Features, People

Leaving a life of addiction

Leaving a life of addiction
Leaving a life of addiction
Hannah and family

My name is Hannah Chun and I am married with four children. I spend most of my time with my family and serving the Lord. I am a former drug addict.

There have been a few articles written about my drug addiction journey in the mainstream media, where God was taken out of the script, instead focusing on my family. My family did play a huge part in my recovery but it was really God who intervened and created the important encounters leading to my recovery.

I come from a Christian family but I understood Christianity back then as ‘good people with good behaviour’—I thought that we needed to behave ourselves or face punishment from God.

When I was eight, my ‘perfect’ Christian parents started to fight a lot and got divorced. My mum left, my sisters grew older and left, and my Dad became very temperamental which left me feeling rejected and abandoned. There was no one to help me at all. I was so alone.

I became a drug user, an alcoholic and smoker at a tender age of 13. At 15, I started selling drugs. Then I started working as a night club hostess. During those years, I moved in with my mum, who was bitter and depressed. At a very young age, I had to shoulder the responsibility of paying off her bills and preventing her from committing suicide. My life got darker and darker and I made many bad choices out of fear and confusion.

I was caught for drugs twice as a youth. While I was in prison the first time, I did not develop a real relationship with the Holy Spirit and tried to steer my life back, on my own strength. During my second imprisonment, I was pregnant and gave birth to my child while serving my sentence. I thought having a baby would help me change. But I couldn’t get out of that vicious cycle of drugs, wrong relationships and other sinful practices. I was a single mum with an addiction—my health and emotions were only heading in the direction of death. I couldn’t handle it anymore and I knew I needed help.

Knowing nothing else, I prayed. I did not know what to expect and just took things as they came.

I had just started attending church and was learning to let go of my old lifestyle, when I met my husband at a night club. I brought him to church where he received Christ. Caleb has been a great support and has never left me, even at my worst moments. I felt God’s love through my husband and it propelled us to grow together in Christ.

My husband and I choose to guard and prioritise our kids’ well-being and values above educational pursuits. While I did not have much formal education, I definitely want my kids to pursue education as far as they are able to. However, education, albeit important, does not take precedence before serving the Lord. My hopes for them are having confidence in being themselves and having courage to be who they are. Even if they fail, God will lift them up. These qualities are stepping stones for them to serve God.

Today, I am open to sharing about my past with my kids and the children around me. I find it helpful to show them that it is alright to be vulnerable in sharing their own struggles. My experience has allowed me to share authentically and understand their behavioural or emotional issues. I find that when I share things at the right time, they respond by sharing their own struggles and what their friends are going through.

Addiction recovery is regarded as a feather in one’s cap because the success rate is low. But I don’t want to stop at just one victory. It is an opportunity to step into many more victories ahead.

God gives each of us influence in different areas; we need to identify what it is and his purpose for each of us. This makes me excited about working with God and experiencing breakthroughs at work. I see that God has opened doors for me around the world through the media and online platforms. I pray for more opportunities on how grace can reform society.

Hannah and her husband, Caleb

Prepared by Distilleri, edited by Lianne Ong