Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Chris Corzine
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00094A
00:11 Welcome to Celebrating Life In Recovery,
00:12 I'm Cheri your host.
00:14 Today we are talking about, is the meth? - meth!
00:17 Oh Man, You have got to join us, because you know what?
00:20 It is all over the country and we are going to see
00:22 what it does to people and to families.
00:53 Welcome, have you ever met someone that as you're talking
00:56 you are thinking we are so alike.
00:59 I feel like if they did a DNA test, we would be related
01:03 somewhere, and I met Chris, I exactly felt that way
01:08 about you, from the first time we met.
01:10 Oh that is quite an honor, because like I said I was
01:12 star struck by you because I've been a fan for a while.
01:15 From the show because you watch the show before. - yes.
01:18 Well you are legendary in recovery circles, and when
01:21 I first - how far is that? - yeah you are.
01:23 When I first started getting involved in recovery on my
01:26 own and also in Christian recovery, everybody said,
01:29 have you heard of Cheri Peters?
01:31 You have got to see her show, so you are out there.
01:34 Your name is out there.
01:35 You know what is really interesting about that is
01:38 I'm hoping, like I just got two letters handed to me
01:40 as we were getting ready to do this and it was from
01:43 different people that were coming out of a various things.
01:46 One says I feel like I am in a boat in the middle of
01:49 nowhere and I don't know where to land.
01:51 When I look at this program at least I know there are
01:54 people that have landed and have gone before me and
01:58 that there is hope, so I'm hoping with this program
02:01 does with those in recovery is that God knows exactly
02:04 where we are at.
02:05 He knows exactly where we are going to pull in to and
02:08 until we figure out how to stand on our own two feet,
02:12 is let's do that for each other.
02:14 I'm hoping that we do that.
02:15 On this set we have got your boss here. - that's Kent.
02:20 Your folks are here. - my mom and my stepdad. - cool.
02:24 And some folks that you work with in counseling.
02:28 Andrew and La Donna. - so I wanted to say, and Tom
02:31 works at 3ABN and also works with you.
02:34 So I want to say in the whole café they are all connected
02:39 to you in some way, which is a cool thing. - it is.
02:42 So you are going to tell your story, and tell your story
02:45 in a way that even the audience will feel that connection.
02:47 - no pressure there. - I want you to be brilliant and
02:51 normal, no. - and be real. - and all that stuff.
02:55 You know I want you to, because you know I know
03:00 about recovery is that I know the more people can get
03:03 to know us and our journey, the more they are proud of God
03:07 and our recovery, that's what I love about recovery
03:09 is that part of it.
03:10 I think to me my story starts with my earliest memory
03:14 of childhood, and I guess I was about five years old.
03:18 Maybe a little older, my mom would remember this very
03:21 well, but I remember coming home from school one day and
03:24 my dad being passed out drunk in the chair.
03:28 For some reason, I don't know exactly what he did, but
03:31 he scared my brother and I so bad that we were hiding
03:33 around the side of the house, it was wintertime.
03:35 We hid out there until mom came home and what I didn't
03:39 know until later was that mom was a Christian woman and
03:44 strong and everything else.
03:45 My dad of course was an alcoholic, she had to call
03:48 people to come and take him into treatment himself.
03:51 So I think a lot for me that is where my story starts.
03:53 My earliest memories of my dad being intoxicated,
03:57 and that was scary.
03:59 Unless you have been raised in an alcoholic home you don't
04:03 realize that it is never one way or another in your home.
04:06 The assessments you have to make from the time you are
04:08 really little, change every time you open the door.
04:11 - right. - every time somebody comes in the room.
04:13 And that is what people don't understand unless they have
04:15 been through that you do not know what kind of freak show
04:18 you will walk through the door and find every single day
04:20 when you come home from school.
04:21 It keeps you like in this constant state of arousal of
04:24 fear, is dad going to be drunk today.
04:27 It's dad to be sober today, because when he was sober
04:31 he was amazing and fun and wonderful man, but he wasn't
04:35 that way very often unfortunately.
04:37 I loved him very much. - but when he was drunk it was
04:41 really difficult. - yeah, yeah.
04:44 But that is all I knew. - yeah, I remember talking to
04:48 somebody I worked with one time and she said,
04:50 she wouldn't even come out of her room at night from when
04:54 she was a tiny little girl that she had a potted plant
04:57 in her room and if she had to go to the bathroom she would
05:00 pee in the plant rather than come out because it was so
05:02 abusive to come out if dad was drunk.
05:05 I'm thinking that for normal people, they have no idea
05:09 what it feels like to live under that kind of fear.
05:13 That kind of I don't know how to act, I don't want to be
05:17 yelled at, I just don't, I just don't want to go out
05:21 there. - right, right.
05:23 Well mom, my mom left my dad. - how old were you when
05:28 she left? - I think I was about five mom? Yeah!
05:32 Yes I was about five, I just remember he was the cool parent
05:36 and he was always taking off and hitchhiking across
05:39 country, he probably was in rehab and lying to me.
05:43 Which is true. - but I always thought he had this
05:45 glamorous exciting existence.
05:47 He was off hitchhiking across the country, but I honestly
05:49 think he was in rehab, wasn't he mom? - yeah!
05:52 Mom's like shaking her head, but yes hon he was.
05:55 Yeah and I can remember having to go visit him in the
05:58 hospital after a car accidents and everything.
06:00 He was good at his craft of drinking, he was very good at
06:04 it, but she left him and we were about five years old.
06:08 He moved away, we used to get to visit him quite a bit.
06:13 Some of the earliest things I remember about my dad is he
06:17 was really inappropriate with the things he would say
06:21 around me and my brother.
06:23 In what way? Talking about all his different sexual
06:27 partners and the things he was doing behind my mom's back.
06:30 You know, very crude language.
06:33 So I grew up with this mixed message of one thing
06:37 coming from my mom who by this point was taking us to
06:40 church and I accepted Christ at a very early age.
06:44 The first time, you know how that goes!
06:46 I remember at one point, even as a child, wanting to be
06:50 an evangelist and would line up all my friends and I give
06:53 them the what for and would preach to them and make them
06:56 listen to me, but on the other hand I would spend weekends
06:59 with my dad and he would be talking about some girl
07:02 over, talking about his different sexual exploits.
07:05 Really explicit, sexualized talk in front of us.
07:08 Just for a lot of people, do you know now that, that is
07:12 a form of sexual abuse? - yes that is what I was getting
07:16 ready to say, I have learned since then.
07:17 I've done research that's sexual assault, when you are a child
07:22 even just hearing these things - it's to sexualized.
07:25 It is, it is, kids aren't supposed to hear that stuff.
07:28 On top of that, he started, well I guess he kind of
07:31 started making passes at me.
07:32 That is the cleanest way I can put it.
07:35 I was just a kid and I was confused and I didn't
07:40 understand, so by the time I was 12 years old mom had
07:45 married my stepdad and they moved away.
07:48 He is an amazing man, kind of a hero of our family.
07:52 But I still wanted my dad, and I will go see him on the
07:56 weekends and I had started sniffing gasoline.
07:59 So I was doing inhalants by the age of 12.
08:01 I would go and run off and hide in culvert and sniff gas.
08:06 And why? Why what was up? - I don't know.
08:09 So there was no understanding or connection to what that
08:14 was doing for you? - I liked the high.
08:17 You know it is almost like, I don't know if it is just
08:20 something that gets in our blood when ever we come from
08:23 an addict family, but - genetic, generational.
08:27 - generational curses, I call it all of those, behavior.
08:31 But by the time was 12 years old I was sneaking off and
08:34 starting to get high and I was smoking pot.
08:37 My dad's behavior towards me got more and more sexualized
08:41 and he started touching me.
08:43 So anyway I was drinking and doing a lot of things
08:49 I shouldn't have been doing at a very, very early age.
08:54 What is really tough about... as this sexualized behavior
08:58 starts to manifest into some physical behavior, something
09:01 I can point at, is we think it started then and do not realize
09:05 that you were groomed for years before that.
09:08 By the time it was a physical touch you are already prepared
09:12 for that. - right, and of course when you are a kid and
09:16 that is what your dad thinks you are worth, that is what
09:20 you think you are worth.
09:21 So - I'm sorry about that. - me too, me too.
09:25 So I started by the time I was dating I didn't hold on
09:30 to my virginity very long.
09:31 So by age 15 I had given that away and for some reason,
09:37 and I don't understand why, I decided I wanted to go and
09:41 live with my dad, my older brother had gone and lived
09:45 there and he stayed sober for a year.
09:47 Every time I would go visit it would look so cool there,
09:50 my dad is now sober and he threw my brother a kegger party
09:53 for graduation and he was remarried and I thought it
09:59 looked like it was a cool place to be.
10:00 My mom and my stepdad, I consider my dad, were taking me
10:06 to church - boring. - and I would get out - too strict.
10:11 Yes, yes, they always wanted me home and know where I was.
10:14 I didn't have those rules over at my dad's house and dad
10:17 would let me smoke in the house and I thought that was
10:20 the coolest thing ever.
10:22 He knew when I smoked pot and he thought that was cool.
10:25 He would feed is when we had the munchies, me and my
10:28 friends so I wanted to be there.
10:30 Ignoring the fact of all the warning signals, I remember
10:35 my mom of course and stepdad didn't want me to go but
10:39 I thought it was going to be different.
10:41 I thought he was going to be different and mom had warned
10:43 me that she thought he was drinking again.
10:45 I of course didn't listen to her.
10:47 Did you move in there? - well the day we got there, me
10:50 and this guy that I was dating drove me to Centralia,
10:54 Illinois and the day I got there I walked in the door
10:57 and there was this sign hanging.
10:59 He had hung a banner that was half hung, and half was
11:03 under his feet saying welcome home Chris.
11:05 He was passed out in the chair and had a bottle of Jack
11:08 Daniels in his hand, and as like a burning bush for Moses
11:12 which was no more prophetic than that was.
11:14 You know, it was like God trying to tell me - run.
11:17 - get out, get out and instead I was too proud to have
11:20 to go back and tell my mom that she was right.
11:24 So instead you just cleaned him up. - yeah.
11:27 I moved in and I was 16 at the time and I remember the
11:32 second night there he went out and bought a bottle of wine
11:36 for me and my stepmom, because he was drinking again.
11:39 I remember I was sitting there being really uncomfortable
11:42 thinking this isn't right, but we are doing it.
11:45 Because I don't know why, because we loved him.
11:49 It was these crazy mixed messages while I lived in that
11:54 household and he would once again all this sexualized talk
12:00 towards me and so I was dating a lot and had no regard for
12:05 my body, you know.
12:07 I started, I became very promiscuous.
12:11 I would like to, to me sometimes I hear people making
12:16 judgments on kids that are just running around and crazy
12:21 out there doing things, and to me I know I had never met
12:25 one that is acting out to that level that doesn't have all
12:29 that history, not one.
12:32 Things don't happen in a vacuum.
12:34 - yeah, talk about that for a minute.
12:36 Because I think we tend to, what rises up and we hear
12:40 somebody use, whether it's male or female is that we want
12:44 to make a judgment, we want to say something.
12:47 I think all of heaven says oh, please don't.
12:49 This child is damaged so much already, and unless you can
12:52 approach them in love, unless you are going to reach out
12:55 and offer them a lifeline for some time. - right.
12:57 I think that that is where a lot of times we go wrong is
13:00 because everybody wants to concentrate on their behavior.
13:03 The more you concentrate on the behavior, from the Bible
13:06 it tells us the more you look at the law, the more you are going
13:09 to instead of concentrating on the love of Christ,
13:11 and just going in with love, love, love.
13:13 Because kids don't act that way unless they are hurting.
13:18 You know you can't give yourself to everyone and not lose
13:23 your self-respect and not be steeped in shame.
13:25 The more you feel ashamed, the more you drink, the more you
13:29 drink the more you sleep around, it is just cyclical?
13:33 Kids are even cutting, they are doing all that kind of
13:36 crazy behavior because they just feel worthless.
13:39 Right. - you stayed with drinking though?
13:42 Oh no. - yeah because very seldom is it one drug anymore.
13:47 No! I started with sniffing gas, then went
13:52 to smoking pot, then went drinking, and there are certain
13:56 people you can tell being around them have propensity
14:00 towards uppers and others you can tell?
14:02 Well I like anything that made me go faster.
14:05 I geared towards cocaine and was doing that whenever
14:09 I was still in high school and started doing hallucinogenics.
14:14 I actually broke into a car and stole the speakers out of
14:18 the backseat and left my purse in the People's car that
14:21 had my driver's license.
14:22 Criminals are not real smart. When we are high we are not
14:27 bright as fog. - well from that I ended up having to
14:31 join the military. - you either going to the military
14:34 or you go to jail. - yes, yes my dad worked out that
14:37 arrangement with the judge.
14:39 So I was in the delayed enlist- ment program in the military, so
14:42 I was leaving my father's house behind and by age 17
14:45 I was going into the military, which anyone knows who's
14:48 gone into the military knows there is no place to teach
14:51 you how to drink like being in the military.
14:53 Oh man - yet I joined the Air Force and really endeavored
14:58 oh my alcoholism than and still was to hallucinogenics and
15:03 everything else so I stayed in there for four years.
15:05 I ended up living in Florida after that.
15:10 So you just did one term - oh yeah, they were ready for
15:15 me to leave. They kept giving me drug tests, they knew
15:18 I was doing something but they never caught me at the
15:21 right time, yeah they were ready for me to leave.
15:24 It still amazes me that I got an honorable discharge.
15:27 It was like suckers.
15:29 I had a friend and we were so strung out and she said
15:32 we are just going to join the service, and somebody said,
15:35 it was like a buddy plan you can get into, you joined
15:38 together, and at the last minute I just said I don't know.
15:41 I've not been disciplined at all of my life.
15:43 So she joined and I didn't, I use to get the letters from her.
15:46 They want my hangers an inch apart from each
15:49 other and Na-na-na-na, and bouncing quarters on my bed.
15:52 She was smoking weed, and she didn't get an honorable
15:55 discharge, but you know what it is a crazy place
15:58 to go from addiction and crazy behavior to a very,
16:02 very structured discipline.
16:04 I was in the Air Force and once we got past that six
16:06 weeks of basic training, it wasn't so disciplined.
16:09 I have never drank more than I did whenever I was doing
16:12 tech school, and they gave me a top secret security
16:15 clearance and let me go over seas and track aircraft.
16:18 Can you believe that? - and you are wasted.
16:20 - yes I know and we used to all laugh about it.
16:23 Excuse me is another plane, no it's a bird.
16:25 All right, all right. - so like I said they were glad
16:29 for me to leave, they didn't miss me after they let me go.
16:32 So you left and went to Florida? - right I ended up in
16:35 Florida doing the last hitch of my military service.
16:39 Well I went to bike week in Daytona and met this man and
16:44 fell in love and he drove tractor-trailers.
16:47 So he loaded me up and moved me to Minnesota.
16:51 It was like a nonstop adventure, and I ended up liking
16:55 Florida so much I went back there.
16:57 I was bartending and through bartending.
17:01 Still with this guy? - no. - okay because I was like
17:04 what happened to the tractor-trailer?
17:06 Well he would roll in and out of town just rip my heart
17:09 out every once in while but no I went back to Daytona and
17:11 I bartended and from the bartending that was just,
17:15 I was having a blast.
17:17 I had all the drugs I wanted and I was doing a lot of
17:21 cocaine at that point, all the alcohol I wanted,
17:23 men and everything.
17:26 Eventually the guy from Minnesota came back around and
17:32 introduced me to meth.
17:34 Oh, meth is such bad news, I mean all of it is bad news
17:37 but meth just grabs a hold of you.
17:39 That was, to me that was like the turning point.
17:44 I was doing anything I could get my hands on, but I hadn't
17:48 settled on one, if someone would ask you what my drug of
17:51 choice was earlier, you had asked me all of them.
17:54 I would just flit around, I was always high.
17:57 I remember going in to get my drivers license pictures
17:59 taken all hung over and messed up looking.
18:03 - I could just see that, go ahead, smile.
18:06 They will go well that's what she really looks like,
18:09 they would let me know. - she is high, look at her.
18:12 I lived like that, it was my life and when I found meth
18:16 it was like as soon as I did that first line it was like
18:20 everything I thought I had ever been looking for I have
18:22 just discovered it, everything else including the alcohol
18:25 I thought that meth cured my alcoholism.
18:28 That is because you lie to yourself - yeah as oww
18:31 I don't hardly drink anymore and I don't get drunk.
18:34 I have to say with people that don't know about meth or
18:37 some of those drugs, is that it just gives you an
18:39 endorphin rush, your dopamine levels skyrocket, serotonin,
18:44 neuro-chemistry just gets, everything is just skyrocketing.
18:50 So you do have this euphoria that is unbelievable.
18:53 For hours and hours and hours, yet that is what I used
18:57 to tell everybody, I was cost-effective addict
19:01 I started doing meth and stayed on meth daily for
19:06 11 years. - wow, your teeth look great.
19:10 That is what everybody says to me, you still have your
19:12 teeth. - yet because most of my sisters done meth for
19:15 about 35 years, she doesn't have her teeth, her hair is
19:17 falling out, got Aplastic anemia, she's 70 pounds.
19:21 So I mean it is one of those drugs that really robs you
19:24 physically of everything including your mind in the end.
19:28 Right, and that is funny because towards the end I was
19:31 getting what I call light gray patches in my brain where
19:34 I would try to talk and words were coming out backwards
19:37 and scrambled, I knew,- you can hear yourself.
19:40 - I knew I was hurting my brain and I had a tendency to
19:43 forget to unlock my motorcycle.
19:45 I would get on my bike and go to take off in the neck
19:48 would be locked and I know it's getting some brain damage
19:51 from it but I just kept going.
19:53 It was getting really sad, I remember sitting one day
19:56 thinking it was going to be so sad when I would be in
20:00 my 50s, 60s maybe if I live that long, still having to
20:03 score drugs all the time just to maintain.
20:05 Right, so what is amazing to me is you had you that
20:09 underlying awareness, that I am aware that this could be
20:14 my future. - oh yeah I couldn't see anything else.
20:17 I didn't see any way out of it.
20:20 I tried a few times to stop, as well like you know the
20:24 main reason I tried to stop actually was because my dealer
20:27 would run out temporarily and I would be like well it's
20:30 a great time to become sober.
20:31 It would consume me, I mean it would consume me.
20:35 What is it like for somebody that doesn't know at all,
20:37 what is it like when you don't have the drug?
20:40 I describe it like a fingernail that would scratch on the back
20:43 of my brain, I mean just coo, and I would have the phone in
20:47 my hand and just dial, dial, dial.
20:49 - Just trying to find anyone - then you sleep and you
20:53 wake up eat and obsess, obsess, and obsess.
20:56 It is like the only thing you can think about, so it is
21:00 pretty miserable when you are without it.
21:02 And willing to do just about anything for it?
21:05 Yeah, well that is what ended me up, getting me in
21:09 trouble is that I like to think that I was a pretty highly
21:12 functioning addict, because through all this I held down
21:16 jobs, bartending, being a drug addict and alcoholic I got
21:20 fired a lot, not surprisingly.
21:22 I would get jacked up behind the bar and they would be
21:25 that was enough of that.
21:27 I still always had a job. - right.
21:29 The last place I was working I had lost my job and
21:34 I think I had said something inappropriate
21:36 to someone, imagine that!
21:38 I know now, I think back because through all this my mom
21:43 and my stepdad never stopped praying for me.
21:47 - that's amazing.- they lived in Illinois and I think
21:50 had mom known what I was up to it would have killed her.
21:52 She had no idea, but she knew I wasn't living right.
21:55 She knew I wasn't living for Christ. - she probably saw you
21:58 now and again but couldn't tell it you were so out of control.
22:00 Right, well I avoided. - and you lie like a dog.
22:03 - oh yeah, - no, no I'm fine.
22:05 You don't want to be around Christians when you are living
22:08 so unholy, and every time I would get around them I would
22:10 get really angry inside and I know now it was the
22:14 conviction of the Holy Spirit.
22:15 So I would avoid them, and when I did see her I felt so
22:19 dirty, I admired her so much, and always wanted to be like
22:24 my mom because she was such a godly woman.
22:26 Her spiritual giftness was just sweetness and servant
22:30 hood and all these things that I wasn't.
22:31 Instead I used to tell people that I got my dad's desire to
22:36 party and my mom's guilt, so it was like a bad combination.
22:41 But I admired her so much and she never stopped praying
22:46 for me, so she came to a point at one time where she told
22:50 me that she got on her knees and told the Lord whatever
22:54 it takes to save my daughter.
22:56 About that point I had lost my last job, was out of money
23:01 to buy dope and I was getting ready to go to school.
23:05 I had completed one degree and was getting ready to start
23:09 another and I called up my dealer and offered him $2000
23:14 that I had coming in from student money to hold for me.
23:17 You know quote unquote hold for me, of course we know what
23:20 that means that I wanted him to front me some dope and he
23:23 could invest that and do whatever with it.
23:25 I wasn't even thinking of the investment part I just needed
23:28 some dope, so anyway he agreed to do that.
23:31 un-be-known to me they had my dealer's phone tapped.
23:34 - wow - and they were just getting ready, the federal
23:37 government, this was DEA was getting ready to throw the
23:40 net over the local kingpins.
23:44 So right after that they showed up at my front door and
23:47 knocked on the door and I opened it and they pulled me
23:51 out the door arresting me with charges of conspiracy to
23:55 traffic of over 500g of methamphetamine. Federal charges
23:59 We are going to break right there, I want to break and
24:03 come back because I know right now everything looks
24:06 hopeless and God does His best work when it looks
24:09 hopeless. So if it is looking hopeless in your life
24:11 you've got to stay with us because it is absolutely
24:14 amazing what God can do.