Sobriety, Part III

I’ve had a tremendous spiritual breakthrough in the last couple months that has been a huge milestone for me.

I had become increasingly depressed in a strange, different sort of way than I had been before. It wasn’t any kind of sadness, but rather, a kind of deadness inside that disturbed me. I wanted to die because I was bored with this place, and pissed at its inhabitants. Not because I was in pain, but because I just was greedy and wanted to move on!!! The antidepressant I tried did nothing. Bizarrely, they did not even have the side effects they always did in the past, except for one unusual dream, and that was it. It was as if I wasn’t even taking them.

I had started drinking again over a year ago. It was purely a control issue and a desire to get that old happy feeling back. Well, as I mentioned when I quit before, that warm drunky feeling was to be no more. I could no longer get that. It was infuriating and I felt like a ghost in CS Lewis’ The Great Divorce, trying to get drunk in the afterlife, to no avail.

In the meantime I spent a lot of time praying. LOTS of time praying. Praying for others, of course, but also a lot of prayers that basically went over the same things: to be a better Christian, mother, daughter, friend, and employee, AND (ironically!) to be protected against every tiniest little smidge of emotional pain or unhappy event.

Well, geez, how is THAT supposed to work?????

This did not hit me until something extremely painful happened about a month ago. My mechanic helped me get my car, an Acura I am thrilled with. In the midst of this, I inadvertently offended him.

Since this is a public place, it’s best not elaborated on, but suffice it to say, it was a nightmare. Happily, it has blown over, but this was a watershed experience for me.

Spiritually and emotionally, at a gut level, I knew this was going to be the hardest thing I would need to do so far, and I grovelled painfully. It was tremendously difficult but I instinctively knew what I was doing, coupled with constant prayer, was the right thing. I have always had difficulty apologizing to anyone whom I felt was not likely to be gracious in response, and I knew somehow it needed to be done anyway.

It was then that it was revealed to me that I had an intense desire to grow spiritually but that I was blocking God from helping me by clinging and whining to be protected. The next hardest thing I had to do, possibly the hardest in my life, was to say out loud to Him to stop protecting me from everything and help me start growing, even if it hurt.

That was when the flood gates opened. Then I started having all kinds of ideas for things, e.g., asking for help in getting over my fears, even if I had to do scary things. I cried when I prayed that prayer.

As soon as the car was bought, I went online on Craigslist to sell the Honda. In 5 minutes I had a buyer. He came right out. A few nights later he invited me to his church. It was like home.

Two days before going to that church, I knew it wasn’t right to drink and go to that church. I prayed to God, and said, ok, Lord, if you will hold my hand through this, I will take the money I spend for the booze and give it to you in tithe. I will give you at least 10% every payday. And You can take care of the rest of my monetary needs as you see fit. I will leave that in your hands.

For two days I thought, how can I do this. I just decided to let God worry about it.

Church was at 4pm Sunday. Sunday morning I had a couple of drinks. (I liked to drink on Sunday mornings, but not the rest of the week because I worked) I wondered what would happen. Around 2 in the afternoon (I was sober) I was standing in my room and just silently looking down at my empty bottles on the floor and a feeling of euphoria rushed over me. I started crying and laughing with a kind of glee and started scooping them all up and throwing them away. I dumped out the rest of my vodka in the sink. That afternoon I went to church, tithed $120, and felt awesome about it. I knew I did not have enough money left to pay for my gas for my courier job, but I felt strangely calm that the Lord would provide.

No, this is not normal behavior for me…haha!

About three days later, out of the blue, for no reason, dad decided to give me a Christmas gift early: $300. Mom told me he had already contributed money with her to buy Christmas presents for me so “he must be losing his mind.”

Needless to say, I then had more than enough funds.

I haven’t drank since. The first week, last week, I was euphoric all week. This week I am more subdued. I am also sleeping much better. The first few nights were bad, but mom said she discovered if she goes to bed at 9, she can sleep all night, and I found the same was true for me! I have had great sleep, and great dreams.

So as you can see, things going my way, I have finally come to realize, is not such a great thing. Of course knowing this intellectually is not enough. I cannot stress that enough. ( Pain and experience are necessary to sort of tattoo lessons, if you will, on our soul. That is one of mankind’s hardest lessons to learn: that pain is necessary for growth) Things going God’s way is awesome, and I have learned to asked for that now at all times.

11/18 will be 30 days sober. Again.