By Rod Thomas
The 700 Club
“I would get scared and cold and anxious and they kept putting the I.V.’s into my arms and I kept ripping them out. I was screaming in anger. There was something in me that needed to come out,” says Megan.
Megan Raftery’s withdrawals from years of drinking were so extreme, doctors feared she might never recover.
Megan remembers, “I would get off of my hospital bed and go pace the hallways yelling. They thought I was a danger to myself, if not others. I was like a mad woman.”
Megan started drinking in her early 30s when she lost her fiancé to cancer. She felt robbed of a future with the love of her life. “I was empty. I was totally hollow. I went to his funeral and didn’t cry, and didn’t express any emotion,” she says. “I was like a zombie. I shut down completely.”
Megan moved to Florida to live with her mother, hoping a new environment would help her escape the memory of her fiancé’s death. There, she started drinking.
“I wasn’t a very emotional person. I think I thought that I needed to be feeling more. So, I would drink and I would feel everything,” she remembers. “I would start crying and sobbing uncontrollably and I thought that’s how I was supposed to be. I thought that’s what was expected of me.”
Seven months later, Megan moved into a family-owned house where she became a recluse. She shut the world out and drank herself into oblivion every night. “Passing out on the couch at night and shaking when I didn’t have my first drink in the morning. My doors would be locked and my shades would be drawn. Every day there’s just barren and dry and lonely.”
Over the next four years, Megan made a few attempts to turn her life around. “I would put myself together and get myself this job; sometimes I never even made it out of the training programs before I would just disappear,” she says.
Megan’s parents were very concerned and convinced her to talk to a friend, who recommended a Bible-based recovery home in New York. Megan reluctantly agreed to go.
“I went through the motions and nothing changed in my heart. I didn’t believe that I could change. I didn’t connect with anything that was going on around me,” says Megan.
She cut the one-year program short, and returned to Florida. “I stayed for six months and I relapsed. I was killing myself. It was instantly the darkest place that I’d ever been in my life,” she remembers. “I remember one time waking up on my bathroom floor and I didn’t know how I got there. And I was a wreck. And I looked in the mirror and I had a black eye and I had cuts all going down my face and I realized that what I had hit could have taken my eye out and somehow it didn’t. I hit a towel rack.”
Megan realized she was going to die if she didn’t get help. “I was so broken. I was so disappointed in myself for failing again. I knew it was coming and I did it anyway and my family did not know what to do with me,” she said. “They said that they wanted me to go back to the Walter Hoving home and I said, ‘yes.’ I said, ‘I want to go.’ I remember having a glimmer of hope thinking about God and the goodness of the some of the things that I had seen happen there that I wouldn’t allow to happen for myself.”
But the first night back in the program, Megan started having seizures, and was rushed to the ER. The withdrawals were intensified by the battle that was raging in her mind. “It felt like spiritual warfare. Ladies from the home would come and they would pray for me and God’s presence would come into the room. But they would leave and I would get scared, just screaming like a mad woman, yelling, cursing.”
The ladies from the Hoving home prayed constantly for her until she was free. “I believe their prayers got me through what could have been serious brain damage or the doctors were thinking that I might not come back to reality mentally,” she remembers. “I really felt the presence of God for the first time. He was there in that room with me. And He told me that He brought me up from Florida to finish what we had started. I gave my life to Christ and I gave him my future and I trusted completely in Him and that was just a full surrender to me and that’s what I did. I was excited. I had joy. And it was overwhelming.”
She went through the one-year recovery program and never looked back. “I surrendered everything to God. Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up in due time. That’s what I had believed that I had been through.”
After completing the program, Megan began a new career. Today, she is the Director of Education at the Walter Hoving home in Las Vegas. “I help the ladies in the learning center. I also do the intakes, so any lady that wants to come into the program I speak to them, I go to their court dates. I fight to get them in here.”
For Megan, life has never been the same. “God loved me and I didn’t deserve it. God sought me out. I did not seek him out. It’s beautiful. It’s amazing. Every day is a gift. I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude for what He’s done for me. I can’t even express it.”