FROM DEATH TO LIFE
I don’t have much in the way of people, concepts or situations to blame for why I was the way I was. I grew up with a loving family who left me wanting for nothing.
I had a couple of brothers who only wanted the best for me, grandparents who would spoil me, and a single mother who did her utmost for me and provided everything I could have asked for, washing dishes and putting herself through TAFE to do so.
I grew up in the Adelaide Hills, where I was a rebellious kid through primary school, giving my family grief over all the different ways I could find to make trouble, lashing out violently at other students, getting bullied and being a bully.
I was a part of the internet generation. I was raised, shaped and had my personality moulded by the internet. It’s a sad situation, but unfortunately, that is how it was.
By the time I hit high school, my mind already had a warped sense of the world in all areas, including sex, money, God, divinity, work, relationships, politics, love and marriage. Think of it, and I had a warped perception of it.
High school was a hard time for me. I was socially underdeveloped. I had a hard time relating to my peers and maintaining friendships, which is something that grew worse over time. I developed some serious mental health problems over that period. I was suicidally depressed and angry at the world.
From the ages of 16 to 20, I grew dependent on using marijuana to run from the thoughts that constantly attacked me and the feelings of emptiness and hopelessness. I used drugs as a band-aid for these problems. Around this time, I developed a life-consuming interest in politics, which was instilled in me via the internet. I thought there was a political solution to the despair and hopelessness I was feeling. I had become a right-wing radical, and I was, for all intents and purposes, a lunatic. I had terroristic and suicidal plans, and I was headed for a terrible way of living. Drugs were in the background, steadily warping my mind and taking me to worse and worse places.
I lost my job, girlfriend and any sense of belonging and purpose. What ended up being the lynchpin for my family to say enough was enough was a visit from a federal police officer about some of the radical things associated with me and my postings online. I put too much pressure on my family, and I still regret it today.
Now, by the grace of God, I’ve found my niche. I know who I am, where I’m going, and what I want from life. I was someone who couldn’t string a sentence together and had no confidence. I have been delivered from this terrible way of living through my baptism and a newness of life that can only come from Christ. Teen Challenge SA has been with me every step and provided me with opportunities 12 months ago that I only dreamt about. I’m currently studying for a career in youth work and have a supportive network of people around me. Jesus Christ and Teen Challenge SA saved my life, all glory to God.