Article | - 5:44 pm

I Became Addicted to Cigarettes in Middle School

Read the Story of Rachel Ali

Rachel Ali


At a very young age, 6 or 7 years old, my dad used to send us to light up his cigarettes. I got into the habit of lighting up cigarettes even if he didn’t ask. The moment he said he wanted one, I would run and get one because I’d smoke part of it before giving it to him. I became addicted in middle school. I started high school already addicted to cigarettes. At the age of 19, I got pregnant with my daughter. During the pregnancy, they told me that I had rheumatic fever. I knew I had it before arriving in the USA. The fever ate all my heart valves, so I was rushed into surgery. They replaced all my heart valves. After the surgery, I did not quit smoking. I tried to stop smoking by using pills, patches, and other methods, but nothing worked. I was highly addicted to nicotine.

A few years later, I got pregnant with my son. I tried to stop again, but I’d return to it six months to a year later. I had another heart surgery, and I nearly died. The doctors had to implant a pacemaker in me because my heart gave up. After that, I tried to stop smoking again for about a year, but I went back. During that year, I had a lot of cravings. So, I would take the patches out and have a cigarette; then, I would put it back on to sleep at night.

The doctors said that if I did not quit smoking, I could have a heart attack, my heart could stop at any moment, and my metallic valves could get a blood clot and stop. I knew my life was at risk, but I did not listen to the doctors.

After my husband and I broke up, I became depressed. I started hanging out with the wrong crowd and doing what they were doing. I started smoking weed, drinking, and going out to clubs. Even though I knew none of that was good for my health, I kept going. That was a temporary emotion, but when I would get home, I would be awake all night and cry myself to sleep.

I would always put my life at risk. I knew that if I didn’t stop, I could die. Because of the metallic valves, my blood had to be at a certain level, so when I’d drink, my blood became very thin, and I could bleed to death.

I was always on Facebook listening to the Showdown of Faith by Bishop Joshua. I would leave comments and participate in the prayers. One day I decided to call. Bishop Josua prayed for me and invited me to go the following week. When I started coming to The Universal Church, I started coming on Sundays, then on Fridays for the Chain of Prayer. During the process of deliverance, I had no cravings.

The day I received the Holy Spirit was a Friday night. After the deliverance prayer, the Bishop called us to come in front of the Altar. We started seeking the Holy Spirit, and that’s the night I received that happiness and peace in my soul. I cannot even explain how it was.

Today I have such peace in my heart. It’s as if I was transformed into a different person. I thank God every day for this peace; it’s so overwhelming. I feel so different now. I even have more energy. This is not who I was before coming to The Universal Church. When I would go to my doctor weekly to withdraw blood, my blood levels were always up and down. Now my blood level is steady! I feel great!

To anyone going through depression, I encourage you to come to The Universal Church and participate in the Chain of Prayer. It works; it definitely works!

Rachel Ali, 47 years old