Colby’s Story – A Child Abandoned is one of many stories that will grip your heart when a child falls prey to devastating experiences. Studies have shown that there are similar backgrounds of those who get enslaved by addiction. One is genetics. Another is environment. Others are basics like peers, adventure, or mental illness.
What is hitting bottom for a drug addict? Do addicts need to hit their bottom before getting help? Ending up in the hospital or sitting in a prison cell — the bottom? It’s different for everyone. Many live as functioning addicts for a long time before realizing they need help. And drug addiction knows no bounds and can enslave anyone from the educated to the non-educated, and Christian families are not exempt.
The debate whether drug addiction is a disease or a choice remains, but one thing we know that no one is born with the desire to become a drug addict. Those suffering in the clutches of this enemy want to get out, but most can’t without help.
Colby’s mother was seventeen when he was born. He was raised by his single mother until the age of four when his mother married. As a child he had security of a mother and a stepfather, and was connected to his birth father, visiting him on weekends. But the older he got the less he saw his birth father who abused drugs and alcohol, until he became a Christian when Colby turned thirteen.
This should have been a good time for a son to spend time with his father since drugs were no longer a part of his life. But it was not. Why? Colby had looked up to his dad and wanted to follow in his footsteps of drug abuse. Feelings of rejection and abandonment were part of life for Colby until he became rebellious. It seemed like he was angry at his dad for leaving his mom.
As a child he felt he was the problem child in the relationship and that is why his parents broke up, even though they were not married. He was the only child.
Friends were smoking pot so he, too, wanted to try it. Fitting in helped twelve-year-old Colby to feel accepted. He also wanted to have fun. Curiosity played a role.
During the teenage years alcohol and ecstasy became fun on weekends. School was not important, except for drugs. Colby dropped out in junior high. A few years later he tried crystal meth, must have liked it and became addicted until….
One day paranoia set in. Feeling that everybody was against him, and he heard cops at his door. He needed to escape. But where? Grabbing the balcony railing he jumped over. By God’s mercy he didn’t land on the ground but somehow hung on to the second floor railing where he hung in fear. No other choice, but jump. So he dropped himself on to the ground and ran. Colby ended up as the go-between drug dealers/gang members and users to get drugs for himself.
Soon the fun ended, if it you can call it that, and reality hit. Colby got arrested. A month later he found himself in the hospital from a failed suicide attempt. His birth father visited and told him about Adult & Teen Challenge. Colby had hit his rock bottom at age seventeen! He made a better choice. He wanted to live. He entered the Christian rehab centre a few days later. Today Colby works as an intern at the Winnipeg Centre, and is accountable to his mentors.
Before his suicide attempt he had been shipped to AFM rehab in Brandon, Manitoba. He lasted eight days when he was kicked out for using drugs.
Colby now has a chance at getting his GED and following his dreams of helping other addicts to find God and change their lives. No longer a child abandoned.
Advice to Loved Ones
Like many who have recovered or are in recovery, their advice is the same. Love but don’t enable. Encourage. Show support when they are in rehab and visit when possible.
Colby’s favorite Bible verse.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18.
Thank you Colby for telling me your story. For a video of his testimony, click here.
If you know of someone who needs help please call Adult & Teen Challenge.