Tammy Kirby’s Testimony
From the ashes of addiction, a glimmer of hope
My name is Tammy. I am a believer who struggles with drug addiction, depression, and anger.
My parents divorced when I was 6 months old. My dad remarried a couple of times, and we didn’t see him much.
My mom married a few times after their divorce. Her next marriage brought us a brother but his dad died when my brother was young. That marriage was followed by another to a man who was an abusive alcoholic and mistreated all of us.
I felt unloved, empty inside and depressed, and I hated being at home with all the drinking and fighting. So I left my mom and went to live with my aunt and uncle. When I got to my teenage years, I moved back home with my mom and went wild.
I started smoking cigarettes around the age of 13 and at 14, I started drinking and smoking marijuana. I was not good in school so I quit in the 8th grade. I was getting high every day and drinking every weekend. I had finally found something that made me fit in.
When I turned 16, I got married and the drinking and smoking and partying got worse. The marriage lasted a year and a half, and, in the end, I packed up and moved back home.
This time it was different. Now my new best friend was my mom. I started going to the bars with her and from Friday to Sunday we were best friends. But still the anger and jealousy, especially of my brother, and depression were still there. I continued drinking and partying to try to cover it up. And I continued searching for anything or anyone to fill the emptiness in my life.
Between the ages of 16 and 22 I married four times. I smoked marijuana morning, noon, and night and several times in between. And I drank every weekend.
My son was born in July of 1990. In August I met a man who stole my heart. I just knew he was going to be the one I would spend the rest of my life with.
He was a big drinker, and we started using meth. I cut back on my drinking but our meth use increased and so did the fighting. I stayed in the marriage until 2001 and moved back with my mom again, and I used meth and smoked marijuana daily.
In 2002 I met a guy, and all we did was drugs: it didn’t matter what kind as long as it got us high. I don’t remember much about the next couple of years except being so high I didn’t care about anything or anyone.
In May of 2005 I became sick with what I thought was the flu. I wouldn’t go to the doctor because I didn’t want them to find the meth in my system, and then all of a sudden I was gaining weight without eating.
After being sick for at least three months I went to my mom’s to visit my son and ended up having emergency gall bladder surgery. This was followed by a diagnosis of congestive heart failure.
The doctors told my mom to call the family because I wasn’t going to make it. That didn’t faze me at all, because I really wanted to die. I still didn’t know God, but He knew me; I just wasn’t ready to listen. I made it out of the hospital, got sad and lonely and once again turned to my friend meth.
I decided in 2006 to send my son to live with his dad because I did not want him to be around when I died. I was chasing that last bump of meth. I wanted it to end, but the only way for me to be free from that needle was through death.
The devil had a hold of me, and I just gave in to him because I didn’t feel I was worth anything more. I hated myself and thought everyone else did too. Except meth, and he loved to see me coming.
In March of 2007 I got sick again. And again the doctors told me I wasn’t going to make it, because this time I had killed all the muscles in my heart. The left side was enlarged three times the size it is supposed to be, and I was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy with congestive heart failure.
Still, God pursued me. And I continued to reject Him. I thought I didn’t deserve anything more than what I had become —a drug addict. Besides, why should God or anyone else forgive me? I couldn’t forgive myself!
It took me until just a few months ago to get to know God. This time I did stop using for a few months, long enough to get the relationship back with my son, but the depression was still there and I started drinking again.
I thought as long as I wasn’t doing meth I was fine. But, I wasn’t because soon I started using again this time telling everyone I could control it. During this time my brother and I spent lots of time together getting high.
In May of this year my brother went to jail because of our drug addiction, and I decided I was done. I was not going to lose my life and family to the devil anymore, I was taking my life back. It was the hardest thing I have ever done
I went into the flea market one Saturday morning, and met a lady who introduced me to God. She prayed with me and from that very moment there was a fire inside me to learn how awesome God is. I went to rehab and told others there about how God was changing my life.
Three days before leaving rehab I had a dream. I was standing somewhere holding a sign. I didn’t know what the sign said or where I was. What I did know was that I was doing something for God. When I came home there was a letter my brother had written me saying that God had awakened him at 4 a.m. telling him to tell me to make a sign and give people hugs. Healing hugs.
God restored me with everyone in my family. My brother and I are finally close. By His grace, I can share the Good News with him. He opened up the jail doors for me to go in and have a Bible study with my brother, and we cried, we laughed and we prayed together.
My mom and I have a special mother daughter relationship now. We still have our ups and downs, but I know she loves me. I hope she knows I love her and appreciate everything she has done. And that I am truly sorry for all the nights she laid awake not knowing if I was dead or alive.
By telling my story I want those who are suffering with addictions to know God loves us! We are something special and we can change. It took me 25 years to know God ís love and to have a personal relationship with Him.
I don’t regret being an addict because it has made me the person I am today. God loves us! All we have to do is stop and take the time to listen to him.
I asked God to take the cravings and deliver me from the drugs, because I know without God I would not be drug free today. Thank you, God, for rescuing me from myself!
A favorite scripture of mine is 2 Corinthians 5:17. It says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and, look, new things have come.”
Another favorite is Revelation 12:11. It says, “They conquered him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony.
It is only by God’s grace that I am able to share my story.u