on the road. If it were not for my friend who pulled me by my collar I would have been hit by a car. After getting back to my senses, we went back home and took another dose of drugs. Now when I think of those situations that we call a bad trip, they were warnings from God for me to stop taking drugs. But at that time, I did not understand it, because a drug addict is not capable of recognising such things.
My first long abstinence came when the “drug shops” were closed. During that time, I was running along the stairs and hit my knee on the wall. For two months, my leg was in plaster. I realised this might be a good time to put an end to drugs, but I lacked the strength to do it. When I learned that there would be no more chemical drugs, I resumed marihuana, after a two month break. It was more expensive and less accessible.
I passed the first year of secondary school even though I did not study. All through the school year, I was using marihuana.
Two months was the longest break I ever had from drugs. However, I still did not realise that I was addicted. I thought that I simply liked it. I deceived myself. It is only now that I see what was happening to me. The Devil was steering me like a puppet and doing what he wanted.Where the drugs were, I was also there.
When I was in my third year, I met a girl who changed my life. It was my first serious relationship. What was between us was not love, but I thought differently at that time. God was not present in my life, so in one way or another this girl took His place. I was emotionally dependent on her. In my younger days, I had problem with chastity, which is why our relationship was also unchaste, although I didn’t look at it that way. I didn’t consider what we were doing then as bad. It all seemed normal to me. I believed that if I didn’t go to parties with the guys or use foul language when talking about girls, I was unusual. But in reality, I was not different.
Our relationship ended just like any other relations based on unchastity. If there is no chastity, there will also be neither happiness nor love. Sex before marriage is not love, it is satisfying one’s egoism. It has its consequences. I’m not talking about eternity, because that’s a different thing. What I mean is what affects us now. If a person is important to me, then I have to be chaste – once unchastity enters the scene, it’s very hard to get away from it. We unconsciously inflicted wounds on each other. In time, we felt a kind of antipathy towards each other. In reality, it was a very egoistic relationship. It’s very easy to fool yourself, claiming you love someone when a strong emotion plays in between. Love truly exists when the good and happiness of the other person is more important than your own. This is difficult.
I was given a new life. Sometimes the bad memories come back, but the inclination to take drugs was taken away from me in one moment, and I believe that it won’t come back anymore
In the end, our relationship failed; it was a very strong blow to me. My whole world came crushing down, as if the most important part had fallen out. I could have lain in bed for two weeks. For that girl, I decided to repeat the year. I resigned from work as well. I was greatly depressed – I had never felt that kind of pain in my life before. I began using drugs again. This time it was synthetic drugs.
I hit rock bottom
I started using drugs to free myself from my yearnings and complexes. Later, I was taking them because I had to, although I convinced myself that I simply liked them. Finally, I needed to take them every day, increasing the dose. With all kind of drugs, tolerance develops after using them for some time. It’s not necessary to take heroine immediately to get addicted. The progress is slow: one can take marihuanafor two or three years and have the illusion that there’s nothing bad happening. A drug addict doesn’t sell home appliances at once, but sooner or later something wrong usually happens.
It got worse. I dropped out of secondary school on my last year. I plunged even deeper into my addiction. When synthetic drugs ceased to give me a high, I switched back to using designer drugs. I found myself in a smaller group of addicts. My egoism was even greater. I spent hardly any time at home. We experimented with drugs on our own, in increasingly harmful ways.
I was deceiving everyone I could and manipulating people. In the end, I hit rock bottom. I sold all the things I could, including some belonging to my parents. When they learned about it, I started to steal from my relatives. I became so degenerated that it did not matter what I was doing. I could not control myself. What might have happened later on? I would have been behind bars. Luckily, the Lord saved me. Praise be to Him!
It seemed all hopeless to me at that time. I came back home late at night, prepared a lot of food for myself and brought it to my room. But I fell asleep before I could eat it all. It must have been a terrible sight for my parents. Immediately after waking up in the morning, I left the house again to look for drugs. I didn’t have anything to sell anymore and ran out of ideas as to what I could steal. I didn’t know where to get money, but I knew that I had to. For me, being high on drugs was my normal state. I had reached the point where I could not live, talk or relax if I was not under the influence of drugs.
All throughout my life, I deeply wounded my parents. I sincerely regret that now, and luckily they have forgiven me everything. I don’t know if that would have been possible were it not for my mum’s conversion, in 2012. Earlier, my parents were non-believers: although they might have believed in the existence of God, they did not live as Christians. We did not go to church, while our home was filled with dispute, anger and despair. My parents were worried about me, especially my mum. They looked for help everywhere, going to different clinics and centres.
One day, my mum felt an innerdesire to start praying, as the last possible help for her. She then surrendered all her fears to God, and the changes in her were truly noticeable. She stopped being afraid and started to smile. I thought that she’d gone crazy. I didn’t understand that outpouring of joy. For me, it was strange. Later, I learned that she was praying the holy rosary all the time. My whole family prayed as well. My mum sent prayer requests to nuns for my intention. So I owe my conversion to the Blessed Mother,who loves us very much. She is our Mother and would like to help us, so it is worth entrusting ourselves to Her. She has the strongest intercessory power with our Lord, for who can refuse one’s mother?
My mum converted in September, and in November I was already healthy. Sometimes we hear that people pray for years for the conversion of a loved one. God made me a new man in three months. That is the omnipotence of God: if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you really need to ask God for help. He doesn’t heal only a few. That is what Satan would like us to think. God heals everyone. I am convinced that God performs great miracles; we need only have faith and trust.
In trusting God, there is a way out of every addiction. Nothing more is needed. When you ask Him to set you free, you need to trust that He will really do it – you need to believe. In our struggle with addiction, it is only His power that counts; we will never fail if we fight with His strength. I believe that without drawing near to God, without His help, you can only be “treated” but not cured, and can fall again at any moment.
In November, a Holy Mass was said for the intention of my freedom from addiction and for my conversion. I didn’t know anything about this, but after four days I suddenly felt that I didn’t want to take drugs anymore, that I didn’t need to do it.I stopped liking it. It still enticed me, but definitely a lot less. I was wasted away by addiction. I then stayed at home for a month and spent my time on the computer. When I went out of the house for the first time, I was already a free man. Not an addict! In the beginning, I claimed the credit for myself. I thought that I was so strong that I didn’t want to get hooked on drugs again. After a month, that kind of thinking was straightened out. I understood that the merits belonged only to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose powerful intercession was able to entreat the Lord to set me free from addiction. Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners – they really are Her attributes.
I was given a new life
I find it hard to admit, but I believed in the end of the world that was supposed to take place in 2012 and I panicked in fear. Now I know who fuelled that terror in me. However, God can use every occasion – good or bad – to bring out the best. One day, my mum read me the third secret of Fatima, and I got scared upon hearing it. I felt the need to go to church. But I didn’t go that day or the next. I fought with myself. On the third day, I went to Holy Mass on a weekday. While I was in the church, I felt ashamed and wondered what I was doing there – everything rebelled in me. I felt there was no place for me there. I cannot say that I experienced something wonderful during the Holy Mass, for it was “dry” – I was simply there and nothing more.
After a few days, I couldn’t tell exactly when – grace works in such a way that we barely notice it – suddenly I could connect different facts: that the devil exists, that it is he who “sits” in the shop with drugs and desires my ruin. At the same time, I discovered that there is a heaven, that there is a God and that it is He who saved me. But I don’t know at all who He is. I still don’t comprehend, and perhaps none of us here on earth ever will, but one thing I know is that He loves every man, even the greatest sinner. When I look at the cross, I tell myself that I should be the one hanging there for my sins – not Jesus. He died for our sins. He leads us there, where there is goodness and peace. We only need to allow Him to guide us.
I decided to go to confession. I didn’t prepare myself thoroughly, but I sincerely admitted what I remembered, mentioning the most important things. It was enough for God. It was the first earnest confession I had ever made. After receiving Holy Communion, I felt as if God had blown the dust off me, and suddenly everything became clean. I was given another chance. My conscience became sensitive to sin and evil. Without those graces, I could not have started to live differently. I was given a new life. Sometimes the bad memories come back, but the inclination to take drugs was taken away from me in one moment, and I believe that it won’t come back anymore.
Sometimes it’s worth pondering whether we don’t make others accountable for our own lives or the wrong choices that we’ve made. Are we not deceiving ourselves? I think that we must always look for the fault in ourselves. We must live in the truth. This is only possible with God, who is Truth himself. There is no need for us to fear our frailty or weaknesses. God accepts us with or without them – and loves us all the same. After all, He wants to heal us. There is no reason to be afraid that we are alone with our weaknesses. There is someone stronger who would like to help us. Only when we are able to accept our weakness can we overcome it.
All the time I have been trying to change my life. God managed to deal with my addiction to nicotine. All that counts for me now are the right values in life. I’ve heard before that if one member of a family is converted, in time all the others follow. That was how it was with us. First it was my mum who converted; miraculously, I came next, then later my dad. It took him some time to accept everything, but in the end, after many years, he went to confession. Now we are trying to create a Christian family, even though it doesn’t come easy. But God helps, and somehow life goes on.
As soon as I was touched by grace, I regained my health, and I believe that I will always remain healthy. I don’t have temptations anymore, and if they ever appearI trust that God will help me. All strength is in Him, for what can man do on his own? Now my life is taking the right direction. That’s what I think. The road is not easy and I often fall – and I know that I will. I went back to school. I would like to finish school, and later studies. Recently, I received another great gift from God. At the summer retreat of the Movement of Pure Hearts, I met a wonderful girl. We met in the evening when I was recording this testimony. I know that I would like to take the road towards pure love. I am slowly discovering what real love is and how important friendship is in a relationship, because emotions will fade one day.