Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Lisa Eliuk
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR000129A
00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues
00:03 related to addictive behavior.
00:05 Parents are cautioned
00:06 that some material may be too candid
00:07 for younger children.
00:10 There are times in your life
00:12 where you just gonna want to run
00:13 but you know you cannot.
00:15 You know that everything in you has to step up to the fight.
00:20 Everything in you has to be present,
00:22 and you know I've got a friend here Lisa
00:24 and that's her life.
00:25 Everything in her wanted to run but she didn't.
00:29 Welcome to Celebrating Life in Recovery
00:30 and my name is Cheri.
00:32 Come join us in the café(C)
00:33 because this one I think is life changing.
01:04 Welcome, like I said,
01:05 "Some fights that you can't run from."
01:07 And I want to talk about,
01:08 there was a time where I was invited
01:10 to go to a Banning Street.
01:13 And Banning Street was just an out risk area,
01:16 there was a lot of drug addicts.
01:19 If you're gonna talk about police or arrest
01:21 or any of that kind of stuff,
01:22 it happened around Banning Street.
01:24 And so when somebody asked me, it was way into my recovery.
01:28 I end up getting dressed at a church gig
01:31 and I show up at a Banning Street
01:33 with that person that does ministry there.
01:35 And I look like Mary Poppins, I mean it was just ridiculous.
01:38 I should've had an umbrella,
01:40 I mean I just look so ridiculous.
01:41 But you know, these kids just kind of looked at me like,
01:45 you know, who are you?
01:46 And what do you want?
01:47 And they think I am a social worker,
01:49 they are not trusting me.
01:50 I'm coming to talk with parents,
01:52 and I wanna invite them to the meetings at night.
01:53 And so, I'm just praying my like God, crazy.
01:57 I'm praying like crazy, and I felt like at one point,
02:00 I would try to remember every prayer that I ever heard,
02:03 like a real missionary person say
02:05 'cause I always felt like
02:07 you know, who am I doing in ministry.
02:08 I'm like an addict in recovery. I've got all this baggage.
02:11 But I'm trying to think of who I heard that was really good
02:14 and I started to pray just like them, I said,
02:15 "God go before us and open all the doors."
02:20 I don't know if you ever heard that prayer,
02:21 but I thought that's a good prayer you know.
02:23 And so I walked in the middle of this apartment complex
02:26 and there's little stairs going up
02:27 to the top level apartments and in the bottom level
02:30 and I'm in the middle of this court yard.
02:32 And I'm saying open all the doors,
02:33 and the kids are yelling
02:35 trying to figure out who we are,
02:36 and they are talking,
02:37 and I am saying that I wanna meet your family,
02:39 and is your mom home, and I mean they're druggies.
02:42 The police are there, when we first pulled in,
02:44 had pulled someone over was frisking some guy.
02:47 I mean it was just that kind of environment
02:49 and as I was praying open all the doors.
02:51 I looked up and because of the noise,
02:53 people came out and all the doors were open,
02:57 and I just couldn't even breathe.
02:59 I thought what if God listens to us,
03:01 you know, what if he is hearing us?
03:03 What if our prayers are not going unanswered?
03:05 And so you know,
03:07 we always call them the hostages of Banning Street.
03:08 They were hostages, when I came down,
03:12 and started talking to people for the first time.
03:16 I said, you know, I am speaking in town
03:17 and I'd like to invite you to the meetings.
03:19 And all the sudden all these addicts are coming down.
03:21 They literally had, you know, some,
03:23 one woman was shooting up so many times in her arm,
03:26 she had a abscesses
03:27 and literally pus dripping from her arm
03:29 because she's just an addict, people in and out of jail.
03:32 Kids saying that my dad is in jail
03:34 but I think my mom's home,
03:35 you know, all that kind of stuff.
03:37 And so I think that they were really held hostage
03:38 in their addiction.
03:39 They were held hostage in their environment,
03:42 they did come to our meetings,
03:43 I would love to just stay on this
03:46 and talk about the freedom that we felt that moment
03:50 when the doors were opened
03:51 and that night at the meetings
03:52 from these hostages from Banning Street.
03:55 But what I want you to think about
03:57 is we're gonna talk to a friend of mine Lisa,
03:59 and Lisa is held hostage in the whole different way.
04:03 So I want to say to Lisa,
04:04 for one welcome to the program...
04:06 Thank you... You came here from Canada...
04:10 And when I talk about, that I am,
04:12 I am kind of referring to your situation and hostages,
04:15 been held hostage does that make sense at all?
04:18 It makes total sense, for my husband and I,
04:23 there are times
04:25 when you are literally held hostage.
04:29 Living with children with special needs
04:33 and particular with autism.
04:36 There are special needs that they have
04:39 and one of those areas is safety,
04:42 and there are times
04:44 when we are literally held hostage in our house
04:47 because we have to be careful
04:49 because our sons could just walk away.
04:52 So we have to make our house safe and secure,
04:55 so that they won't just walk away...
04:57 So you're talking things are lockdown...
05:01 Yes, they are in a way that
05:03 we know that they can't get out but they're safe
05:06 and sometimes it does feel like a prison.
05:10 And your husband actually said that...
05:12 Yeah, he says, I feel like I am a prisoner in my own home.
05:16 So I'll like to find that who are you?
05:22 Growing up, getting married, and stepping into the awareness
05:26 that you're gonna be dealing with
05:28 some pretty intense situations.
05:31 And we're going through a book this season, Victory in Jesus.
05:34 And there's one chapter that I love
05:36 'cause one chapter it says, you know, it's almost like
05:39 what is the most important daily habit.
05:42 So here is the book
05:43 that we're going through all season, right.
05:45 What's the most important daily habit?
05:47 And I think the most important daily habit is to get up
05:50 and know who God is...
05:53 You know, not who I can be today,
05:55 and what are my strength is today.
05:57 And what I can muster it up today,
05:59 what I can figure it out today, but who is God today.
06:02 And so, you know,
06:04 tell us a little bit about who you are?
06:06 How you fell in love?
06:08 And now what are you dealing with?
06:11 I grew up in a small town
06:13 in New Brunswick, in Canada on the east coast.
06:18 I had parents who were Seventh-day Adventist,
06:23 so I had grown up in the church.
06:26 I went to Alberta for college,
06:30 and that's where I met my husband...
06:32 In college... Yes, in college...
06:34 How romantic.
06:36 Yes, we just happen to meet through mutual friends.
06:41 And our backgrounds were very different.
06:46 I was raised as a Christian.
06:49 And my husband had not been raised as a Christian
06:53 but he has found his faith later on.
06:56 And we met at college and we got married and studied.
07:03 And so when you met at college, I bet you were beautiful,
07:06 'cause you are beautiful now.
07:07 So fall in love,
07:11 decide that the differences weren't too great,
07:15 and did your family love him...?
07:18 Well, with my family, my mother had died
07:22 when I was 19 years old of cancer...
07:24 I am sorry...
07:26 So my husband never actually got a chance to meet my mother.
07:29 And my husband's family,
07:32 they had been a newly divorced about a year or so.
07:36 So for both of us, my family wasn't able to come
07:41 to see us get married, and then my husband's family
07:47 because of the new divorce that was hard to.
07:53 So we actually ended up eloping...
07:56 Yeah, so it's really interesting
07:59 'cause even when you're telling the story,
08:01 you go all the way to college, and meeting,
08:03 and yet you said goodbye to your mom at 19.
08:08 You know, what was that like?
08:09 I mean 'cause we don't realize the things that actually start
08:13 to either break us down or make us stronger.
08:18 But I mean all of those things happened.
08:20 I can't imagine saying goodbye to your mom,
08:22 I have a daughter and...
08:26 It was extremely hard.
08:31 Things were falling apart around us
08:33 as far as emotionally,
08:34 my dad was taking it very badly.
08:37 It was during Christmas break
08:41 when I was supposed to go back to college,
08:42 and I had to make a decision.
08:44 Do I stay until my mother passes away
08:47 or do I go back to college and it was very hard
08:50 'cause I didn't know what to do,
08:52 and I really didn't have anybody much to advise me.
08:56 And so I finally decided
08:58 that I was gonna go back to college,
09:00 because my mom was at that time,
09:05 I wasn't even sure she knew who I was anymore...
09:08 And so I did go back,
09:10 and then 10 days later she passed away,
09:12 and I had to go back home and be a part of it.
09:16 I can't even, I can't imagine, how you must have felt
09:19 in that 19 year old walking in
09:21 now having to be a full adult and sane,
09:27 you know, and I know, I'm going to bury my mom...
09:31 It was very hard.
09:35 I really felt alone, I felt alone.
09:38 And I had one sister, she's 16 years older than I.
09:44 So at least I had her,
09:47 and her family but I didn't stay.
09:48 I went back to Alberta to go to college,
09:51 and I was really on my own then.
09:53 Right, and so you go back to college,
09:57 you are in a relationship at that point or not yet...
10:01 Not with my husband, Okay.
10:03 And so at that point I went back.
10:07 And I was having a really difficult time,
10:12 for almost two years I called the dark years
10:15 'cause that's really how I remember it.
10:17 So you're talking about depression, stress.
10:21 Trying to get through everyday, I just got to get up,
10:22 I just got to study, I got to try to concentrate.
10:25 I got into things that I'm not proud of.
10:30 I started drinking and partying and it was on a daily basis.
10:34 And I just couldn't deal with the grief,
10:38 I couldn't deal with it.
10:39 And sometimes when I would drink,
10:42 it would come out.
10:44 And I remember one time
10:49 that I had gotten into a situation like that,
10:52 where I'd been drinking, and I woke up,
10:57 I had passed out, and I woke up,
10:59 and I was like you know,
11:01 God why did this happened to me?
11:04 Why did you do this to me?
11:07 And you know, how do I deal with this pain?
11:11 And I know different people thought that,
11:14 you know, I wasn't with God, but actually really was.
11:17 I was trying so hard through all of it
11:22 to hold on and to understand what was going on
11:27 and I didn't get through it myself, he carried me.
11:33 Absolutely. And that's how I look at it.
11:36 And I love when you say
11:37 'cause it's so important for people to hear that is,
11:39 I and most people would say God wasn't with you,
11:41 that God left you, and man,
11:44 I think we would fall apart if God left us.
11:46 You know, I think we wouldn't be surviving,
11:48 we wouldn't be able to breathe.
11:50 And so when you said that, you know, I didn't have a place
11:53 where I could talk about the pain or the grief
11:55 or where I could walk in and say,
11:57 you know what,
11:58 I don't think I am gonna survive today.
11:59 And so with no place,
12:02 you're gonna try to figure out something that works
12:04 and for you it was alcohol, relationships, partying.
12:08 And what's really tough is it doesn't work.
12:12 It doesn't work, you know, and if it worked, I would say,
12:14 you know, everybody grab a beer.
12:17 You know what I mean, just you know go get some pot.
12:19 You know, but you know to me
12:21 it's such a lie that that's gonna work.
12:24 What that's gonna do
12:25 is compound problem after problem after problem,
12:27 and you were going to waste your life, give up years.
12:30 And so you gave up a couple of years,
12:32 and you still now have to deal with your grief...
12:34 I still have to and I really believe that
12:40 my husband came along at the right time for me.
12:43 And I just told him that, you know,
12:49 you came along at a point in my life
12:51 where I needed someone
12:53 to put me on the straight and narrow,
12:55 and to help me.
12:57 And he was there for me
12:59 when I really needed him the most.
13:02 Somebody you could talk to...
13:05 Somebody you could say, you know, whatever.
13:07 That's right. I hurt.
13:09 He was there for me,
13:11 I am lost and he was there for me.
13:16 He was a beautiful person.
13:18 I knew he cared about me. I knew he loved me
13:21 and I wouldn't be where I am today
13:24 without him.
13:25 So you guys get married, sons, beautiful, perfect...
13:32 You know where I'm going. Yeah, I do.
13:38 Well, we got married and of course it...
13:44 We just couldn't afford a lot. Yeah.
13:46 Because neither one of us had the finances to do.
13:49 And we didn't have family
13:51 to really be able to be there to support us.
13:54 But we wanted to be together and we believed that
13:58 if we want to have a relationship,
13:59 we want to be committed
14:01 and we believe that was through marriage.
14:03 And love conquers all.
14:04 If we have love, we have everything.
14:06 That's what we think when we're young.
14:11 So yes that's how we started out.
14:13 We were going through college.
14:16 He was taking theology at the time.
14:21 And so I was doing secretarial arts,
14:24 and then things changed for us.
14:31 In what way?
14:35 At the time we had thought
14:37 that my husband was going to end up
14:40 being a pastor, and it didn't happen that way.
14:45 And so I am confused because, he was in theology school,
14:50 everything is going fine.
14:52 So what would have got in the way?
14:53 What would have stopped him
14:54 from actually stepping into a calling?
14:58 He didn't happen to get a call at the time
15:01 and due to that fact,
15:05 he didn't end up going into the ministry at the time.
15:08 So once he finished school,
15:10 most people will get a call from somewhere,
15:12 a lot of people and so for whatever reason,
15:14 he didn't.
15:15 He did have two places that had,
15:19 were looking at giving a pastor an opportunity,
15:24 but what happened was is on one of those calls,
15:28 instead of getting a pastor the church actually closed
15:32 and the other opportunity diminished.
15:36 And so it was devastating because he had...
15:40 It's a lot of school.
15:41 It's a lot of school, student loans
15:44 'cause his family wasn't able to support.
15:46 And I was pregnant with my daughter
15:50 at the time
15:51 and we were really looking forward
15:53 to going into the ministry in that way,
15:56 and doing that, and it didn't happened.
16:01 And so that summer we were very discouraged,
16:06 but we were still trying.
16:08 But then, you know, it didn't happened
16:10 so it's like okay well now, what do we do with our lives,
16:12 what are we gonna do?
16:14 So in that time,
16:15 'cause we're talking about that kind of
16:17 daily leaning on God and being able to say,
16:20 'cause I know,
16:21 what it feels like to be discouraged.
16:22 I know what it feels like to be going like am I,
16:24 did I just not get it.
16:26 Did I not read that right,
16:28 and so what is your spiritual life,
16:30 are you still able to hold on to God.
16:32 Were you discouraged, were you hopeful?
16:36 Were you still praying together?
16:40 We were discouraged,
16:41 but we were still praying about it,
16:44 we're still hoping from day to day, you know,
16:48 if this isn't to be a call then what are we do to next.
16:53 So, and that took a different turn for us,
16:57 I had my daughter and...
17:00 Have fun... Yes.
17:02 'Cause even we call it or not call that is incredible
17:04 to have a baby in the house...
17:06 And she was our first child
17:09 and it was pretty incredible to have faith.
17:16 And so, since we had had faith,
17:20 we decided on giving our daughter
17:22 the name of Faith.
17:24 Okay, Amen.
17:25 So, we decided to figure okay,
17:30 what are we gonna do with our lives after that.
17:32 And so I decided that I was going to take a look
17:36 at going back at school.
17:39 And so I had done a lot of research on different careers
17:43 what I thought maybe I could do or what I wanted to do
17:46 or felt led to do.
17:48 And in the end I went to a Canadian University College,
17:52 it's Burman University now and I...
17:55 I spoke there, I love that college
17:57 and beautiful area...
17:58 Yes, and at the time, he is retired now,
18:02 but the professor
18:04 that I talked to is Keith Leavitt.
18:07 And I went in and I talked with him,
18:09 and talked with him about my story
18:13 and about education and I just really felt led
18:17 that I was gonna go to college there.
18:20 And that I was gonna take elementary education,
18:22 and so that's what I did.
18:24 Incredible, so everything is going well.
18:27 Faith is born.
18:28 You are back in school,
18:31 your husband, what's his first name?
18:32 Mark. Mark is he working?
18:35 He was working some out of town
18:40 back and forth.
18:42 I was going to school,
18:45 I was doing six classes at a time
18:47 and raising my daughter at the same time.
18:50 And fortunately I had some cousins
18:54 that were living nearby.
18:55 So they helped me with child care
18:57 and then I worked in the evenings
18:59 too full time at our canteen
19:00 and our cafeteria on the campus.
19:04 So trying to get my degree
19:07 as quickly as possible and finish.
19:09 Okay did you finish? Yes, I did.
19:11 All right, congratulations.
19:14 Thank you.
19:15 Okay, you know what, I would like to break,
19:17 'cause I'd like to go on break.
19:19 And I'd like to come back because I know
19:21 that things really start to turn for you guys,
19:26 and I don't want to break that up.
19:30 So I am gonna go ahead and break
19:32 and I wanna just say this,
19:34 sometimes it's really interesting
19:35 'cause a lot of people will tell me
19:37 and I work with the most amazing folks,
19:40 you know, Lisa, I think you're amazing.
19:42 But I work with the most amazing folks they will say,
19:45 you know, what I just have a normal life
19:47 but then they talk about mothers
19:48 dying of cancer at 19 and being on their own,
19:51 and being afraid and all of that kind of stuff.
19:54 And it's like I don't think any of us have normal lives.
19:56 I don't think any of us can escape by
19:59 and not have these kind of everyday things
20:01 that we have to deal with.
20:02 And when we have these everyday things.
20:04 When things are, kind of overwhelming at times
20:10 and we kind of find out how to walk through that.
20:12 When it actually ramps up or that fire heats up,
20:15 what do we do next?
20:17 And so when we come back, you're gonna hear some things
20:18 with Lisa that did heated up.
20:20 They really went from the frying pan to the fire,
20:26 I mean, I know that's, kind of a crazy thing to say,
20:28 but they really did.
20:29 So we will be right back, stay with us,
20:31 see you on the other side.