Gospel star Joseph Habedank, who recently revealed details surrounding his life-altering battle to overcome prescription drug addiction, is hoping to show others struggling with similar issues that there’s “always hope at the end of the tunnel."
"I view God differently,” Habedank said in an interview this week for the Freefall podcast, noting that his perspective has changed in the wake of addiction. “I grew up very strict evangelical, independent Baptist family and God was not necessary a loving father … he was more of a ruler.”
While the singer said that he most certainly believes God is a "ruler" who deserves "reverence," he contends that the Lord also represents and espouses "love."
“He's the same God that said, ‘Hey, I'm pretty sure I'm going to send my only son to die for everyone in the world … it's that God,” Habedank said.
And it’s this eternal love that the singer — who resigned from gospel group The Perry’s last year after his prescription drug addiction came to members’ attention — said guided him through his addiction.
Listen to the Freefall interview with Habedank below:
Describing 2013 as both the “best year” and the “worst year” of his life, Habedank said he ended up losing his music career with The Perry’s and landed in a rehab facility outside Nashville, Tennessee, where he battled prescription drug addiction head-on.
But, on the flip side, the singer said he had some victories as well.
“I got sober, which is huge,” he told TheBlaze.
Habedank was in his early 20s when an ulcer on his throat led him to begin relying on pain medications — a dependency that resulted in addiction and in Habedank taking 10 to 12 pills per day, as TheBlaze reported back in August.
At the time, he was doing things he never thought he’d do, calling addiction a “roller coaster and endless cycle of awfulness.”
“I don't make a habit of lying. I'm not a thief,” he said. “When you're caught in the grips of addiction, you're either under the influence or you're not under the influence and you want to be.”
The experience was especially painful, Habedank said, as he felt like he was a Christian singer and, thus, the least likely individual to end up with a drug dependency problem.
“Gospel singers aren't supposed to have addiction,” Habedank remembered thinking. “But then you realize addiction does not discriminate … it's cunning, it's powerful and it does not care who you are.”
In addition to overcoming addiction, the singer also began preparing in 2013 for his solo album titled, “Welcome Home” — a project that he described as “a labor of love.”
“This album speaks so much hope … into the lives of people who are just broken and need hope, need forgiveness,” Habedank said. "This is an amazing avenue to be able to tell people, ‘Hey you know what? There’s always hope … at the end of the tunnel."
He said anyone can overcome addiction, but they have to truly “want it” and work diligently toward healing.