The life of alcoholism was coupled with an obsession over suicide. I was consumed by pain and self-loathing and often day dreamed about killing myself. During my senior year in high school I came dangerously close to following through with the plan I contemplated nearly every day. I had moved to Terre Haute from West Terre Haute the year before, but wanted to spend my final year at West Vigo High School so I could play basketball, as this was still a major source of esteem for me. To do so, my friend John talked his parents into allowing me to move in with them for the entire school year. They took me in, and my friend and I stayed in his basement.
Since the age of nine, I dreamed of playing varsity basketball. Now, having achieved this goal, I realized that playing on the team didn’t remove the pain and loneliness. To remedy this, one evening while I was alone in the house battling thoughts of suicide, I remembered that John’s dad kept a gun in the cabinet in the kitchen. I slowly walked up the stairs thinking that this was the day that I could be put out of my misery. When I reached the top of the stairs, I slowly walked to the kitchen and opened up the cabinet door where the gun was. I was crying and wanting things just to end. I felt I couldn’t take it anymore. I put the barrel of the gun to my temple, couldn’t pull the trigger. Stemming from the little religious training I had, thoughts of my eternal destiny flashed through my mind. I was told years earlier that anyone who committed suicide would spend eternity in hell. This was the only thing that kept me from pulling the trigger that night.
I slowly put the gun back in the cabinet and proceeded back to my bedroom. When I got to my room, I laid on the bed, clutching the pillow as tightly as I could, crying for an hour, wanting the pain to go away. The sorrow and pain were so great. At the time, I couldn’t see that God, through His sovereign grace, kept me alive that night. God had plans for me that included being a husband and a father.
Since I was still ignorant of my wonderful future, I spent the next two or three years trying to drink away the pain. Such pursuits caused me to become increasingly isolated. The shame, guilt, and fear only intensified, leading me to drink even more.