23 July 2019
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Lost my family and the job to addiction

Tumelo only realised that his addiction to alcohol was leading to destruction and loneliness after he lost his job and his family.

"My girlfriend and son lived in another province while I worked and stayed in Johannesburg. I drank alcohol every day and did not send money for my son. My girlfriend decided to end our relationship after we had dated for eight years because of my excessive alcohol intake," he said.

Tumelo drank even more after he broke up with the mother of his son. To make more money for alcohol, he started stealing from his employer.

"I continued stealing to feed my addiction until the day I was caught with a carpet which belonged to the company. I was dismissed with immediate effect and later received money from my provident fund. I blew it within seven months and did not even buy Christmas clothes for my son that year," said Tumelo.

Only after he finished his money did Tumelo realise how irresponsible he was and that left him suicidal.

"I was lonely without my son and his mother and I also did not have income after I lost my job. I did not see a reason to live anymore and I mixed different cleaning chemicals that I intended to drink. I decided to go to a local Universal Church to say my last prayer before I ended my life. The pastor approached me and spoke to me about a forgiving and merciful God. He also told me that I had a choice to change my future. His words changed my mind. I went back home and disposed of the poison I had prepared. I started attending church services every day and asked God to deliver me from my alcohol addiction and suicidal thoughts.

I was able to quit drinking after a week in the church and the suicidal thoughts left as I learnt to meditate on the word of God. I found a job as a petrol attendant after seven months in the church. I secured a well-paid job in January this year and I am now providing financially for my son. Surrendering my life to God gave me the wisdom to manage my finances and made me a responsible father," said Tumelo.