20 Years Clean and Sober, Part 1
By Frank M. Lawelawe
It is only by God’s grace that I’m living today and sharing my life’s testimony with you. A guy like me should’ve been dead a longtime ago, but God had others plans. After losing my job as a Corrections Officer (ACO) in 1986, my life really went downhill. I did a lot of wrong things to a lot of people. Many of you know me as Bruddah “Lawe” or Bruddah “Frank.” In April, while at home, God spoke to me in a calm but still voice, to share my testimony with my brothers and sisters who still struggle with addiction or alcoholism.
I’m not perfect in any way. In my recovery, I seek progress in my everyday life, not perfection. Yes, I’ve come a long way, but I have a long way to go. In the past, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been stabbed, shot at, locked up, locked down, locked in, locked out, mobbed by cops, gangs, armed robbery, burglary, auto theft, tax collector, you name it, I did it. Most of my past crimes were committed here and on Oahu, where I grew up. Thinking back, if I got caught with a lot of the crimes that I did, I wouldn’t be here sharing my testimony with you.
You see, I couldn’t stay clean and sober at all. I liked how “ice” made me feel at that time. It gave me a sense of power and control over everything, even when I took other people’s drugs or money to support my own drug habit. Drugs and alcohol were the answer to all my problems, and it seemed to be the only way out; I took anything I could get my hands on. I’m not proud of my past, but it’s part of my healing process to share my story with you. The truth (Jesus) has set me free, and if I can reach one, I have done my job.
I have lost many loved ones, friends, and good people, that I grew up with due to drugs, alcohol, murder or suicide. My daughter Chelsy (2008), and my nephew Isaiah “Z” (2015) Lawelawe both committed suicide. I lost my dad too, last March. The turning point in my life was in 1997. My brother George and my sister Lynette died one day apart. Plus, I was facing 20 years for the different crimes I committed – assault, firearms, assault, family abuse. I had three different warrants on Molokai and Oahu. I was ordered to do treatment at Hale Ho`o kupa`a here on Molokai or go do time. I failed on two different attempts to stay clean. I was doing drugs for 27 years, I just can’t quit like that! The bottom line, I needed a higher level of treatment. I was killing myself! So the courts recommended a two-year program at Sand-Island Treatment Center. God knew what I needed. I graduated on April 13, 2000, and stayed another year to get stronger, and to be with other recovering addicts and alcoholics there. I am ever grateful and thankful for being sent to Sand Island Treatment Center.