"I cried out to God, 'If you love me, you will take me.'" Faces Of Recovery - Trent Bergeron

My name is Trent Bergeron. I was born and raised in the small town of Franklin, Louisiana. I have been in Minnesota now 10+ years thanks to meeting a strong, beautiful amazing woman, named Patricia (Patty), whom I am grateful for, proud of, an honored to call my wife. I realize now that this was the work of Jesus, I just didn't see that while in the life of full blown addiction.

My addiction began at the age of 12 years old by sneaking drinks. That in itself continued on, increasing all the while. At 16 years old I was asked to be part of a band. I have been playing piano since I was 5 and that is a true passion if mine. By getting in the band, through no fault of the band members, my drinking increased heavily. I never liked being around people who did drugs, both the people and the drugs scared the crap out of me. However, at 18 years old, I was introduced to weed, cocaine and crystal meth. I hated pot because it made me hungry and slowed me down. On the other hand, cocaine and crystal meth made me feel amazing. I could and would go for days. I felt like I was in control, that I fit in, and for once in my life I was burying the one thing that happened to me as a child.

At a very young age, I was sexually abused by my neighbor, repeatedly, for quite a few years. This created confusion in my mind for a very long time. Once I gave my life to drugs, It was easier to get high than to think about it, or tell someone about the abuse. Both my addiction and thought process about the abuse started out with me being in control. It didn't take very long at all for me to surrender completely to the life of addiction, which basically never allowed the pain from the abuse to come to the surface, and that brought me great joy. At the time this all started, I just wanted the hurt to go away, so I was driven to something that could do that, and I found it.

The affects it had on me were insane. I’ve never been an overweight person, but in the beginning of my addiction, and for quite a while, I was lucky to have weighed 120 pounds. I wasn't eating. I was only drugging and drinking. Spiritually, I was broken. God was present. I experienced his presence in my addiction at times, but chose never to embrace it. Actually, when people spoke to me about God and how much he loved me, my immediate response was this: “If God is real and loves me so much, how come he is allowing this life of addiction to happen to me?” I was an emotional train wreck.

I couldn't keep, and never desired, to have a job, and the only relationships I had were with those who were doing the same thing I was doing and accepted me in that lifestyle. I left Louisiana because I had to. I had signed over the titles of my home and my vehicle to a crack dealer. I had the mentality that if I left that place, my addiction would be left behind with it. How freaking insane and delusional is that? I knew who I was when I left, and when I got to Minneapolis, I met this amazing woman. I realized one day after being in here, when left alone at her apartment, that I brought all my pains, hurts, and bad habits with me. I was filled with the hope that maybe people could help me change my life. It didn't take me long for me to realize that the hope I had was false, because it was misplaced in people, not God. Therefore, I picked up right where I had left off upon getting here.

My drug use had stopped completely, but my alcohol addiction was a big, huge monster that grew daily. The lying and sneaking was out of control until finally I decided one day that all had to stop. So I quit lying and just did whatever I wanted to for all to see. My agenda was no longer hidden – it was in plain view. I was a selfish, arrogant, sick person. My bottom began when I realized that everything I was doing was having a direct effect on everyone around me. I hurt a lot of people in really bad ways who had nothing but love for me. I was spiraling downward at a pace to quick for me to stop. On Aug. 24th, 2009, I had reached the end. My drinking was up to a 5th of Brandy and at least 2 cases of beer a day. While lying on a couch in someone’s house that night, I took a hand full of pills, downed some brandy and cried out to God, "If you love me, you will take me." I just wanted to die. I remember feeling very ill. I curled up in the fetal position. I remember smiling, out of hopes that I would not wake up. Obviously, that didn't happen. What did happen is amazing.

My wife asked me to leave the home we were staying in. I made a call and went into detox at a hospital. My wife reached out to me there and said I would like you to meet this pastor. Wanna guess what my first thoughts were (lol)?? Anyway, I agreed. Upon leaving detox, I stayed in touch with this man, but I relapsed, like usual. I was made to leave the home again and I wound up downtown at the Salvation Army. I have never felt so all alone in my life.  I had a choice to make: Change or don't. Live or die. I had spoken with someone from there while at the hospital, and I just so happened, without even knowing whom he was, to run into him the minute I got out of the cab downtown. He got me into the Beacon Program at the Salvation Army.

On August 28, 2009, my recovery began and this is how: I woke up in the middle of the night, 2:33 a.m. It was raining. I got out of bed, hit my knees and cried out to the Lord. I gave my life to Jesus. Without hesitation, and upon getting to my feet, I felt lighter than I had ever felt in my entire life. My life of recovery began at that moment, with Jesus. I reached out to the Pastor I had met, who had never given up on me, and I shared this experience with him. We are best friends still to this day.

What keeps me abstinent from the lifestyle of addiction today is Jesus – my relationship with him, and my love, trust, hope and faith in him. What fuels me today is the love, grace and mercy I receive from God. His word is the fuel for the fire in my heart to reach out to and help others always, no matter where I am. What I feel today is not possible from a drug or a drink. It can only come from Christ Jesus, my Lord. I have surrounded myself with people who share the same goals. I don't go to unhealthy places today to prove that I can be there, and I get rid of (personal) things that serve as reminders of my life of addiction.

Acts 15:11 says, "We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of our Lord Jesus." This is my core belief today. When I feel like I need to be saved, here lies the truth.

Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" This is how I get through each and every day. I know that God is with me, working in my favor. I just have to believe this and be in a committed relationship with Christ, carrying out his will to the best of my human ability, and victory is promised.

My life is so different today, and it isn't because of me – it because of the source of my hope and belief system, Jesus. My marriage is healthy and flourishing. I am productive at my job, and I’m out and about in society. I'm always looking to help others get out of bondage and addictions, hurts and bad habits by leading them to the most miraculous love and healer that will ever be, Jesus.

What gets me excited and fills me with enthusiasm about the future is that God loves us all. No matter what, God loves us. The word of God gives me hope and direction on how to live and lead others into freedom. It breathes life into this new body in recovery, free from addiction. Because of what God has done, is doing to do, and will do in me, I am hopeful that I can reach others by being a vessel of Christ by way of my story.

Today, I am the Director of Recovery Ministries at a local church. I would not be in this place today had I not experienced what I did in addiction. But more importantly, I would not be here had I not given my life to Jesus Christ. God knows my heart because Jesus owns my heart. My mission is to be on mission with Jesus at all times. Addiction begins or ends with a decision, and that decision is all ours. Today, only by God's love, grace and mercy am I free, and I want the whole world to know that. I will never stop telling my story.