Seven years and counting!

A few months ago, I had my 7-year sober anniversary.  It’s been tough, but I’ve done pretty well.  Not a single drop of any alcoholic beverage since 2013.  Not like anyone noticed.  It’s not a real celebratory event: “Hey, remember when I used to get drunk and hung over, thought I was going to die, then you told me all the horrible shit I did?!  Yay!!!”  But, I’m proud of the biggest accomplishment of my adult life.  That’s seven years I didn’t know I was going to have.

To those of you struggling, still in the grips of this demon spirit, I have some advice:

  1. Get a hobby.  Something has to take the place of drinking.  You can’t just sit around and not do something, you know?  For me, it was barbeque.  Gave me something to focus on, and something to put in my mouth.  Never mind that many BBQ recipes start out with “Open your first beer, and get your seasonings ready.  Apply to the meat and enjoy your second beer while it comes to room temperature.”  Alcohol is literally everywhere and in everything.  I just steered away from those morons & found me some better sites to read.
  2. Get a pet.  You need someone who will unequivocally, unconditionally love you.  Some sweet animal to lick your tears and love you and is always happy to see you.  For me, it was a puppy.  A cute little Labrador puppy that just turned nine and is one of the best decisions of my life.  Yes, I know the dog is nine and I’ve only been sober for seven.  I didn’t say it worked right away.  Change takes time.
  3. Get help.  There are some good resources at help.org, and a lot of people swear AA meetings turned them around.  For me, I don’t know – I went to therapy, and she said she wanted me to go to AA, but I never did.  I hate sitting in a circle and sharing my feelings.  I think the threat of having to go to AA meetings motivated me to stay off the bottle more than anything else.  But, you do you.  Whatever works, whatever it takes.

I don’t have a lot else to say.  Alcohol is the socially acceptable drug that people brag about.  It’s in our culture.  The billboards and movies make it seem fun and exciting and it helps you open up and relax and party.  Celebrating an event?  Drink!  Important event?  Toast the newlyweds!  Saturday with the boys?  Beer!   Depressed and alone?  Whiskey!  It is tempting to just swallow something that will make the pain go away, even for a little while.  But temptation leads to sin and sin, when it is finished, brings death.  Not everyone that drinks dies from it, but I feel like I was headed that way, and fast.  Thank God it turned around.

I’m very upset about the political and social news.  I don’t like thinking the election was rigged, but if it wasn’t, then it was the most statistically miraculous anomaly ever.  Trump’s a good man, but he has his faults.  I’m not surprised he lost, but I’m very surprised Biden won.  Bush had Katrina, Trump had Covid.  I guess change is inevitable.  But for Big Tech to censor the president of the United States?!  Oh.  My.  GOD.  This is some scary shit!  It makes me think there’s a bunch of elites somewhere planning all this out, the election, the riots, Covid, everything.  Illuminati maybe, I don’t know.  And they freaked out when Trump won because they weren’t prepared, but by gosh, they didn’t take any chances this time!  But you know what?  There’s a higher power than the Illuminati.  If Persia and Greece had demon princes, I bet America does too, but that also means angels are fighting them.  And the angels are going to win the war.  Maybe not the battle, but certainly the war.

As unsettling as the news is, with all the tension and turmoil around us, we can still have peace.  God is still in control.  God still loves us.  God forgives us.  God unconditionally loves us.  And God knows how hard it is to stop drinking.  It’s an addiction.  It’s stubborn.  And, damn it, it makes me feel good!  But God is bigger than our biggest problem, and he’s not about to toss us away when we make another mistake.  If I can quit and stay quit for seven years, you can too.  So go season that brisket, take a sip of water, and pet that sweet dog while you look out at your world and thank God that He has given you another chance!

God bless
-Mark