Interview #3 Gwen

Recorded October 29, 2019 Archived October 29, 2019 10:34 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: APP1646754


I talked today with Gwen about her past with substance abuse, and about her road to recovery.

Bri: “What was your pivotal moment that made you want to change your life?”

Gwen: “ I was going in the wrong direction, and I knew that I was, and I met Crist in my life.And so that made me turn around and want to go in the right direction, and do things the right way. Because the way that I was going, was going to shorten my life.”

Bri: “Can you remember how/why/who you started misusing drugs/alcohol with?”

Gwen: “With the substance that I had?”
Bri: “ Yeah.”

Gwen: “Ask me that again.”

Bri: “How/why/who? Any of them that you want to answer”

Gwen: “Why? Oh, just hanging around the wrong crowd. Wanting to try what we thought was different, but it really wasn’t different. We always wanted to challenge and we always wanted to try different things in life. And that really started with me and why I wanted to do it, because of friends. Like all the times, all because of friends. The wrong ones.”

Bri: “So in a way like a peer pressure thing?”

Gwen: “Yeah, yeah, and the people that you hang around with always push you into doing something that you don’t really want to do, but you try it because they are your friends.”

Bri: “Yeah that makes sense.”

Bri: “Do you have any regrets?”

Gwen: “I don't have any regrets of what I did in the sense that it made me move forward. But ifi were to do it all over again, I would not do that route. And we never know how were going to start out, we never know what we’re going to do in life, but saying that were not going to do it again. I regret the fact that I took so long to get to where I am. That’s my regrets.”

Bri: “How do you feel and/or think differently about drugs and alcohol now?”

Gwen: “It’s a waste of time. It’s detrimental to your life, and I wish that it was never here, but it’s gonna be around as long as were here. We have to use intelligence and use wisdom, you know because they are pushing them. We have to really be careful, they’re even more dangerous now. It’s terrible it really is.”

Bri: “Do you feel that people judge you or treat you differently because of your past?”

Gwen: “You have the good in the bad. So do because they don't understand, and some do because they know that they can ghance and that it’s not a good life. So they look at my life, and they look at my testimony, and it helps them. You know, from where I came from. And then again, it matters and then it don’t matter because I want people to change because of how God changed my life. And it makes a difference.”

Bri: “Are there any people from your past or people affected who weren’t using or misusing with you, who you still speak with; don’t talk to; or wish you still did?”
Gwen: “I have people from my past that I still talk to, there’s no one from my past that I wouldn’t talk to, and there’s some that I might miss because they did it a little to long and they're not living now. There’s no one that I wouldn’t talk to, because that’s my testimony and I should talk to them because of my past to help them in their life, their life journey.”

Bri: “Are you active in the community to help others stop or educate beforehand about drugs and alcohol?”

Gwen: “Oh of course, yes I have an organization it’s called (Can’t understand the first word) Women’s Ministry International, and I also minister and counsel young ladies between the ages of 18 and 29. And I’m a pastor at a church in Atlantic City, we have young people to meet there also.

Bri: “That’s good.”

Bri: “Have you personally suffered from any overdoses or near death experiences due to your substance abuse?”

Gwen: “Yes, I have in the past. When I started really using it, and I didn’t really know what I was doing and following friends, and you know peer pressure. And because of all of that, yes I almost overdosed. I was stupid, not knowing what I was doing. I thank God that he left me here to tell the story, to give my testimony, and I’m so happy about that. It gives me an opportunity to express where I am in life, and that you can change. And that God has a plan for your life. It’s what you go through, and if you live long enough, he will show you your purpose, and that’s what he did for me.”

Bri: “Have you lost any friends or family from drugs or alcohol and did that influence your behavior or outlook?”

Gwen: “Yes, I have lost, I lost a brother, I’ve lost a friend, and because of that I made change. Well I was changed before I lost him, and my testimony did not help them. There’s some people you cannot help. There’s some people that will listen and you can help, but I had changed before that, way before that, trying to help them. But yes I did, I lost some loved ones behind that I really miss.”

Bri: “I’m sorry to hear that.”

Bri: “What was your home life like then and now?”

Gwen: “I was raised in a very strict Christian home. Loving parents, loving family, and right now it’s still the same. I’m staying with my sister and her family. I have a wonderful son and children who are living in California now, and I’m here. I’m happy about my family right now. It was great before and it’s great now.”
Bri: “Is there anything else you’d like to add about your experiences or anything at all?’

Gwen: “I would just like to add if I may that the only way that people will come out of these drug substances is that they find Christ, because there’s no other way. rehabs, I went into a rehab that didn’t help, until I gave my life to Christ that was the way, that was the way I came out of it. So I do have a book coming out to tell about my life, my whole life story, all from my past. And hopefully this will help some other young ladies and some young men in their trouble, because there’s much, much now. More so than it was before when I was coming up. And it’s a death warrant. So I’m praying that they would just find Christ, that’s the main thing in their life, because that’s the only way. So yes, I do have a book coming out and it’s called ‘This I My Story from Desperation To Preparation Comes Transformation’. So that’s my life story.”

Bri: “Is that it, all you’d like to say?”

Gwen: “That’s all I have to say for right now anyway. I can’t think of anything else, but that I’m glad where I am. I thank God that he brought me out of a deadly situation to where I am now, and I left here in a twirl, in a whirl, you know desperate and I left when I went to California and I was there for 40 years. In that time span, God transformed my life. Then he sent be back here to tell the story, so I’m just glad that you called me.”

Bri: “Yeah of course.”

Gwen: “To tell my story. So that I could tell it, and I have been here I think it was Linda Cohen, she did a page on me in the press paper when I first came back. So I really wanted to get it out there, to most of the young ladies, don’t waste your life away from what’s coming, because the world’s getting worse. So the only way that you can defeat this thing is to use wisdom, be intelligent, and fin Christ in your life. My words, if I must say, thy may cut it off, but only what you do for Christ will last. That’s my story.”

Bri: “Thank you.”

Gwen: “You’re very welcome, and thank you.”


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