Ep 71 – Addictions Pt. 7 – Daniel Campagna
Hi there, welcome back to, it’s all greek to me and I want to talk about addictions versus strongholds. We’ve been looking at how God has been transforming people’s lives. We’ve listened to Corey and we’re going to be also listening to Daniel Campagna who has got an incredible story of transformation. He is our program coordinator right now, are our jobs coordinator. Whenever we do a project, he’s in charge, he kind of figures out the manpower, what needs to happen and God has just given him a phenomenal spirit. I want you to meet him And I want to also read a psalm 78 because it just kind of identifies for me, his story because of his dad frank and julie his mom and growing up at gateway uh church in Staten Island with dan Daniel Mcalcio dan and Vangie, who he knows really well. It talks about our fathers told us In verse three, we will not conceal them from their Children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord and his strength and his wondrous works that he has done. This is this is psalm 78 verse five says um, for he established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he has commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their Children that the generation to come might know even the, the Children yet to be born that they may arise and tell them to their Children that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments and it goes on like that. But Danny uh you grew up in a christian home, your mom and dad prayed for you and you know I often wonder what happened, you know that you got off the the rail so to speak and came back and then got off the rail again and you know so but you had this D. N. A. In you, you had the christ centered gospel centered biblical center uh message in your soul from the time you were a little child. And so what I want to talk about first is your journey in those early years, What happened and then how you got uh you know into the drug scene because you’ve been into the drug scene quite a long time, like almost 17 years roughly. Yeah okay so why don’t you pick it up from an early age? Yeah so when I was younger I grew up in a christian household um you know christian parents um going to gateway cathedral sunday school ever since. I can remember um And it was all good memories there. Um But I I didn’t have an interest in in God. I didn’t understand God. Um to where to the point where my parents told me I didn’t have to go to church anymore is the day that I stopped going. Um You know uh I mean they came out and said that well I would put up a fight so it wasn’t like they said don’t come to church, it was it was more in my high school years. Um You know where I was playing football and I was hanging out with football kids and I would put up a fight to going to church because I was tired from hanging out with the guys like before that night on saturday night um to where my parents as well, you know, okay if that’s what you want then that’s that. So um yeah so I I ended up um you know hanging like I said the football team and hanging out and going to keg parties um and it started there um drinking Um we’re talking 17, 18 years old. Yeah. Yeah and it wasn’t and it wasn’t in excess or anything, it was just being a kid. Yeah. Um you know in our high school days you know that’s that’s what kids did as far as I knew. Um So as years went on um I started going out to nightclubs in the city and um experience and you know different people as far as what drugs they were doing and I went from drinking to smoking weed to ecstasy and that was like a big jump because remember it would be like once a month we’d go to a club in the city and do that. Um So that was a weekend type of deal. Yeah. Yeah. Okay so we fast forward a little bit too where um painkillers started becoming a thing and I honestly didn’t know that painkillers were a form of heroin and opiate. I didn’t I didn’t know anything of that. Um Was it primarily because of the football and then it was hanging out with friends and a couple of painkillers and I threw up the first time I took it and said I’ll never take it again. And yeah I remember saying that when my my other friend was standing next to me were in the bushes throwing up. I said I’ll never do this again. And I took less than what I did the night before and it felt good. Um And and that’s where a lot of uh my journey with drugs began um with painkillers and I didn’t know that it was a form of heroin. So we would take painkillers and that’s all we did for years. And I remember one day waking up sick and I thought I had the flu and I called my friend and I’m like yeah I’m sick I’m not coming out. He’s like uh you might be kicking going through withdrawals as and I still I honest I didn’t know I was like what are you talking about? He came and picked me up and gave me I think it was percocets at the time and I took that and felt fine. So I started doing research and found out you know that pin codes are basically heroin. So I tried stopping myself by taking Suboxone zor um outpatient And and hiding it from my family. Um So it didn’t work. I I kept doing what I was doing. Um And it just gradually got worse to where when you mean when you say worse you mean you increased the dosage. Yes. So I started going to OxyContin ins um Roxy’s um And I started taking three out of time which the Roxy’s were 30 mg. I can take up to 18 pills a day. Um and the only reason why I was only 18 because of the cost of pills. If I had enough money I’d probably take more to be honest with you. Um But yeah so that that kind of started spinning out of control. Um I ended up uh you know this time around I I was coming home from work from the city and um I’m sorry uh This time around um I started getting into heroin because the doctors, they cut down on the doctors to stop prescribing so many pills. And the only thing that was around was heroin and I swore I would I would never do heroin. But you know long behold I started doing heroin. Um You know I ingested it in easily and um because you couldn’t get the prescription from the doctors to get the basically you know barbiturates opiates, opiates rather right? Yeah so I I had to go to heroin. So that’s what I started doing with heroin um before I came to TLC for about four years or so, at least uh I was doing heroin. So uh my my my rock bottom I would say was uh the day of that, I got arrested. I was I was coming home from from work actually, I I stayed home from work because I was I was sick, I was going through withdrawals and I was laying in bed and I was like, man, I I can’t do this. And I went into my mother’s room, stole her jewelry, I went to the pawn store. Um I met my drug dealer and got heroin and he says, yeah, this is strong stuff. And I said okay, so I did two bags which usually isn’t much. So I remember driving down the expressway and next thing you know, I woke up to uh cops banging on my window. Um You’re still snorting it or? Yeah, yeah, I was still snorting it. And um again, it was only two bags, which I’m great by the grace of God I’m alive. Because often talking about if I if I injected that, you know, I don’t know if I’d be here, you know? Um So I woke up to cops banging on my window saying, tell me wake up what happened and I looked at him in a daze look saying I sideswiped the car or curb. I said, and he goes, all right, get out of here, get out and I couldn’t open the driver’s side door and I remember crawling through to the other side in my work van. And I looked back and it turns out that I I fell out behind the wheel and I hit cars and just kept going, not even knowing. And I got arrested that that day. Um they I forgot how many bundles of heroin I had on me, but you know, I got charged with that and I had to go to court and got charged with uh remember what was it? Uh three, well, they gave me three years probation. Um They took away my license and I tried going to a different program before I came to TLC and it wasn’t, I remember leaving, I left early and I says, I it’s just not it’s not doing it, it’s not it’s not what I need. Uh So I remember calling my parents telling him coming home and I’m going to TLC and uh my mother was happy to hear that um knowing she she knew where I’d be at uh receiving help that I needed peace of mind. Yeah, absolutely. You know, it came to a point with her where she rather me be in jail or locked up than be home. Um So I I came to TLC um not now this was what year and how old were you? Remember what year it was in 2015? Um And I remember being in the upper dorm here. And uh well actually I reached out to steve and I called steve and I said, hey uh steve is the chairman of our board steve young. Yeah, and I had said, hey, I need help man. Um remember he said to me uh cold cold pack green, and I called Pat Pat was like, hey man, absolutely come, you know, let me let me arrange what I got to arrange and you come down and remember Miss Kate picked me up from the train station and I came to TLC and I was still high um from from that morning and I was a mess and you know, some of the guys tell stories and it’s like, man, I look back at it and you forget, you know where you were at and uh I just remember, I didn’t, I didn’t care about life, I was miserable with the life that I lived and um so I remember coming back to TLC and saying I’m only in the state to with two weeks or six months max. Um you know, that was in 2000 and 15, so I had my own plans still, you know, um and what was that being here, giving, putting next a time limit on God or or putting God in a box on what what Danny does. Um you’re still driving the car of your life. Exactly, exactly. Um that that’s, you know, in the mindset that I was in is what I had as far as uh this is what I’m doing and that’s that, you know, and so I came back to TLC and uh this time around, you know, uh it’s just I have a purpose um to where it’s helping tremendously, where I, I was always stagnant like, well all right, well if I do this, what happens next? You know, I never really had like a purpose in life to where um it was motivating me to to go forward, you know? Um even even even when I was a resident at TLC um guys looked up to me guys uh kind of followed me in a sense to where knowing I had an impact or have an impact on someone’s life uh is more rewarding than the worldly things. Um That that that I made desire at times to go after at times and chase. Um But yeah, so I’ve been at TLC since 2015, it’s 2022 now. So, well you took some bumps, you came in 2015 you left, you struggled again And then you came back in 2018. So tell us about that just that, that that struggle between 2015, what happens, you know where to go, you know what to do, but there is still a struggle inside. So in 2015, um I was I was down in the house of hope in florida um and you know things it was a struggle for me um being away from my family. Um it was just a different environment, but I was doing doing well. You know, I was around a good network there with the House of Hope and I just uh I I started looking for jobs in new york and I got an opportunity for the steamfitters in in the city and I chased the money is, is what is what I did, you know, I did what what Danny wanted to do and didn’t listen to counsel or uh anyone. So let me understand this. You got a good network, you got a good support system, you’ve got, you’re doing well, you’re in uh an environment away from new york down in florida, you got people around you that you don’t love you and you’re doing well, but you decide, you know what I want, I wanna, I want some more money and you started following uh you know, your uh mission, your own objectives, Not that money is bad, but if that becomes your goal in life, then it takes you away from the greatest things. And it did. Um So when I I did go back to Staten Island and uh what started happening was I got bored, I had money in my pocket. Um I didn’t have really accountability in the sense that I had in florida um to where, you know, I I started just out of boredom, uh going to the strip club, which I never really even cared for ever. And you know, I look back at it? It’s like, man, like what? Why didn’t you? Yeah, I I, you know, I went there and then, you know, it just, it went downhill from there with, with that one action. Um, to where um, it was girls drinking and then heroin, um, to where it is, where it ended up taking me that one decision. Yeah. Yeah. It says, it says in God’s word, that when you don’t, when you, when you get cleaned up and then you allow yourself to be taken away uh, from what you know, to be true, that there are demons that come and they take other demons and and try to destroy you and you were going through that that period of destruction that, you know, that was happening because you were self willed, you were going after the things of this world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life. But then what happened, I mean, all of a sudden you woke up, what happened? So, um after all that in my addiction, I I overdosed and overdosed on the sound Expressway. I fell out and that’s where I got into an accident and got arrested and uh ended up coming back to TLC. Okay, so it was almost like you have to do this. Okay, well that’s okay too. Well, I didn’t have to do it. I could have chose to do whatever. Um What were your options? Not much of any, but I could have been homeless or I could have went uh anywhere as far as program wise. Um But I I I went to another program and I like I said it just wasn’t what I felt was right, you know, so I ended up coming back to you’ll see. Okay so then what happened um so I came back to TLC um and that’s this time around in 2018 and I think this time, you know the Lord has closed doors um and open doors. Um You know my licenses is taken away originally from the judge a year. Um And then the D. M. V. Got involved and it got taken away for a revocation of of a lifetime, You know? And for the lifetime for yeah as of right now you can’t drive for your lifetime, that’s what the judge said. And what was the reason for that? Because I have three d. U. A. eyes um within a certain amount of time in New York. Uh and then also my lifetime abstract is above 20 something points. Uh And that’s two reasons for them to take it away. Yeah. So you kind of cut your options down. Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, and you know I look back at it and I it’s from my stupidity but I also think God’s hand is over it, saying not now be still um again he’s closing doors and opening doors, what what doors is he opening? So right now, you know, I have a purpose at at TLC, you know, it’s not all about the work with uh you know, we we are we are building houses and we are looking to develop some new staff housing. And uh it’s more about the personal relationship with the guys. Um I get a lot out of, I have hard days at TLC, but when I see a graduation or uh someone comes up to me and says, hey man, thank you, you have an impact on my life. Um That that’s more rewarding than than anything else that I really experienced. Uh that’s why I got I do this. I feel like um I have my tough days, but those days are the days that remind me and humble me and make me more grateful to to realize what I’m doing here. So Danny, what do you see for Danny Campagna, you know, down the road, five years from now. What do you I mean, is this is what you are on now. You feel security here. Identity. You know uh solid. So I I feel um when they think about it, my identity all my life, my identity has been uh H. V. A. C. Or um you know, the kid that right? Exactly. Um And right now it’s yes, I’m the maintenance coordinator but I’m a child of God and again I see that serving and the reward um for doing what I do um is more than what the world can give me. Um I definitely see myself, God right now is my foundation, I’ve learned in the past that when I start to go write everything crumbles, you know, um I know a good support network is needed in my life and right now I definitely have that and I’m grateful for it. Um Right now God is telling me to be still and and I’m here at TLC serving and being still, you know, and I’m I’m seeking him, I’m learning, I’m learning how to trust in him. Um I’m learning his word, I’m learning to deal with situations that previously in my old life um it wouldn’t look like it is right now, you know, whether it’s it’s some something as simple as holding my tongue, you know, you feel that this, you feel like you’re a genuine disciple of christ, you see yourself growing. Yeah, so now what on a basic, more basic level you’re a coordinator, the work coordinator, tell us a little bit about your responsibility, So my responsibility um involves uh maintenance of TLC Jewel House, overseeing any type of projects that we have um as far as it can be, from the grounds uh to roofing, um to plumbing, to h fact any type of maintenance uh that may be required um but not only that, I’m doing it with the guys where um some guys don’t have skills, some guys do have skills, Everybody has different personalities. Um So I I got to work with people that are broken, like, like I once was and I’ve been in their shoes to where I relate with them. Um and it’s it’s it’s a challenge at times to where, you know, you deal with different personalities. And so that I look at that as one of my task is to is to be there with them in the trenches and um kind of bring them up and and try and mentor them to, you know, you got this, you know, I’ve been there, you know, now there are a lot of positive things that I’ve heard you say, but I know that you’re much closer to your family. Absolutely. You you have clarity about the future. You know, you got some goals and objectives, but how do you, you know, what would you tell somebody who’s out there? Maybe they’re struggling on heroin or, you know, Perkins said, or, you know, OxyContin, whatever they’re struggling, what would you tell them about getting into a program like TLC or what they could do with their life just in in about a minute. So, uh, you know, I’ve been there. Um and I had no hope. I was broken. Um you know, I’m telling you, I mean suicidal thoughts, like I didn’t I didn’t care to live, like I was broken and I remember when I went to TLC and I looked you in your face and you you like look up at me, I had no hope and I was, I was embarrassed the guilt and shame, but it’s not even TLC, it’s it’s it’s it’s what TLC stands for and it’s jesus christ and his love and his grace, his mercy, and and that’s what we try to to give um at TLC. So I mean if you’re a struggle, I mean everyone has a rock bottom and everyone struggles, but um I can genuinely tell you that, you know, it’s changed my life. Um I know plenty of other people that lives has changed. Um so you know, we are here to help. So I hope it does reach someone to help them. Listen on that note, I just want to encourage you if you’re listening to this message, you’ve been struggling with alcohol or drugs or maybe other things, there are things that you know, we, we seem to except whether it’s, you know, addiction to credit card buying stuff, addiction to gambling addiction to television addiction and the food is, whatever the addiction is and you can’t control things in your life, you know, you can cry out to God, you can cry out to jesus christ who is the savior. If you would just simply go to him and say, father, God, thank you for loving me, jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me, I confess with my mouth that I am a sinner and that you are God. And I believe in my heart that you not only died for me on the cross. For my sins as the lamb of God to take away my sins. But your rose again physically bodily from the dead. Please forgive me. Oh God, please forgive me, Jesus come in my life and save me. And that’s really it because all the other programs have many wonderful steps. Do this, do that. This is not about that. This is about a relationship with God himself with jesus christ with the holy spirit and with the word of God so that we can now transform our mind, our motto transforming the world to trans transforming the man to transform the world. And the whole idea comes from romans 12 1 and two. I beseech you brethren, I am begging you, I’m crying out to you, my brothers to present your bodies as a living sacrifice. Don’t be conformed to this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you could prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. It’s got you your life has to change from inside your heart inside your mind. How you think about yourself that God loves you that that you’re special. He died on the cross for you. And then he arose again from the dead. And that’s really what’s helped me and Danny and and thousands of others that have come through. TLC Amen. Amen. God bless you.