Forty-Three Days in the Desert

In just 43 days my entire life changed. On June 2nd of 1990, I started drinking beer around noon. I went to a vacation planning party around 4:00pm. Three couples (including my wife and I) were planning on a big fishing trip in Canada. I drank heavily that evening to ensure that I was part of this three-man club. Around 3:30am on June 3rd, the three of us decided we’d better go to bed, so we could go fishing at a local lake around 7:30am (just 4 hours later). I never stopped drinking until that moment.

When 7:30am came along, it was obvious that no morning fishing trip would happen. I went down stairs and one of the wives was fixing breakfast and had made some coffee. I ate and drank coffee until about 10:30am (about 3 hours). My wife decided that since I would not be fishing that I must get home and work on our pool. I mentioned that I felt weird on the way home. The sun was hot on my head. I started to work on the pool but felt very strange. I told my wife that I didn’t feel too good. I grabbed a coke and sat down to drink it. I drank it pretty fast. I started to go back outside and turned right back around and came back into the house. I told my wife that something was wrong. I tried to eat something but only gagged and spit it out.

I told my wife I was going to lie down in our bed. I had a pair of scissors in my back pocket. Something told me to hide them quickly. I felt that I would be loosing my mind very soon. The last thing I clearly remember was me screaming to call 911. All that beer, no sleep, coffee, coke and hot sun was a loosing combination. I was heading into the most dangerous event in my entire life.

Everything was now out of focus. 911 people came in the room where I was. I wouldn’t let them touch me because I didn’t want them to put needles in me. They some how convinced me to get out of the bed. They helped me stand up. To me the wall and bed were right together. I swung at the wall, telling a picture to stay out of my way. The picture seemed to be between me and the walkway. I eventually got out the front door. I seemed to fly across the front yard to the ambulance. While in the ambulance my mind raced faster and faster. I was asking questions and answering them also, before anyone could get a word in.

At the hospital I held my feet tight to the ground because the wheel chair was moving too fast for me. I was eventually put into a room with padded walls. To me the doorway was too small. They had quite a time getting me through a regular doorway to that room. For six and a half hours I would act like some kind of an animal. Finally the hospital staff felt it was safe to start working with me. For the next few hours I could hear questions being asked but was totally unable to give an answer. Finally I asked for a pad of paper and a pen. I would work hard to get across the simplest messages.

A few more hours and I was being asked to remember the names of three cities. Eventually I passed the test and could speak fine. The hospital made me stay overnight, just in case I wasn’t totally out of trouble.

I had been drunk before and I had done drugs before, but I had never been on a trip like that one. It was the scariest thing that had ever happened to me. After going home I had troubles sleeping and was so filled with fear. My doctor told me that I had pickled my brain and I was lucky to be alive. I kept trying to solve what had happened to me and eventually my doctor had me see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist had me go to a local hospital to spend a week.

After days of fear, no sleep and no food, I was ready for this week of rest. It was a wonderful time. I got my sleep and my sanity back. I thought everything would be great from this point on. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My wife had decided to do whatever she could to get rid of me. My wife was supposed to come and get me after a week. It was two days more when she finally came and took me home. She had canceled the big fishing trip. We went back to the psychiatrist. She told him that I was beating her and my daughter up. The psychiatrist was buying all of this. After all, I was the crazy one, wasn’t I?

I became extremely depressed. My father-in-law helped me to snap back to reality by taking me to his work. He works outside putting up and taking down advertisement billboards. At first I just stayed in his truck but eventually I was working by his side. He really lifted my spirits.

Sometimes after that I felt really good and I would work around the house fixing things or helping a neighbor or helping anyone with a problem they had. This helping people idea was so new to me. It felt good to help people.

Between my wife and the psychiatrist, I was again loosing ground. I wanted to run away or just die. Finally the 43rd day of this strange time came.

I picked up a marriage book my father-in-law gave me. It was forwarded by Pat and Shirley Boone. Pat Boone was in a movie called, “The Cross and the Switch Blade”. I was given the book to read 16 years before that moment. I had been in a youth group back then but never made a decision for Christ. As I read the name Pat Boone, I believe God saved me right then. Only 7 hours later, I was in a church hearing an altar call like I heard it 16 years before. This time I ran for the altar. I gladly gave my life to God that evening. Since then, my life has changed so much. No beer, no drugs. Just a clear and sane mind. I have learned so much in these past 8 years. Tonight is June 2, 1998 by the way. 8 years ago I was pretty drunk about now. I was only beginning to experience my new beginning with God.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV) says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” God didn’t give us a spirit of fear! God gave us a spirit of power! A spirit of love! God gave us a sound mind! For 8 years I have had a sound mind (no alcohol, no drugs). For 8 years I have lived with power and love, instead of the fear described in my story.

Why am I telling you this? So you don’t have to go through what I did to be saved by Jesus Christ. You can give your heart to Jesus Christ right now. Don’t wait any longer. Don’t wait until you feel that you are at the end of your life. Do it now. Bow your head and invite Jesus Christ into your life. You will never ever regret it. God Bless You.