If I could give you one word to the wise when it comes to getting sober, it would be this-
Every day you don’t take a drink or pick up is a miracle.
And where do miracles come from? God, of course. Jesus. Just writing His name soothes my soul. I’m not preaching, I am stating fact. If there is anything you need to be a success, it is your relationship with your Lord and Savior. You may balk, thinking what does she know?
I know everything about the disease of addiction, and I acquired the knowledge during a 12 year journey of recovery. When first sober, after a stint that resulted in me in hospital, with a cop at my door. I thought there was no hope, not a sliver of a chance that I could climb out of the pit of despair I had found myself laying in-the bottom, for me. I had attempted to slit my wrists, and I did a crappy job of it-but I also threatened my husband with a knife over a bottle of wine. I don’t remember doing this, but I sobered up just as he was telling the social worker, and I cried out-
“Why, why are you lying???”
Thing is? He wasn’t.
I spent the night, escorted to the potty by a cop, and whatever they gave me knocked me out cold for twenty four hours. I awoke to the sound of my husband pulling out of the driveway, on his way to work.
I called my boss, sat down and cried.
I was absolutely frightened out of my skull. I searched the cupboards and found a big jug of wine. I stood there, on the kitchen chair, and stared at this bottle of poison. To this day, I believe that I would have taken a drink if it hadn’t been for one thing: Jesus was carrying me.
I put down the jug. Too tired to fight with myself, I ascended the stairs and crawled back into bed. I slept a lot in the very beginning. Sleep was my only safe space, and my body was working overtime at ridding itself of the toxins accumulated over my drinking career. I lost fifty pounds, without trying. I later found out that I should have entered a rehab facility, as I had gone cold turkey. The withdrawal from alcohol had put my father in a coma some thirty years before. The irony has never escaped me.
There were horrible mood swings and a backlog of grief. I absolutely hated the people that could have a drink and enjoy a night out. For years I felt as if I was truly missing out. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t miss anything else-the hangovers, the guilt, the drink and dial-but I wanted, more than anything else in the world at that time, to be a normal person.
And that was it, wasn’t it? The incredible self involvement us addicts are guilty of while using.
Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.
The biggest slap in the face was realizing that not only did I put alcohol before my husband and family, but I put it before Abba. Somewhere along the line, I forgot the nature of my sins. I never stopped praying, but I was incredibly selfish and I regret that now.
So, my advice is this-
Take one minute at a time, and take each moment with God, not alone.
Without Him we are powerless.
With Him we are fearless.
There is hope, love, a future. You are not a horrible person, and as it turns out? Most alcoholics and drug addicts are incredibly compassionate and sensitive. We don’t understand the lack of love in the world, it hits us harder than the average bear. I was 56 years old before I realized that there was evil in this world. I had no sense of boundaries, as often happens with children of alcoholics. I truly thought that we were put on this earth to help and care for one another-it was a slap in the face to learn otherwise.
Two years ago I made a covenant between God and myself. I promised Him I would never take a drink again. I never promised anything to anyone, because I always fell short, always screwed things up. So you can imagine I was pretty serious when I made this pact.
The miracle happened when I lost all desire to ever take a drink or drug again.
There is no shame in addiction. None whatsoever. It means that you leaned on a crutch like anyone and everyone else. Food, gambling, smoking, drinking-gluttony is gluttony, anyway you look at it. But it doesn’t matter in the end. What matters is discovering what your personal kryptonite is-and then addressing the murderous pain it has caused you. When you successfully process your grief, you won’t need a drink or a drug.
Stay strong. Be a badass. He has you~