WHEW! This ain't easy! Which is why it's a 2-parter.
I tried to revert back to a relationship topic when God put this on my heart, but I would rather tell my own story than have the devil blackmail me with it. So here it goes...
Towards the very end of 2016, I realized I was pretty much an alcoholic. The thing is, I would have never seen it if I didn't choose to.
I wasn't a junkie, which is probably why it was so hard to notice. (Lol, but seriously.) I was still functioning at a very high level, mentally and physically, but it was my spiritual and emotional health that took the hardest hit. These things I could play off in front of my family, friends, and coworkers, so it was nearly impossible for them to even catch the signs in order to help me.
There was one event that caused me to want to see my dysfunction: a break-up. I broke up with a boyfriend I was "shacking up" with after about 3 years of dating and moved back to my home state. Getting some distance between us made so many things SO clear that were completely hidden when we were together, not just about our relationship, but about me as a person.
Before breaking up with him, I remember sitting in the apartment we were living in and God spoke to me right were I was so clearly saying, "If you stay in the relationship, you'll be committing suicide 2 months from now." And now I was beginning to see why. It wasn't just about the relationship, but all of the things I was blind to while in it.
So I asked God to make me over, start from scratch if He had to, I just needed to be better. I became overwhelmingly aware that Jesus thought I was worth dying for and here I am choosing to slowly kill myself.
Well... make me over He did. And my drinking problem was just ONE of the issues that needed to be tackled. Here are some signs that made my alcoholism clear to me:
1. I worshiped it.
It didn’t matter how horrible my day was, I would think of the chilled wine and whiskey bottles in my fridge and took comfort in knowing that I could drink it off at the end of the day. I thought that if I could just make it to those bottles, then everything would be okay. It literally was my motivation to perform well in my daily obligations. I ended up making it my idol; the role that alcohol was playing in my life should have been reserved for God, and God only.
2. I often didn’t know when I was drunk,
so consequently, I didn’t know when to stop drinking. I would be throwing back shots and not feel a thing. And then it would all hit me at once, taking me from "sober" to blackout. Based on what I’ve heard, even after my blackouts I would still be functioning: having conversations, dancing, and even driving, which brings me to the next sign…
3. I put others’ lives in danger.
This is the scariest part of it all: I would wake up the morning after drinking and not know how I got home. And when I would ask my friend, she often said that I not only drove myself home, but drove everyone else home as well. Being a "high functioning drunk" it was really hard for others to tell that I was intoxicated as well. They honestly believed I was sober or just a little tipsy. There's no doubt that God Himself took the wheel during those times. I could be wearing an orange jumpsuit had things turned out differently.
Excuse me while I go fall on my knees and weep once again in gratitude to the Lord. MY GOD!!
When I think of the dangerous positions I myself and others in, I have no choice but to make the most of the life I have because God was REALLY looking out for me! It's not by luck or coincidence that I'm alive and free and not in a mental institution! *praise break*
4. I didn't take no for an answer.
Alcohol was always easy for me to get, even when I wasn't quite 21 yet. I ALWAYS found a way to get a bottle, and usually for free. I was that girl at the bar who was a pro at getting free drinks all night without even giving out my number, or even my name. I knew who to get in good with at the door and behind bar. Sometimes we even got in good with the owner of the place and then we were set every time we wanted to step out. Yeah… that’s no okay.
It's cool to have that amazing, fun night where you happen to vibe with the right people who can get you VIP access, but that shouldn't be the case every where you go, every time. I have to admit that I used my psychology degree to my advantage in these situations in order to get what I wanted and that's highly manipulative, not to mean unethical.
5. I wasn’t just drinking socially for fun.
As a matter of fact, I would actually drink before "pre-gaming" to go out for drinks. Again... not okay.
Alcohol was at the top of my grocery list along with eggs, bread, and milk. It was a staple in my house. If I had an empty fridge, there would at least be a bottle of something to drink for dinner.
I had insomnia (probably because I wasn’t living right) so I often used it to relax and sleep. I also had anxiety as well so I would drink to calm my nerves. I literally used it as medicine when I was sick. Any issue I was having, even if I was just lonely at home watching a movie, my drink would be keeping me company.
As I mentioned before, there's an anointing on my life that caused God to cover me during all of this foolishness, and I'll bet you have an anointing too. In my next post, I'll be talking about how I was able to recover from my alcoholism quickly and painlessly. Seriously... it was an instant, sweatless victory and I'm still amazed by it.