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God filled the huge void in my life

God filled the huge void in my life

God filled the huge void in my life

For the first time, Emily has found the love and peace she has craved all her life.

By Emily Rush

The minute I tried alcohol, I thought I’d found the answer to my problems. I felt immense warmth and relief and all my burdens and pain became a distant memory. I was only 12, attending a party in a local park, the first of many parties like this over the next few years. Little did I know it was the start of a downward spiral into the depths of despair, otherwise known as addiction.

It wasn’t long before I was smoking pot (marijuana). I tried speed when I was 16 and had injected heroin by 19. My family had always been loving and supportive, although dealing with my father’s alcoholism was difficult. I now understand what my mum went through in keeping the family together and afloat.

I struggled and worried a lot when I was younger. I was overweight and bullied at school. Somewhat overwhelmed with issues I didn’t know how to deal with, I regularly turned to drugs and alcohol. Deep down, however, I knew the party couldn’t last. I was 19, and after returning from an overseas trip to China where I had been teaching English, I was confronted with a father who was very sick as a result of prolonged alcohol abuse, and a sister in the depths of heroin addiction. I no longer wanted this (drugs and alcohol) for my life, so I checked myself into rehab. I stayed in rehab for a year, addressed my issues as best I could and managed to stay clean and sober for two years. Shortly after I left rehab my father died. I was absolutely shattered. I once again turned to alcohol but it no longer had the same calming effect. When a friend suggested we try injecting ice it seemed like a good idea. Little did I know that this one decision would create so much havoc and heartache.

Over the next nine years I lost my selfrespect, integrity and dignity, along with my values and morals. I didn’t care about anything except drugs. At the peak of my addiction I was injecting heroin and ice up to seven times a day, and committing crimes to support my habit. I desperately wanted to stop, but this time I couldn’t. I wanted to die, as I believed this was the only way out. So I prayed for my pain and suffering to end. Shortly after this heartfelt prayer, I was arrested and jailed for my drug-related crimes.

Looking back it was the best thing that could’ve happened and, in fact, probably saved my life. While I was on parole, three of my friends died – all drug-related. It was a serious wake-up call. A dear friend of mine suggested I call The Salvation Army Dooralong Transformation Centre. I had nothing left to lose and everything to gain, yet I was doubtful it would work. With so many recovery attempts, why should this one be any different? All I needed was a seed of hope. I needed God to break through my desperation and despair, and fill me with grace – which he did.

I believe I was guided to Dooralong Transformation Centre. Everything and everyone I’ve needed has been provided. In abundance I might add! God works through people. Management and staff are dedicated, passionate individuals, who go above and beyond in order to help the addicts who still suffer. God’s angels I call them, because without their love and support I really don’t know where I'd be today. I’m so grateful that my relationships with family and friends are being restored, and I can honestly say I know who I am today.

Opening up my life to God has given me the peace and love I have craved my whole life. I have direction and goals that I’m working toward, and I’m no longer looking to fill that void within myself because God has done that for me. When I align my will with God’s will, then that’s how I get the assurance I’m on the right track. I know peace, happiness and freedom and for that I am forever grateful.

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