My real father was a stand-up comic. He was really good. He did all his [own] material. Before he did his own stand-up, he wrote material for other comics. He had a check from Rodney Dangerfield (American comedian) where he bought two jokes from my dad in 1979.
By the time, I was twenty-three, I'd seen him only six or seven times in my life when he died of a heroin overdose. There were very few days from the age of fourteen to twenty-five or twenty-six when I wasn’t high, either smoking weed, drinking alcohol, on ecstasy, on coke, on heroin, on crack. It had gotten so bad that I was involved in the *Rave scene. I would [abuse] seven to eight drugs in a night, and I would come home on a Sunday night, and my urine looked like coffe, from so many toxins from drugs.
The times I would overdose and go to the emergency room the doctors would say, “Do you have a death wish?” From my childhood I was abused verbally, physically, and emotionally. [Because of that] I had a lot of self-hatred. I would hit myself. I would pull my hair out or bang my head on the ground because I just did not like myself. I remember when I was seventeen, my grandfather chewed me, for God only knows, how many times, and I just lost it. [I responded by taking] two bottles of pills.
I spent some time in jail. It all came to a head when I went to Arizona for a change of scenery, but I got back on the drugs. In fact, I went to my aunt’s where my father had died. I hadn't seen her for many years. She felt bad because she hadn't had any contact with me. She was going on vacation, but when she knew I was coming, the Lord woke her up in the night and said, “You stay there. I’m bringing Dominick.”
My father had overdosed in her back bathroom. I was in the bathroom in front of that. I had enough heroin in the needle to end my life. I said, “Dad, here I am. Here I come.” Just as I was about to shoot it [heroin] in my arm, the Holy Spirit came over me, and I began to weep. I got rid of most of it in the toilet. I then went to my aunt and told her what had been going on with my life. I gave her the crack pipe and the needles. [She] helped me get into **Teen Challenge. While there, I began to develop a close relationship with Jesus Christ. I began to really experience His love in His presence and the importance of spending time with Him.
Then here comes this God who says He loves me just as I am and that He would take someone like me and change me and make me into His image and likeness. To me that's everything. To be able to embrace the reality that God would take me in my sinful state, in my sinful nature, and do a work in my life, causing me to be His child, causing me to be holy and blameless in His sight by the working of the Spirit is everything because that's really what we were created to be, sons and daughters of the living God.
*Rave, Raving, rave dance, and rave party are parties that originated mostly because of acid house parties, which featured electronic music and light/laser shows. See www.wikipedia.org.
**Established in 1958, Teen Challenge has emerged as one of America’s largest and most successful networks of... nonprofit, faith-based drug, and alcohol recovery programs.