Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Endurance

Every day I awake and instantly become aware that I am not in my own bed. Five years ago I experienced the trauma of separation. The direct cause of the separation was entirely my fault. The pain and shame of my insanity haunts me continuously. The depth of my love for my family has become a grief that threatens to destroy me.

I respect the power of the subconscious mind. I have witnessed the mysterious impact it can have. The result of my "freedom" was to drink more and more. I am forced to admit the possibility that my desire for drunkenness caused me to push my family far from me. The biblical principle of knowing the tree by its fruit applies. The primary result of my insanity was unrestrained drunkenness.

Alcohol, that wonderful depressant, dulled the pain for awhile. But soon, it came very close to destroying me completely. My death was not God's plan, however, and I discovered that it was not to happen by my will or at a time of my choosing.

So, instead, I have been sober for three years plus four months. Recently I feel as if I am just awaking from a nightmare, only to recognize that the nightmare is my reality. Where am I? Where is my beautiful family?

I realize that I need help for my pain. Out there somewhere are people and programs designed and dedicated to helping such problems as I have. My own intellect causes me to over think the possible choices. There are philosophies of treatment; there is scientific mumbo-jumbo; there is zeal for this or that developed method; each of these is limited in the ability to truly help. Each design at best can help only some but not all, so those are worthwhile. But my knowing that each has limitations causes me to hesitate.

There is one, who is perfect, that is God. But how do I appropriate the help of God in regard to my situation? I am forgiven, but the consequences of my sin remains. I have found that it is of little value to pray to feel better. I need someone to love me. I believe that God does, but I seem to need a hug. I need someone to be by my side. I believe that the Spirit is along side me, but I want to have a discussion about things from a limited perspective too. I need a smile that comes simply because I am there.

These are the things that my family was to me. But I violated their trust. My shame has attached soul-felt pain to those relationships. The wonder and beauty of those relationships has caused an unfulfilled need in me for more of what I once knew. But I broke it. I grieve for a feeling, a state of being, that I cannot imagine recovering. Every single day is one in which I miss what I have lost.

Why am I still sober? I have every excuse to drink again. I certainly am willing to do so. Yet the fact is that it does not happen. I firmly believe that it is the Spirit who rules my sobriety, the Spirit who will not allow it. I cannot think that I have the choice to drink.

So there may be hope. There must be a reason I cannot choose to drink. In crazy moments I have the idea that the reason I remain alive and sober is so that I can experience more suffering. But I must also admit that it is just possible that there is something else, some other reason. I am afraid to believe in such a possibility because of the risk of being wrong. Only time will reveal the truth and I must be patient. So be it.

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