Let me paint this picture for you…It’s a beautiful summer evening, I believe in July, and I’m sitting on the back deck at my house journaling and listening to music. Accompanying me in my grief and loneliness was my favorite Moscato wine. Man it went down way too easy, every sip numbing the pain eating away at my soul…or was it? It didn’t take long for that buzz to turn into the full blown feeling of drunkenness and for that pain to become so alive you could almost physically see it. I’m texting those I know will answer me – letting them know “yeah I’m ok just drunk, feeling good.” Good went to absolute shit quick…
At the time, I had possession of Paul’s off duty gun that I requested back from my brother in law who I reassured I was “good” to have it in my house. As I’m sitting on the deck with the sun fading to dark, my thoughts became the same. With the tears flowing effortlessly, the pain of losing the love of my life overtaking any other feeling, my mind went straight to the loaded glock sitting in my closet. Just the thought of the gun was propelling me towards it – my mind saying you can end this RIGHT NOW. Man what an amazing thought. All of this would be over. By the grace of God, I used what brain cells were still rationally thinking and called someone to come over ASAP to disarm it. And so here I am today telling this story because so many need to hear it. Not because it’s about me, not because it is so freakin sad and I want your sympathy, but because we have people doing this every single day – many not making it out alive. I thank God I’m able to share these following thoughts with you.
When I look back, I ask myself how many times alcohol has done me a favor in this life? Sure I’ve had fun while drinking, dancing the night away with friends. It’s been nice to sit down at dinner with girlfriends and have a few drinks. This is not the kind of “poppin bottles” I’m talking about. I want to talk about the kind no one wants to admit – people turn a blind eye to – they rationalize it’s acceptance. You’ve heard it but many times has it been a passive, non-serious conversation…I’m talking about COPING and SELF-MEDICATING.
Rough days at work or your daily hatred for your job driving you to pick up a cold one…or 2…or 6? The pain of losing a loved one? The life you always pictured now completely wiped out? The marriage that’s failing? The divorce that has gotten ugly or the one you didn’t ask for? Your kids that won’t listen, that don’t want anything to do with you? Loneliness, self hate, the voice in your head saying there’s no other way out? That one thing that you have failed at time and time again you feel you will never beat? Chronic illness? Tragedy? WHAT IS IT YOU ARE RUNNING FROM???
Gosh how many times do we want to run away from the emotions that don’t feel good to experience? Think about it. Why does the term “liquid courage” exist? You know “a drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts.” What would happen in this society if we checked our motive for drinking, put down the bottle, and had an honest conversation with ourselves and/or others? STOP RUNNING FROM EMOTIONS BY DRINKING – they will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS come back and find you the next time. And most likely, they will be amplified because they were never processed the first time aroud.
I’ve struggled with self-medicating with alcohol a few times in my life – mostly during times of great heartache and stress. Ever heard that “sin takes you farther than you wanna go, costs you more than you wanna pay, keeps you longer than you wanna stay?” It rings so true over the history of my life in my times of drunkenness. Do I live with regrets from decisions I made, things I said/did in those moments? Absolutely. I’ve had to make the change to be sober at various points in my life because I knew I was drinking for all the wrong reasons. So I just want you to be honest with yourself and ask the question, “why am I drinking?” And if your answer is to cope with your life, what are you going to do to change it?
P.S. Because this was so heavy I have something funny. I am NOT a beer drinker. I was told it is an acquired taste…think how silly that sounds. My response has always been “so if I eat cow shit long enough, I’ll like it?” HA so ridiculous!!
KEEP IT REAL