Thursday, 23 June 2016 10:30

The real life story of Gavin, a Sanctuary member and how he has overcome all odds.

This month we focus on the men and debunking the myths around counselling and masculinity. We share the real life story of Gavin, a Sanctuary member and how he has overcome all odds and is now a counsellor himself, guiding and helping other men.


I have struggled with addiction for a very long time, I started drinking when I was 12. I started experimenting with drugs in high school, like most people I started smoking weed first, took LSD and experimented with cocaine. The first couple years the drugs and drinking never affected me at all, I still managed to get provincial colours for squash, but by the last year of school I had stopped playing any sports and I barely passed matric. I have used and abused many drugs but the drugs I really got addicted to was crack and heroin. I used heroin intravenously and cocaine by sniffing, smoking and shooting it.


This is the dog show that my life became, I have spent 19 years going in and out of rehabs and have been on many methadone programs, and I have been arrested many times and have even ended up in jail and have lived on the streets. I have never been able to hold down a job or to have a relationship because of my addiction. My first child was taken away from me when he was 10 months old and I only met him when he was 15. I have overdosed many times, the worst I ended up having a heart attack ending up in a coma for almost 5 days. I have hepatitis C from sharing needles with people I probably shouldn’t have. I have had a stroke and half my face went paralysed, all my veins had also collapsed. My wife left me after I overdosed on heroin, my daughter was 2 years old at the time and many people I know have died from drugs.


There are many other horror stories I could tell you, but I am 42 years old now and I am 4 years and 2 months clean today. The power of the Cross of Christ has changed my life and I have met so many Christians who have helped me change my life, I am almost done studying a Degree in theology. I have done the basic and the intermediate course with Olga, it has honestly taught me so much and it has really been a blessing in my life and with the knowledge that I have gotten I hope that God would use me to help other addicts, as I am studying to become an addiction counsellor. I believe that counselling is imperative, especially if it is an issue that is having serious consequences in our lives. We as men often don’t want to admit we have a problem, we believe that we are weak if we show any emotions or need help. I know that I would probably be dead today if I never asked for help and met people who could actually help me.



Counsellors at The Sanctuary are passionate about giving out the healing they have experienced through Christian counselling. Talk to us and let us be part of your journey.


Keep well and stay blessed
The Sanctuary Counsellors

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