Interview With Recovery Coach Vernon Layne- Show Transcript



James Egidio: 0:41

Hi, I’m James Egidio your the host of the 99 Relapses podcast. The podcast that moves you from recovery to discovery through the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In this episode my guest back in 2006 was struggling with alcohol addiction and found himself on the floor in his apartment with no hope and nowhere to turn. By 2012, he came to the Lord and out of his addiction. 12 years later, he has a ministry leading people to the Lord that are struggling with addiction. without further ado, like to introduce my guest, Mr. Vernon Layne. Hi Vernon. How are you today?Vernon Layne: 1:23

How you doing, James? I’m doing great and I appreciate the invite, man. I’m glad to be here.James Egidio: 1:28

Absolutely. And I’m blessed to have you on the show. Just share with the audience of the 99Relapses podcast, both the listeners and the viewers your story and what led you to Jesus Christ through your addiction. And we’ll go from there.Vernon Layne: 1:44

Okay, no problem. Yeah. like you said, my name is Vernon Layne podcast, and it started way back. It started way back. When I first had my first drink, I had to be like, what? I don’t know, maybe 10, 12 years old. My older brother gave me a sip MD 2020 or a Wild Eyes Rose or something like that. I just remember, I was young, it was warm, and but that was my first taste of alcohol, and I grew up. You, I’m the youngest and I got five brothers, one sister, couple of ’em passed away now, but grew up, single parent things like that. And I was the youngest, but me being the youngest, I was more like a I strived a lot. I did a lot of striving. I, I was excel in the sports. I excelled in academics, and, Looking back now, a lot of this that I be sharing is because I have done some work on myself, and in the meantime, during those trials and during those times, I didn’t know that I suffered from, wanting people to like me get attention because what was taking place, even though God has given me the ability to play sports, he had given me the the skill to learn fast. It was. Then when people say things like, everything, this boy touch turns to gold. I used to hear things like that, right? You’re an exception to the rule. It made me feel a certain way. Again, I was just, thing was just real easy for me to grasp, right? So that being said, I found myself coming up, young. I was downplaying my natural skills to fit in because, my mother told me, she said twice, I thought it was once, she said twice they wanted to move me up in class, and I asked her, I said, why didn’t you let me, let them, move me up? She said, because I didn’t want you to get the big head. But it was the praising that I was, getting addicted to Now, again, when I talk about addiction, I’m really not talking about drug. I’m just talking about addiction. But we gonna talk about some drug, my, my struggle with it, but I suffer from addiction, right? So my first addiction was attention. I wanted you to praise me cuz there was a certain feeling when older guys praised me. There was a certain feeling that it made me feel good. And we say in recovery. we say in recovery. All addicts really wanted to do was to feel good about themselves. That’s the main thing we really wanna do. We just wanna be all right with us. So I was always excelling, sports and things like that, but by the same token, even though my mother was raising me, raising me do the right thing, and my sisters tell me things like, don’t let nobody tell you what you can’t do. There’s a will, there’s a way. So she would, they was putting that foundation in me. But it was something that attracted me to the streets. Something about the streets, I don’t really know, just something about ’em, but probably cuz of my environment, and you have to survive, right? Yeah. Yeah. You have to survive your environment, and so I learned a lot of mannerisms, right? Lot of mannerism and how. Survival skills. That’s really looking back, that’s really what it was. I’m going to get you before you get me. Type of, and it comes with just growing up in the hood, just, I just come with it. Yeah. Either you get got or you get, be the one that doing the getting so even though I wanted things outta life, I still was wanted people to like me. See that was a time James, that when older guys offered me drinking drugs. I didn’t want nothing to do with it. So I still remember that. Yeah, I remember I said, no, that’s for losers. But then it came a time I found myself feeling like an outsider saying see and I didn’t feel when I was excelling and when I was doing good in class and things like that, it made me feel different. I didn’t feel a part of, teachers will say things like this, James who know the answer to this question. Vernon, we know you do. you don’t have to answer and see now everybody look at me a certain way. When we out, yeah. When we outside in class, teacher, you come and be the leader. I was a natural. I’m a natural leader. Okay? Always have been a natural. Teachers would say, come get in front of the class again. That separated me. But I wanted to feel part of, so I started doing the things that they did, they was doing. I remember my mother told me one time, I didn’t even know she knew I was, getting high, but I was leaving the home one time and she said they used to respect you. Yeah. And I, I said, ma, you know what you talk about. She said, your friends used to respect you. I said, ma, let me tell you something. If there’s anything they going to respect me. She said, no, they don’t respect you no more. I said, why you say that? She said, because you doing the same thing that they doing. Yeah.James Egidio: 6:30

And how old were you when this was all going on?Vernon Layne: 6:33

That right there, that was round, but I was about 14, 15 years old during that time, yeah. Yeah. I was just get to marijuana, that type deal.James Egidio: 6:42

Oh, okay. All right. So it, it started with the alcohol at 10, 11 years old.Vernon Layne: 6:49

That’s why I had my first shot. Yeah. But I really started by, yeah, about seventh grade I really started drinking, more regular in the seventh grade, about 12. Yeah.James Egidio: 6:58

And then it led to marijuana at what, 13, 14 years old you’re saying?Vernon Layne: 7:02

Yeah. Around something like that. I all wanna be cool, all want to fit in. Thinking, thinking I’m doing it for fun, thinking that I’m doing it to fit in, but it is really something deeper than that, validation type of deal, That esteem issues. Yeah,James Egidio: 7:17

So at what point was it out of control and at what age was it outta control for you as far as the addiction with both the marijuana and the alcohol?Vernon Layne: 7:28

Oh, it, it came years later. I was one of those, what they call functional addicts. I was those type, yeah. Yeah. In the beginning. I went to, I went to class, I got good grades. I went home. I cleaned up my room. I did my homework. I did everything mom expected me to do. Okay? But then again, there was something inside me said, now I deserve a reward. So now I go out and drink, but yeah, it was way, it got outta control when my first marriage, that’s when it really got out of control. was married 16 years to my first wife, and I was drinking almost every day. And she, she used to ask me, why you always, get drunk when you drink? And I told her, I. There’s no reason to drink if I can’t get drunk. That was just my thought process, and she she tried her best, but, and it just got to a point that was enough. But that’s where it got outta control. Cause I started dipping into other drugs and things like that. And and then that’s when it spiraled out of control. This, when she finally said enough, okay. And she finally put me out in, 04, That’s when I hit bottom. Because see now there’s no foundation there. Okay. What I mean by there’s no identity. I didn’t know who I was.James Egidio: 8:44

Sure.Vernon Layne: 8:44

Yeah. I didn’t know I wasJames Egidio: 8:46

How old were you when you got married to your the first time and what Drugs? because you mentioned other drugs. What other drugs were they and how old were you when you got married and when This all went out control,Vernon Layne: 8:58

I think got around 25. I think I was 25 when I first got married. Oh, okay. And you said other drugs? What did you indulge in? I messed with a little heroin, crack uhhuh. I did speed just once, but yeah, it was mainly just crack and heroin around.James Egidio: 9:15

Yeah. And how long did that go on?Vernon Layne: 9:16

That went on for a very long, it kept spiraling outta control. It just kept progressing. I couldn’t control that. I was trying to, but once you mess with those type of drugs, now the whole bottom fall out, right? Sure. The whole life just spirals outta control. There was really nothing, she could do nothing, nobody can do, so I had to hit bottom. So finally she had, enough was enough. And like I said, she put me out but see, my mind said now I could do more. Yeah. Yeah. When she put me out, said I can do more than that. I don’t have to sneak no more. I can do it on my own I can have my own apartment. But see what I didn’t know that, when you doing drugs for your own, you gonna be hearing stuff that’s not there. You gonna be paranoid. And and in fact too, I just couldn’t take the fact that I have got to that point in my life. See, I couldn’t accept reality. First part of recovery. Gotta know how to accept reality. Sure. I went deep into denial, or I went deep into denial. Yeah. I went, sure, yeah. I had my own apartment. I couldn’t stay there because the reason why I couldn’t stay there because it represented reality. So I stayed in the streets. It represented reality. So I stayed in the streets and that’s when you was talking about me being on the floor. That’s where that took place at during that time. And that’s when, but see, I remember my mother had told me years ago, My mother always been a Christian. I don’t, okay. She ain’t always been majority of my life. She was a Christian. But she always told me, she said, no matter what you do, no matter what you are going through, okay, she said, you can always call on him and he can, he gonna hear you.James Egidio: 10:54

Amen. Yeah, Absolutely.Vernon Layne: 10:56

Yeah. And I remember that and that’s when I said God help me. I had been using drugs three or four days, straight. When I finally did, I went to the bathroom and I looked in the mirror, I didn’t even know who I was. Yeah. Cheek bone was showing. I seen my collarbones. I big, my whole big patch of my, this was white and my eyes were popping out just like a zombie. And I just went, yeah. And I fell asleep. I slept about two days. Geez. And then when I woke up, yeah. I woke up and God had already had it in making to save me, looking back now. And looking back and how it was, what it was. He had a coworker. He had a coworker a contractor. See, we don’t call other people that struggle. We don’t say that’s an addict. We don’t do that in recovery. It’s up to them to say they’re an addict, but we know the behavior. And he knew the behaviors that I had. So he reached out to me and as he reaching out to me, I kept saying this divorce I’m going through, this divorce I’m going through. He said okay. This divorce I’m going through. It is too much. Because yeah. Again, I’m in denial. I’m in denial. There’s a reason why she put you out. See, I couldn’t talk about that in the beginning cause I was in deep. denial this guy, he ended up, reaching out to me, but he never gave me money. He never gave me money. ran outta gas, he’ll say, I come, I’ll come put some gas in your car, back down smoking cigarettes. I want cigarettes. He said, I come buy, wanted food. Said I come by, but he never gave me money. Then years go on and I’m thinking, this a guy I can take advantage of. my, addiction is fullblown. I don’t care no more. I don’t care about nothing. I totally surrendered to addiction. I didn’t care about nothing. I ain’t, I didn’t care about my kids. The job he was saying, they gonna get rid of you. You, I wasn’t coming to work. I said, let ’em fire me. I don’t care. Yeah.James Egidio: 12:48

So this was all back in 2000 and what, between 2004 and 2006 correct?Vernon Layne: 12:54

Yeah. That was around that time. Yep. That was around that time. Yep. Yeah.James Egidio: 12:57

So you started 10 years old, 11 years old. With the drinking a little bit the influences, then it leads into the marijuana, heroin, cocaine and everything else. And then you get married and you find yourself at 2006 on the floor in this apartment. I think we had that discussion and then, What happens after that 2006 you says there was turning point where you just said Enough was enough, and I even read that where you said Enough was enough. so take us forward into what led you into the Lord and through your recovery and where you’re at today.Vernon Layne: 13:34

Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. No problem. Yeah, like I said, God had put him in place. Did this, he, I didn’t know he was in recovery, so I didn’t know this right. But he knew my behaviors. He started being friends with me. He got to know my mother and everything. Then he was, then he finally introduced me to a 12 step program. He said, come on, over here. Cause what happened was I ended up going to the salvation. Yeah. And that’s where I met God at. I met God in salvation, even though my mother used to over talk, but my personal relationship, that’s where I met him at. That’s why I actually felt his and this addict took me there. I only had a bag. That’s all I had took me there. And every night I cried. Every night. Every night I cried. They called me that crying addict. Yeah. And what year was that? Don’t really. I think that’s about 05, something like that. Okay. 05. Yeah. Yeah.James Egidio: 14:27

So what happens after that? You go to the Salvation Army, this gentleman who had an issue with addiction takes you there. You go through the program and then what happens?Vernon Layne: 14:39

Okay. What happened? First time I wasn’t there twice. First time I was in there four and a half months. Okay. I. I was in a relationship now with my wife, now with some other girl and my whole recovery was around her. Okay. And what I mean by that, I was in there, but I wasn’t going to no meetings when they let us go. They wasn’t going to no meetings. I wasn’t doing none of that. But I was just, trying to make my recovery around her. Didn’t know that I’m recovering from, I think I need a woman. See, I gotta tell you the story about what I also gotta tell you what I’m recovering from. See? So even though I’m in there for drugs, right? The woman took me off of my primary purpose because I have this thing called addiction. And I get attached to people, right? And so now I got, I used to be attached to my first wife. She let me go now, latched onto this girl, this other girl, okay? Now I’m latched onto her, but even though I’m in treatment. for drug addiction, but now I think my recovery is around her. So now, so basically what I’m saying, I’m in recovery I’m in a facility, but I’m not recovering. Okay. I’m not recovering right. Yeah. Yeah.James Egidio: 15:45

And It’s interesting you say that too because I was reading on your website and again, it’s and that’s also the name of your podcast. and you talk about the same thing that I actually talk about a lot in episodes of the 99Relapses podcast, and that’s, we’re all addicted to something it’s part of our sin nature. We can’t get away from it, whether it’s work, drugs, alcohol, again, like you said, codependency because you were in this rehab center thinking you’re fixing yourself from the drugs, the chemical. But yet you’re addicted to your ex and you’re codependent on her. And you’re fixated on her. And that’s what we call in faith idolatry, or when we covet something or we idolize something, whether it’s, again, we’re drugs, alcohol, it could be a sports team, it could be anything. And everything that you can think of that you would think is ridiculous, but these are all addictions and it’s part of our sin nature, and I think that’s why it’s so important. Going back to what you were saying about this whole thing of being able to get through addiction on your own, you can’t do it. We can’t. It’s just impossible. The only way you can get through your addiction and overcome it, it’s through the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and digging your heels into the word, and that’s for everyone and anyone, but it’s so important that when someone is struggling with an out of control addiction or even any addiction and realize that everybody’s addicted to something that we have to lean on, God, it’s that simple. period.Vernon Layne: 17:24

It is that simple. Yeah. Because he’s the power that’s greater than that addiction.James Egidio: 17:28

Absolutely.Vernon Layne: 17:29

And then he worked through people, he worked through you. All these 12 step programs, the God is in the mix of them things,James Egidio: 17:35

absolutely.Vernon Layne: 17:36

Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. You right. We need each other. Like you said. I’m, I was suffering from things. I ain’t have no clue. I ain’t know nothing about no co depend. I didn’t know nothing about that. All I knew is that, I like this girl she making me feel good. But what happened was she said we need a break. Uhhuh That’s what she said, we need a break. She said, we’re not breaking up, but we need a break. And she wrote me a letter and the letter said, it was about five pages long and all the red was James. We are not breaking up. We are not breaking up. We are not. That’s all she wrote, right? Yeah. I read it. I read every last one of ’em. I go back to the salvation Army. Now I have nothing again. Now remember, I don’t know how to stand on my own. My ex first got real. I’m recovering from mothers. Okay. What I’m saying is I had my first son, 16. .Okay. I grew up without a father. So I moved in with her fear that my son, my older son, was going to grow up without a father. I didn’t move in with her to be with her. I was moving in with her out of fear of my son going to grow up without a father. So now I’m with her. Okay. That didn’t work out. Then I met my first wife, then I jumped on her, and then in between when I go back to my mother, so I’m recovering from jumping from mother to mother. I’m always, I don’t know nothing about standing on my own. Okay. So now I get scared. And now when you scared and you stress what you do, especially if you are an addict, you go what you do, what you normally do, you again, I had no recovery on it. I don’t know about no spine. I heard about ’em, but I ain’t never used them. So when she said that, I go back to Salvation Army. Then my brother called me and said, you gotta check over here at my house.. So now I got no foundation, and I got a check. Then I told the guys and I walk it around, it’s a weekend now. I can’t go to her and I don’t know where to go. I got this money, I got this desire, and I told them guys, I said, look, I’m buying a pizza for everybody in here. They said, what? I said, man, I got what? Get the order right? Cause I was allowed to leave the facility. And I went and got a pizza man. Then five months later I came back. Yeah. Yep.James Egidio: 19:55

Trying to do it on your own again, right? Pretty much, yeah.Vernon Layne: 19:59

Trying to do it on my own, but really wasn’t into recovery like that. I just wanted the pain to stop. just wanted my life back. I wanted my ex-wife, my kids, I didn’t want no recovery. I didn’t wanna stop using no drugs. I just wanted my family back to feel a little normal. Back in my home. What I’m doing in this dorm with all these guys. I need to be at home at my own. Denial. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.James Egidio: 20:23

It’s interesting you say that. I just finished a four part series. I’m actually posting it to the website now. it’s called the Addicted Brain Structure and Function. And it’s exactly what it is. Our brain operates on a portion of the brain called the limbic system. And we all react that way and. What leads to our addictions, and I, when I say addictions, again, I’m not just alluding to drugs and alcohol, I’m alluding to everything. And we look, we get fixated on these addictions because they bring comfort to us. So when we react, and gravitate towards those addictions. It’s because we want to ease that pain. You’ve heard the expression where someone says, I drink to ease the pain, or I smoke weed to ease the pain. That pain is not physical pain. It’s the pain of easing that pain of anxiety and stress that’s on the brain. And I think once people understand the basics of that and how the brain operates, especially the addicted brain operates then they can have a better grasp to wrap their head around, figuratively speaking how addiction works and how we, yeah, we react. But also, and another thing I mentioned, alot. In podcast episodes is that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, it’s the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. We’re in, indwelt with the Holy Spirit. so I say is this is how we have to look at it. Anytime we have those drinks to get drunk or smoke the weed to relieve the stress or do the drugs or look at that pornography. what we’re doing in that case is we’re we’re defiling the Holy Spirit that’s indwelt within us. You understand what I’m saying? Yeah. Yeah. That’s what we have to keep in mind., And again, that’s why it’s so important that when you get through addiction, You accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. And it’s important that we’re in faith and we stay in faith and we stay tethered to the word and we understand it. And we apply it. And we apply it to our addiction. Yes. So anyway, getting back to you this is now Salvation Army. You go back again for the second time and we fast forward to, let’s say the time when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and you’re fully committed. What year is that? And where do we go from here?Vernon Layne: 22:53

I don’t know exactly what year it was to be honest with you, but I know me and my wife today, we got baptized together. Okay? We, Could have been like, 08 something when we got baptized. cause see, I met her in recovery. Okay. I met my wife and my wife now I met her in recovery and, And and the thing is, when I met her, I was headed back to the Salvation Army and I said I was going to do something different. I said, look, no, I know you. You can, we can be kicking, but my recovery must come first, you know and so I had a different mindset then, but I still struggle. I still struggle because I didn’t want to surrender to recovery. I just didn’t want to. I thought I was smart. Remember now when I went back, I said, I caught on real fast. I catch on, I learn real fast. So I thought I can do that with. So I tried my best and so I kept going in and out recovery I kept going in and out, trying to and it just didn’t work. But when I did get baptized, right? Soon as I stepped out of there we had me and my wife, we leaving. She wasn’t my wife at the time, but she was my girl. We leaving the church and I told her, I said, look, call, call, the dope boy. She said, we on church. We on a church right now. If you remember when Jesus got baptized, what? What’d they say? The Bible talks about what he was led to be tempted, right? So that thing is real that this, this ain’t things that just in the Bible, when you give your life to the Lord, the devil really coming after you. Oh yeah. See you jump coming right there to. And so basically, I kept going in and out and then that was just my process, my process, I have a sponsor and whenever they ask me to look at me, I let him go. I said, nah, he’s not for me. I keep trying to tell these guys what’s going on. See, I thought I was smart enough to tell guys in recovery what recovery is, right? And I just didn’t want to help because I never. Ever looked at me until I got to recovery. Then finally, I had a sponsor for seven years. And he told me, he said, yeah, I’ll sponsor you. He said, but here’s the deal. All the mother sponsors you had, it wasn’t they fault, and he had me look at me, he said, share what you. Share what you think and share what you want to do. Talk about you. I wanna hear about, because I used to talk about my wife all the time to him. I said, my wife, he said, look he’ll tell me, said, here’s the deal, call me back when you ready to talk about you. I don’t sponsor Nicole, that’s my wife today name. But he said I’m sponsoring Nicole. I sponsor you. So when you ready to talk about, you call me back. See now this is a whole recovery, a whole different thing now. Now, okay, so now I’m in recovery and I’m also having this relationship with Christ, right? And Christ is telling me to die to self. This sinful nature has to go. I can’t hold onto this sinful nature. I really want to get in tune. So now I’m reading the word, I’m getting the word in me. The Holy Spirit is in me. I’m hearing, I’m conscious, I’m hearing, I’m hearing God speak to me. My wife already told me way back when I first met her. What? Oh 06, 07. This is what she told me. She said, you going to either be a pastor, a motivational speaker, but you going to be helping a lot of people. She told me way back that thing.James Egidio: 26:15

Nice, beautiful.Vernon Layne: 26:16

And I, and today I’m actually doing that. And she, yeah, she said, I knew that’s what you’ll be doing, and yeah, it is crazy, man. But yeah, that’s, and then I, then she introduced me to a a pastor. Okay, sure. I was, jumping from church to church and I said, it’s time to find a home. So I prayed about it, right? So one day my wife and I, we out for dinner and then outta nowhere she said, I want you to meet this pastor. So she goes, and we driving home, we go to the church and sitting in a lot, and she telling me about this pastor man, that he’s this, that he’s a good teacher and that I want you to meet him and I’m sitting there cuz it’s kinda weird that we sitting in these people a lot like this, so I agreed to meet, and I, when I met him, and then after the, his service, he said, I could feel your spirit. And today me and him is just like this, But yeah. And he had me up on the stage. He had me sharing my story a lot of times and I done blessed a lot of people in the church. And yeah. But where I’m at today has a lot to do with my wife and my pastor again. Amen. Now working through people. Yeah.James Egidio: 27:18

Absolutely. Beautiful. That’s beautiful. So That Christian In Recovery when did you start that? What was the starting point of your ministry, coaching addicted individuals and bringing them to Christ? When did that all start?Vernon Layne: 27:31

Oh, that started let me see. say about the idea about three or four years ago, again, I was on a I was on a Christian Facebook page. Okay. just a, regular Facebook Christian Page and I said, I introduce myself, my name, Vernon, I’m an addict, right? And then one person said, no, you’re not an addict. You’re an overcomer, you had the blood of Jesus. I said, okay. And I’m an addict. Okay. And then what happened they kept coming in, now reading they pastors, elder, and now they was speaking real good. Then they started kinda like attacking me. Cause I kept saying, okay, I know I’m saved and I know, I’m covered by his blood and, but I’m an addict too, and then I said, re why? I called myself. I tried to explain to him, right? I said, because all I’m saying is I’m a sinner. That’s really what I’m telling you. Sure. Okay. I know I’m a sinner, I’m covered by blood, but I know I’m capable and sometimes my sinful nature can win. That’s why I pray every day. That’s why I talk to pastors. That’s why I have all these friends thats in recovery and then you know, to the Christian. Cause I know who I am, and that’s how I came up. with the name I’ll try and tell ’em, look, I’m that Christian that you see that act crazy in the Bible. I’m capable of doing all that and I’m trying to explain this to ’em. I can act impulsively, I can have low self-esteem. I can admire a woman. You, you read the Bible. Oh, that’s inside the, but I’m capable of doing everything. I’m capable of cutting your ear. But I ain’t say I’m gonna do it, and they just didn’t want to hear that. Yeah. But that’s how I came up with that name, And I heard my spirit say, start a podcast. And that’s how I started. I started a podcast. Yep. Yeah.James Egidio: 29:18

And how long ago did you start that Christian and Recovery podcast?Vernon Layne: 29:23

I started at 19, 2019. Yeah.James Egidio: 29:26

So you’ve been doing that about three years now, right? 19. about three years. Yeah. Good. Awesome. Yeah. And how often are you putting out episodes for the listeners?Vernon Layne: 29:36

Oh, I’m putting ’em out there at least once a month, trying to do it twice a month or, sometime my coach or my work getting involved, I at least put one out once a month at yeah. And I’ve been helping a lot of people, people email me, I just had a lady just the other day leave me a voicemail, I got connect it to Pod page too and you can leave voicemail. And she left me a voicemail and and it really touched me, she said, I. I’ve been trying to get clean for 37 years. She said, listen to your podcast. I actually think I can do it. And she said, your podcast have saved my life. Nice. That’s beautiful. And that’s why I do it. That’s why I do it. Some people can’t relate and that’s okay. Some people, some people question, they, you gonna have all them type, but I know my heart is in the right place, and I know why I read the heart.James Egidio: 30:24

Yeah. I know. It’s interesting we’re having this conversation because another thing I mention in the podcast is I say that, we have to at some point take responsibility for our addiction. and realize what we’re doing because not only are you hurting yourself when you’re addicted, and especially outta control addiction with substance abuse, but you’re also hurting other people that are around you because it’s, selfish. These out of control addictions. It’s a very selfish act. It’s a selfish act to yourself, the people around you. It’s a selfish act to God if you’ve accepted Jesus Christ and you’re indwelt with the Holy Spirit, it’s selfish. And we have to be responsible for that. And I’m a little harsh, had a couple episodes early on, one was called Is Addiction Sin? and I mentioned that and I mentioned that addiction leads to a multitude of sins and. There’s only one answer for sin, and that’s repentance. It’s going back to the cross and asking Jesus Christ for forgiveness. So are we sinners? Yeah, absolutely. Are we gonna fall short of the mark, absolutely, do we need Jesus Christ all the time? Absolutely, 100%. It’s just, that’s how it is. And we make that part of our life and we stay tethered to the Bible. I use the word tethered you’re, tethered to the Bible and to the word, and you apply it. And again, my mantra is, I’m not broken, I’m shattered. I come off a little harsh, I think in some of those episodes where people are like, whoa, it’s being judgmental it’s not that. It’s, it’s like when you take a band aid off someone, it’s gonna hurt for a minute. But once it’s off and the wound is healed then you move forward and hence that’s the name 99Relapses. I’m sure a lot of people who listen to that and see that can relate to relapsing multiple times, yeah. Yeah. But there’s hope and that hope is through Jesus Christ. And that reminds me of that verse where Paul talks about struggling with sin in Romans seven, where he talks about his struggling with sin it’s Paul’s struggle with sin, yeah. And a lot of that, a lot of this, a lot of the interviews I have with people and all of us who have been down the road of addiction with an out of control addiction can relate to that.Vernon Layne: 32:41

Yeah. It’s, it is a battle. It’s an internal battle is you, and it don’t go nowhere, but we have to continue to stay like you said keep God first, yeah. I stay, like you say, I’m the vine, you stay. You can’t do nothing. Apart from me. Exactly.James Egidio: 32:58

So to the listeners and the viewers of the 99 relapses podcasts, what advice can you give them as far as what you’ve been through, what you’re doing, and how to move forward with their addiction and recovery.Vernon Layne: 33:12

First you have to realize is that you, and you mentioned this, is that you can’t do it by yourself. You can’t do this. You need some type and it don’t have to be, 12 steps. That’s just what I just believe in it, it don’t just, it could, like me, I tried church by itself. I kept using, I tried recovery by itself. I kept. So I, I do church and I do recovery. Hey, I’m wait now, but that’s what works for me. Some people do different, different programs, but you gotta find out what works for you. Yeah. And most importantly, find you a, I get, like I say, I, my, my higher power is Jesus. But when recovery, we say higher power, God, you understanding as long as he loving and caring, find you some type of power that’s greater than yourself. It could be a group, yeah, it could be. But some, some somebody you listen to. You gotta get outside yourself. And and most importantly, just and be patient. Yeah. That’s one of the biggest things too, that everybody, especially if use like I use and I lost everything, you want everything back. But it is a process. It is, you just give yourself break and most importantly, if you pick up, never ever give up. That’s the biggest thing. No matter what, you just don’t give up, wife leaving, don’t give up. I lost my job. Don’t give up. My kids don’t wanna speak to me. Never again. Don’t give up. No matter what, never stop trying to get off drugs. Just get, or whatever your addiction is, just continue. Never give up.James Egidio: 34:34

Yeah. Yeah. It’s interesting too. You mentioned 12 steps and you mentioned churches and mentioned even higher power and I can remember before I was saved I had owned a medical clinic for twenty four years and there was a time when we were helping patients in that clinic, and this is again before I was saved, who were addicted to heroin and pain medication, opiate pain medication, and we were trying to get them off the opiates, the pain pills or the heroin using a medication called Suboxone at that time and I can remember coaching and counseling some clients. Who had been through the 12 step programs, the NA, AA programs, and I think they’re a good start for some people. The problem I have, and I emphasize this a lot too, in past podcast episodes, is it’s this higher power thing. They always revert to this higher power. So I would get patients at that time that would come to the clinic. Getting through the NA, AA programs and say things like I went through this NA or AA program and it’s a higher power now I believe in Buddha. I believe in, whatever, some higher power and they were on the fense with faith in general and thinking to myself, and I wasn’t even saved back then. I’m thinking it’s, the answer is Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ. Only because he even says it. He says, I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one gets to the Father except through me. And I think again, it gets back to when you’re going through addiction and you’re going through, let’s say a faith-based program, and I say Christian faith-based program, it’s gotta be built on a solid foundation with the gospels of Jesus Christ and with repentance, it can’t waiver on feeling, with the music, lights, smoke and all that. It’s gotta truly come from the gospels of Jesus Christ. It’s gotta come from repentance. It’s gotta come from the cross and the blood that was shed at Calvary. I think it’s so important because I see a lot of churches in this day and age compromising and all they want are warm bodies, and they’re not really preaching the truth. They’re preaching everything based on feeling and feelings come and go. I think it’s important like I say to preach the gospels of Jesus Christ. And especially when it comes to addiction and recovery and it’s, and especially when people are turning for help. Cuz we’re in a day and age now, we’re in a time, as we pretty much come from the same generation and a lot of things have changed over the years where we’re starting to see especially with COVID what happened to the churches, the churches that were built on sand started to crumble and the ones that stood strong and stuck to their guns and stuck to the gospels of Jesus Christ are still in existence. So when we coach people through addiction and recovery, I think it’s important that we emphasize a strong Bible-based church, based on the gospels of Jesus Christ. Don’t you agree?Vernon Layne: 37:44

Somewhat, and here’s why I say that. Because when I listen, the guys that started AA, Bob and the guys started that he said Because they and I did my homework on it. You could talk about it later that, really the 12 steps was they got it from the Bible. Okay. They got those 12 steps. He was, he was in the hospital and he came up with it. But what happened was a lot of people wasn’t trying to hear about Jesus. Okay? And what he wanted to do, he wanted to help people with drinking.. He said, we gotta come up with something because I don’t want them to be afraid. I want to help ’em stop drinking. But if they don’t believe in Jesus, that’s okay. And that’s where it came from. Cause I coach people and some people I coach, they don’t, they not Christians. And they’ll tell me, Hey, look man, I don’t, I know you’ll say that. Christian recovery. I said, man, look man, you trying to get help. I’m here to help you. I’m not here to judge you. So on my take on that, right? And that’s just where, cause I, like I said, I know the Lord cause I, I believe in, but I don’t throw my belief on the next I can help you without you believing in what I believe in. Now if I, if you come to him, you know that way, but I’m not going to force it, on you. Nothing like that. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah that’s how they came about, cause they, he, they was a Christian and I share some of the stuff with you cuz it go way back, that 12 step, it go way before you do your homework on it. It is really biblical based. Yeah.James Egidio: 39:15

Yeah. I think a better program than the NA, AA and 12 step programs is called Celebration for recovery. Yeah.Vernon Layne: 39:23

Celebrate recovery?James Egidio: 39:24

Yeah, that’s much better because it’s right in lines with, Jesus Christ. It’s right in with Christianity. And again, he said, I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one gets to the Father except through me. So there was no exceptions to that. There’s no teetering. We can’t be sitting on the fence and we have to proclaim our faith and the gospels and the beauty of that. And the recovery process through that, because there’s so many elements of the recovery process in the Bible. the Prodigal Son. The Parable of the Lost Sheep. Paul’s struggling with sin because it is sin. There’s so much scripture in the Bible that we don’t have to stray, not even for one second away from the Bible when it comes to addiction and recovery, because everything that’s in there has to do brokenness, sin and recovery,Vernon Layne: 40:19

and that’s what I always say. I say everybody recover for something. In the Bible to me is speaking recovery. Absolutely. And when I read a Bible, I think recovery, I, that’s all I see through I, when, you know when the first, when Adam and Eve first sinned what did they, they went hiding. They and the Bible talk about God went looking for him. He trying to recover. When, he said to told Moses, tell him, let my people go. He trying to recover ’em. He said, why he send Jesus to recover his people back? So the whole Bible to me is about recovery. But then again like I said, I understand what, when people, a lot of people just don’t, like a lot of people, Christians I know some Christians stand where you stand at, and then there’s some people who don’t want nothing to do with Jesus because of their upbringing or whatever, and, those people need help too. But yeah. Yeah, it’s just one of those type of things.James Egidio: 41:10

Yeah. And I, this is the conversation I even had with Paul a few weeks ago who, I had, actually mentioned your name and this is what led me to you. Is we were talking about baby steps when it comes to getting through addiction and recovery through faith and, what we have to do is, as Christians, is we have to set a good example for people. And, and not judge. But at the same time, let them know that the word is the word. It’s. Gonna get them through those struggles, but anyway it’s amazing. The name of Vernon’s website is It’s also name of the podcast. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the 99 relapses podcasts Vernon. It’s a blessing to have you on, and I hope to have you on again. Again, it’s Vernon Layne and the website is That’s the name of the podcast, as well as the website and Vernon is definitely doing Gods work there’s no question about it and thank you so much for joining me on this episode of the 99 relapses podcast I really appreciate itVernon Layne: 42:17

Thanks for having me. I really enjoyed it.James Egidio: 42:19

Thank you so much and you have a blessed day. Thanks.Vernon Layne: 42:22

You too. Thanks James.