Still sober

It’s been over six years since my last alcoholic beverage.  I no longer crave the release that drinking brings.  I no longer wake with headaches, guilt and regret.  If I never see another rum & Coke, it will be too soon.  I have achieved total, and God willing, permanent sobriety.

This has been a very long and difficult road.  There have been so many good excuses to drink.  So many difficult days at work.  So many nerve-shattering emergencies over these last six years.  One great temptation of mine was a couple of weeks ago, when my son turned twenty-one.  What father wouldn’t LOVE to share his adult son’s first drink?  That’s iconic image has been in my mind for years.  I wanted so bad to have that common experience with him.  But, no.  I didn’t even offer.  I could have just bought him a margarita at the restaurant, just to enjoy watching him, but I didn’t do it.

It makes me mad that drinking is so engrained in our culture.  It’s poison.  Why should good times be celebrated by communal poisoning?  Why do we have this idealistic image in our minds of being truly happy as we guzzle alcohol?  Now that I have a little distance from it, I can see how depraved that is.  Have a birthday?  Poison!  It’s a new year?  Poison!  Had a hard day, or feeling alone and depressed?  I have just the thing: more poison!

There are a handful of people who have emailed me over the years that are still on my prayer list.  I don’t know what your struggles are or where you stand in this battle, but I believe in you.  Addiction is something you can beat, and beat permanently.  It takes courage and time and forgiveness, but it can be done.  I pray to God that you will have the strength to resist the urges, the need, the desire for the escape that alcohol brings.  If I was able to do this, then you can too.

God bless you, dear drinker.  Your redemption draweth nigh.

-Mark