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Hope for the Addicted from Someone Who’s Been There

“I felt like I was born an addict, I was gonna die an addict, and that was just my life,” says Matt Blount. “And I had tried to stop so many times and kept going back to it. I just, I felt hopeless.”

Matt Blount started down a path of drug-use and partying that he thought led to acceptance, but he ended up with an addiction that took everything of value from his life.

“I started drinking and I started smoking pot, because I thought that was the cool thing to do. It was all, just trying to fit in with whoever I could get attention from, and [I] was willing to do whatever it took,” describes Matt.

In 2009, he married Monica, a friend from childhood and they soon had a daughter together. It didn’t take long for Monica to experience the chaos of Matt’s addiction.

Monica describes the extent of the chaos, “I had to beg a stranger for my daughter’s things back that he had sold, you know. I was finding paraphernalia in our house, my child was finding paraphernalia in our house,” says Monica. “There were a lot of times where we didn’t eat, there was no food in the house, or if there was grocery money, it was bare minimum, because everything that he did revolved around drugs.”

Matt says, “Things would fall apart, I would go to a program for a few weeks or a month or so, uh, my wife would forgive me, and I would leave the program and go back about life.”

The cycle repeated several times until Monica couldn’t take it anymore and left with their daughter. “I was excited for her to leave, because that meant I didn’t have to hide in the bathroom anymore to get high,” says Matt. “I could sit on the couch and do my drugs, and so she left, and my house turned into a hellhole. And I just came to the realization, I said, ‘Man, what have I done? How did I get back here again?’”

When he finally ran out of money and hope, his father helped him check into a Christian addiction recovery program. “I wanted to stop getting high, but I really just wanted my family back, and for eight months, I wrote my wife every week, begging for her to give me some type of response,” says Matt. “And I never heard from her, I never got a visit from her.”

Monica says, “There was no ownership in anything that he was saying. There was no recognition even of what was going on. He was trying to rekindle and reminisce and refresh my memory on all these good times that we had, and so I didn’t read them. A lot of them, I just quit reading.”

“And finally 8 months in, I get a letter from her,” says Matt, “…telling me that our relationship is over. And at that point, the Lord stopped me in my tracks and said, ‘Ok, Matt, your whole reason for being here was to get your family back and now I’ve removed that from you, what are you gonna do?’ And that was the day that I truly surrendered and said, ‘Lord, listen, if I never get my family back, I’ll follow you. I don’t ever want to go back to living the life that I was going to live before.”

Matt describes the change God made in his life, “There was this shift in my life, a humility that said, ‘No Matt, you’re the problem.’ When I start looking in the mirror and I start looking at myself, and seeing the things that need to change, well then, I can go to the Lord and change will start taking place.”

Desperate, Matt wrote one last letter to Monica. “I’ll never forget, there was one letter and that was kind of the turning point,” says Monica. “He finally had taken ownership and taken responsibility, and apologized and recognized where we were at. So I think that just kind of chipped away a little bit, softened me up just a little bit and it was some relief, and thinking like, ‘Alright, it’s about time. Thank you. This is what I have been waiting for.’”

Shortly after receiving this letter, Matt’s recovery facility evacuated for Hurricane Andrew. Matt contacted her when he came into town.

Monica recalls, “‘Hey, it’s me, I’m in town for the hurricane. I would really love to see Marley. You don’t have to see me. My dad will pick her up, I just want to spend time with her.’ And, it—it was the Holy Spirit. I just remember being hit with every different emotion that I could have possibly felt, because I was shocked, and I was scared, and here I am saying that I’ll bring her to you and we can talk.”

“So the first time that we were face-to-face, I gave her a big hug,” says Matt, “I told her I loved her, I asked for her forgiveness, and she saw something in the way that I responded that time. She saw the humility in me, because up until that point drugs and my family were my gods, those were my idols, but once I surrendered my life to the Lord, He became God, and everything else is second to Him. I think she saw that in me and that really spoke to her heart.”

Monica began attending classes with him at the recovery center, as they rebuilt trust in their marriage. They moved back in together and soon had more children, and have committed their lives to helping others who are struggling with drug addiction by pointing them to Jesus.

Matt says, “I remember when I was in my addiction, so many times, wanting to quit and wanting to be done with it, and just going right back to it, and just feeling hopeless. Now, I’m almost seven years clean and I remember I couldn’t go seven hours without needing some type of chemical in my body. That’s really one of the main messages that I convey to the guys is, it’s possible and there’s hope.”

“I never ever would have imagined having this life,” says Monica. “We don’t live the most glamorous and fancy and extravagant life, but it is so rich and I really truly believe that we are walking out this abundant life that God has called us in.”

Today, they share their story of restoration with a thankful heart, praising God for all He’s helped them through.

Monica says, “There is nothing and no one too far gone, that God can’t reach down and pick up out of the miry clay.”

“The Lord brought you here and used addiction to get you here,” says Matt, “…but the goal [now] that you’re here, is to fall in love with the Lord, so that you can further the kingdom leaving here. And whether that looks like using your testimony to help addicts or whether that looks like just—giving a kind word to the lady at the gas station, the Lord wants to bring you out of your nonsense, to use you for His good.”
 

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