Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), David Parnell
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR000052A
00:10 Welcome to Celebrating Life in Recovery,
00:12 I'm Cheri your host!
00:13 Some testimonies just grab you and this is going to
00:16 be one of them you are not going to want to miss it.
00:18 So come join us in the café.
00:48 Welcome back!
00:49 I want to start out with Jeremiah 29:11, because when
00:54 I first saw I thought it was amazing.
00:56 I'm strung out on heroine, I have teeth are missing and I'm
00:59 illiterate and I read that God has a plan for my life.
01:03 A plan to prosper me and not to harm me, a plan
01:07 to bring everything good out of all this junk.
01:10 And I remember thinking, you know what I don't think
01:13 anybody had a plan for my life, anybody cares about
01:16 what happens for me.
01:17 And I felt like all of heaven said, that is so not true.
01:20 We know that you are there, we have a plan for your
01:23 life, we have known you since the womb and even though
01:26 no one spoke into your life, I'm speaking into your
01:29 life and I want you to know that.
01:30 I'm going to guide you through that.
01:32 I like to introduce you to a friend of mine, David.
01:35 And David I want to say that you know I'm thrilled
01:38 that you are here.
01:39 David: well thanks for inviting me,
01:40 it's really my honor.
01:42 Cheri: when I first heard your testimony I was just,
01:44 like you are kidding me.
01:45 I wanted to know everything about you.
01:48 I wanted to so, I remember praying for you just
01:52 because I knew that God was using you in ways that are
01:55 unbelievable and the fact that you are here is amazing.
01:59 Can you start out the program, because I do not want to
02:02 do a teaching part, I want to just turn it over to you.
02:06 Who are you?
02:07 I know that you had a normal life growing up,
02:11 it didn't stay that way and talk to us about that.
02:15 Sure well I'm 41 years old and I'm a recovering Meth
02:19 addict, recovering alcoholic and an ex-convict.
02:21 I'm also a husband to a wonderful woman named Amy and
02:25 we have 7 beautiful children, but more importantly to
02:28 me I'm a born again Christian.
02:29 I started out growing up in a pretty good home.
02:34 My mother didn't use drugs or alcohol.
02:35 My granddad did drink alcohol so I was exposed to a
02:39 person that had drinking problems.
02:42 But it actually was much better than where I had come from
02:46 with my dad being a drug addict and alcoholic and
02:48 a very violent man.
02:50 So to me it was a blessing to stay with my granddad.
02:54 And about the age of 12 years old, my granddad was
02:58 dying of bone cancer.
03:00 He thought it would be a good idea for me to find
03:03 my dad and try to start up and relationship with him.
03:05 Cheri: and everything in me when you say that,
03:08 I just want to scream no don't do it,
03:10 because sometimes when we search for parents that
03:12 are out to lunch, we find them and
03:14 they are still out to lunch.
03:15 David: oh yeah, I have talked to young men, I say young
03:20 men because it happens is young man that told me part
03:23 of their life stories and how they have never known
03:26 their dad and how much it bothers them.
03:28 And the whole time they are telling me that,
03:30 I'm thinking, man, sometimes I wish that I hadn't
03:33 met my dad, at that young of an age anyway.
03:35 Cheri: because you found him.
03:37 David: I found him and it was like peer pressure.
03:39 When teenagers asked me why I using drugs with my dad,
03:43 I tell them it was about like being around older teenagers
03:47 I mean it was peer pressure.
03:48 I wanted him to except me, I wanted to hang out
03:50 with him and his friends.
03:51 When he offered me marijuana, I knew that if I smoked
03:55 it with him I could hang out with him and I did.
03:58 I hung out with him and his friends, and he would take
04:00 me to bars at that young of an age.
04:02 He was a musician in bars.
04:03 So I tried the marijuana with him, and that's really
04:07 where my life made a turn, because already at that age
04:10 I was real gifted.
04:12 God had really gifted me on athletic ability.
04:15 When in junior high people in my area thought I would
04:19 go to college and play ball, and I thought that too.
04:23 Basketball was really my love of life, whenever I
04:27 have a hard time in home...
04:29 Cheri: you were on teams, getting all kinds of...
04:32 David: it was my escape, all kids have an escape
04:34 and that is where I could go and do that and forget
04:36 about the problems in my life.
04:38 But as the drugs came in they became the passion of my
04:41 life, by the time I was a senior in high school I had
04:45 moved from marijuana, to cocaine in one of the big
04:49 questions people ask me is how did you make
04:51 a jump from marijuana to cocaine?
04:53 Well I was hanging around older kids, and I was going
04:57 to buy marijuana from the older kids.
04:59 Some of them was already out of school, and as their
05:02 addictions progressed to harder drugs, naturally
05:05 I progressed right along with them.
05:06 Once I got into the cocaine I no longer cared about
05:10 going to college and playing ball, really all
05:11 I cared about was where I was going to get that
05:13 next bag of dope at.
05:14 Cheri: people, when somebody says that,
05:17 I see kids that haven't experimented yet.
05:20 They say that, that is not the way it is.
05:22 I'm thinking, it's so is the way it is, that you graduate
05:27 into something that actually does it for you more.
05:31 David: yeah, it just becomes something that you feel
05:34 like you have to have to get through the day.
05:38 It is no longer about just having fun, it starts out
05:41 experimenting and you think it's exciting, it's fun,
05:44 it's something new, you have this funny feeling.
05:47 Of course all of us addicts know that by the end it's
05:52 like you have to do what you feel like to survive the day.
05:55 To feel good, just to get through any situation you
05:58 feel like you need to be high.
06:00 That's what I mean when it became more important
06:04 than basketball or anything else at that point
06:07 I started to become an addict.
06:08 I was drinking heavy...
06:09 Cheri: did you graduate? David: yes I graduated.
06:12 I don't think I would have had it not been for the
06:14 basketball, that is really the only thing
06:16 that kept me in school.
06:18 My grades had dropped so bad the last year that I
06:21 shouldn't have graduated, but I think they wanted
06:23 to get rid of me.
06:24 Cheri: they are like you are so done.
06:26 David: yeah, let's get this guy out of here.
06:29 I have a lot of guilt and I always will have because
06:32 there were other kids in my school that didn't use
06:35 drugs and I talked them into smoking marijuana.
06:38 I just went to one of them's funeral the other day.
06:42 Here he is 40 years old, he became such a heavy alcoholic
06:45 that his kidneys and stuff finally failed.
06:47 His name was Dean, and as I am standing over the coffin
06:52 a month ago, I couldn't help but think back about talking
06:56 him into smoking marijuana.
06:58 Cheri: saying, it's no big deal.
06:59 this is no big deal.
07:00 David: my big thing was when I started selling
07:04 marijuana in 9 grade in high school, getting it off
07:06 my bus driver taking it in to the school selling
07:08 the marijuana to other kids.
07:09 My big thing was...
07:11 Cheri: getting it off your bus driver?
07:13 You know what all of a sudden I'm thinking, wait a minute
07:16 because you think that, and it's where it's gets real crazy
07:19 to me, is that sometimes we think we're safe in certain
07:22 places and with some of these drugs you are not.
07:25 David: yeah, the parents you would think when you put your
07:27 kids on the school bus they are going to be pretty safe,
07:30 and going through the school system.
07:32 But that is not the case anymore at all,
07:34 because addiction just doesn't go along with
07:37 poor kids in a trailer park neighborhood.
07:39 Addiction has crossed every boundary there is and I
07:43 have seen police officers, school teachers,
07:46 bus drivers, I used with a registered nurse,
07:48 I had a district attorney, a Kentucky sheriff
07:51 that was running drug rings.
07:54 I mean from my experience of my life on this road,
07:59 I have noticed anybody can be acceptable to addiction.
08:03 Cheri: and you know, and we are going to get into this
08:06 on the second half, but it is the educate ourselves
08:09 and sets some boundaries for people and drug tests.
08:12 Drug tests is a huge thing that we can protect kids
08:15 from that, so you were from the school bus selling
08:19 drugs, barely making it in school, barely staying in
08:22 school with your grades.
08:24 David: my big lie to the kids was, and they still say
08:28 it today, is God put marijuana on this earth,
08:30 why can't we smoke it?
08:31 I always said that kind of stuff.
08:33 I remember saying that to a car load of high school
08:35 students selling them a bag of weed.
08:36 What I tell the kids now a days is such a lie.
08:39 God put everything here, He didn't mean for us to use
08:41 it like that, He put turpentine here, but I am not going
08:43 to suck on that every week and see if it kills me.
08:45 Cheri: well you did Meth.
08:47 David: right well yeah, might as well have, probably
08:52 would've been less painful.
08:53 But the thing is that marijuana is a deadly drug.
08:58 In our society people act like marijuana isn't a deadly drug,
09:03 but it is in the main reason is 90% of Meth
09:07 addicts started out on marijuana and work their way up.
09:10 Cheri: you know because I smoked pot so I can understand
09:14 what you're saying is that when you start to bring those
09:17 drugs into your life, like I'm smoking some weed and
09:20 enjoyed watching a movie or laughing with friends,
09:23 pretty soon I'm not enjoying the movie at all
09:25 unless I smoke weed.
09:27 I don't laugh with friends and unless I'm smoking weed.
09:30 I don't really want to go anywhere unless we get a bag
09:34 of weed, and so it starts out so innocent but then pretty
09:37 soon I can't enjoy it unless I have the weed.
09:43 Then I'm smoking it everyday, and once I smoke it every
09:46 day, I'm thinking what else can I do.
09:48 What else looks good.
09:50 Yeah that's exactly the point that I was at, I had to be
09:54 every day, every time you went to the movies, out
09:58 with friends I had to be high on something.
10:00 Alcohol was a constant every weekend.
10:04 At 21 years old I had moved to Dallas Texas after my
10:07 first marriage had failed, I had married my high school
10:10 sweetheart and I was a very mean an abusive man to her.
10:13 She was a good Christian woman and of course the
10:16 marriage failed and when it did I moved to Dallas Texas.
10:19 Right when I didn't think anything could get any worse
10:22 in my life I moved into what I call, a crank house.
10:25 Because crank and Meth, the thing is a lot of people don't
10:29 realize, and some of your audience may not realize,
10:31 is that Meth goes by so many different names.
10:33 Lot of times I will say crank and people will think
10:37 I'm talking about cocaine, but actually the word crank
10:40 goes along with Meth, it's just another slang.
10:42 And I call them crank houses where they were
10:44 selling Meth and that's what I moved into.
10:46 Cheri: how did you move into a crank house?
10:49 David: well my dad had got divorced from his
10:52 third or fourth wife and when I moved out there
10:54 that is who I moved in with.
10:55 Me and my dad was bachelors together.
10:57 Him and other band members that was in the band was
11:00 running around Arlington Texas and Fort Worth and
11:04 Dallas on motorcycles and were selling the Meth.
11:07 I had never heard of Meth before.
11:08 Living in Tennessee back in them days, in the late 80's it
11:13 wasn't in my area and I had no idea what it was but
11:15 they told me it was a speed form and it was like
11:18 cocaine but a whole lot more potent.
11:20 When they said that I had been using cocaine,
11:23 so I naturally tried it.
11:24 I will never forget the first time I tried it,
11:26 a lot of people seems like they don't remember the
11:28 first time, but I do because it scared me so bad
11:30 because I have been used to doing cocaine and I had never
11:33 experienced a rush like that.
11:35 My heart I felt like it was going to jump out of my chest.
11:37 Of course it is 2 days later before I come down and I
11:42 hadn't experience that either.
11:43 With the cocaine I had to do it every few hours to keep
11:47 going, but with this drug, $25 worth, the same amount of
11:51 cocaine $25 dollars worth would keep me if a few hours,
11:54 but Meth $25 worth I could stay up for 2 days.
11:58 But it didn't not scare me bad enough to not want to do it
12:01 again, I knew from the first time I thought wow, this is my
12:05 drug of choice and can actually stay high now like I
12:09 wanted to, not having any money, because you have to
12:12 quiet a bit of money to stay that high on cocaine.
12:15 Where with Meth I realized I would have a little bit of
12:19 money and could party for a long time.
12:20 Cheri: I can stay up, I can party and do all that stuff.
12:23 What a lot of people don't realize too is
12:25 that your serotonin levels go up, you start feeling
12:29 like I could just conquer the world, my self-esteem is
12:31 incredible and all those kind of things that happened
12:34 artificially to make you feel good.
12:38 You could be dying but you would feel good.
12:39 David: yeah I felt good, I felt alive, I had more
12:44 energy than I had ever had before.
12:46 I thought I was thinking clearer than I had ever felt
12:49 before and I felt so strong in the beginning.
12:51 That is were Satan uses the drug as such an illusion
12:55 on kids, in the beginning they feel like that.
12:57 Cheri: don't you wish that somehow we can love them enough
13:00 so they wouldn't need that artificial thing.
13:03 I think sometimes when I hear, like you tell your
13:07 testimony, I'm hoping people get that, is that kids
13:11 especially from broken homes, kids that are struggling
13:14 with finding out who they are, with alcoholic
13:16 grandparents, parents and all I kind of stuff.
13:19 Abandonment, is if we were loving them early on that
13:24 maybe the choices would be different.
13:26 That is just my soapbox I'm sorry, I want to jump on
13:29 that soapbox and say, if you are seeing a kid that you
13:33 think is not being loved on, or is acting like an idiot,
13:36 love on that one.
13:37 David: yeah that is the truth, it brings up the memory
13:43 of a little boy stealing food in a cafeteria.
13:45 When they caught him, he got reprimanded really bad.
13:48 Come to find out he was stealing the food because his
13:52 parents was on Meth and they wasn't feeding his baby sister.
13:55 He was only stealing the food, to take home to feed his sister.
13:58 If sometimes we wouldn't jump on someone and judge
14:02 them so fast and try to look at what is causing that action,
14:07 especially with the young kids.
14:08 We could do so much more good that way.
14:11 Cheri: so now you are living in a crank house,
14:16 running and gunning with the best of them and all
14:20 that kind of stuff, because you got married again too.
14:24 At what point did your wife come into the picture?
14:28 That lasted about a year and a half in Texas.
14:30 When I left I would have, back then I only did
14:33 it on the weekends, but would stay up all weekend.
14:36 I've would have told you I could quit anytime I wanted,
14:39 back then I would have said that.
14:41 Looking back I realize I really was hooked long before
14:44 that, but I left there and came back to Tennessee.
14:47 Meth still hadn't hit Tennessee yet heavy.
14:51 It wasn't in my area, I went back to the same drugs
14:54 I always used, marijuana, cocaine and alcohol.
14:57 Because when I was on the Meth I didn't want to
15:00 do the alcohol, I didn't want to do the cocaine.
15:02 All I wanted to do was a Meth high, I didn't want
15:05 anything to interrupt that high.
15:06 When I came back to Tennessee is when I met my second wife
15:09 Amy, and I ended up getting her pregnant.
15:11 Instead of marrying her and taking care of her and the baby,
15:14 Straightening up and doing what a man ought to do,
15:17 I was a dope dealer and was growing marijuana.
15:20 It was harvest time and I had 25 pounds of weed and
15:22 I told her I was going to take it to Tulsa Oklahoma,
15:25 where I had other family members, and I was going to
15:28 sell it and I would be back in a couple months.
15:29 Went out there to party and ended up getting caught.
15:32 It was almost 2 years later before it got to leave Oklahoma,
15:34 Went to state prison.
15:36 When I had come home she had our first daughter,
15:39 Sarah and she was just fixing to turn 2 years old
15:42 and I married Amy.
15:44 It was probably a year and a half later,
15:48 I had came back maybe 95, around 96 is when
15:52 Meth really just exploded in my area of Tennessee
15:56 and I got back to using.
15:58 Of course then it was so much worse I couldn't
16:00 just do it on the weekend's.
16:01 Now I had started staying up 4 and 5 days, and what was
16:05 funny in Texas at 21 them guys were staying up for a
16:08 week at a time and would talk about hallucinating,
16:10 and acted weird.
16:12 I actually remember thinking at 21, sitting there one
16:15 night, I thought, man I'm never going to be like these
16:17 old guys, I'm never go let that dope control me like
16:19 these guys are letting it control them.
16:21 I really didn't believe the hallucinations, I thought
16:24 they were just messing with me, but when I started staying
16:27 up for 4 or 5 days I started hallucinating too.
16:29 What was so weird to me is there is only a few drugs in the
16:32 entire world where people hallucinate the same visions.
16:35 Meth happens to be one of those drugs.
16:37 I've got to seeing what we call shadow people, that
16:40 seems like that is the most common thing for Meth users.
16:42 Cheri: everybody talks about those.
16:43 David: it really is, I was in Canada not long ago and
16:46 I told the same testimony to an audience up there and a
16:49 girl came up, she said I never heard nobody say that before.
16:52 She said I call them my little gremlins,
16:54 but I have seen those shadows.
16:55 I told her it is really a common thing.
16:57 I would see them out of the corner of my eye in the
16:59 beginning, and I would turn and there would be nothing
17:01 there I would just see movement.
17:02 But as my addiction got worse I could go to Wal-Mart
17:06 or wherever it was, and be around a number of people
17:08 and I could see shadows walking around the room that
17:11 is how bad it got.
17:12 But in the beginning it scared me,
17:15 but I got used to it and actually got to a point
17:19 in my addiction to where I didn't think I was even
17:23 high enough unless I started hallucinating.
17:25 That seems so weird to say and weird for some people to hear
17:29 that, but that is how bad most of us get.
17:34 We want to be right at the edge.
17:36 Cheri: so after a while you are seeking the craziness?
17:42 And it is amazing to me because in your right mind that
17:46 sounds so out there, it's like I can't even conceive of
17:50 somebody actually seeking or after more bizarre or more
17:54 crazy, if you could be crazier than the next person then
17:56 that is actually a good thing, but that is a lifestyle.
17:59 David: when I hear other people say this, I hear other
18:02 people say the same thing and when I hear them say that
18:05 it makes me cringe.
18:06 I just think, man that's the craziest thing I ever heard now
18:10 that I'm sober, but at that point my wife started trying
18:13 to get me to quit.
18:14 She was telling me that it was changing me because I was
18:17 becoming more violent toward her and other people in the
18:20 community, but I thought instead of me quitting I needed
18:23 to get her using with me.
18:24 I got Amy to use with me, I just kept telling her
18:26 over and over it wasn't the Meth making me like that,
18:28 when I was so cranky.
18:30 I would tell her it wasn't as bad as everybody said,
18:33 it made you feel good.
18:34 But I think what really got her is she always
18:37 talks about wanting to lose weight, and I told her
18:39 Meth will help you lose weight because it is
18:41 an appetite suppressant.
18:42 It will for most people,
18:44 but it will do is starve you to death.
18:45 If you tell somebody that enough times,
18:47 it was not going to hurt them,
18:48 most people are going to try it.
18:49 I believe that is one of the guiltiest memories I
18:52 have in the things that I have done was to get my
18:55 wife strung out on Meth.
18:56 Because when she tried it she was like most people from
19:00 the beginning she knew that was her drug of choice.
19:03 That is when my kids started suffering, before they
19:06 always had their mama to take care of them and now
19:08 they had neither one.
19:10 I was locked up in a back bedroom 3 or 4 days out of the
19:13 week at a time and now I have got her locked up,
19:15 back there with me.
19:16 I remember the kids coming back there and knocking on
19:18 the door screaming and crying and I would be in the room
19:20 cussing them, telling them to get out of there, leave us alone
19:24 Cheri: and they just want to eat,
19:26 they just want to do normal things.
19:27 David: yet I just want somebody to hold them and the
19:30 weird thing was if you would have asked me back then I
19:32 would have told you I was a pretty good dad because in
19:34 my mind I justified it by thinking
19:36 I don't do my dope in front of my kids.
19:39 That is how I thought I was protecting them.
19:41 I would have told you if they need me,
19:43 I don't hang out at the dope house all the time.
19:44 I get my drugs, I come home, and all they have
19:46 to do is come back and knock on the door.
19:48 But I was never there for them.
19:49 If you ask my oldest kids what they remember about the
19:51 years of me and their mother using drugs; what they will
19:54 probably tell you, I have heard them tell other people
19:56 this, is we fought every day.
19:58 And we did just about did at the end.
19:59 Cheri: my parents are addicts, and by dad the same
20:03 thing, he just died in December and I thought you
20:07 know I never really had a dad.
20:08 I wanted one day for him to be just stop using for
20:12 one day because I wanted to just be with you, I want
20:16 you to see me and you don't get that connection.
20:18 So even physically if you are here in the building
20:21 it doesn't matter, if you are smoking weed,
20:24 if you're using, if you're drinking that your kids
20:26 really don't get to see you.
20:27 David: no and it is so important that
20:30 they do have that, that love.
20:33 I was counseling a woman one time and she said,
20:37 What really bothers me is I haven't used method in 2 months.
20:41 When I need my little girl and boy to sit in my lap and
20:44 hold them, she said, they don't want to sit in my lap.
20:47 She said, it ticks me off so bad.
20:48 I told her you have to think about how many times our
20:51 kids needed us when we was using and we wasn't there
20:55 for them, it takes some time if you do quit don't
20:58 just expect your kids to jump right in there.
21:01 No, because they are scared.
21:02 You have lied to them so many times they think you
21:05 are just lying again about quitting and it takes time,
21:07 it takes months,
21:08 sometimes years for them to feel comfortable.
21:11 My kids now I come in the house and they just attack me.
21:14 It will come if you let God control your life.
21:17 Cheri: Amy, both of you have more children?
21:21 David: yes we have more children.
21:22 Amy had Rebecca and Abigail, and each time she found
21:27 out she was pregnant she would quit.
21:28 I think that is what actually saved my kids life.
21:32 She would only quit through the pregnancy and I would
21:35 quit with her, and there's something else it seems weird
21:38 to a lot of people is that we would use marijuana.
21:40 We should of quit cold turkey, but I had this weird idea
21:43 we couldn't and I would say anytime you feel like you
21:46 want some Meth, let me know and I'll roll a joint.
21:48 Even though marijuana is hard on the baby,
21:50 it's not a killer like Meth.
21:52 The 2 little girls came out very smart and God has
21:57 protected them in I think that is what saved them is
22:01 that we actually quit those few months.
22:03 But usually before Amy would have the baby,
22:06 Cheri: most addicts they quit and they don't,
22:08 but you guys actually quit?
22:10 David: we actually quit, but we didn't stay sober.
22:13 We just moved to a different high is what we moved to.
22:16 But before Amy would have the baby, I would already be back to
22:19 using, then the 7th or 8th month I'd be back, using a little bit,
22:23 sneaking around and by the time she had the baby
22:25 I would be pushing it on her.
22:26 I will never forget with Abigail,
22:29 she quit breast-feeding so she could use the Meth,
22:33 of course I blame myself for that, I was the one that kept
22:35 Cheri: come on we got to get high again.
22:37 David: I want you to get high with me and we'll start
22:40 getting the formula instead of the breast milk.
22:43 I feel bad because I know it was wrong and I see how
22:47 my wife has the emotional scars that it has put on her.
22:51 The memory of doing that and how it affects her
22:54 nowadays and it really bothers me.
22:57 I'm not one of them guys that can tell you that
23:00 there's things in my, you know that I wouldn't
23:03 change nothing in my life because even though I love
23:07 where God has got me now, there are some things I do
23:11 wish I could change that I have done.
23:13 But I can't, so I don't like to dwell on it all the
23:16 time, I thank God for where I am at.
23:19 Cheri: and God says, I actually will put my hand on those.
23:22 and I trust that in some of the things
23:25 I have done my own life.
23:27 So you ended up suicidal a few points in your life
23:31 because of the Meth, tell us about that.
23:34 Well my wife and kids had left, I had slapped Amy and
23:37 threatened her with a gun and she called the police.
23:40 She normally didn't because I always told her to keep our
23:43 business and our family, but thank God this time she
23:46 did call the police and they came and took my guns,
23:48 I'm not supposed to have guns.
23:49 When I got out of jail, my wife and kids
23:51 were living with their grandparents.
23:53 I was sitting on my porch and at that point I started
23:56 to becoming suicidal.
23:57 Usually it was when I was coming down.
23:59 I have been seeing things so long it didn't affect me
24:03 any longer to see things.
24:04 I had never gotten used to the noise and the voices.
24:06 It started out with me like I could hear people
24:08 whispering, that in some of like noises of people
24:10 walking around in my house.
24:12 That day was the first I remember hearing a man's voice.
24:14 Hearing a voice is pretty common for a lot of heavy users.
24:17 He said, you know your wife and kids would be better off
24:19 without you, and I still to this day think myself,
24:22 it was Satan, because it was an audible voice.
24:24 He said your wife and kids would be better off without
24:27 you, he said the world would be a better place without
24:29 a guy like you, and what the voice said next would have
24:31 meant a thing in the world to me if I had been told about
24:34 Jesus through my mother, my grandfather was a preacher.
24:36 But that old dragon always knows our breaking point.
24:39 He says, you really think Jesus isn't going to forgive
24:41 you for the things that you have done and
24:43 the people you have hurt?
24:44 I can remember like it was yesterday saying out loud,
24:46 I said no I don't think He will.
24:47 But I know now how much of a lie that was.
24:52 I don't care if a man has killed 50 people in their
24:55 life, if they are truly sorry in their heart, I know
24:58 our God is a loving God and He is good all the time
25:01 and He will forgive them.
25:02 It doesn't mean they don't have to pay for what they
25:05 have done, but God will forgive us.
25:08 I didn't think so that day, I went to my barn and tied
25:10 a rope in my barn and going to hang myself.
25:11 About that time my sister pulled up to check on me.
25:14 I thought if I'm going to do this I have to get
25:17 her out of here.
25:18 I sent her to town to get me some stuff and before
25:20 her car got going down the road I had that rope around
25:22 my neck and was stepping off my riding lawnmower.
25:25 It started choking me and hurting, I tried to grab
25:27 the rafters and I couldn't reach them.
25:29 I tried to get my foot back up on my mower,
25:31 but it was too late to change my mind in a matter of
25:34 seconds I was unconscious and when I had woke up my
25:36 sister had found me and my head was
25:38 at the front of the mower.
25:39 The rope had burnt and cut me from ear to ear.
25:41 It took me about a week to get where I could swallow,
25:43 but I was still alive, the rope had broken in two.
25:46 I guess from my body, I had went into convulsions
25:48 and started jerking, and my body weight snapped
25:51 that old rope I used.
25:52 But I know the Lord saved my life that day.
25:54 I didn't take advantage of the situation
25:56 like I should have.
25:57 They sent me to a preacher and the preacher helped
25:59 me a bunch and I got off of dope for about 5 months.
26:02 When I went back to work I thought I could hang
26:05 around my same old buddies that I had been
26:06 hanging around with before.
26:07 I didn't think it would bother me watching them get high
26:09 because I thought I had the drug addiction kicked.
26:11 When you start using it at 13 years old and
26:14 and now you are in your 30's.
26:16 I didn't know what it was like to be sober.
26:18 It was the first time I'd been sober, even in prison I
26:21 used drugs, so to me I really thought I had it kicked.
26:24 Within a few weeks I was back to smoking weed with them.
26:27 I just gave up and thought I'm not going back to church.
26:29 I'm a being a hypocrite and I immediately quit going
26:31 to church, that was a huge mistake.
26:33 I should have knocked the door down.
26:34 Cheri: Exactly, I'm not leaving this building.
26:36 I should have knocked the door down and asked God to
26:38 forgive me and I know He is faithful to do that,
26:40 but I didn't, I got back on Meth and started staying up
26:43 8, 9, 10 days instead of 3 or 4.
26:45 Each time I went back it got a little worse
26:47 than the time before.
26:48 Cheri: and a lot more crazy.
26:50 A lot more crazy and violent and 3 years later,
26:52 I'm going to jump up to 3 years.
26:55 I had became suicidal again.
26:57 My wife had quit using and was going to church,
27:00 her and the kids praying for me.
27:01 I couldn't seem to quit and I would come home
27:03 at 9:30 in the morning.
27:05 Cheri: at this time how many kids?
27:06 David: at this time 6, I came home at 9:30 in the
27:09 morning the 21st of February, 2003, her and the kids was
27:12 packing up to leave.
27:13 I asked her to lay down and talk about it.
27:15 I was too sick to stand up by this point.
27:17 I had lost so much weight and stuff that after
27:19 2 or 3 days I would get real sick.
27:20 I got sick that morning and she agreed to lay down,
27:23 but as soon as she laid down beside me she said I'm
27:25 going to lay here and talk to you for a minute but me
27:27 and the kids are still going to leave.
27:28 When she said that something in me snapped.
27:31 I reached over her and grabbed my SKS rifle,
27:33 laid on my stomach, pushed the barrel up under my chin
27:36 and thought man this is it, I'm going to blow my head off.
27:38 This dope has robbed me of everything.
27:40 She screamed and reached over to grab the barrel
27:42 out from under my chin, but before she could grab it,
27:44 I pulled the trigger.
27:45 The bullet went in me here and came out between
27:47 my eyes breaking every bone in my face except
27:49 my left eye socket.
27:50 It blowed my nose off, all my front teeth out,
27:53 but I didn't pass out.
27:56 I remember hearing the gun blast, I felt my face fall
27:59 apart, because Meth is such a strong stimulant it kept
28:02 me awake during all of that.
28:04 I fell off the bed onto the floor, my wife went to
28:07 screaming and my kids came running back to the bedroom
28:11 Your entire face laid on the floor too.
28:13 Yeah and I'm laying face down trying to hold my
28:15 face together, I thought the whole front of my face
28:18 had actually blown off, it's what felt like.
28:20 What I remember, what really haunts me, it's my kids.
28:24 I still remember my boy David jumping up and down in a circle
28:29 throwing his hands like this, of course I couldn't see
28:31 him, but screaming daddies dead, daddy's dead.
28:35 I told my wife I was sorry, I said, I'm sorry.
28:39 I told my wife I was sorry, I said, don't let the kids see me.
28:43 What I meant is don't let them see my face, she kept
28:46 trying to pull my hands away to see how bad it was.
28:50 I would never let her see my face and she ran a got
28:54 the telephone and called 911.
28:55 The next thing I know my mom is standing over the top
28:58 of me, my kids had called her wanting her to come down
29:01 there because we were fighting again.
29:02 My mother was standing over top of me screaming and
29:05 crying, yelling why did you do that?
29:07 I told my mom I was sorry I don't know and that's
29:09 what I thought laying on the floor.
29:11 I thought about why did you do that?
29:13 I had everything a man could ask for, a good job,
29:16 a beautiful wife and kids, but I was miserable from
29:20 years of drug addiction that just started out
29:22 smoking a joint and drinking a beer.
29:23 I never dreamed I would grow up and be
29:25 a drug addict and alcoholic.
29:26 Cheri: exactly and that it would end like this.
29:29 We are going to take a break, but one thing I want
29:32 to say is that it didn't end like that, it didn't.
29:36 And as crazy as we get, as crazy as we get in our
29:40 addictions, I want to kiss God on the face because He
29:44 says, you know what, and He said to David that day it's
29:47 not going to end like this for you or for your children.
29:50 We are going to come right back and find out.
29:52 What did God do, What happened? What happened next?
29:56 It's amazing, It's actually a good ending,
29:59 which sounds crazy to say right now,
30:01 but it is a good ending stay with us.
30:03 We will be right back!