Jeff Persitz has always been a type-A let’s go for it kind of person. From the time of his bar mitzvah being busy was a daily prerequisite. This fast paced lifestyle kept him from taking the time to truly experience the emotional part of life. It blinded him from seeing a great deal of what was taking place around him and to the reality of the downward spiral that his life would take.
In his early twenties, Jeff got his dream job. He was hired as a salesman for a beer distributor. Jeff spent a great deal of time in taverns and lounges. Partying became a way of life. Alcohol became passé very quickly, and Jeff was introduced to cocaine. This is just what a fast-paced out of control person craved – a powerful stimulant.
At first he only used cocaine two or three times a week in small quantities. But before he knew it, it had become a daily habit and it completely took over every aspect of his life. At this time his mother spent two years suffering with cancer before she died. Jeff found this time period very difficult to cope with. Instead of turning to God to help him he sank deeper into the pit of addiction. In the span of just a couple of years Jeff lost his family, his career, his reputation, and his friends. He used and abused everyone around him to keep his addictions fed. He was financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually bankrupt. After his wife left him, taking their daughter with her, he sat in the empty house with nothing but a blanket to his name.
At this point there seemed to be nowhere for Jeff to turn; he saw no hope and had given up thinking that his life could be restored. After three weeks of living on the streets, in cars, or at his dealer’s house, Jeff reached his lowest ebb and was standing on the edge of a freeway overpass ready to jump off. Right then God reached down and spoke to his heart assuring Jeff that he would be OK and that a life of love and peace would be given back to him.
Jeff believed God’s impression on his heart, walked off the bridge, and enrolled himself in a treatment program. Part of the Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings he attended included seeking a higher power. Jeff was so ashamed of his life that he was afraid to speak to God. For 45 minutes he wrestled with the thought of praying to God. When he finally gave in and closed his eyes the tears came pouring out. He pled with God never to leave him as he asked for help, guidance, and forgiveness.
Jeff has been clean and sober for almost twenty-five years and thankfully credits the victory to a loving and caring God. Because of God’s love Jeff’s life has been restored in every way, greater than it has ever been. God blessed Jeff by giving him back his family, his career, and a relationship with God that has grown every day.
Originally from: Jewish Discoveries pages 33-34.