The funniest part about sobriety is that it is one the darkest paths that leads to more light than you have ever experienced before. When we are stuck in a cycle of habit, we begin to live in bondage. Whether it be porn, drugs, alcohol, food, shopping, gambling etc., we cannot live our life with our best foot forward under the control of substance. It brings delight for such a short period of time, but we still convince ourselves that life won’t be fulfilled without it. Satan tricks us into thinking we would become less than if it wasn’t a part of our experience.
For me, it was alcohol. I felt more accepted and loved when it became my life, so I was convinced I wouldn’t be ok without it. Afterall, you can’t go anywhere these days that people aren’t drinking. I see it every single day. The world has the idea that our Monday was just too much, so we must have a bottle of wine. That our kids were too much to handle so we better have a stiff drink when they go to bed. Our job is so overwhelming but with a drink at the end of the day, all will be right in the world. We become reliant on something that brings a false sense of security that we no longer enjoy it, but we NEED IT!
I rarely speak out about my sobriety but what I have realized is that literally NOTHING GOOD comes from it and very few people can control it. I know a few people who can have 1-2 drinks every month or so and that is obviously not an issue for them. I know MANY more people that either must have it daily or if they have one and you can bet, they will finish the thirty pack in the fridge.
When I think about what alcohol added to my life, I honestly cannot think of one good thing. It causes Weight gain, it is expensive, decreases self-control, DWI’s, domestic violence, most times it was masking an actual issue that was there the next morning and I made life choices that I would never dream of making in a sober state of mind. There really is no good reason personally why I had to continue drinking.
One of the scariest nights that I remember is the perfect example of making choices that could be life altering that I would never have made if alcohol was not involved. We had gone to one of my friends’ houses that I was extremely close to with the intention of drinking and hanging out. I had two drinks and remember feeling like I suddenly couldn’t even stand up. I remember nothing from the time I had the second drink to waking up in the bed between my friend and her husband several hours later. (did I mention I had all three kids with me and brogan was baby?) When I woke up, I told them I needed to go smoke and that I would be right back. I snuck out, found my kids who were sleeping in the other room and we quietly went out to my car and left. We left some of my clothes, their jackets and all our shoes. I was still so drugged and drunk as I drove all the way in from LaPlata to Farmington on snowy roads with all three kids in my car. Y’all tears flow when I think of the danger, I placed my kids in and how much God protected us from danger that could have ended our lives. Still to this day, I wonder what actually happened that night because I never spoke to them again. My girls remember it well but Brogan not at all. Foolish evening that would have never happened if sobriety was my life choice.
At the end of my drinking, I was going to church encouraging my kids to be involved. Meanwhile, I was stumbling through our house, running into walls and puking because I was so drunk. There had been several sermons that I had sat through that it was as though all I heard was “STOP DRINKING!” Obviously, that wasn’t at all what the sermon was about looking back but God was loud and direct about what I was risking. I realized that I could not glorify God in a drunk state of mind. As much as I hate to admit this, I sometimes wonder if the reason my kids have clung so tightly to God is because there were nights that they laid in bed knowing what was going on downstairs and he was the only thing they had to hold on to. It is hard to lead someone to Christ with your words when your actions are on the fast track to hell!
I still have just as much fun without the drinking and sometimes even more because I am fully aware of my surroundings and actions. I never have mornings that I wake up wondering what I did, how much I spent or how I got home. I have spent more quality time with my children since I have been sober than I ever did before. I don’t know about you but when I am drinking, the last thing I wanted was kids all up in my business. (eye roll) I have been sober two and half years and Brogan still will tell me he would cry if I drank again. He may not have remembered that night but there were several crazy nights with bad endings that he does remember.
I know I keep saying it, but gosh I have been so foolish in my journey to figuring out the road to God but that is the most beautiful part about our journey with him. There is nothing in the world that is too far gone. There is nothing that anyone can do to turn him away from accepting us back into his loving arms. He will use our past sins to encourage our future self. To remind us that no matter what, we can call out to him and he will answer. I think back on that night and I see how his hand of protection was all over us. How in the world could I possibly doubt his protection now? My life has grown from a “curious want” for God to a desperation for God. I can no longer live a silent day to day life when I think of his deliverance and how much he has changed my heart. When I hit rock bottom, I could see him more clearly.
People often ask me if I would live my life differently if I had a second chance. The answer is I wish I could have protected my kids better than I did but no I would do it all over again if it got me to where I am today. God will chase us down until we willingly break the chains of bondage, we are living in. The road has certainly been dark, but my life is now filled with so much light.
Can I ask you something? Are you living in the bondage of something that is keeping you from living freely with God? Maybe it isn’t alcohol but something else. Are you worried that if you give it up and step away that you will lose all the friends and social life? That your life will totally change? The bad news is, that you will likely lose both and your life is going to change. The best news is, you will gain so much more when you gain ALL OF HIM! There is NOTHING in this whole world that is better than waking up with a clear mind every morning and sitting at his feet. It is truly the greatest love story ever told!!
My Chains Are Broken,