Sobriety and Religion
Before I stopped drinking, I had not given much thought to religion in a long time. I used to believe in God a long long time ago. Then I got into my teens and I got further and further away. When my Grandparents died, I was mad with God and pretty much put him out of my mind.
Looking back, the only times I really thought about God was when my life was out of control, which was quite often actually. I would be angry and shout at him and blame him for everything. I know for sure that I threw out a few “f” words at him too.
The last night that I drank alcohol, I was in a right mess. I was drunk, crying, angry, sad, confused. I remember sitting in the driveway crying after having a dumb argument with a good friend (who was also tipsy). I wasn’t crying because of the argument. I just could not cope with where I was at in my life. My drinking was continually out of control. I would turn angry after a few drinks, I was arguing all the time, my self confidence was on the floor. I felt truly awful. I sat in the driveway and I screamed up at the sky. ‘Why don’t you help me????!!!!’ I repeated this many times along with a bunch of other drivel before going to bed in a drunken stupor.
I woke up the next morning. That was the first day of my sobriety. It has been 2 years since then.
Something happened that night. Something in me changed. I can’t say it was my doing because it wasn’t. I had been drinking for 17 years; more than half of my life. I had tried numerous times to give up drinking, including a short stint with AA. I never had any success.
When I woke up on the first day of my sobriety, something was different about me. I knew that I could never drink again but I had absolutely no idea how I was going to be sober, live sober and, stay sober.
God heard me that night. I didn’t realize it at that time but I know it now.
I did not set out to find God. Infact, I didn’t want to be anything like any of the recovering alcoholics that I have read about. The reason I didn’t want to go to AA was because I didn’t want my life to revolve around my alcoholism and recovery. I wanted to be sober but I wanted to be normal. I certainly didn’t want to become like those recovering alcoholics who had found God. Oh No. I did not want that at all. I had an image to preserve (well a somewhat flakey one) but in my mind I had to still be kind of cool and with it and not some bible bashing do-gooder.
I am happy to tell you that it happened. I became everything I never wanted to be with one difference. I love it. I love the second part of my life. I love God. He is totally in my life and he has grown on me like I could never have imagined.
It has taken me months to write this post. There is still the part of me that can not believe this is me and every time I wanted to share my story of how I really got sober, I procrastinated.
Religion is exciting. A relationship with God is amazing. Things are happening in my life, the answers to my prayers.
I have experienced what so many other believers already know and I can’t believe it has taken me this long.
I just want to say, that if you are sober and struggling then you might want to put your life in God’s hands and begin your own exploration of faith.
If you are interested, I recommend these three essential tools to get you started:
1) The New Living Translation Bible by Tyndale House
2) The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
3) Daily Devotional by Ike Reighard and Zig Ziglar