Growing up, my home life was what most children wish they could have. Both of my parents cared for my every need and I was never short of anything. Still to this day, even through my drug addiction, they loved and supported me.

From the day I started school, I excelled in whatever I did. I was an A student and after completing matric I enrolled at Wits University to study electronic engineering.

But before I started university I decide to take a ‘gap year’ and travelled to Taiwan and China as an exchange student. During my time there I learnt to speak Mandarin and to also to read and write it quite well. It was during my travels that I began to drink excessively and to ‘party’ whole nights away. When I arrived back home in Johannesburg, my road of drug addiction began.

I did not think too much of it at first, thinking that I was simply ‘experimenting’ with drugs and that this was part of growing up. However, unknown to me I had made a pact with the devil.

The first few years of using drugs was ‘smooth sailing’. I had money as my parents were looking after me and I was free to do whatever I wanted. As a good student, my parents were oblivious to the fact that I was using drugs.

After failing my first year at Wits and always being short of money, my parents started asking questions. But as far as drinking and being hung over was concerned, this was okay as it was simply considered a stage of my life. But it was a stage that seemed not to come to an end.

Despite dropping out of Wits, I was fortunately still able to further my studies and completed an N5 in Electrical Engineering. But I just wasn’t interested in anything outside of partying, drinking and having a ‘good time.'

During my addiction to drugs, I did many things I never imagined I would and that were very bad in nature. I used people to get ahead in life, stole from my parents and family and even complete strangers, in order to support my drug habit.

I was an empty being. Selfish and only out for my own gain. I hurt many people along the way but mostly the ones closest to me. The ones who bailed me out of trouble time and time again – my parents.

I was a slave but was ignorant of it. I wasted good opportunities for a moment of so-called ‘happiness and freedom.' I thought I was on top of the world and untouchable. Then a few years ago I was involved in a near-fatal car accident. Only by God’s grace am I still alive today.

Having been to two rehabilitation centers I started to learn about God and the Bible. But it wasn’t until I arrived at CYPSA that I actually began to have a relationship with God.

All of the years of abusing substances had been a search for more out of life. I was never really satisfied. The times when I was doing well and seemed to have a good foundation only lasted for a short time and I would backslide, as I was trying to make it on my own strength.

Some time back I was told of CYPSA by a friend who had been there for a visit. He had seen the way my life was going and suggested I should go there for help. The fact that I agreed to go is truly God’s grace. I can honestly say that from the day I entered the premises I have never again craved for a drink, a cigarette or any other substance.

Being a follower of God and walking the road with Him is fulfilling and brings life and a new outlook on life. There is hope and much more to life than I previously imagined! When God revealed Himself to me I had a change of heart. Daily I choose to take up my cross, deny my own ways and follow Him.