16 August 2023

Overcoming addiction through faith

“Growing up, I had a happy childhood, although my father was often away working in Johannesburg. My mother, who raised us single-handedly, was quite strict, especially during my teenage years when I started getting involved in illicit activities like selling cigarettes at school without her knowledge.

I envied my friends who seemed to have a carefree life, smoking and enjoying themselves. They appeared to be the popular guys who had control over the situation. Eventually, I succumbed to peer pressure and joined their group, getting addicted to dagga and cigarettes. I managed to hide this from my mother, and whenever I failed in school, I would make up excuses to divert attention from my substance abuse.

I knew I had to make a change. Although I managed to quit cigarettes, I could not break free from my dagga addiction. Being addicted made me feel foolish, and I experienced physical and mental discomfort. One day, someone asked if I could sell dagga at school, and I eagerly agreed, thinking it would be an easy way to support my habit.

My life began spiralling out of control, and even after finishing school, I continued smoking while looking for a job in Johannesburg. Having money made it easier to fuel my addiction.

Unfortunately, when I got married, I could not provide full support to my family, and my marriage was in jeopardy due to my addiction and excessive drinking. I was on the verge of destroying everything precious to me.

However, everything started to change when I started attending services in the Universal Church. I was determined to make a change. Stepping into the church, I felt an overwhelming sense of amazement, realising that it was the right place for me.

From that day forward, I became a new person. God helped me to overcome my addictions, and the pastor advised me to regularly attend church services, praying for my spiritual well-being and deliverance. I clung to the Word of God and started attending Wednesday and Sunday services for my spiritual development. My faith became the driving force behind my transformation.

My family is now a blessing and I have achieved things I once thought were impossible. I managed to send my children to university and my marriage has been restored. I realised that God was waiting for me to change first before taking over my life. By using my faith, I was able to turn my life around for the better,” said Thabo.