This episode is brought to you by boxer rentals, LLC for your residential and commercial property needs. They are located in the heart of Houma, Louisiana. We want to thank boxer Reynolds for providing for our la series, the recording location and for extending hospitality to us and our guests. Thank you for making this such a memorable experience.
welcome to the winning ugly podcast, a place where we are real, raw, entertaining, energizing, and encouraging come experience real conversations that go deep and relationships that extend through the media to overcome testing times. We can't continue to keep our trials and tragic stories to ourselves. The people you will hear from are facing you're ugly, stepping out of their comfort zone and sharing your victory storms, our guarantee in life and when they come, we want to be right here building you up and empowering you to win ugly
and I'm getting
welcome to the winning ugly podcast. It's me, your host, Trish, and of course I'm joined by my husband Emory, who is the most amazing cohost out there.
Yes, I'm here and I'm very excited for the show today. It's going to be an epic one.
Yes, I'm glad you all are tuning in. As some of you may already know, this podcast is a platform for people to come and share their stories with hopes to help someone out in return. So thank you listeners for your ratings and reviews. We love to read them and one listener wrote great podcast, love listening each week. Super encouraging. Thanks. Asterik p MCC for your rating and review. It is people like you who help us spread this podcast to the masses. So keep them coming. And our next guest is a friend of a friend. So Robbie, thank you for joining us today to share your story. Glad to be here. Thank you. Yes, Robbie is from St Petersburg, Florida. Beautiful place. Yes. And now he's living in the other swamp in south Louisiana. That's right, actually in Houma, Louisiana. And since we don't know you very well and we're getting to know you alongside the listener, can you share a little bit of who you are and what you're about?
Yeah, well as she said, my name is, uh, Robert from St Pete. And, uh, right now currently, uh, making my home and in Houma, Louisiana at a place called a place of restoration to drug and alcohol program, nine months for a, a man who have struggled with addiction and yet knowing the other life destroying problems and it's just a, been there for going on two years now, so and so it's a very, very good place and looking to make my home here in Louisiana from this point on. So that's where I'm at currently. You know, I'm just there helping out with the guys. Give back what uh, yeah, the Lord did for me. So that's currently where I'm at, what I'm doing. No, your story is going to be amazing, man. Yeah, I can already tell. Yep. Well, what's your most favorite thing to do in Louisiana?
Uh, currently, uh, let's see. I haven't been able to do too, too much. I went on a fishing trip that was, uh, it's different from Florida. They take it a lot more seriously out here. They do. I mean, are you kidding me or what? I mean, I know. Yeah. You get to see different side of people when they get out the water. Yeah. So that's right. It was definitely fun though. And uh, and also the a food's awesome. It is also, they
take the food seriously. They have Gumbo cook-offs and offering Florida. We eat seafood and all that way show all new twist on it down here. So I like to eat and, and uh, that's pretty much what I do here so far is eating a couple of fishing trips I went on and yeah, I've been pretty good. So yeah, the food is amazing. You haven't been with Sainz game yet? I'm a bucs fan, so, oh, haven't been the rival man. So yeah, I've been to the stadium down and I'm in Tampa. Yeah. Uh, to watch the saints game and it was, it was pretty cool. As far as verticals, it was a good time.
Well, in Louisiana are so kind. I mean, I know we're from here, but it, people here are very different. Have you made a lot of friends?
I have. Uh, that's one thing I say about Louisiana that people are very, very friendly. A lot of, a lot of good friends, uh, friends that, uh, are, I can call true friends today really had my best interests at heart and which is a blessing. Absolutely. A lot. A lot of good people is what's influencing me to stay here and not go back to Florida. Sure. It's just, uh, the, the, the friends I have here and yeah. You know what the Lord has been, let me build here. So yeah, especially if you're sort of overcoming something, right or in the midst of that, to have those people around you, that's a big deal. Absolutely. Well, what's your favorite Cajun dish? Oh Man. I know. I had something called Bang, Bang Shrimp Bang Bang shrimp. I do think I've had bang, Bang shrimp. That blew my mind. It's pretty good, right?
Yeah, I know. Yeah. It's a life changer. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. A then see what else? Uh, the fast Sioux plays off the hook off the hook here. They had a tea boy burger. That's was probably the best one I've ever had. Cheat Boy Burger. It was good. What's that about? Explain that. Well, T boy, first of all, it's like when you're going to say, hey, what's up t boy? What's a nickname? Me. Right. Sort of term of endearment. It's sort of, it's hard to explain except that it, I mean, I didn't, I ate it so fast, I didn't really look at what was in it. What was that? You want to see a magic trick? I was like, wow. But, uh, it was good. Cool man. Yeah. So do you like spicy food? I did it before I came here and now it's grown on me. You sort of have to, it's a required thing here, so, yeah. Yeah, I understand.
I know we, uh, we arrived here yesterday and uh, we immediately ordered a roast beef poboy with the side of popcorn shrimp and it was just epic and I nailed a king cake before even that, so, so delicious. King cakes for goods, the Oregon, I mean, I don't even know that you can get king cake and July, but clearly you can. They're awesome year-round. Yeah. If you haven't had king cake, you need to go get it. It's just this love of cinnamon. In this dough filled with this awesome filling and frosting on top and sprinkles, destroy any fitness goal you have.
They even have a Kinkaid coffee.
They definitely saw that community heading. Right. It's very good. We've tried it. I think we've had it. Someone sent it to us when we were living in Alabama. They mailed it to us. We'll have that in Florida. So yeah, same here. Yeah, I know you're a community coffee drinker. I am. It's a good coffee. Right? That's a great call. I think it's going to, well, um, before we move into your story, we always like to ask a few fun light questions. So what is a song that you have on repeat right now?
A Song I have on repeat right now would be, um, I like Christian rap, so it would be a [inaudible]. Is it? Yeah, it's a [inaudible] song. It's from the movie, the shack. Um, I know the movie. Yeah. I can't think of the song though right off hand. No, it's a, I can't remember the name of the song, how it goes, but it's, uh, called the River Jordan. It's like, yeah, I like the great song. I liked him too. Song I have on repeat.
Right. And he's a good artists. I like mini [inaudible]. Good man. Good. That's cool man. Yup. Okay. We're like the same music. I like a little bit of everything. I bounced around from the worship to Christian ramps. Yeah. I'm a big fan of Chris mclarney. I like him. Absolutely man song he's called called breakthrough. I listen to that one a lot. Yeah. Very good. Awesome man. Yeah, the Christian rap is good for um, kind of get going. Kind of working out. Maybe where we're doing some definitely gets you to zone. Do you have a hidden talent? Not that I, I, I can write pretty well. I mean, I can't really draw or anything. I'm, I'm athletic with us, you know? Yeah. Cause you're pretty tall, you're guy. Yeah. But other than that, I mean other hidden talents. I can't really cook that well. I mean I can, I can like Frankenstein some stuff.
Sure. Yeah. You can make it happen if you've got to make it happen for me to now that means you're not spending a lot of time in people's homes down here in Louisiana because they will teach you some good Gumbo and Jambalaya.
The learning with EPO. Guys at Hologram accuse me of writing really on what do you like to write? I just, you know, really my thoughts and you know, I'll just little poetry here and there. Just write some stuff cause that was a way I express myself. I would just write stuff and it's therapeutic. Very sure. Very, very cool. Yeah, that is neat.
Well the next question we have for you, do you like cake and ice cream or cookies and milk? Depending on my mood. Uh, I like a bowl of cereal. Just spontaneously something.
Oh me too. Emery what cereal you like a cinnamon toast crunch. Excellent. Good stuff. That is one of his favorites. And Emory doesn't eat just a bowl. It's more like a a, it's a joke. It's total like a Tupperware. Yeah. Yeah. That's how I do it with clothes. Yeah. Cause a box will only last me three days. Right. I nail it and I don't eat any, so that's only him eating. Yeah, I agree. Ciro is underrated, right? Very. It's quite good. You're a cereal milk kind of man. Good for you man. All right. But if I had to choose between
cake and ice cream or milk and cookies, it's a solid oh man. A Macadamia nut.
Oh, like a pecan maybe sandy. Yeah, she baited you man. Okay. You fell for it. So this is the thing, it's a running joke on here. Everyone knows I don't like sweets. And if I had to choose, I would eat a pecan sandy and Emory claims. It's not even a cookie. It's just sand. Sandy. So you saying that you'd like to contact these air high five? Yes. Sorry man. I forgive you. That's okay. All right. So are you baseball guy or football guy?
My, I'm a football guy. Marilla uh, play softball for a league out here, but oh cool. Oh cool. More of a more of a football guy. I'm getting ready for the football season. Awesome. Did you play at all in, in high school or the [inaudible] or something? Yeah, I played a high school, so, you know, but, uh, I really wasn't around in high school. I understand. We'll get into more. Yeah. I'm saying. Yeah, no, but, uh, I definitely played a lot as a kid. Cool man. Dude. Yeah. I love football. Football is a cool sport. Oh yeah. Love it.
Well, the last question on the table. Are you an early bird or night owl? Um,
like when do you get your writing done or you like way early? Let's get her done and give them a bit of both. Okay.
Do some in the morning and then, uh, some at night. Yeah. You know, so I'm a little bit of both. Okay. Cause I get up pretty early, but uh, I'm also in bed by like 10, 10, 30.
Yeah, that's, yeah, it's late for us. Yeah. So, yeah. Okay. Well, very good. Yeah. All right, Robbie, we'll, let's move into your story of alcoholism. You Robbie were, I'm in and out of foster care and in your early years became really good at running and blaming. So if we could, let's start there.
Okay. Well, uh, yeah, definitely a in and out of foster care. Um, I have two other siblings that were there along with me in that time. And, uh, my birth parents were both addicts, you know, they were never around. I was, I was young. I was five years old. My brother was three, my sister, she was six. She was like our, our caretaker. And she was the one that, uh, looked out for us as our parents were never around. So it would just us three roaming around the streets, just trying to survive, you know. And, uh, and it was just one night, you know, one night I really remember as we were going through a neighbor's trash can for some food and she came out and brought us into her house and she fed us. And, uh, the neighbor, the neighbor. Okay. And that was one time in it.
And I really, I've never really thought about, one of my parents were at this time, I never really, all I know is I had my sister and I had my, my little, and I was happy with that. Right. You know, cause they, they were never really around. So there's like you brought us in and I felt comfortable and safe, you know? And then next thing I know there's, there's cops all around and they're, they're trying to separate me from my brother and my sister. I don't know what's going on. All I know is I was getting food, I was getting fed and now that I'm pulled away. Yeah. You know, and uh, that's when the foster care started. Um, the, the three most powerful people that I had got separated. How old are you at this point? I was five and that's when I went into my first foster home with my brother Jesse and my sister went to a different one.
So, um, at that point I, uh, I got pretty hard and inside that's like the first time I remember getting angry and just like not really understanding and having to think about what's really going on cause everything was just, I'm just waking up and we're just going around doing everything we want as kids and now it's like now I'm having to be there for my brother. Uh, and uh, all, all I want is my sister back cause she was like the one that took care of it, didn't know where she was at. I didn't know what was going on and they put us in like a, like an orphanage kind of place. And um, things happened there with me and my brother with the guy that ran the place and uh, they ended up separating me from my brother and I got more bitter and angry at that point because I was his protector at that time.
We slept in the same room and didn't have our sister and a caseworker comes and picks me up one day and I said, you're going to bring me back here, right? You said yes. Didn't bring me back there, Brian. We're doing another foster home. So I became really bitter and angry and understandably didn't trust anybody. And from that point on, I mean the story goes just in and out of foster homes. I was bad. Um, I learned how to tie my own shoes. It was hard going into foster homes if they had kids of their own. It was always a, that's when a lot of rejection hit me. A lot of questions. I'm not really there, so just feeling less stay in and, and uh, at a very young age I learned how to harden myself and, and not deal and having to maybe if I'm good enough they won't throw me out or send me somewhere else.
Yeah, no, but, uh, also deep down inside there was a thing that may be if I am bad, they'll throw it, get me out and then they'll send me to one, my brother and my sister or so I was going through that battle there and it makes sense wanting to feel loved and instead that about the same time I'm ready to go and be with my brother and my sisters. So I was torn between those two of what do I do? So I was very, uh, just, you know, rebellious, but at the same time just trying to get their love and affection. Yeah. You know, there was one memory that I have that really stuck out to me was a, it was a foster home. They had their own kid and we didn't get along. And the mother, she would come in every night and we slept in the same room and she would say goodnight to him and just walk right past me.
Like I wasn't there and that did it. That did a lot to me. And that's not hard me up as well. But a cool part of the story is we all ended up pretty United again. Oh yeah. We all end up getting reunited again. And that was at one foster, then another foster home. Then we ended up getting adopted to gather. And that's very rare. It is rare. Athens you got adopted together by the same family. Yeah. So [inaudible] and wait, but we all got separated and then we'll each have our own story of what happened. And [inaudible] are still like this today. It's a still very close. Oh yeah. We're weren't separable and uh, just uh, what we, what we went through as kids, um, was able to meet my birth mom later on down the road. We'll get into that little later. But, you know, just, just the foster home experience itself, just really, you know, even though I was shy, even when I was shown genuine love and when I got adopted, I didn't know how to accept it.
I didn't know what to do and I was afraid of it. I didn't know if it was genuine or real. Right. Yeah. Cause you're watching out, right. You don't trust anyone. But I had my brother and my sister, so that part of me was satisfied, but still get that the part of me that the Lord wanted to heal and wanted to work on me. I would just, I don't know what a distance. Right. I don't, I don't, I don't know about this, you know, so, yeah. And we even got a, one of the foster parents, he was a baptist preacher and we were in church, you know, and I, I didn't really know about God or anything. He didn't like push it honest. I knew I, it was a comfortable place. No, but I didn't know about God knowing. And later on, uh, in my, in my teen years, I had a lot of bitterness and anger. So, yeah. And not that, that's not smart. I learn how to be just run from what was inside and not deal with anything. So.
Okay. At what point in your, um, your life were you introduced, um, to this unhealthy, um, addiction and, um, yeah, like where, at what point in your life where you, um,
let's say it started? Uh, I was in middle school. Um, just, uh, not really the, the drugs and alcohol, but just, uh, just that lifestyle, just hanging around those kinds of people that would lead me to, that started in middle school. You know, the parents that adopted me had us in church every Sunday and youth group and all that. And there's a, again, it was a place where I felt good, but I didn't want anything to do with God. And I didn't see this til later on and I was angry at him. I just didn't see the god of love that was being shown to me. I didn't see that. So, uh, I just got very rebellious and, uh, felt the world owed me something for how I was treated. And those had that entitled attitude. I was a little punk, you know what I mean?
Just said, I'm gonna if I want it, I'm gonna take it. Yeah, I'm gonna do it. And, uh, in middle school, I, for so long being told what I can and can't do, just that sense of freedom of no one's going to tell me anything. And I embraced that. And I, and I went around the crowd that embraced that as well. Gotcha. So started skipping school, stealing from stores, just running away from home cause I didn't want to face a problem, you know, and I'm not really considering what I'm doing in my parents, but just getting on the bus and not coming back home, you know, just in that started in middle school, uh, in, in our
juvenile centers. Um, but now all the while knowing that I'm better than that, but just that freedom of doing what I wanted, yeah. Did something to me.
Right. You know, and then I would just run in from, from so much, but at all I was accepted. So I wanted to be accepted so bad and wanted to fit in and wanting to be a part of something. And that's just, that's where I found it in that those group of Girl Group of people. But, uh, high school was where I got first introduced to, to the drugs and alcohol and marijuana was first. And that was like, man, I can take away everything that I'm feeling right now. So it was a, it was a sense of relief, right? It was just like, I was able to just relax, you know, and, uh, it was a deception, but I was sure I was able to relax and just not think about air feel anything. And I was like, God, I found it. Do you know, this is what I've been looking for. And it's, and it started with that and coupled with a rebellious and running it, running around doing whatever I wanted, and now I have control in my feelings. Now I felt even more powerful. Right. It's a bad combination. Right? It's horror. It's destructive.
And your brother and sister, I know that at this point y'all were finally together, but that was, was that, were they kind of on the back burner now that, I mean, you knew y'all were all together so you didn't have to take care of them.
Well, each winter down our own paths, dealing with our own personal things. So we all stay close through it all. Like we all knew what the other one was doing. Like my sister would get in trouble and she would run away. I'd run away whether there to some nature, she was safe, you know what I mean? Yeah. And I did nothing wrong. I did it just to nice to have her back. Right. Just make sure she was safe. I didn't want her out there by herself. And, um, but uh, yeah, I mean we went our own paths. Like I, I believe that I, I started the rebellious part first and, and my brother looked up to me a lot and it ended up leading. He was followed as big brother, you know, uh, which I had to answer to and you know, have a lot of shit, had a lot of shame and guilt for that.
Yep. But he ended up, you know, later on down the road going down the same path that I went. Yeah. I left home when I was 17. I was about to turn 18 and, uh, my brother stole change out of my parents' room. I took the blame for, I said, look, I'm going to be 18 anyways, so I'm just gonna go ahead and go. And my dad said, all right, you take what the clothes you got in your back and go, do you think you're a man? You can handle the world. And I did. I walked out of the door. My Mom's screaming at me and my sister screaming at me and I took off. And that, that's the night that really started the path of the struggle. Gas. Right. That's where it really started. That's where I really dove head first into the life of crime and rebellion and parties and just no responsibility. Just absolute chaos. Yeah.
So it started when you turned 18 and that lasted for how many years
it lasted? Well, it lasted for a, I went to prison. Um, I was 23, 24 and I went to prison. Uh, and the years prior to that I was in and out of jail. Uh, I would probably be out of jail for two or three months ago. Right back in [inaudible] pattern, which probably saved my life. You know, when I look back at it now, it was a good thing. Right. Cause the way I was living, you know, I just, I mean I really had no care for anything. Yeah. Nothing at all. But I would go to jail and the Lord we put in front of me and, uh, I would just, you know, I would use him as I get out of jail free card, you know, jailhouse religion kind of thing. And without really understanding who he was or what he was wanting to do with my life, no, it was just, it was still, what can I get out of it, you know, it's all about me, what's in it for me, and I'd get out of jail and, uh, or they let me go on probation.
I'm be like, y'all just messed up and let me out, you know? And I wouldn't show up for probation. I wouldn't do anything I was supposed to doing in the right back end. It was just a revolving door of whatever rob wanted to do. Yeah. You know? And um, it was a lot of alcohol, a lot of parties, a lot of drugs. You know, it didn't matter what it was, I did it, you know? And then, uh, then I went to prison and when I was in prison, um, I was only in there for 15 months, but it was enough to open my eyes to the reality of where my life was at. Cause, uh, I got a tattoo in prison, I got caught doing it. So they put me on the punishment squad, cause you're not supposed to get a tattoo, just get a tattoo.
So, and they, I was right across in Florida state prison and bar, My crew's job was to maintain the graveyard of that prison, you know, and we would, we'd eat it and things like that. But if somebody died in that prison that had no family, it was our crew's job to put them in the ground. I'm 20 something years old and that's the first time I've ever seen anything like that. Uh, and, uh, we're digging this grave for this guy and you know, they'd give him a little stone with a license plate with his DC number and that's, that's what he's remembered by progressive real wake up call. Right. That's tough. So I'm out there and we're putting this guy on the ground and the pastor opened a cask and to make sure he was facing the right way. And I saw a dead person freaked me out, but he shared the gospel with us and he's like, this guy is dead.
You know, he, he was an older guy, he said he died in prison and this is what he's got left. You guys are his fame and that's the legacy he left behind. Right? Yeah. And we were all young and that's when opened my eyes and I was like, I need to do something different that it's yard. Yeah, I did. And then we put that dude in the ground and it shook me, you know, and I went back to the dorm and I was just like, what am I doing with my life? And I really opened up the Bible for real. I'm like, Lord, I need, I need some help. Yeah. Um, I got released and I went home and, uh, I was good for a couple of weeks and then, you know, people, places and things just still had it on a surrendered heart, uh, and a lot of inner pain that I didn't know what to do with.
So I went to what I always know and, you know, and I went out and got high and, uh, I always had enough respect for my parents and never let them see me like that. They never saw me high. I never cursed around them, you know. Uh, they're, they're all amazing people and, uh, I still hurt their heart by going out doing what I did, but they, they never saw me like that. Yeah. And, uh, I went home that night and I was straight into the living room. My mom took one lung and she knew and she got eyes, got real big and I said, I need help. And there's a program in Florida called Dunk Island, which is just like a poor, a poor Hertzberg from Douglas, where I met Kevin at. And, um, I, that's where I went. I was gonna go to another program that was more local, but the uh, the guy who ran it, I told him a little bit about myself and he said, you need to go here because your problem is we can't help you with the severity of what you need help with.
I needed help with not, I didn't need just like a 30 day just to get me back to my former state I needed. So I needed to regeneration. Yeah. I needed to encounter the Lord in a way that would get my attention and it was everything I was running from my whole life. So I went out there to Duncan and it was a base a lot like a pour is, uh, there is no TV, there's no cell phones, there's no, it's Bible study class. And we built pallets all day. That's what we did. Really? That was their industry. They built pallets, we cut grass, they built pallets, they get trees, they cut it down the form to bill pallets and we build pallets. And I was out there for, for some years, couple of years, and then I came out here. That's when I first came out here was in 2008, 2009.
I came out here and, um, I came out here to help them get it started. Uh, Kevin knew me from Duncan. He was my discipleship teacher at Duncan. I met him in Florida first. And some good things happened to me there. They were still that reserve. This in me though, there was still, uh, a wall, a wall that I, uh, that didn't want to let the Lord in. I didn't know. I didn't trust, you know, and I'm sure it's hard to be vulnerable in that way. Right, right. But at the same time, it doesn't negate what the Lord did. And um, there was a man that prayed for me over there. He was like a prophetic guy, which I, that stuff always scared me cause I was always afraid that they were going to tell me no. Uh, the one thing I learned when I was there as a, I always fought about as the Lord even real, is God even real.
And I would share it in their prayer circles. I'm in a spiritual program. Like, I don't even believe he's real yay questions. And now, but we do something that I like, right. And they call it journaling and we do it every morning. They want us to write our prayers to the Lord, but then they want us to write his response. Like he's actually gonna talk to me and I write and he does. And it's part of that from power. I love doing that still to this day. That is cool. And it's just like, you know, ask them any question I want and he'll tell me what's going on inside of me and what he wants me to do with it. And now it was journaling one morning he said, uh, I'm not rude of you cause you're not letting me be, you know, and, and the areas of my life that I'm running from, I'm not letting him into those.
So I'm not letting him become real to me and I'm pushing him away. He's not that, I didn't believe it was real. It's not, I didn't trust him. I was angry at him. I blamed him for, for everything. And there was an inner healing that we had to write a ventilator and have different stages of the program. They have orientation, regeneration, inner healing and discipleship. And I was an inner healing and we had to write a vent letter to either my mom, dad, or to God. And the Lord said, you're going to write it to me. I said, I'm, I going to ride it to you. I'm mad at my mom and my dad for abandoning me. So No, you, you're going to ride it to me. And I wrote it to him and I told him everything I failed. And then he wrote a response to that letter, which floored me.
Like you just all about my perception of what happened. My perception of his intentions was, were, was wrong. And that really, that really opened up a side of me that I was able to, to allow him into some areas of my life, but they were still that part of me that wanted what I wanted, you know, um, not wanting to fully surrender, you know, and I came here to Louisiana with that the first time. And, uh, as you heard my testimony, I ended up leaving. Um, I went back home for Christmas and got contact with an old flame and she was doing better. I was doing good. And you know, I was in ministry. I was doing good. I ended up leaving. I came back, I told buster, I said, look, you got two months and I'm leaving and I didn't pray about this. You just made a decision, a decision off of just running off of a feeling that made me feel good.
It satisfied something. Yeah, of course. So I went with it. It was just the immaturity that I still had. And uh, and uh, it goes back to the belly. I was going to tell you about that guy that prayed for me. He, uh, said Philippians one six over me. He said he, uh, he began to get work and be faithful to complete it. And he said that to me. I flicking his one six. I didn't understand what that meant. I said, okay, the Lord is working on me. It's good. My seven year journey to make it back here to a pore again when I came back. That versus putting in front of me this left and right. So I ended up leaving. Uh,
okay. So you were, you left for Christmas, it was a, you said around 2008? Yeah, this was around 2009. I was here when the saints won the Super Oh
yeah. All right. Okay. So you excellent. Okay, so you left, that was a good time for Christmas. Went to Ford, I guess to see your family. Yeah. And then you reconnected with an old flame and
yeah. And then, uh, I, I'd made a decision on my own, so I'm going to be in relationship with her because no what? And they were still at thing and he, I, I've earned this. I deserve it. I deserve it. Look like everything I'm doing right. You know, I deserve to have this. I wanted a wife, I wanted kids. I wanted that, you know, and it is a good thing. I want it to live right. I had the best intentions. Sure. But my heart was, yes, I took the lower off the throne when I made that decision and I left and uh, we weren't living together doing it right to begin with. But once I made that decision to come back and leave what the Lord was doing in my life, it was just a snowball effect of, yeah. Which led me to, you know, smoke cigarettes again.
That's where it started and me and her outside of marriage, you know, we ended up getting married, but it would just end the shame and guilt of that, of where I was at with the Lord to where I'm at now. You know, it just, it was a disaster. We had them getting divorced and uh, that, that did a lot to me. All the, I felt like all the rejection stuff, the Lord heal just got ripped open and cut deeper. And that's when I went down. Probably the darkest path of my entire life was just after that divorce, after that divorce. And that was the catalyst. Right. Okay. It was the worst party. Four or five years of my life. I'm talking like my addiction was bad before I went to prison, but this time it was just like bad. There was, cause there was no, it wasn't fun anymore and it wasn't taken away with a feeling of what I was feeling. It was just, I was slowly killing myself. Yeah. You know, and um, thought that a, a geographical change would help. So I went with my sister, she lives in the middle of Florida, in crescent city by St Augustine and went out there just to get away from everything and everybody and it just got worse out there. Um,
but were the people at a pore reaching out to you or they did not know that this was [inaudible]
they didn't know this was going on because I wasn't in contact with them. Okay. I see. You know, I, uh, isolated yourself from isolated myself from, from all of them, from buster, from Kevin. When I first left the first time when I left, I was calling a little bit here and there, but I slowly lost contact with them. Just went my own way. And again, that was the shame and the guilt of where I was at. Right. Not wanting to tell them yeah. By marriage failed and made the wrong decision. So a lot of pride that I didn't want to tell them that I messed up and it was just, uh, a long, long, dark road for me. And, um, I went, I went go live with my sister. Um, again, like I was around my parents and all that. I try to act like I had everything together. Like I was okay, but they knew that I wasn't, you know, I was just doing every drug under the sun, um, stealing whatever I could to get it. I was working, but it wasn't, it was doing tree work here and there and nothing really enough to do anything with my solar. God, I just gave up on life. I just gave up on myself. I gave up on everything, but I still that, that part of me that the Lord was chasing me was still there. All right.
Do I want to ask you though, did you realize you were affecting others around you? Um, or, and not just yourself, cause I mean, you had to know that you were affecting yourself. And I mean, what about the others that were around you?
Uh, at the time, uh, I knew that I, I knew that it was, it was hurting people, but to be honest with you, uh, I didn't care. Okay. You know, I can admit that today. Yeah. And that's just a reality of, of, of addiction. And especially in a point where I, I was always trying to kill myself. Hmm. Like, uh, if I don't have any care for myself, I'm not gonna have any care for you. Yeah. You know, and, uh, in my heart I didn't want to hurt anybody, but I was, you know, and, uh, it wasn't tall. I was able to get a clearer head
and really look, and actually you would feel some of the things I've done to people that really, you know, how we'll move before the lower bowl. And I was out there, even if I was aware of it, I, I didn't, it wasn't enough to stop me from doing what I was doing.
It wasn't enough to stop me. And, uh, I had to hit rock bottom where, you know, everything has gone. Yeah. And that's what the Lord did. Cause I would, I had a routine. I'd wake up, I'd go cut trees, I'd come home and drink myself into a coma and put on some praise and worship music at night just to fall asleep and begged the Lord to help me. And, uh, that's my day. And I'm like, I'm not going to do this again. I'm going to, I'm going to go to church, I'm going to get back on my feet. And Yeah, I was just unable to stop it. Uh, just the every day was just running from the Lord and that was, that's what he wanted. My whole life was just, we want in my heart, but I was just running from him and there was a lot of times I, I was, I should've died.
I shouldn't be here. Um, one instance, I was riding in the store. I lived in the middle of nowhere. We had one gas station that was around us and had my last beer. And I said, I'm going to go get some more beer and I'm riding my bike to the store. It's pitch black. Uh, this car goes by me going 60, come so close the side mirror, knocks the beer out of my hand. What? Yeah. And if he would've hit me, I would've been over 60 miles an hour. Yeah. He hadn't done. And everybody, like I said, you're out in the middle of no everybody drinks and drives out there. And I would have rolled off into a ditch and nobody would've found me. Yeah, you're right. You know, uh, I would have been dead and another, another jeep. It rode six, seven times. I walk away without a scratch, just a number situation that put myself in people.
I was around dangerous people that I was around that, you know, the Lord spared me. I should be dead. But, uh, like I said in that every day was just, uh, all about me just wake up and how can I medicate myself today? How can I escape what I'm feeling and not want to cause in order for me to come back and do it a little, I would have to face everybody as tough, say that I failed and uh, but I wasn't seeing the benefit of what would come out. I would just seeing how much that would be painful and I don't want to go through that. So I was running from that as well. Uh, and I knew in my heart that that's what I needed to needed to do and I didn't know Buster's number anymore. And one day it just popped in my head.
You really? Yeah. Swear I called buster and I let them know where I was at. And um, that's the start of the process of getting me back. Um, that was what I was gonna ask. What was the event that helped you to turn your life around? I would just saw on the porch, I was just, you know, barely hating myself, you know, and Buster's numbers flashed in my head. I used to call it a million times and I always here and I'm like, I couldn't remember it. And it just flashed through my head and I called him and I let him know where I was at. He prayed for me and you know, and both of his real pushy like to get me back here, but I wasn't ready. I went on another two month run and um, one the one day I woke up with an eviction notice on my door, um, windows were smashed out of the house and I blacked out drunk and threatened to kill my brother in law.
And uh, he's throwing me out. Like that was the end. I woke up to that and just not had no recollection of even doing it. And that scared me cause I have no idea what I did or what you could've done. I could've killed somebody and not know it. And the Lord said, you got two choices right now. You see either you can do what you know you have to do, where you're going to die. You say you have the only, and it's clear as day. He told me, he said, you only two choices you have right now. And I chose to come back. I'm glad you did. Yeah. And, uh,
cool. That was when, what year was that?
This was 2017. 2018. Okay. And, uh, I called, uh, called buster first and then he gave me Cassie. I'm ready. Buster was, are you sure? This time I said I'm ready. I'd let him know I was broken. I was a mess. I had nothing left that destroyed. Everything I'm talking like is bad. And um, and then I called Kevin and two days later I was here. Oh. But coming here, uh, on the bus ride, here I was, I was at peace because I knew I was making the right decision. But the closer I got to Louisiana, it was hitting me of, you know, I don't want to face this, the magnitude of it, there's gotta be an easier way and more sudden there isn't an easier way. And um, Jeremy picked me up from the bus stop and, uh, he came right after I left and driving down the road to a porn scene where it's at now. And it was, uh, it was heavy. I had to go through a lot of unforgiveness to work with us.
A lot of, um, I guess emotions came up in you because you was, you were there before. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, who was that one person though? I know you, you name a good bit of guys, but who was that one person that really believed in you and just never always pursued you and 'em to help you
become clean meme? Like when I was out there? Yeah. Or when I came back,
no, like more. Um, I guess like when you were out there where your parents still trying to reach out to you or, um,
really, uh, it's cause I wasn't reaching out, reaching out to them, you know? Uh, my sort of unreached was my, uh, my uh, brother who, uh, and he's, he's doing good and you know, hitting my sister are both doing well. I W I was the worst of them when it came to addiction and uh, just not knowing how to handle most going on inside of it. But he was the one who said, you need God back in your life. You need to do something. And he stayed on me. He just, he never judged me or right. But he, uh, he did, he said, uh, I want my brother back. And you know, he was always pushing me to do the right thing and my sister was too, you know, she wasn't using anymore. She threw, she was in addiction. My brother, they went through spells of addiction as well, but they got out of it and living right. I would just never, never did that. So my brother was always encouraging me and he doesn't really believe in the Lord. He doesn't have a relationship with. Okay. So for him to tell me, like you need to go back to the Lord, it says 11. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So that was a big, big, big push to get me to come back.
Okay. So what was the, what this time, what is, what's the difference than last time?
Um, well, this time really just coming back. I mean, I say for me it's really understanding who the Lord is. And, um, and that's when that burst. When I said Philippians one six is the Lord knew what I was going to do when I got prayed that over me. He knew that I was going to go and do what I wanted I wanted to do, but he's going to finish what he started. And just this pursuit of my life, I was able to sit there and just really think about it. I came back, you know, of course I wanted to prove that I still had it, you know what I mean? But the Lord said, you had, you need to sit down and listen because you had no character to walk any of that out. So, uh, I had to sit there and then listen and learn and gangs.
I used to teach the classes I used to do those things. How are they pouring? That was humbling. I'm sure. Yo, yeah, it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do with my life was the bud. It was the most, uh, humbling of course that I needed, but it just really understanding who the Lord was in his pursuit of my life. And just really that it's not about me anymore, you know? Uh, it's about his religion. It's about him.
Yeah. You know, and what, what he wants to do with my life. And so this time around, uh, the Lord was not easy on me. Um, they're always challenging me, challenging my heart, challenging my motives, um, just challenging me cause I, for one I knew better, but also just that's what, it's what he wants from me. It's the gospel. It's not easy. It's not a sort of like the Bible says the road is narrow, you know, when they take that road and the true and then to be a man, you know, this is the things I had to do.
And I was a child. I was an eight year old and a 34 year old body. Yeah. You know, I was still that hurt little kid that just wanted to be loved and accepted and, and had no character at all. And uh, the Lord had to speak some truth to me and I had to allow him to do that. And he did it through other guys, but also he took a different route of, of it, a lot of encouraging to me cause I was really, I gave up on myself and um, just had grace, a lot of grace and a lot of truth with me. And this time around it was just really understanding the Gospel and who Jesus was and what he, what he wants from me. It's not so much of what can, what can you do for me? But it's, you know, what can I do for you?
Like what, what do I have to do to be in a relationship with you? And it was challenging. I had to open up parts of my heart that I didn't want to open. Right. Cause you, you said you were kind of holding on to stuff right throughout this whole time, but you are now starting to become more vulnerable. Got a lot of, it was still a lot of bitterness, you know, especially with relationships. Like with me, I would always be, even before I would go, even like situation like this, like I would come in with some kind of reserve in this, but just to be okay with what the Lord is doing and there've been right. I would always come in with some kind of preconceived notion of what I think is gonna happen. It's so true. It's so good you said that or how I think people see me and I'll enter situations like that and I'll even enter my relationship with the Lord like that.
And that's a great point, man. Man, that's not what he wants from me. And I said, but I, by doing that is I would push the people around me away without even. Absolutely. Yeah, you're right. And like I say, if I want acceptance so bad, I'm going to push you away because I'm afraid that she's not going to do it, but now I'm going to get mad when you don't accept me. I'm the one that's doing it. But know it sounds crazy. I understand you do that. Like you push people out of your life out of fear. You pushed me, how do you even know you want it so bad? You push it away because you're afraid of it. And he's really like dug deep in my heart, like the roots of who I am, like my bitterness towards people. Just a lot of guarding your heart and an unhealthy way, I guess.
Absolutely. Any. And then he showed me that I do that, you know? And just a lot of it was my identity of what I believe about my, he attacked all that stuff of just really believing what the Lord says go. Like when we journal, it's like we, that's what the Lord hits on what I believe about what I believe about myself, these lies that I have. And it's either I'm going to walk on the truth or I'm not, you know, and I'm just really walking in and embracing who he is. And, uh, again, just having to get my heart right with him on those areas. But this time around, it was more of just humbling me before him. I like, I spared you, I want wanna use you. And just not only that, I just want a relationship with you right now. I want you to be, when you look in the mirror, to not walk away, giving yourself the finger, you know what I mean?
Just loving who you are and don't, not entering situations or relationships where people are out to get you. And I could still get lost. I still battle with that. Yeah. No, but I'm aware of it and he lets me know and it's never the other person's fault anymore. Like he puts it right back on me. He shines a light on my heart of you're bitter. You're, you're pushing people away or even you sarcasm and joking. There's little things. I'll use defense mechanisms to keep people away. Yeah. And um, you know, I'll do it with him. I just pushed him away with my, with my time or I don't want to deal with something and I'm going to put
my focus over here. And so he's really just been showing me how to be in a relationship. Cause that's, that's what I would have wanted my whole life is being in a relationship and have like we were talking before, having good friends that I know love me and have your back.
Right. Cause I at a port we say I love you all the time. That's cool. And when I first got there, I was just kinda like, I don't even know me. You know, they want a hug in, they love you. And, but now it's like, when I say I mean it and when they say it, I know that they mean it coming from me. That means a lot. Yeah. So it's, uh, it's, it's pretty incredible, but it sounds like you're, you're a lot freer and you're breathing easier and enjoying life more. Yeah. And I think that is probably a, um, a combination of things that's going to lead to longterm success, you know? And that's awesome man. And it's, you know, and, and really about success even now, like graduating SLT in September, you know, and staying on, but it's just really enjoying what the Lord is doing in my life. And it's really not about success, you know, like in the physical. Yeah. You know, I understand. But it's just, you know, reading this book now called driven by attorneys by John Verveer and it's just about challenging, uh, where we spend our thoughts are time and our money and it's all about my relationship with him. Yep. And that's, that's what I try to focus on. Like I don't, I'm not perfect at it. No, but it's, uh, this time around is, it's, I want a relationship with the Lord.
That's awesome. Good focus. I have a question. How do you, um, combat those maybe feelings are wanting wantonness to use those substances? Um, I'm, yeah, cause I'm sure it does maybe have to come in your mind, but what do you use to combat that? Talking about it and PE? Yes, that's what I'm saying. Being open. It's a, especially for addicts,
you know, uh, we, we thing we've talked about at a pour is the body of Christ is where you talk about it. I'll go to a brother. I said, look, this is what I'm feeling right now. This is how I'm perceiving what's going on. This is what I want to do. I'm feeling like this, I'm feeling like that and getting it out in the open, exposing it and talking about it. Cause when, when I sit and I think about it and I start getting idol in my mind, the more feed it Orson to keep growing. So yeah, that's your goal was just talk about, find somebody, make that phone call. If you, if I really want to to fight it and combat it, I'll do it. Cause the tools are there to do it. And if I don't, you've been equipped, right? I'm going to, I'm going to do what I want to do anyways, but you're right.
You know, if, uh, there's always somebody you can pick up and you can call, there is a way you can sit down and talk to the Lord about it. But he pushed the body of Christ. We're all for a reason. So for me it's, I'm going to talk to somebody. I'm gonna say, Hey, some of my closest relationships, whether it'd be Lucas or Tyler or guys I went to the program with, we still call each other to this day one lives in Texas, you know, we call each other and talk about where we're at. You pick up the phone and call somebody. He's called me at three in the morning cause he wanted to drink, you know, and we are able to pray with him and talk with him and you know, so you got any advice? You gotta pick up the phone and call somebody. You've gotta gotta get it out.
What would you I like to say to an addict who may be listening,
there's hope. Definitely the you, the only way to combat it is through, through Jesus. And it's not drugs and alcohol isn't our problem. It's what's causing us to use drugs and alcohol. And unless that's fixed, we're going to keep going through the same cycle over and over again. No. Cause, uh, sometimes I don't know addicts or are stubborn. Um, and we have to touch this, touch the stove and make sure it's hot, you know. But, uh, and you think you have it under control. Exactly. How do we, I don't have it under
control and, but the big other big thing is that question you asked me about affecting the people around you. Because when I was in addiction, I had one dimensional thinking. Whereas it's all about me. Yup. I'm going to make this decision. I'm not concern of who was going to affect, but we had to really think about three dimensional thinking is who is this gonna affect and who's it gonna hurt? And even the ones I have heard, I've had to ask forgiveness from people that I've hurt, you know? No, it's not comfortable to do that. Yeah. It's freeing. But you know, to really see that we're affecting other people around us. Even though I say I'm only hurting myself, I'm not hurting you, but I'm hurting the people around me.
Which, that's my kind of my next question. In regards to the loved ones of an addict, what advice would you give to a loved one of an addict that is like when they're in the grind of it, because I've heard like if you just love them and don't do anything, like you basically can just bury them, you know? Um, so that's, that's,
it's tough. I mean, I know one thing with my parents is what they did for me and it really helped. And what we see guys go through is, is codependency isn't one way to help. They have, they have to get to the end of themselves. Uh, and in prayer, definitely prayer. I'm here, I believe, because if we're praying mom, you know, uh, just prayer. I mean, we can't, we can't make them stop, you know, uh, but, uh, they have to, they has to run this course. You can give them numbers to call different programs and let them know that you're aware and you wanna help them. But as far as like, being codependent with them, I wouldn't do that just to have you get to their end. They have to, you know, having an encounter with the Lord, you know, and sometimes that ends in a ways we don't want it to in other ways that it turns out for the best, you know? So I know from my experience, you know, the men especially to come to a place like AP where you had to beat you, the only of yourself you have to want the help, you have to, to want to dig deep into yourself and give something else a chance, you know? And, and take ownership for our actions and stop blaming other people and places and things for the choices that we made and to face it and go through an n and if they're not at that point, you know, so that just difficult. So,
yeah. Well, uh, one of the last, uh, few questions, what do you feel most proud of with your story?
I would say a for one coming back, you know, but, uh, I'm most proud of just really what, what the Lord's doing in me and just being okay with who I am. That's what I'm most proud of it. I'm able to give back now to what the, with the pure heart of, it's like up as a passion of wanting to, to see men encountered a lawyer, but really just, I'm just proud that just given the lord a chance, there's really nothing I can take credit for for, but I'm here because of him, you know? And um, so if I'm proud of anything, it's just that, uh, I'm just letting them in. I'm letting him do what he wants to do and he's put things in my life like I can get my license back and restored relationships, you know? Um, I'm proud of those things.
Uh, I can hate getting my license back was something God had to walk through cause I didn't, I would see an overwhelming situation of so many things I had to walk through and I wouldn't deal with it. Right. So able to deal with that and just to walk through that and get those things taken care of. And so I can, I can look at myself and be proud that I'm making right the right choice today. And nothing in my heart wants to go out and hurt people. What I go to visit my family. It's not, I gotta hurry up and leaves aren't going get high. Right. I enjoy, I really enjoy my family's going up, helped my bad, throw some sod in the yard and not worried about, man, I can't wait to go drink a beer. You know, just, yeah, peace. It seems like just enjoying my family,
just going back in August to watch the gate or my game with my brother just to have a good time. There's some be around family and so it's important things in life, you know, so. Yeah, that's true. That's awesome. Well, Robbie, we are so thankful for you sharing your story and I know this has touched many people, um, who either are in need of treatment or they know someone that needs treatment. Um, I do want to, I'm going to ask you later for the links to post in the show notes for Dunk Lynn and up a poor, which it's a place of restoration for anyone that may need help, um, so they can call, um, for that. And maybe save a life. Absolutely. So, uh, subscribe to this podcast and share this with your friends. And remember, you can follow us on Instagram, right?
Facebook at the winning ugly podcast and Twitter at winning underscore ugly. Thanks for listening guys.
when the ugly moments come, remember that light shines brightest in the dark. Love radiates brightest among hate life stance. Most bold boldly against,