UPWARD JOURNEY: From Rock Bottom to Restoration
Suan: I am the fourth child of six siblings and when I look back on my early childhood I see many gloomy and miserable days. My mother passed away when I was four and my father was an alcoholic for many years. One of our aunts was taking care of us but we didn’t respect her at all and things started getting bad at home. I spent most of my time on the streets with my friends. We moved around in a gang and robbed homes together, trying to enjoy life.
In 1982, drugs were introduced in my village for the first time. Being young, my curiosity led to my almost immediate addiction. It may seem amusing now but in those days most parents didn’t know what drugs really were. By the time they found out it was too late, we were hooked! No rehab centers were available at that time, so our parents would tell the police to put us in prison where we were under forced rehab.
I was in prison for at least nine times, once hands and legs chained for more than two years, but I always came out the same man. I just didn’t have the heart to change. All my friends of those days who were addicted like me passed away one by one. I continued to be a hardcore drug addict! I was still alive and I didn’t know why!
During that time I met my wife and we had our first son out of wedlock. When we finally got married we faced severe opposition from her family, they didn’t want her daughter to marry a drug addict.
Ching: I come from a typical village setup without much knowledge of the big world. When I met Suan, we fell in love. I knew he had an addiction problem but I hoped he would change because of me. In my understanding, only love could change this man who was in rehab so often and had never obeyed his family.
Suan:We were happy for a while and we had three children over time. I started taking drugs again and this time I hit rock bottom. As a father I did terrible things in the eyes of my children. I even sold their shoes and clothes to support my habit and became a shame to my family. Finally, one night I returned home to find that my wife had taken our children and vanished. I was left alone and cried for the whole night because I loved them.
Ching: I just have to leave him finally because of the intense suffering our children and I were going through. Even I have never taken drugs yet I spent most of my adult life in that hell because of my husband’s addiction. We went back to my parents’ home and told them the truth. Though I was safe now I still had no peace.
Suan:In January of 2004 I heard about Asha Bhawan. I was in such a hopeless situation that I decided to give it a try. When I arrived, I was very thin, had many diseases and looked like an old man. I had been taking drugs for the last 20 years. I was welcomed warmly with love and care, but at that stage I didn’t have the hope to live very long and see my life being changed. However, one night, after being in Asha Bhawan for six months, I cried out to God and asked Him for forgiveness. From that day on, I have not been the same man.
In November 2004, I was sent to Guwahati to start a branch of Asha Bhawan there. Amazingly, my wife discovered my number and contact me. My family had been struggling to survive. I shared this to the leaders at Asha Bhawan and they opened the door for them to join me. First my eldest son came alone, and then in August 2005 my wife and two younger children. We were finally reunited!
We realize now that God has a plan for us
Ching: Even though I didn’t hear from my husband for more than one year I kept on praying that one day God would save him from his addictions so that we could be together again. One day I got to know that Suan was in Asha Bhawan and we got back in touch with each other. I’m still amazed of how God has turn a terrible situation like ours into an incredible blessing. These are the happiest times of my life. God did answer my prayers!