Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Jason & Rachael Bickal
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00079A
00:10 Welcome to Celebrating Life In Recovery
00:12 I'm Cheri, today we're going to talk about
00:14 freedom, God wants us completely free and laughing out
00:18 loud, loving our own skin.
00:20 Come into the café and join us.
00:49 Welcome back, we have some friends of mine that
00:52 I would like you to meet.
00:53 When I first met Rachael and Jason they were standing
00:56 in my living room talking about meeting God,
01:00 the things they were learning about themselves,
01:03 and how they were healing.
01:04 I just thought, I have to have you tell everyone that
01:07 because I was so blessed.
01:09 I want to say thank you for coming on, because I knew
01:12 the first moment that I met you, the first time you said
01:15 today I am finally free, I knew that I wanted you to
01:18 share that with all of us.
01:19 So thank you for coming on the program.
01:21 I want to start with Rachael, you are fairly new to this
01:29 whole thing, not new to your recovery.
01:31 So talk about your background and where you have come
01:34 from, then we'll get into the good stuff about
01:36 what you are learning now.
01:41 My childhood was a mess.
01:45 My mother was a workaholic and my first step dad was
01:51 sexually abusive as well as physically.
01:54 - where is your dad? - oh somewhere.
01:57 - so you just didn't know him? - no not really.
02:01 He tried to pop up in my life every now and then,
02:04 but it was after I got clean and sober, and after the
02:07 hardships and that was one of those things where
02:10 I decided misery is optional.
02:13 I decided not to be in that mystery anymore so
02:16 I cut all ties with him.
02:17 But my first step dad was like I said,
02:22 abusive in all the above ways.
02:27 - was your mom not there?
02:30 To me I can see that whole thing where mom is working
02:33 hard, trying to do the right thing but not there,
02:36 and this abusive guy steps into your life that is
02:39 not even your dad.
02:40 Yeah, well it set the tone for how men were supposed
02:44 to be, it set the tone for my future pretty much on how
02:48 my body was, my body was never mine.
02:50 It was a tool, and that's how I grew up in my life.
02:55 And I used it until the day I got healed,
02:59 I used my body like that.
03:03 I was a big self mutilator growing up,
03:05 to deal with that pain.
03:07 For somebody that doesn't know what self mutilating is
03:08 please explain it to them.
03:10 Oh, I cut myself, any time I had to deal with any kind
03:14 of emotional pain I would start slitting my wrists,
03:19 I would slit my legs.
03:20 - not to die? - no, just so, because the physical pain
03:26 was so much easier than the emotional pain.
03:30 I can't deal with emotional pain and that is
03:33 why became a drug addict.
03:34 - you had control over the physical pain?
03:36 Yes very much so, it was by my own doing and my own hand.
03:42 I tried to kill myself numerous times.
03:44 The last time somebody told me, Joe told me that I'm on
03:50 God's time now, so it's like I needed to do it right.
03:53 - Joe is one of my pastors.
03:55 And awesome man, and awesome man saved my life.
03:58 - he really is.
03:59 He just, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry.
04:09 I got out of a mental hospital and I was doing IV drugs,
04:16 meth was my favorite, and I tried to commit suicide.
04:22 I took three bottles of prescription pills.
04:27 - how old were you? - I was 18.
04:29 The first time I've tried to commit suicide I was 15.
04:34 The last time I did, I took those three bottles of pills
04:38 and when I woke about was so angry, I was so angry
04:44 because I did not want to live anymore.
04:45 - It's like I can't even do this right?
04:47 It was just one more time and I couldn't do it.
04:50 I was in an abusive relationship and I had started doing
04:57 drugs when I was 12.
04:58 It was amazing and awesome and it was a little bit better
05:02 than cutting myself because that I didn't have
05:05 to feel anything at all.
05:07 When I tell people things I felt with doing drugs
05:09 and alcohol, I didn't have to feel and that
05:11 was the best part.
05:13 With a lot of people, and a lot of people that haven't gone
05:15 in that direction or haven't had that much pain.
05:18 I don't think they have a clue why some of us choose
05:20 drugs and alcohol, I don't want to feel,
05:23 I don't want to kill myself and that is the only choice
05:25 I have when I'm not high.
05:29 Yeah, there so much pain, I mean, I don't know,
05:34 I'm so sorry, there was so much pain my life.
05:39 My mom was never around.
05:41 There was about a year and a half when she divorced
05:45 my stepdad, my first step dad, that she decided to come
05:50 around and she was home more.
05:54 It was just, the damage had already been done.
05:58 - that I think is interesting, that now you want to
06:02 be a mom? I hate you, I don't want you in my life.
06:05 I'm not listening and I'm not doing any of that stuff.
06:09 So it sounds like you jumped into that pretty early.
06:12 So did you finish school, did you do any of that stuff?
06:15 Oh yes sorry, I was jumping around. - that's all right!
06:20 I tried to go to school, I went to school in a very small
06:24 town because after my mom remarried she moved us out into
06:27 the middle of nowhere.
06:29 The closest neighbor was a mile away, so I was even more
06:32 secluded because by the time I would wake up,
06:36 she was already gone to work.
06:38 By the time I went to bed she would be just coming home.
06:41 So it was just, it was just a nightmare growing up.
06:46 Being bipolar didn't help.
06:48 She was, or you was bipolar?
06:51 I was bipolar, I am bipolar.
06:53 So diagnosed with bipolar - at what age? - at 14.
06:58 You know my favorite aunt was bipolar, and I have to say
07:01 I think there is a special place in heaven.
07:04 Because that is a hard one, hormonally all over the board
07:08 and with all this junk on top of that, I am feeling crazy
07:11 and I don't know how to control it and there is no one
07:14 around that is consistent, and the drugs help some.
07:18 I was self-medicating, I'm going to try and
07:22 do anything to be normal.
07:23 But when I went to school in this very small town,
07:28 everybody was related, and they were in their own type
07:32 of religion there and I had short hair and I wasn't part
07:37 of their religion so I was a gay devil worshiper in their
07:42 eyes, and it was relentless.
07:44 Every day, I couldn't get a break anywhere.
07:47 So then my mom decided it was going to best for me to
07:49 move me to the big city school it was awesome, I will tell you.
07:55 Is that were all the drugs opened up?
07:59 That is when the drugs opened up, drinking started at home
08:02 because my mom was never home and there was alcohol in
08:05 the cabinets, so I would help myself to whatever.
08:08 Nobody ever noticed, but the drugs started when I went
08:12 to the big city schools.
08:20 I dropped out in the ninth grade because it got in the
08:22 way of my using, because I wanted to use all day,
08:25 every day and when someone is telling you,
08:28 you have to be in a structured environment and
08:30 you can't use between this and this time,
08:32 I was like no, no I'm not having that.
08:34 So I dropped out and I thought I had it all.
08:38 I didn't want to live with my mom anymore because I had
08:42 already been raising myself, so I told my mom,
08:44 I'll see you later and I moved to Georgia.
08:46 I lived my aunt there for a month and then I ran away.
08:48 That is when the fun stuff started happening.
08:51 - because running away on the streets and I know the
08:54 options on the streets for survival,
08:56 so what did you jump into there?
08:58 Prostitution. - that is still is even hard to say?
09:01 It is. - and I want to hold you because I know it is
09:05 hard to say and it still brings you pain.
09:07 But you do know that you are forgiven?
09:09 Oh yes! - okay, good!
09:11 So you jumped into all that, and what is really tough
09:14 about that again is even with someone who talks about
09:18 the drugs, and all that stuff, is that because it is
09:22 something you can finally control, then it is not
09:25 somebody acting out on you, now I have control of this.
09:28 There is a sense of power in that.
09:30 Oh, very much so, very much so.
09:33 When going back through my healing, I found out that
09:37 I had felt unwanted and unloved my whole life.
09:40 In doing my prostituting, you were paying me because
09:47 you want me, finally somebody wants me.
09:50 I have your complete 100%, undivided attention.
09:52 It was the same way as I felt when being physically
09:56 abused, I have your full attention, I am all you are
10:00 thinking about for right now.
10:01 - that works for a while.
10:03 That was love to me and it worked for a while.
10:06 - I want to scream when I hear that, because I know
10:10 there is thousands of folks that that is love for them.
10:13 Men and women that are out there prostituting,
10:16 and sometimes I see them and it just want to stop and say,
10:19 I am sorry, I don't know what happened but I'm sorry.
10:24 How long were you stuck into that world?
10:27 A year, a year and then I went bouncing around from
10:31 house to house, I would sleep on the streets or where
10:35 ever I could find a place to stay.
10:37 You know I don't know what it was, I guess it was the
10:42 Holy Spirit, telling me this isn't for you.
10:47 So I called my mommy up and told her I can't do this
10:51 anymore, so I had to hide out for a little bit until
10:54 the plane got there, and I took off.
10:57 Did you actually, when you said the Holy Spirit said to
11:00 you, or you felt like the Holy Spirit was directing that,
11:02 what was that like?
11:05 Because most people will say, really you are out
11:07 there doing all this stuff, and you think
11:09 God is speaking to you?
11:10 So what was that like for you, that you sensed that
11:14 this was something different, this was probably
11:17 God speaking to you?
11:22 It was said with love, because I heard voices in my head
11:27 a lot and it was said with love.
11:31 - it just broke through all those voices?
11:33 - yeah, and I had never felt anything like that before,
11:37 and I knew I couldn't do it anymore.
11:40 I knew I would be dead within a year if I kept living
11:43 that way, I was a full-blown alcoholic.
11:45 I would wake up with the shakes, and I would have to
11:50 drink, there was no way around it and being 16 something
11:53 clicked and the Holy Spirit was like, this isn't for you.
11:57 You need to get to a safe place.
12:01 I moved, I moved back to Idaho with my mom and I had it
12:05 in my mindset, this is it, this is it.
12:07 I'm going to get my life together, I got my GED and that
12:11 lasted for about a month.
12:14 - for an addict that is a long time,
12:15 a longtime, a month.
12:17 It was a long time, I got myself enrolled in beauty
12:20 school and this was it.
12:21 Then I got introduced into meth.
12:24 There is a lot of meth in Idaho, I guess a lot of states.
12:29 Well Idaho, in Pocatello is the third-highest
12:36 in the United States.
12:39 I mean it was a fun ride, and I always tell everybody
12:44 well God wanted me to learn and to learn fast.
12:47 I hit the ground running, and that's what I did.
12:49 Smoking wasn't good enough for me, so within that first
12:52 month of doing meth I'd started slamming it.
12:55 For people who do not know what slamming it is?
12:57 I started injecting it, IV, using needles.
13:01 That became my drug of choice.
13:04 We have talked about a number of addictions when we do
13:09 this program, it takes a while to develop this full-blown
13:14 addiction, this addicts your personality.
13:16 I look at you and I think that at that point in your
13:20 life, especially choosing meth, it's like the whole world
13:24 can just back away from me.
13:27 I'm fine and I am going to take what I need.
13:29 That power is unbelievable when you get to that place,
13:32 you are not going to hurt me, in fact I will hurt you
13:35 first, and I can see you in that right there.
13:39 Just that I am going to be in control of my own, even if
13:42 it is my own death, it is my own death,
13:44 but I am in control.
13:45 Well it 15 I knew I was going to die of a drug overdose
13:48 by the time I was 18, I knew it.
13:50 I'm sure that was adversary talking to me, but I just
13:53 knew it. - and could care less. - I could care less.
13:56 I wanted it that way.
14:02 The needle became my life, and one friend told me once,
14:08 that is how I viewed it, would you rather have one really
14:13 long day, or a bunch of bad days?
14:16 I chose one really long bad day, because with meth
14:20 I would stay up for days, weeks on end.
14:22 You get so psychotic and so crazy.
14:25 - oh that was my favorite because then nothing was real
14:27 to me. - because you could jump out of reality?
14:31 Oh yeah, reality was too painful.
14:34 The delusions are intense when you're up for weeks.
14:39 Oh yes, I have been up for nine days and I had a pet
14:43 tarantula, and it has little sand type stuff in the
14:47 bottom of her cage, and after our was up for that long
14:51 I thought they were worms.
14:53 So I thought these maggots were eating my spider,
14:56 so I'm throwing all the sand out of her cage because
14:59 I thought they were eating my spider.
15:01 But it was sand, it was delusional, just complete.
15:08 None of the reality could cause you any pain?
15:10 When you were in that state? - no!
15:13 Don't you wish somehow you could explain that to someone
15:15 that is even judging an addict?
15:17 If we understood the fear and the damage that they were
15:22 running from, we would just want to love them.
15:25 We would really step in, in a whole different way.
15:27 So you ended up, what happened with the meth?
15:31 Did you have a breakdown? Because you get crazy.
15:36 No, I was homeless for a little bit and then I found
15:40 this man and a knew he was going to be my knight in
15:43 shining armor, and I did not like him at all.
15:46 This is what drugs do to you, I hated him.
15:48 Your suppose to like knights in shining armor?
15:52 That's how messed up my thinking was, he was my knight
15:57 in shining armor, but I didn't like him.
15:59 I didn't like who he was, but he had the dope,
16:01 he had the drugs for me, he had a place for me to stay,
16:03 and he had a bed for me to sleep in.
16:05 So he was my knight in shining armor because he had all
16:08 of these material things that I needed.
16:10 It turned out to be a huge mistake, he ended up being
16:15 married and I got to renounce that moral failure and
16:20 that was amazing in itself.
16:23 He ended up being married, I did know he was married.
16:25 I was at the house one day and she comes walking in and
16:28 said, where is my husband?
16:30 I'm like who is your husband?
16:31 Low and behold he was married, but that did not stop me
16:36 at all because he still had what I needed, and that ended
16:40 up being a very abusive relationship as well.
16:43 What was enough for me, I had taken some mushrooms and
16:50 I was hallucinating pretty bad and I looked in the
16:57 mirror, which is a big no-no, but I looked in the mirror
17:00 and my skin was completely gray.
17:04 I had bruises all up and down my arms, had abscesses all
17:07 over my arms from missing, from shooting up.
17:12 I was 130 pounds, and I am a big girl, so for me to be
17:17 that, you can see every, literally every bone in my body.
17:20 My eyes were completely sunken in and I looked in the
17:24 mirror, and it wasn't me.
17:27 I did not recognize that person and I was so scared that
17:31 I literally thought that was the devil looking back at
17:35 me, I was terrified.
17:37 I called my mom and she told me to get on my knees,
17:43 it was probably one o'clock in the morning,
17:44 she told me get on your knees Rachael and you need
17:47 to ask God to help you.
17:49 I was like no, no, no you don't understand,
17:52 I need to go to rehab now.
17:53 She said it's one o'clock in the morning and there is
17:55 nothing I can do for you.
17:57 She told me to do that so after I got off the phone with
17:59 her, I fell on my knees, I didn't get on my knees,
18:04 I literally fell to the ground on my knees and I asked God
18:07 for His help, simple words, please help me.
18:12 It is not complicated. - Oh yeah, God understands.
18:15 I don't even know what else to say, nor have the words
18:18 to say, but He goes right to your heart.
18:20 He said the Holy Spirit knows exactly
18:21 what you just asked.
18:23 Oh yeah, I fell asleep immediately, which was a miracle
18:26 in itself, I mean immediately I fell asleep.
18:29 I woke up the next morning with my mom kicking me and
18:31 telling me to get on a plane.
18:33 - to go to rehab? To go to rehab yes.
18:37 So what was rehab like, because you have to go in through
18:41 horrendous withdrawals, from alcohol, from the drugs,
18:44 from that lifestyle.
18:46 It was horrific, I won't lie.
18:50 I did not like getting sober, but I was so beat up that
18:54 I was done, I was just done and I couldn't do it anymore.
18:58 I was willing to do anything they told me to do.
19:01 I remember you telling me one time about a letter that
19:06 you wrote saying, goodbye to meth,
19:08 talk about that letter.
19:10 They made us write a goodbye letter to the drug of choice.
19:15 When I wrote that goodbye letter, it was a goodbye letter
19:19 to the love of my life.
19:21 I had seriously felt, that this drug, was more to the
19:25 needle, because it didn't matter if it was meth or not,
19:29 I would have put anything in the needle as long as
19:31 it was going in my arm.
19:33 I said goodbye to that and it was the love of my life.
19:36 It was the one thing that has been consistent in my life?
19:39 Yes, how I viewed it was that it never let me down,
19:44 it was always there, and made me not feel, it could do
19:48 work for me that I could never ever do.
19:50 That is how I viewed it, and the biggest line I put in
19:54 that letter was, the love I had for you couldn't compare
19:58 to the control you had over me.
20:00 That is exactly what it was.
20:02 - I have to say goodbye. Yes, and I had to say that
20:05 I needed that closure, and it was a closure.
20:08 Some people, they really do need to write that letter,
20:13 they need to literally talk to this drug, as I have been
20:16 in a relationship with this drug more than anyone in my
20:19 life, I have to say goodbye.
20:22 I would have to say to a normal person that sounds crazy.
20:27 When your writing the letter, everything in you just
20:30 weeps. - oh, it was horrible.
20:32 I mean seriously, I felt more love for the drug and
20:37 that needle, than I did my mom.
20:40 I was willing to trade anything for it.
20:42 I mean obviously, anything.
20:46 You know saying goodbye, writing that letter,
20:49 talk about what they did for you as far as freedom.
20:54 We got to burn it, and watching the flames, watching it
20:59 all crumble up and go up in smoke it was very freeing.
21:03 I knew I had actually that choice today.
21:06 In my addiction I never felt like I had a choice.
21:09 I just thought it was my burden to bear, and this was
21:12 my life, and this was just how it was.
21:14 When I actually got to see that and say goodbye and see
21:17 it burning, I knew that I had a choice.
21:19 - the first time in your life?
21:21 Oh yes, in rehab they showed me how to live my life.
21:26 It was amazing.
21:28 It makes me think about, just watching your eyes,
21:32 it makes me think about that moment for myself, because
21:35 when you do get that moment you know I can make a
21:39 decision today, it's not going to be easy, but I can make
21:42 that decision and all of a sudden you are empowered
21:45 in a way that you have never been to just step into your
21:49 life, and you want to thank somebody.
21:54 Can I thank somebody can I just say, and really the
21:56 people around you to thank right now are the people
21:59 in rehab, the people that are working and have done
22:01 the groups, and you don't even know that you can take
22:04 that a step higher yet.
22:06 See that's really funny, I have a story for that.
22:08 The rehab ended up kicking me out. - ouch!
22:13 Well because I didn't accept God into my life then.
22:16 They told me I had to believe in God and do all this
22:20 stuff, I still didn't accept Him in my life.
22:24 Can you tell us why? Because I think the why's in our
22:29 journey are as important as when we get it.
22:32 The why's talk about all the lies that have been told
22:36 about God, and about our need and dependency on something
22:41 outside of ourselves, so why when they said God is the
22:45 answer, a higher power, you said, fffh!
22:47 Because I blamed Him, I blamed Him for everything.
22:51 Why would this wonderful God that people talk about,
22:55 why would He let a little girl get molested?
22:57 Why would He sit there and watch this little girl get
23:01 thrown down the stairs by her feet?
23:03 Why would He do that? That was the adversary talking
23:08 to me, making me question God all the time.
23:11 They tried to tell me in rehab, and it worked pretty good,
23:14 they told me that God gave us this wonderful gift called
23:18 free will, and some of those things were because of my
23:22 own doing, and when I finally understood that,
23:24 it was ahhh okay.
23:26 But I wasn't willing to completely surrender my life,
23:28 and my will over to God. I wasn't there yet.
23:30 Was it a lot to do with trust issues?
23:35 Oh everything! - I know that's very stupid but I have to
23:39 ask you this question because you're asking a child that
23:43 has never had anybody trustworthy around them to trust
23:47 God, and to me that was ludicrous.
23:50 When I first heard that I thought, are you kidding me?
23:52 You want me to trust God?
23:54 I think you're sitting too close to me actually.
23:58 Do you know what I mean, it's we don't trust anybody.
24:02 I look at you I think, that coming from all the places
24:05 you came from, from the streets, from trying to fend
24:08 for yourself, is when somebody talked to you about trust.
24:12 You almost want to laugh in their face.
24:14 What are you talking about?
24:16 Especially something I can't see, or touch, or call on
24:20 the phone, say hey do you still have that for me?
24:22 Thanks dude, goodbye!
24:24 It just wasn't there.
24:26 - so do you guys know each other yet?
24:29 I mean going through all this stuff, do you know each
24:31 other? - no not yet!
24:32 So you got kicked out?
24:34 They kicked me out because I wasn't willing to accept
24:37 God in turn my will over to Him yet.
24:40 I was still acting, like an alcoholic and addict
24:44 just without any mood altering substance.
24:49 Like so that means I'm angry! -oh, yes!
24:51 When I got sober, I was angry for a good 2, 3 years.
24:56 Just angry at the world, and everybody.
25:01 - So hypersensitive, I'm not masking any of that stuff
25:04 so I have to feel it now.
25:06 Yeah it was just anger, and what I like to call a dry
25:11 alcoholic, is what I was.
25:13 I was still attending meetings and I wasn't drinking
25:15 but I was White knuckling it.
25:17 I still had not turn myself over.
25:20 What made you stop, you go into treatment and all that, but what
25:24 made you, then stop and go to meetings and nobody was
25:27 forcing that, were you on probation or something?
25:29 No, I stayed in the law.
25:32 So what made you stop, what made you decide that I'm
25:34 actually going to do that part of it?
25:37 I was done, when I first went to rehab I went to rehab
25:42 with the idea I was going for a break.
25:47 I was going to get sobered up and by the time I get out
25:51 of rehab and do that big huge shot it was going to be
25:55 really good and really intense.
25:57 But when I walked into that first AA meeting, I was home.
26:00 I didn't have to fight.
26:03 - you didn't have to prove yourself.
26:05 - I didn't have to prove myself to anybody.
26:07 - people understood. - yes and I felt at home.
26:10 I knew for one hour, no one was going to hurt me,
26:13 nobody was going to make me feel dirty, I was just home.
26:19 To me, one of the things I think is amazing about those
26:23 groups, is they just say, come on and sit down, rest.
26:27 You can rest here, and if you don't know that is the
26:31 value of AA, it is sad because their value is that you
26:36 can finally walk in and sit down.
26:38 We are going to go ahead and break, then I want to come
26:41 back and introduce Jason and talk about how you guys
26:44 met, and what God is doing in your life,
26:46 because it is absolutely amazing.
26:48 The first time I heard the entire story, I wanted to cry
26:53 with them, not tears of sadness but of joy
26:55 that God can heal anything,
26:58 absolutely amazing, we will be right back!