A Heartfelt Testimony Shared
By Kyle Sutton of White Oak Grove OFWB Church, LaGrange, NC
Kyle Sutton made a request to Pastor Bob Smith to speak to the congregation about a very important stage
in his life, and here is his testimony...
On Christmas Day of 2015, I made a New Year's resolution that if the next year of my life did not improve I would take my own life. By November 1, 2016, I had decided that my life had reached the absolute lowest point. I felt like I had no one and nothing in my life. I had alienated all my friends and family through my actions. I took the last of my money, which I had come about through theft in the first place. I bought as many pain pills as I could and took them all while locked in the room of a trailer that I was renting. While waiting for whatever was to come, I began writing letters to all of my loved ones, until I couldn't hold the pen up anymore and slipped off into the deepest and darkness sleep of my life.
So, as you can see it didn’t work out quite the way I thought it would. The luckiest night of my life is also the worst night of my life. It was selfish, the most selfish thing I’ve ever done. I knew that it would hurt those around me, those that had tried to help me until I used and abused them well beyond their breaking point. I couldn’t live with the person that I had turned into. I couldn’t live with the devil in my ears every time I woke up in the middle of withdrawal. I knew my suicide would hurt those around me the most, but I didn’t care, at least not enough to stop BUT—
I wasn't born an addict. I didn’t choose to be an addict. Nobody does. The first time I abused prescription pain killers I was working and going to school full-time. It started as just something to help get through work or class until I began to rely on it to be able to function at work. Then it wasn’t just for work, it was what I needed to relax in my spare time, it was the first thing on my mind in the mornings, and my last thought before sleep at night. Even then, I told myself I didn’t have a problem. I ran through the list of typical addict excuses. “Oh, I’ve got legitimate pain and everybody else is doing it.” “Everyone has their vices, at least mine is made in a pharmacy.” It’s a typical addict mentality that no matter how low you yourself have sunk, you always think there is someone lower on the totem pole than you.
The denial state is often the hardest to overcome. So many people refuse to admit they’ve become an addict, because as a society we demonize addicts, treat them like parasites and leeches, we refuse to see them as people with a problem until it’s happening to us, or to your children, your loved ones. People suffering from addiction are scared of being judged, of being treated differently, just the label of "addict" is scary to them. Drug abuse is at epidemic levels in this country, and it is showing no signs of slowing or stopping. All I ask is that you please, don’t hate the addict, don’t blame the addict. If you want to point the finger, point it at the dealers, who knowingly push these substances and sell out their fellow man for a buck, or blame the culture that puts social media and politics over helping those who need it. It doesn’t take becoming an addict or watching a loved one fall into addiction to have empathy for them.
I will never forget the role this church played in my recovery. Even at my worst, when I could barely muster the strength to come in here and sit in these pews. I felt at home here, an inner peace like nothing else I had experienced in my daily life. I wanted so badly to be free of my addiction, to be able to sit here and enjoy the hymns and sermons without the weight and guilt my addiction brought with me.
Detox started on April 6, learning about total abstinence, but also how 50% of all addicts that come through the doors are successful. My Grandma believed in me, she never gave up on me, she made me feel important and she made sure I attended the Detox classes.
After my first Detox counseling session, my Granddad greeted me with a handshake and told me he was proud of what I had done (Detox counseling), and he was willing to put the past behind us. What a great inspiration to hear these words and his display of love and affection.
Oh, it is hard to forgive but I finally realized that I must forgive and forget. I accepted this fact and spoke to and forgave Dad.
Finally, I was able to sit down and enjoy the sermons, to listen to Bob preach and feel like the lessons are speaking directly to me. Bob has played a huge role in my life and in my recovery. How welcoming both he and the church have been, how I’ve never felt judged or not welcome.
Baptism, how faith came so much easier after turning to sobriety, how my baptism felt like washing away all of the dirt and grime that I had accumulated during my addiction, and what better of a sight could I ask for than to come up and have my Uncle Gary be the first person I saw.
Christmas and the changes in my life: What a difference Christmas time was. How far the first time since childhood I was able to enjoy it, and I mean really enjoy the spirit of it and the community that was so warm and happy—what a difference that made.
There’s a saying, I’m sure I deserve my enemies, but I’m not so sure I deserve my friends. Well, when I was in my addiction I could never picture my life as it is now because that is what drug addiction does—it isolates you from your loved ones.
The Lord makes no mistakes. Another uncle saw something in me and gave me a chance. Working and ministering to the healthcare needs of my Uncle Dickie has been a life-changing experience.
To my grandma, who in what should be her years of rest gave me her all to beat this devil. Thanks to all of you for coming today and for supporting me in my struggle to return to a society of happiness and joy.