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Masking a Deep Insecurity only God Fulfilled

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“The doctor gave me something for anxiety and depression and I took that with the painkiller. I got behind the wheel going about 70 miles an hour and I blacked out at the wheel. When I woke up in county jail, the first thing I was thinking about is I'm gonna be exposed.”

From outward appearances, Brian Astuto had it all: a loving family, successful business, a nice home, and expensive cars. However, those things were just masking his insecurities and low self-esteem. Brian recalls, “I felt my self-worth on how much money I made. So, knowing I made six figures, and I had a Mercedes, and I had a BMW, and I had a big home, I felt like I was the man.” 

As a young boy, Brian found happiness at church and even asked Jesus into his heart. However, church life was a social thing, not a spiritual pursuit. He recalls, “I was going to vacation Bible school; I was going to Bible studies. I was going to kids’ camps. I was going to everything that was there for me that was provided for me. And I loved it. And I wasn't developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It was more a do's and don'ts gospel identity.” 

In his teens, Brian became obsessed with fitness and was soon getting attention from girls. He says, “I wasn't having sex, but I was having impure thoughts and sexual thoughts.” At college, he gave in to those thoughts and started sleeping around. He says, “I wanted more attention. So, the better in shape I got, the more girlfriends I had, the more sin I was in. I was caught in the cycle of sinning and repenting, sinning, and repenting. I felt bad.”

During that time his focus shifted from fitness to making money. He dropped out of college after two years and started working. Brian says, “I was always trying to find the next thing to buy or the next thing to do to make me feel happy.”

By his late 20s, Brian was the successful manager of a couple fast food restaurants. Despite his opulent lifestyle, he still felt empty. He recalls, “There were moments when I would be in a huge home, my wife and kids would be asleep. And I would think, ‘is this it, is this all that is in life?’” Then at 32, after three foot surgeries, Brian found something new to fill that gap… pain pills. He says, “The euphoria, the confidence, everything. It was all of it. Everything. It made me feel great for that moment. I hid drugs, hid what I was doing, and went about life just to cover up all of the pain. The insecurity, the self-esteem, the, the identity, all the problems that I had. I hid that and went about life. I hated myself and I wanted to do whatever I could to band aid that with drugs, to cover that, to enjoy something about me.”

It wasn’t long before he went from functioning addict to junkie; shooting up cocaine and meth just to get by. After eight years of addiction, his wife demanded a divorce. He says, “Nine rehabs later, 14 arrests later, and five total vehicles. My wife kicked me out of the house and I knew I wasn't gonna be around my kids anymore. And I remember the despair I was feeling. I wanted to numb the pain. I couldn't take the pain anymore.”

So, Brian did what he always did and got high. However, this time he took too much. He recalled, “And all I remember is traveling to the depths of hell. I couldn't scream and nobody could hear me. I could hear people. I could hear them scream, but they couldn't hear me. I started seeing all of the places that I would choose darkness over Him instead of humbling myself. I was there because I denied His call over and over again. He pursued me and said, ‘humble yourself, Brian, humble yourself so I can help you, surrender your life to me so I can get you help.’ I understood God's love and how just He was, and I had this hope in me, I cried out to Him, ‘give me one more chance and I will give You, my life. I will surrender everything.’ And He said, ‘I love you.’”

When Brian woke up on the bathroom floor, he rededicated his life to God and soon checked in to the LA dream center rehab. He recalls, “It taught me what life needs to look like when you're putting God first.” In his two years in the program, Brian says God delivered him from addiction. He also learned true joy comes through pursuing God, not material things. He and his wife, Stephanie, reconciled and a few months after he finished the program, they remarried.

Today, Brian travels the country sharing his testimony about God’s love and grace when there seems to be no hope. He says, “Not only did He take me out of the depths of hell with His grace and mercy, He made me understand why He chose me, why He loves me. After I humbled myself, I understood what kind of God He was, what kind of loving God He was, what kind of just God He was. A lot of us think that God is against us when we do wrong. And I want to remind you that He loves you and He wants you to humble yourself so you can get the help that you need.”

Brian has written a book entitled, "The Purpose Behind My Pain." To get your copy, please visit:

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About The Author

Ed Heath

Ed Heath loves telling stories. He has loved stories so since he was a little kid when he would spend weekends at the movies and evenings reading books. So, it’s no wonder Ed ended up in this industry as a storyteller. As a Senior Producer with The 700 Club, Ed says he is blessed to share people’s stories about the incredible things God is doing in their lives and he prays those stories touch other lives along the way. Growing up in a Navy family, Ed developed a passion for traveling so this job fits into that desire quite well. Getting to travel the country, meeting incredible people, and