Michael Moore: Chasing a New High
By Robert Hull
The 700 Club
"When your father tells you that you’ll never amount to anything, you begin to believe it. I was never quite enough to measure up. I never quite knew how to please Dad, to make him proud of who I was and really see him enjoy life a little bit. I kind of felt a responsibility for his anger, like perhaps it was some of my own actions or something that I was doing wrong."
In his teens Michael Moore escaped his feelings of inadequacy with marijuana and alcohol. He says, "It gave me a sort of momentary sense of euphoria, like nothing else really mattered as long as I was numb to my environment."
His drug use got worse in high school and so did his relationship with his dad. When Michael was caught stealing a purse from a car, his father snapped.
"Just started beating me and kicking me around and just bashing me with his words," Michael recalls, "telling me I’d never amount to anything. It was a pretty traumatizing experience. I really kind of felt like whatever chance dad and I had of bonding was probably broke from that incident. It hurt. It really hurt, and from that point on, alcohol was pretty much an everyday if not every other day thing."
He graduated from high school and landed a lucrative job as a surveyor. He says, "Everything looked pretty good from the outside. I had most of the things that a young man would desire, but inside I was just a wreck. I was in complete turmoil. The more things I purchased and the more I tried to satisfy myself, the deeper the desire was to just intoxicate myself, self-medicate."
In his 20s, Michael married and started a family. He owned a successful surveying company, but the pressures that came with it were unmanageable.
"I didn’t know how to process emotions. Drugs and alcohol became my only way to step away from that career that was literally consuming me. I was working 18 hours a day most of the time, just avoiding some of the things that really mattered in life. I was just striving for the money, I was going for the gusto and literally deteriorating all my relationships in the process."
The final blow came when his wife had an affair and then divorced him. He was left all alone in their large house. When his mother invited him to church, Michael accepted just to escape the loneliness he lived with every day.
"Every word he spoke was a picture of my life. It broke me down. It literally broke me down into tears. When the altar call came for salvation, I was right there. So I came up and received prayer, but I wasn’t ready to surrender. I was still striving to accomplish things on my own, in my own power, 'till that point my whole life had been me, me, me, and look at all of my accomplishments."
Michael threw himself into building the life he strived so many years for. He found a new way to keep him going.
"Cocaine was the fuel that allowed me to stay up and work all night. There was literally a couple years of that cocaine use, living like that, killing myself literally that I got introduced to crack. That’s when things went straight down hill to the point where that’s all I cared about. That’s all I thought about. The high from crack cocaine literally lasts only a few seconds. We give all that. We surrender all that for just a few seconds of euphoria and then it's gone. Then it's just working, manipulating, lying, cheating, stealing, whatever it takes to get that next few seconds. It’s really just an awful lifestyle. It's horrible."
He lost everything he owned and became homeless. He says, "I’d work a position for a couple of weeks, just long enough to get a paycheck. As soon as I got that paycheck, I’d be off on another tangent. I’d buy as much crack as I could with that amount of money, leave myself enough money for a room then literally lock myself in a hotel room for seven days at a time, smoking crack around the clock until I had spent every single last dollar. Then I’d be back on the street again."
For years Michael lived in crack houses, homeless shelters and motel rooms. One night he was tired and hungry and called his mom for help.
"Mom had been so used to me calling asking for money. I said, ‘Mom, I’m in Savannah. I’m not asking for money, but Mom, I’m hungry. I haven’t eaten in days. Can you bring me a sandwich or something?’ Click. My mom hung up the phone. It was right then that I realized I am a wreck. I need help, and there’s no way I can do this on my own. I cannot pull myself out of this."
While lying on the floor at a homeless shelter, Michael opened a Bible and his eyes landed on a verse that changed his life.
"I needed God at that point, and I knew that I needed Him. I came to Proverbs 3:5-6. God said to me this, 'If you’ll trust Me with all your heart, not depend on your own understanding and seek My will in all you do, I will direct your paths.' For the first time in my life, God had spoke to me. The bible came to life. God was realer to me than anything. My life had been a series of dead end roads at that point. I needed someone to direct my paths, and He simply said, 'Trust me.'"
Michael gave his life to Jesus Christ. He joined an eight-month recovery and discipleship program with Savannah Mission Bible Training Center.
"That’s where I was able to just get into the Word of God and find out who He is, how He thinks about me, what He expects of us and just realize that He is a loving God, full of grace. I found that comfort that I’d always been searching for in that personal relationship with God just having that relationship with our Father and knowing that He’s pleased with you despite your actions, that He’s proud of you regardless of what your past looks like."
Michael was set free from his addiction to crack. He reconciled with his father and shared with him the love of God that has given him peace.
"I had what I needed, what I had been created for, searching for my whole life now was with me. You can try and try to clean up your act on your own and you can do everything you can on your own power. The only way you’re going to overcome in this world is by accepting Jesus and receiving that love He has for us."
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