Head Joins the Body
- Monday, August 13, 2007
But despite several attempts to free himself from his addiction, nothing—not even the birth of his daughter, Jennea—could spur him to quit drugs for good. As the pressures of the business increased, his addictions worsened. And despite playing Woodstock 99, the biggest show of the band's career, Welch soon after got into a fight with his wife after the concert and punched her in the face.
Rebekah left him in 2000, falling into a new crowd of drug addicts—as it turns out, she was having an affair with a known skinhead and felon. When she failed to attend the court date concerning Jennea, Welch gained full custody. "But instead of getting my life together, I got stressed out and started drinking and partying more. So in 2003 and 2004, I got hooked on methamphetamines massively. I snorted lines every day to get up. It was like breakfast to me."
By 2004, Welch was deeply depressed, suicidal, and addicted, fantasizing what a relief it would be if he overdosed. "My life was crumbling. I needed to get off drugs. I tried a couple of rehabs, but that didn't work."
Then one day he heard his then 5-year-old daughter Jennea singing a Korn song about sex ("A.D.I.D.A.S."). Welch knew at that point that he had to leave the multi-platinum band and raise his daughter right.
Reaching out to a Christian friend in an e-mail, Welch hinted how unhappy he was. Days later, the friend wrote backs saying Welch came to mind after reading Matthew 11:28 that morning: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
The verse touched something deep inside Welch and a lifetime of pain came pouring out. He told his friend he was a lost soul, and recalled asking Jesus into his heart as a child, remembering a presence of peace and love that had embraced him in his youth.
It was while contemplating whether or not Jesus was really the answer that the supernatural "coincidences" began to occur. Welch began bumping into old friends who had since accepted Christ in their lives, and a neighbor whose daughter was friends with Jennea started to ask if he wanted to go to church. Even Jennea began to ask questions about God and Jesus, having occasionally gone to a Catholic church with Welch's aunt. And Matthew 11:28 started popping up all over—in e-mails, on signs, on store windows.
Later that year, while still doing drugs one morning, Welch felt an enormous pain in his chest and couldn't breathe. Though it wasn't a heart attack, it was enough to scare some sense into him.
"So I decided to go to church," said Welch. "The pastor was talking about how Jesus was real and all you needed to do was to talk to him and he'd deliver you. So that's what I did. I went home and I said, 'Jesus, if you are real, take this stuff away from me. Make me a good person again. Take away my suicidal thoughts. Help me want to live again.'"
Days after that prayer, Welch felt enough resolve to finally give up his drug addictions. "The thing that tripped me out the most was I didn't have those depressing thoughts like I did before. God was really doing something awesome inside of me."
Leaving Jennea in the care of his parents, Welch checked himself into a hotel for a week simply to sleep, eat, and pray. Remarkably, the drug withdrawal symptoms went by relatively quickly. "Within a couple of weeks, I was off drugs and feeling good, which is unheard of when you're a speed addict."
It wasn't just drugs he said goodbye to either. Welch decided to leave Korn in the midst of a multi-million dollar contract negotiation. "Little did I know that God was also delivering me from addiction to money too," says Welch in his new autobiography, Save Me From Myself: How I found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, and Lived to Tell My Story.
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