I am Bob B., the husband of one wife, and the father of two daughters and one son-in-law.
During my younger years, I managed my life the way I thought was the right way. I did things to suit myself.. I was independent and did things on my own. Having been educated in a catholic high school, I felt that my spiritual and moral life were sufficient. We were taught to pray, respect and study religion in the traditional Catholic way.
As a college student, just like any other, I was the normal and typical type until I was exposed to marijuana, cough syrup, speed, downers and LSD which was the fad of our days. Luckily, I was never addicted to any of those drugs. After graduating from college, I was immediately employed in government as an assistant in the Presidential Executive Assistance Office for six years. I served Napolcom then after that I ran for public office and was elected as one of the youngest Mayors in the country.
I served as Mayor in the Municipality of Dolores, Abra. It was a very hard time for us then, for we were confronted by the NPAs. We were at any time in the order of battle. After some years, I was appointed as Regional Sports Director, Philippine Sports Commission. All these, I thought I did on my own with some help from friends in the right places. But when all these things were taken away from me, my life went on a downward spin.
When I could no longer hold on to any job, I hit rock bottom. For four years, my life had no meaning, no direction. I became like the nowhere man that the Beatles sang about: didn’t have a point of view, knew not where I was going to. I resorted to drinking and ended up an alcoholic. I didn’t think of other people. I didn’t even think of what to eat or what to do. All I thought about was what alcoholic beverage I should drink.
I became self-centered and non-productive. Just coasting along until somebody could give me a helping hand. I thought alcohol was the solution to my problems. Every time I drank, I felt like life was fine, no problems at all. But I was wrong. I thought everything was fine when it was really not. I thought my depression would go away through drinking, not thinking of the harm it was doing to myself and my family. I always promised my family that I would stop drinking, but I couldn’t. The alcohol had taken over me. I just couldn’t resist the temptation to drink.
Everyone was disappointed with me. My sister took me to join bible studies and so I joined. But still, it did not help me get over my drinking. I became a disappointment to my family. I could see the sadness in their eyes as well as the pain I had caused them. They were about to give up on me. I knew I was unfair. I was lost. I was far from God. I knew I needed His help. For someone once said “God speaks to those who are willing to listen.”
And so I did listen. He gave me another chance in a drug rehab, the thing He knew was best for me and what I needed most. I submitted myself to the recovery program of Penuel House. Soon in recovery I realized that there is so much more in life than drinking. In Penuel I learned that only our Lord Jesus Christ was powerful enough to help me with my problem. I was taught to follow, obey and serve God and allow Him to direct my life. There I was prepared for a brighter and better future. While in Penuel, my wife and I were blessed with the wonderful opportunity to join a couple’s retreat. While there, too, we started attending the d-group of Rudy Torres.
Christ is no longer a stranger to me; He’s now a friend. He chose me because He has a plan for me. He chose me to be transformed and to be useful. I can almost hear Him saying, “Bobby, I did not create you to be an alcoholic nor an addict but I created you for a purpose.” I had many plans in the past; but it is His plans that will prevail. I quote Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This verse made me realize that God is giving me another chance in life.
A day before I completed my rehab program, a tragedy struck in our family. My eldest brother passed away. There was nothing I could do but to accept the will of God. God allowed me to experience some of the pain that He felt when His Son Jesus died on the cross. I feel comforted by the thought that if we believe in Jesus, we will spend eternity with our Mighty Father.
To those countless number of addicts who are not given the privilege of a rehab, I pray and wish that they too can experience what I have experienced at Penuel. I pray that they, like me, will be drawn closer to God so that they may recover from their addiction. Although addiction itself is not a sin, addiction leads to sin. And the wages of sin is death.
Recently I started working again with my sister in her business. As I move forward into the world outside rehab, I put on the full armor of God. For one thing I face the stigma of being an addict or an alcoholic. But this, I do not fear. For if I humbly yield myself to God from moment to moment, He promises my full restoration and redemption. And God is faithful!
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