Alcoholism isn’t prejudice, racist, religious, or judgmental. It wants to kill all of us. If you have the “disease” or “allergy” that is alcoholism, the only way to beat it is to never allow it in your body. You can’t pray it away, will it away, or get medication to make it go away.
I’ve spent many Sunday’s in church with a crushing hangover. Despite my best efforts and sincere intentions of trying to stick to one of my many failed controlled drinking plans, I always ended up getting violently drunk. Even though I knew the next day would be absolute torture while I tried to be a “Good Christian”.
The reality is that you’re either an alcoholic or you’re not. Nothing will take it away, not even your Faith. Despite this harsh truth, there’s some good news. With the help of others who have survived the torturous hell that you’re going through, along with a willingness and belief that God will guide you along the path of recovery, you can be saved from the ultimate final ending that all committed alcoholics face.
So maybe you’re wondering if you’re an alcoholic. Usually if there is any concern at all about whether you are or not, means you probably are. Normal drinkers never question this. Nor do they obsessively think about drinking. Do you struggle to stop drinking once you’ve started? If this sounds like you, trust me, it will only get worse.
I didn’t start out drinking like an “alcoholic”. But I did drink differently than most of the people around me. I didn’t realize it at the time because I thought everyone felt the way I felt when I drank. I just assumed that they stopped drinking after a couple of drinks because that’s what responsible people do. Even though I wanted to keep drinking, I was able to behave like all of the other responsible people. What I didn’t know is that they weren’t still thinking about drinking after they stopped.
Eventually I started giving into the temptation to have at least one more drink…. Often times I would talk those I was with to join me in just ONE more. This helped me justify it. Over time this went from just one more, to two more, to a dozen more, to drinking until there was nothing physically left to drink. Hopefully by that point I would pass out, because if I didn’t I would find a way to get more alcohol. More times than I can count, this resulted in me getting behind the wheel of a car and driving while highly intoxicated to get more booze.
During the last few years of my drinking career, I would deliberately isolate myself from friends and family so that I could drink alone and not worry about anyone judging the amount I consumed. I loved drinking alone. I loved it so much that eventually that’s what I was… ALONE. And very drunk.
I wasn’t much of a praying person until the pain of loneliness and the physical results of daily drinking started to hurt more than any supposed relief that my old friend alcohol could provide. Now don’t get me wrong, I prayed a ton of “Fox Hole” prayers. Dear God, please don’t let that be a cop behind me. Lord, please don’t let my wife find out how drunk I got last night. Father, please let me live through this vile hangover…
One night my prayer was different. It was sincere. It was an acknowledgement that I was defeated. It was a cry for help and admittance that only God could help me. I wish I could say that I was healed from that point forward and never drank again, but that’s unfortunately not the case. But something amazing did start to happen. I started to be reminded daily that I needed help. These reminders came in the strangest ways and at the oddest times. Like the one night that I was watching a movie that showed a scene where people were in a recovery group. That was the final seed that took root in me. It was that scene that convinced me to seek help.
As much as I didn’t want to, I felt compelled to walk into an AA meeting. I don’t remember much about my first time, but I remember the feeling I had. I wasn’t alone anymore. These people were saying everything that I had been thinking. They knew exactly what it was like to live life addicted to alcohol. They also seemed to have a grasp of how to live life without alcohol. I wanted what they had.
This was the beginning of an ever evolving spiritual journey. A journey that’s been filled with doubt, absolute certainty, fear, joy, and ultimately… Peace. I had to get over my stereotypical thinking of 12 step programs and be willing to try anything. Looking back I can see how God sprang into action to get me to take the first step.
By following and implementing the 12 steps of living, along with the guidance of Scripture, the days keep getting better and better. Does this mean bad things no longer happen? Of course not. But this new way of living, literally having easy steps to guide me through life has brought about a peace that passes all understanding.
This is my hope for anyone out there who is dealing with the fatal destroyer, Alcoholism. Don’t let it go any longer. You will lose the battle if you try to deal with it alone. Please seek out help, and maybe be willing to open the door just a little for God to walk into your life.