Part two of four.

The storyteller shares their experience of Multiple Disadvantage gathered by a community reporter as part of the Changing Futures Community Reporter Project.

that brings me to the next question is what has been the most important factor in your recovery journey. OK, well, I suppose that's even nicer. And then so, without a doubt, um, the most important factor in my recovery journey was God, like, there's no two ways about that. Um, I tried a long time try for a significant period of time, many, many, many times to try and improve myself without, um without God

And I failed woefully. You know, like consistently. I always wanted to be a better person, you know, like like I always felt in my heart that I was a good person, like originally

And I felt that I, like, really stumbled and really fell in, you know, and, uh, but I could turn it around, but I just kept like, I couldn't stop, like, the the jokes and things like that. And I was really trying, and I mean, and I went to I went to all different kinds of things. I'd go to services And, you know, I, um I'd go to, uh, Narcotics Anonymous and things like that

I have different kind of coping mechanisms. Read all different kinds of books and self help books and motivational speakers and anything you can think of. Really? Do you know what I mean? Even try some new age things

Try Buddhism and meditation and all that kind of stuff. And, um, I was just making no progress. I could I could make a couple of steps forward, but it would take the most monumental strength in

I'd always I'd always resort back to type, and, um, I hear people talking about, like, moving away and starting a fresh and stuff. But, you know, I, like I see become aware that, like, it's all well, good moving away and starting a fresh. But you know, you can't You can't run away from your problems when your problems are in your own heart

You know what I mean? So, like, um so, Yeah, So I was trying constantly the only thing that that happened that changed everything. Like I was giving up all my So I can literally get to the point where I think I don't think I can do this. You know what I mean? And I couldn't is the truth

Um and so I had a radical encounter regarding it, wasn't it? wasn't something I was looking for. Believe me. You know, like I know myself and all the people that know me, he was just blown away

He was gobsmacked by it because it was just the most random thing they all like, even to this day that, like believing in God. But I didn't, um I didn't look for God. God looked for me, you know? And that's the most incredible thing Was that, um he found it

You know, he, uh he looked for me and he found me, and he revealed himself to me and, um in a really profound way in a really supernatural way. And, uh and it just impacted me massively. Like I felt felt this love trimming man

I knew it got there, but it was weird because, like, it was, like, different to any kind of love that I felt before because one who it was because it wasn't like, no cheap love or it wasn't somebody that was ever gonna use me or anything like that. It was like It's like the the highest being that there is in our creation. And you might even bother with me

I just used to blow my mind. It was like, what? Just some little some little off the off down hill. Do you know the council Council? State? Like, why are you bothering with me? And, uh but in in in, he looked me in this way, right where I used to feel it in my heart

I used to like he used to, like, used to get emotional. Do you know what I mean? I had never been emotional. I didn't even think there was such things as happy tears that you could ever cry

Do you know what I mean? I never like. I never thought so. Someone crying

First off, I think it was wet. I think he was soft. But then, like when it comes to like a that was just something that just didn't exist

Do you know what I mean? But I tell you it exists, man. Sometimes you get to a point where if you're not overwhelmed with, like, love and emotion that like you're just like, yeah, you just break down and you weep because like, you have no other way of expressing it. Do you know what I mean? It's like your body can't physically express it in any other way

It's, uh it's mad. I mean, there's only certain things. There's some things that God's done for me where he's come through where I felt that as well

And I've just been like, Why do I deserve that? Do you know? How could you treat me like that? How could you be that good to me? Do you know, do everything not done and everything else It's made me feel like I, um Yeah, right. Yeah. So, like, that was the thing that changed me

When he come into my life, he gave me a power to change That I never had. Wasn't specifically something I did. I just found that my conscience started sharpening a lot

As the more I learned about God, the more I tried to step towards God. Um, I believe that I had his forgiveness, and that was a big thing, because, like, um, guilt and things like that and shame they they bear heavy on your heart, you big burden to carry. And I believe that, you know, I actually felt the way he come off me

Do you know when I come to God, I felt his forgiveness. I thought he'd come off me, and, uh, that was massive. And then I felt them start strengthening me consistently

Um, the more I read his word, the more I prayed for him. The more I saw him, I felt him helping me to overcome the things that I couldn't overcome. I just started changing naturally and not even, like, not even in a way where I was trying to do it

I was forcing myself to do it. The things that I used to like, I just stopped like him. Do you know the bad things that I just stopped laughing at certain jokes when he was cruel and he was mocking people? I just didn't like it anymore

Whereas in the past, I'd probably be the one saying it. Uh, you know, like, I quit smoking and like, like that as though I'd never smoked. And I always thought that was something I could never do

It just seemed impossible. Um, you know, I, um I couldn't swear anymore. Your stuff? The same

And, you know, I remember getting me this really my dream. Calling me out of a pub used to go to the pub every night without fail. And, um, he had this dream one night and he was sat in a bar and there was all carcasses on the bar, and everyone would just sat there drinking like a butchers

And, uh and like he he made it really profound, like, you know, and And I was aware, and he basically gave me the understanding of the dream Is that like, this is a place which is like a graveyard. It's like a place where, um dreams are killed, ambitions killed, characters killed. You know, uh, lifestyles are killed

Relationships are killed, you know, in these in these pubs. But nobody knows. They just carry on drinking, and we're oblivious

And we was all oblivious to these carcasses and stuff that was going on. It was like we just sitting normally in the pub, but it was like a butcher. We all different bits of meat all over him, and I remember it

And he and I went back trying to drink in the and, uh, I said, show me something from the dream because I remember this fake coming on me and saying if it was really you show me something from the dream and something from the dream Come right on the television. Right At that time, I got the fear on me, and I just ran out of there and I stopped calling on the phone and it changed me. Do you know what I mean? It changed me a lot

And, uh, so then, uh, you know, um and, uh he helps her. He helped to come off the drugs, and he had to discipline me. If I'm honest, Do you know what I mean? And what he did with the drugs was different

So he got me out of the pub first. I was still smoking. At this point, they stopping smoking come after the blood

It got me out of the pub and the, um And he disciplined me like he for a long time. I was crying to him. Why haven't you deliver me? Why are you delivering me? Why are you delivering me? Like why? I know you can

I know You can get me free from this. Why haven't they set me free from me? And then it got to one point where it was like he just listened to me. He discipline me

Really? hard, and I don't I'm not sure if it's appropriate for me to tell you what he did. Um, I can tell you personally, Rose outside of this because but I don't really know if I want it on record. But he did two things one after another, and it was basically, if you keep doing this, I will not let you do it

It's gonna like I'm gonna make sure you don't ever do this again And like and believe me, it was severe. And I was like, OK, I won't do it. And it was what I needed because it shocked it out of me

It literally shots it out of me where I was like, right. I can't do it like there's no point in me doing it because it's not gonna have fun. Literally

The world is going to come down on me every time that I do it, So there's no point. So I stopped doing it with my mental health. I was really paranoid because I saw some really traumatic things

And when you have whiz and that that you feel like really paranoid And, um, it wasn't just paranoia, there was that people that betrayed me and everything, and it was dead out. And I remember, um, you used to minister things to me, and you'd be like, he'd say, like I'm with you. Do you know what I mean? I mean, like, just little things

Like I pick up the sketches one day. I remember one day praying to me, saying, I don't want to leave the house because I feel really anxious and stuff. And I picked up the sketches, opened it up and it said, um, do not be afraid

Be bold, be courageous. Be confident and determined because either one you are God and with you where you go, you're struggling to hold. No, it's OK

Um, so I was able to step out of the house and he was like, basically saying, Look, he said, Even if the whole world stood against you, the whole world come against you. We you are against you. And they was on one side and you was on the other, and I was on your side

He said he was in the majority. Yeah, he was like, I'm not gonna let anything happen to you. Do you know when he used to he was like, Ah, and he gradually used to build me up

And he used to like I feeling I was feeling really low in myself and he'd be like, I'd be like, I can't do it And you'd say he say you can do it And I'd say, But I can't do it And he'd say, But you can I said, because he says, I'm the God of all creation So I made all of this before you He says, And I don't tell lies. He says, So if I'm telling you, you can do it, you can do it and I'll get up and do it And he used to encourage me about things like that, and he used to build me up all the time. And, um, there were so many ways when I started walking with God that he just transformed my life and I can't like I can't put it into words that would have to be adequate

Thank me off for what he's done. You know, when I had no money, I had nothing and I'm like, I just really got to pay him and dad like something because I owed them money because I'd stole from them and all sorts. And I was like, I'd love to give them something, right? And I remember crying to him, and he had a little bit in the back, and I was like, I'm just gonna go get it because I'm struggling

I'm gonna go get it. I'm gonna give it to you. Yeah

And I asked him and, uh, I said, I think there is nothing you can do. And then I went to sleep, and I didn't hear any response. I went to sleep, and I went to the bank the next day

I'll never forget it because I wrote it down. I had a little chequebook and it came back to your balance and they wrote a balance and come back. And there was £3000 in the account

And I was like, You must be joking. Stop pulling me out and said no. And they'd been the payment that had gone through

And this massive payment got into my bank from the DWP. Apparently they underpaid me or something for however many years, but they hadn't because I've been getting loans anyway. And But I tried checking it and double checked it and everything

And they said, No, no, 100%. It's your money. Take it

And so he gave me something that I could give him. And I was just like, how do I deserve that? You know, there's so many times where, like, I thought I was going to lose someone, and we prayed and he come through and he saved them. You know, like, I can't I can't put into words the amount of times where he just keeps turning up, turning up, turning up

I was gonna lose all my benefits and stuff. I didn't even think I could carry on on benefits because I wasn't holy, you know, like I was in, I couldn't lie. Do you know what I mean? And I was like, Well, what do I do if I have to go to the e S? A

I feel like I'm well, and I feel like God's healed me. I can't go in there and lie to him and start saying all this stuff about how will I am and try and get my money. I mean, it was about to run out

A job opened up for me at the elephants jail. Do you know, like, literally like this? This opportunity just opened there And then right as it was about to run out, sent in an application and I landed the job. Do you know what I mean? And ever since he's just constantly been turning up for me, he always turns up

If he he's my father, Do you know what I mean? I call upon him and he's there. Who was the next question?.

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