It’s December 13, 2015.  I’ve just woken up freezing cold and laying on top of an old bookcase in my makeshift shelter in a secluded field.  I’m homeless.  I have no money, no phone, and no transportation.  I’ve lost everything in my life including my beautiful wife and 6 amazing children, my multi-million dollar business, all my income, close and dear friends, and my dream home.  IMG_0965

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(The above pictures are of my actual home I lost and then the shelter I slept in when homeless)

I’m in extreme shock and can’t process all that’s happened to me so fast.  I’m literally in hell.  My wife has a restraining order against me and has moved herself and our children thousands of miles away.  I haven’t spoken or seen anyone in my family for months.  I just left a treatment center for addicts about 2 weeks earlier.  I had been there 108 days. Prior to entering the treatment center, I spent 48 days in jail.  That in and of itself traumatized me beyond anything I can express in words.  It’s Sunday.  I’m disoriented, confused, broken and scared.  I begin walking to church to meet with a bishop to receive some kind of help.  The catastrophic reality of my situation is pressing in from all directions.  I’m all alone.  My life and future has been blown to pieces.  I don’t want to live, but I don’t want to die either.  Mostly, I just want to cease to exist.

All I can think about is my family.  As I’m walking, I’m thinking of how utterly impossible it seems to ever win them back.  The last I heard, my wife was moving toward divorce. Just the pain I feel from losing her is indescribable and unbearable, and then I have the devastating loss of everything else piled on top of that.  My soul simply can’t bear the enormous weight of it all.  I just want to let myself sink into the darkest abyss never to return, but I’m fighting with all my might not to go there.

I’m crossing the road to the church and out of nowhere the following question enters my mind,  “What if you factor miracles into the equation, then does it seem possible for you to win your wife and family back?” I realize there is only one possible answer to that question. So I think to myself, “If I factor in miracles then I guess it’s possible, but it will take nothing less than many miracles.”  Then comes an unexpected follow-up question, “Well then, do you believe in miracles?” I had experienced too many of them in my life not to believe in them.  I answer quietly to myself, “yes.”  A little hope enters my heart.  A tiny bit of light penetrates the darkness.

 

47 thoughts on “Below Rock Bottom

  1. Every bit of anything I’ve known or understood about what you went through has always blown my mind .. and I was so deeply hurt just knowing what little I knew ..It couldn’t be you … I didn’t want to believe any of it was possible . .. you have always been such a special person in my life ..Amy too ..
    But if I’ve ever hoped or prayed for anyone more than my own child .. I swear it’s you .. iI know how special you are to so many .. and especially Our Father in Heaven

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  2. Jeremy, I had no idea about this man, what the heck??? Please tell me more about your life story, what you do, where your living what got you to the bottom and then the moon! Wowza brother, wowza!

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  3. Jeremy and Amy, I had absolutely no idea any of this was going on. It has been a bunch of years since we knew each other in KY. This is truly tragic your life took this turn. I am assuming that since you are sharing your story that things have gotten better for you. I’m sure you are sharing this to help others. I look forward to hearing the rest of the story. Sending love.

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    1. Hi Hege! Sorry to catch you off guard! ha:) I sure hope sharing this will help others. We’re in a much better place now, but everything has been so surreal. There’s lots more to share. I hope I can do it:)

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  4. Jeremy and Amy,
    I love you both so much! Grateful for your courage in sharing this time in your life! Much love to you and your sweet family.

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  5. Life can be a dark and sad place, but to take that spark of light and recognize its value as a starting point is all it takes to move to the path that will bring you true joy and the happiness God has for you. The Lord humbles us so can we become His students, so we can learn how to live the true “good life” which has nothing to do with power, money, stuff, or the accolades of others. Bless Amy, your children and you with strength, forgiveness and the desire to only say and do that which delights your Fsther in Heaven. Seek forgiveness from anyone you may have harmed, and forgive freely anyone you feel may have harmed you. Let your light do shine as you share your heart and soul….

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  6. Thank You Jeremy for telling me your story without even knowing me in Church that day. You will NEVER know the kind of hope you gave me that day! This post gave me some more hope! I am in awe of you and your family. I am sorry I didn’t stay in your ward long enough to get to know you all better! I will follow this with great hope for so . It’s brave and extremely kind of you to share your story. It helps me as a mom and I am sure if it touches me it will touch others in real need of some Hope too and if you only reach 1, Christ spoke of THE ONE and then you are doing great!

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    1. Thank you Sonya for your kind and encouraging words!! You are so right about THE ONE. The “One” is what finally gave me the strength to put my story out there. If it can help one person it’s worth it for me.

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  7. Aloha Bowman! We met years ago on our mission in Riverside. During that short time you taught me a lot of things that I still think about till this day. In fact, when I think of my mission you are one of the few elders that always stands out in my mind. That’s how much of an impression you’ve made on my life. I’m totally blown away by these events in your life. And I too know that miracles do happen.

    When I returned home from my mission it didn’t take long for me to stray from the straight and narrow. I became a meth addict. I was lost in that lifestyle for 15 years. This coming March will make 10 years I’ve been in recovery…clean and sober. And 10 years active in church. I met my wife 2 years into my sobriety. She and my daughters have been my anchors and my miracles.
    I do not know what it’s like to have lost so much. But I do know what it’s like to be lost and alone. You’re miracles will come as you continue to find yourself in the Lord’s atonement. I love you brother. You’re in my prayers. Don’t give up…never give up.

    Alofa Atu Uso
    Much Love Brother
    Eru Tuiono Jr

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    1. Wow! Congratulations brother on your recovery. That is such a huge accomplishment. What I remember about you is you having one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known. You would do anything for anyone…and you were so dang funny!! I always loved listening to your testimonies. I am so glad to hear you’re back in the church. I can feel what you must have went through with your meth addiction. I admire you so much for what you have overcome. Thank you for your encouraging words. Love you brother!!

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  8. Jeremy; I am anxious to hear all of your story and recovery. I only know a little of what went on but what I did know made me so mad that you were hurting my lovely Amy I wanted to take action. I had always admired your success and lovely family, it was hard for me to process what may have happened and why, now maybe I will understand. Thanks for opening up to all of us.

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    1. Hey Floyd, You are right. I was hurting Amy. I wasn’t trying to and I was confused as to what was happening to me. As I continue to share my story you will definitely have more of an understanding, although I’m still trying to make sense of some of it. You’ll be pleased to know though, that our family is in a much better place now. There is love at home and there has been much healing.

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  9. I love you and Amy, and your sweet family. It must have taken great courage and purpose of heart to wright this. I’m thankful for your decision, I know it will help many people.
    Prayers and blessings always,
    Julie

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  10. I want you to know how much I appreciate you. You happened to be there when I needed a miracle, twice. I’ve always looked up to you as an example even as a kid, and even though you may not believe it, I still do. Life presents all types of trials, but the challenge is not in avoiding them, but getting through them with the Lords help. It’s amazing how he brings us in. I know the Lord loves you and your family. God bless you as you continue this amazing journey called life. I can’t wait to read more.

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  11. JB! You are loved my friend. Although time and location have a way of distancing relationships, I have always cherished ours. I have thought of you and our experiences together often and consider you as one of my closest of friends. I have always looked up to you and the example that you were to me. With these challenges, and your desire to share, for the betterment of all, it only validates what we all have and continue to believe. That You are a great man. We all stumble, make mistakes and do things that we are ashamed of. It takes tremendous strength to bring one’s own challenges public for others to grow and learn from. I love you brother, and look up to you more now than ever before.

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    1. Jeremy. You’re a stud. The Brown boys love you and I have thought of you many times over the years. I hope things are looking up for you!

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    2. Leroy! You have no idea how much hearing from you means to me. Your words really lifted my spirits. I too cherish our friendship. I have always looked up to you. You’re a great leader and one heck of a ball player as well!! ha:) Love you brother!! Thank you again for taking the time to write what you wrote. It feels good to reconnect!

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  12. Jeremy, you never know what people are/have gone through. We graduated together 27yrs ago and to know you have gone through so much is crazy. Just following you on facebook I never would have known. Continue with your recovery and your belief in the Lord and you will have continued success. I look forward to reading the rest of your story.

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  13. Bless your heart! Coach and I have been praying for y’all ever since I saw pictures of Amy and the children without you, and had a horrible sinking feeling. Reaching out to Amy confirmed that prayers were needed. I’m struck by how NO ONE is beyond the grasp of temptation but also that no one is beyond the reach of Jesus Christ’s comprehensive act of redemption! We are beyond thankful that your and Amy’s knowledge of that fact gave you a start on your personal road back. Never ever let your guard down! And thank you for allowing those who care so deeply about you to understand and learn from your experience. Isn’t it a mercy that we don’t all have to have every lousy experience to learn, but can learn from the paths of others?!

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    1. I love Donna’s statement beginning with ……”No one is beyond the grasp of temptation but also that no one is beyond the reach of Jesus Christ’s comprehensive act of redemption.” — Jeremy this breaks my heart to know of your struggles, losing so much temporally, almost losing what mattered most to you, and you literally having to reach rock bottom, to get back to where you are today. You probably don’t remember Jeremy, but I was your primary teacher for close to a year, when you were about 5 years old. I remember what an absolutely caring, loving, sweet and intelligent little boy you were and I always knew you would grow up to be a very spiritual and successful man. I didn’t get to watch you grow up or stay in your life though because I moved away and became busy with my own life and trials. I wish somehow I had stayed in touch with you becasuse maybe I could have made a difference. I’ve always believed that people come into our lives for a reason. So it’s probably not a coincidence that I was your primary teacher, that my son also served a mission in Riverside, California, and that……..I watched my sister go through a similar time in her life. She too hit rock bottom, then found Jesus, and has been sober for about 5 years now, and also rebuilt her relationship with her only daughter and grandchildren. I did all I could but for her and many others, hitting rock bottom is necessary before the desire for real change can happen. Anyway, I will be following your blog Jeremy and want you to call or private message me if you ever need to in the future. It would be great to reconnect also. Life can be so difficult and challenging and that’s why we should all be here for each other. I’m glad you are taking this opportunity to help others avoid the same misfortunes or at least have hope for the future. Also Jeremy, would it be possible for me to share your blog with people outside your circle of friends? I have a friend who is a substance abuse counselor and another friend who is a family therapist and your story could reach literally thousands of people. If not, please consider compiling all the blogs chapters later into a book and getting that published in the very near future? You could save so many from unnecessary heartache.

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      1. Hi Debbie! Wow! You were my primary teacher when I was 5? What an incredible blessing it is to hear from you. I’ve read your comment several times and it gives me so much encouragement. I don’t believe in coincidences. I belive you were my primary teacher for a reason and that our lives are intersecting again for a reason. I’m so proud of your sister. That is such a big accomplishment to be in recovery for 5 years! I’m so glad she has rebuilt her relationship with her daughter and grand-children! I have so much love and compassion for addicts. Some of the best people I have ever met have been those who have fallen into the horrible grasp of addiction. It is so incredibly hard to get out. Your sister is one brave, strong, and courageous soul! I would love to catch up some time. Yes, please share my blog with anyone you feel to share it with. Thank you again for your encouraging words and for reaching out! It means the world to me.

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    2. Well hello Donna! It is so good to hear from you. I think often about you and Coach and all the many lessons I learned from having the blessing of playing for your husband. Believe it or not, I drew on those lessons more than you could ever know during my darkest hours. Please know of my love for you, Coach, and your family. There is much love and happiness in our entire family now, more than I think ever before. I look forward to sharing what actually happened. It’s different than what you might imagine. One thing is for sure, if it wasn’t for the prayers, generosity, help and love of countless numbers of people on our behalf, we never would have made it to where we are today. For that, we are eternally grateful. Thank you for your prayers on our behalf. I know they helped us. We love you guys. Please send my love and appreciation to Coach. Our story isn’t over yet. I’m more determined than ever to make sure, with God’s help, to rebuild and recover in every area of our lives. Coach taught us what it means to be a winner. I haven’t forgotten those lessons!

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  14. JB. You are resilient. You always have been. I recognize and value your courage in sharing. But, what is more, I recognize and value your desire to spiral up with hope in Christ. May we all fight tenaciously–“like a Bulldog”– for those things that are good. Please reach out to me any time!

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    1. Thank you Gabe! I remember you as an incredible competitor and a “Bulldog” in every sense of the word. Don’t tell Coach this:), but even though you hadn’t had much rest, I think you should have pitched that last game against Dixie instead of me. I’ve always thought that:)

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      1. No way! You were the right man for the spot! I will keep following your posts. Don’t feet like you always have to respond. I would love to talk about life. We share many similarities!!

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  15. Hi Jeremy! We have a mutual friend who “liked” your link to this post. Thank you for sharing your story. I realize this is your very first post, and I too, want to hear “the rest of the story” as soon as you have the time to share more with us! I love true stories. Also, I think it is wonderful that you shared your side of the story with all of your friends. I think it is helpful to talk about it. People can change, but we can’t change the past. It happened. People are susceptible to doing things that they think that they would never do. May God continue to bless you and your family as you continually strive to do what is right.

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  16. Jeremy, you have been, and still are, at the top of my awesome people list. From here on out, and the rest of my life, you will be in my prayers every night. I love ya buddy, come and visit.

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  17. I only knew bits and pieces of what happened so I hope you keep this blog going because your story needs to be shared. I’m proud of you man keep up the good work. You and Amy are true leaders! I hope your path will someday lead you two back to AZ sometime as we would sure love to see you again and talk about the Gospel as usual.

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  18. Jeremy.. I was in Louisville 4th ward. I was a primary teacher. Maybe you remember my daughter Pam. I so admire you for sharing your struggles with us. I am sure you will bless everyone with your story.
    God bless you and your family.

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  19. Jeremy,

    I was one of your mission companions in Riverside, CA (1991-1993). I have many good memories and pictures of serving with you. I was aware then of your capacity to invite the Spirit into discussions and to become an instrument for God in bringing souls to Christ – remember the 7-tools of the Spirit? Remember using those tools in our discussions?

    As I read this blog, I kept waiting for the punch line…I thought you might have a new book coming out or a seminar series that you were going to introduce but then I realized from the other comments that you have been in some real trouble..it seems unbelievable to me because I only have the memory of the missionary I knew in my mind..not the husband and father you became. We are separated by years.

    However, do you remember teaching a man with me who had lost everything – who described much of the same things you lay out in this blog? Do you remember how unbelievable it sounded to us at the time? He was very successful and lost it all – his wife, his children, his covenant blessings, his home and business. I remember him telling us how blessed he had become and how he lost it all. He said at first everything he touched seemed to turn to gold – success. Then he pointed out that he started to believe that he was the source of his own success. He only realized after hitting rock bottom that God had actually been the source of his success.

    Remember the talk on Pride you had in your scriptures? You taught me to put stuff in my scriptures and to clip my pen in my shirt across my chest – I still clip my pen that way. I wish I had an empathetic word to share because I care about the man I served with. However, I also have a sister with six children (temple marriage) all of whom suffered tremendously for the decisions of one man – her husband – their father – who is still serving prison time. I’ve also witnessed other families in wards and locations I’ve lived whose lives have been shattered by the decisions of the men they once trusted and loved.

    I don’t know your experience nor the challenges you faced that brought you to this point – but my thoughts and prayers are with you -your wife and children.

    If you need some tough love from Montana – you have a brother here.

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    1. Sterling, I know exactly who you are. How could I forget? Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings. I really appreciate you reminding me of experiences we shared together. You are still exactly how I remember you. I appreciate you not holding any punches. I know your comments are out of love and concern for me even after all these years. I have always had enormous respect for you. I hope you continue to follow my blog/story. Love you brother!

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  20. Jeremy I mentioned in my earlier response to your blog that my sister has been sober for about 5 years. Since then she has given away hundreds of paintings and cranks them out sometimes as many as 4 in a day. She wasn’t able to focus on this talent of hers until she triumphed over alcohol. I’ll try to post just a few of her paintings to your Facebook page to emphasize how each person has something special to share with others and to give others hope that they also can conquer their biggest challenges.

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  21. Jeremy – It’s been 22 years since I’ve seen you and Amy last and my soul ached when I read what happened to you and your family. Life has a way of throwing wicked curveballs. Like Leroy said in his post I’ve always cherished our relationship and loved the time we spent together when we were young and didn’t care about anything but baseball and girls (not necessarily in that order). You’ll put this ordeal behind you my brother and you’ll be a better man for it! If you’re in CO any time in the future let me know as I’d really like to see you. Keep moving forward!

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