IN PROCESS – Grey Holden: “I’m deathly afraid of going back”
“Thank God it’s over!”
The young man sighed a tremendous sigh of relief as he heard the screaming of the siren and, glancing up, spotted the flashing lights of the police car in his rear view mirror.
Grey Holden, 34, was tired. Tired of living in fear–of always having to look over his shoulder. Tired of repeatedly going in and out of jail. Tired of harboring the guilt of knowing that the life he was leading was wrong. This time, as the police pulled him over, he felt as if he were really going home.
Recalling that hard moment from 1996, Grey relates: “I knew this was a no-bail warrant–that there was no way I could buy my way out of this one, so I just let the police take me away; I didn’t even call my lawyer. It’s a pretty sick thing when you get arrested and feel that you are going home–when the deputies come up to you and know you by name.”
The Anaheim ARC graduate’s story is not a typical one. Raised in what he describes as “a Beaver Cleaver type of household” in Garden Grove, CA, Grey was taught early on “the right way” to live. He remembers: “I knew right from wrong, and I chose to do wrong. It was a conscious decision.”
He began in his preteens “hanging out with the wrong crowd,” and, by 16, was using cocaine. As the years went on, he became more and more involved with the drug culture, and by 1990, was making his living selling drugs. In 1994, as more of his friends and “connections” were “getting busted,” Grey realized that he was ultimately “headed for prison,” and, therefore, determined to stop using cocaine.
However, he took up methamphetamines instead. “I took one hit, and it was like a whole new world opened up.” Soon he became involved in selling drugs again. “I carried a gun 24-hours a day. I thought I was somebody.”
By 1995 he was having recurring run-ins with the law. All total, Grey recalls spending “a couple of years in county jail.”
By 1996 “I had two felonies and was looking at nine years in prison. As I stood before the judge this time, I said: ‘I need help. I can’t stop doing drugs, and I don’t know how to stop. If I don’t stop, I’m going to live this lifestyle the rest of my life.” The judge, then, “gave me 90 days in jail and six months at The Salvation Army.”
Grey checked into the ARC, however, “thinking about how I could just do my time and get out.” After two months, though, “I got a taste of what it meant to be sober–I hadn’t been sober for twenty years–and I wanted to be there.”
Now, Grey plunged into his program, and one day during the chapel altar call “rededicated (his) life to Jesus Christ.”
Grey confesses, “I know now that without the Lord I have nothing because I tried unsuccessfully many times by myself to stay clean and sober. With the Lord’s help, today I have five years sobriety!
“The primary reason I remain clean and sober is fear of going back. I’m deathly afraid of going back to a time when I lived in fear and was so alone–not having anybody, including God, with me. I’m so happy that my mom had a chance to see me clean and sober for almost five years before she passed on recently. My dad is living my sobriety now–we are so involved with one another.
“It’s really quite funny–when you come to think about it–how when you get clean and sober, all you have to do is stay clean and sober, and everything else just seems to fall into place.”