What I am about to share with you is something that I wrote a few months ago describing my former life as a drug addict and the activities that I was involved in while living that lifestyle. I felt that this is a proper time to share these thoughts because on Saturday, 25 October 2014, I will be celebrating seven years of sobriety. That date is also significant because that is the day that my life began anew spiritually. What you are about to read adequately describes my life before recovery, as well as, my life today as I am privileged and honored to be a part of other people’s lives as I strive to help them cope with their struggles.
The title of this article is “False Gangsta’s Paradise” which is based on the song “Gangsta’s Paradise” which has lyrics that have meant a lot to me. The song has been instrumental in the sobriety process. During the time that I was in jail, this song continuously played in my head and became a powerful tool that helped me to get my life back on track. The song is from the sound track of the movie “Dangerous Minds.” It reminds me of the first part of the scripture found in Psalm 23:4 which reads, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” The song lyrics, ” As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I take a look at my life and realize there’s not much left, coz I’ve been blastin’ and laughin’ so long that even my momma thinks my mind is gone” perfectly described my life at that time. I used to live my life in a false gangsta’s paradise,” but on 25 October 2007, I am thankful to report that all that began to come to an end.
At the time that I was incarcerated, I weighed only 87 pounds. I was dead spiritually and was dying physically. I felt as if my life had been shattered into a million pieces and I did not know how to put them back together again. There was no one who could help me at this low point in my life. To the very core of my soul, I realized that I had hit rock bottom. As I was in jail for a long period without bond, it gave me the opportunity to look at my life more closely, and I realized that there was not much left. I had literally destroyed my life by being a hard-core, drug addicted prostitute for too many years. Even with the situation that I found myself in, at first, I still considered life as one big party and laughed at the consequences that I received because of my actions. My life was out of control and I literally felt insane. I went through detoxification for three weeks and almost physically died three times. I soon realized that there was nothing to laugh about anymore and that it was time to get serious and put the partying attitude behind me if I were to ever change my life for the better.
I knew that I could never make such a drastic change on my own. I needed a Power greater than myself to pull me out of the miry clay that I had found myself hopelessly sinking in. On 8 December 2007, I got down on my hands and knees and said five words which saved my life. I said, “Dear God, please help. Thanks.” After uttering those words, I believe that God began to revive my life. Without His Divine Power and Matchless Love, I know for a certainty that I would have died.
It has by no means been an easy road to travel for these past seven years, but I am more at peace than I have ever been in my life. I was once a gangsta for Satan, but now I am a soldier in the army of the Lord.
Karlyn Kay Stebbins
Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:
Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.