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I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 10,11

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Freed from the drug slavery

Branislav Kováčik

My friends began dying one after another. I knew sooner or later it´d my turn but I was indifferent to my fate because I was unable to immagine my life without drugs. Freed from the drug slavery

 

 

I was born on October 4th, 1967 in Bratislava.I was brought up in a complete and seemingly neat family.However, since my childhood I´ve been feeling a lack of love.Immediately after the birth, I got an acute pneumonia and I was left in the hospital separated from my family for about 5 months.I think this occurance´s marked my following development and life.As far as I can remember since my childhood I´ve never been able to feel a complete trust in my family nor return my parent´s love.Hospital staff replaced my parents in the first months of my life and I´ve got a feeling that I was unable to accept my parents later in my life.In addition to it, emotions weren´t shown much in my family.Parents took rather pragmatical approach to the education and I felt rather afraid of my parents ( especially of my father ) instead of loving them.My father was a heavy drunkard and his moods were inscrutable.

I was doing well at school.I got full marks at the beginning as my parents demanded it of me quite radically I was made to be a good achiever but I was never interested in the school subjects anyway and I didn´t have any ambitions to do well.It might have been the reason for my making friends with the biggest rascals.As a consequence of it, I got in a sort of the schizophrenic position very quickly.I played the part of the decent boy before my parents but I wanted badly to be a rascal before my friends.At the same time I had a rich inside world and a vivid fantasy encouraged by the adventure stories and I often withdrew into my heart to run away from reality.As a result of my proclivity toward the scoundrels, I started having more and more problems both at school and at home.I was lucky not to get demerit..from the conduct because teachers didn´t want to spoil my good mark average.

In the years 1978 – 1980 my parents and I were away on a bussiness trip to the Soviet Union.

Right there I started to go off the straight and narrow.We had our little house built of the stolen stuff and we often went there to have a smoke, drink some beer and play cards.I took drugs for the first time when I was 11.I was always attracted by the smell of the chemical solvent.We had a stain remover at home and once I sniffed at it for a long time and suddenly I experienced strange sensations.At that time I didn´t have any idea of drugs and drug addicts but I tried it several times until the puberty.I´m grateful to my parents for not spoiling me.To tell the truth, I kept the discipline and good marks because I was afraid of them. I hated them more and more within myself and I was trying hard to overstep the bounds that they´d marked off.

In 1982 I started going to the polygraphic training center and even then I was the Beatles and Rolling Stones´s fan.My friend and I used to go to the rock concerts where my defiance against the authority was deepened.I also took different pills, smoked ganja and by all means I drank some alcohol.I sank into dopes almost totally.At that time drugs offered ideal illusion of escapism from the dull parents, boring reality of the comsumer society and my own complexes.I began being into the occultism, yoga, eastern religions, smoking marihuana and following the hippies´ philosophy.I devoured books written by the beat  generation,underground press about zen-buddhism, meditations, finding  oneself, chacras and etc.

Even then I was scraping up morfium, dolsin and others at the local hospital and if there was nothing there I drank poppy-head infusions.
  
 

In 1989 the Velvet Revolution set in and LSD, pervitin, heroin turned up.I completely gave in to pervitin and LSD in a while.I wasn´t capable of telling the truth from the halucinations soon. I had to suppliment my pervitin downers with heroin.I lost my job and consequently my lodging as well.My mum kicked me out of the house. My friends began dying one after another.I knew sooner or later it´d my turn but I was indifferent to my fate because I was unable to immagine my life without drugs.

In about those days some young Christians started to go to the park where we got together and they gave testimony about Jesus.I took him for a guru, someone like Buddha etc. But I considered Christians to be mentally defective people who denied themselves all the pleasures of life and they turned to God because of their hang-ups who don´t even allow them to have a smile inside the churches.These youngsters were a little bit different, though.They didn´t put on that starchy religious expression.They told me Jesus is living, loving and he can set me free from drugs.I considered them to be crazy begots but I felt interest and love on their part.And on top of that, it was clear they meant bussiness.I started to read evidences of the converted addicts.I was wondering why they´d crucified Jesus and what the point of doing it was etc.

In 1995 my good friend Korbel converted.He was famous for being the guitarrist of the band Free Europe and he was also well-known in the drug addicts´circles.He´s tried to quit it before, but hasn´t stuck it out more than a week.At present he was enthusiastic about his abstinence and he told us with enthusiasm about how Jesus´d set him free from dependence.I thought him to have a pervitin psychosis.Nevertheless, there was a visible change in his behaviour.He managed to persuade me into coming to the prayer meeting where there was a man freed from the long years dependence on heroin. I was so doped that I remember only the preacher´s laying hands on me and I sobered up at that moment.I was filled with something strange.Next day I woke up without abstinency.I never liked to be sober, but then I was feeling better than doped.When I shot dope, I felt sick and guilty.It was clear that there´s something in Jesus and I started having hope that there´s a way out even for me.I made a decision to undergo a medical treatment. Just before my start I again attended the Christian meeting, where I decided to give my life to Jesus although I was doped.

After 14 years of intoxication I went through hell to kick the habit.When I felt worst, all of a sudden God´s power surrounded me.The pain was away and I was filled with something, it was very similar to the experiences from the first meeting.I had a small Bible.I happened to open it and suddenly I knew this text was the message for me.I understood it clearly and it impressed itself into my heart.Although I forgot about the Lord during the treatment, He didn´t.By miracle my mum managed to arrange a stay for me in the community Na Tomkoch.I think Our Lord had to have a hand in it because the doctor, who stood an expert surety for the resocialisation, chose people with some preconditions of success and I reckon she condemned me too easily a long time ago.Before I was discharged on leave, the doctor gave me greetings from my friend Sveťo Korbel.He sent me Bible and his phone number.I was made very happy because I didn´t have any place to go to.During my leave Svetˇo took me to the congregation where I gave again my life to God.It was for the first time or so that I was able to cry.I came back lit up like a Chrismas tree.I put a successful end to the stay in the community.I found a job at the law court and I took an active part in the church activities.

 

Some time later I started serving as an usher and I prepared for the praise service.God blessed my work as well and I was quite well-liked there.But my love for God got colder.I did everything on my own.It´s impossible to serve God without love and that´s why I ended up in the vicious circle of failure and condemnation.I felt dissapointment about my Christianity and I couldn´t stand my own hypocrisy and two-faced-ness anymore.I was pulled back more and more.My fall started gradually.First I started smoking cigarettes and then having some alcohol.Shortly after I was in drugs again but my situation was rather different. The junkie´s life seemed to be strange to me.I didn´t belong to them.You can take it from me, the worst thing is to belong neither to God´s family nor to Satan.But I was again on the street, and I needed drugs to overcome the pains of my lost life.In this state of mind I asked God to have mercy on me and to enable me to start again.God´s faithful in spite of the fact that we´re unfaithful and we betray Him.He also heard my prayers and his love made a new start possible for me.Teen Challege was first and then followed Sluknov community.I finished the programme successfully and after that, I began to serve in Černošín which is an induction centre of  Teen Challege.

I know God wants me to stay here because I´ve got possibility of helping drug addicts and of being brought face to face with the way I used to be..Through this sevice, God teaches me a lot and he allows me to know not only things about myself but also about the people I´m working with.I´m very grateful for this service and I offer my thanks and admiration to God.I haven´t taken any drugs for three years and a half and this has been my greatest success so far.Of course, I´ve been dealing with some other partial changes than some drugs.Thanks to God.

Yours Bráňo                                                                              
                                                                                         Branislav Kováčik, Černošín

                  

 

 

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