Day 3381 – When Did I Know I Was An Alcoholic – repost

Originally posted 8/6/17

I’m working through my second draft of my memoir, and I’m happy to see it taking somewhat of a logical shape.

Yesterday, we had so much fun hanging out with some friends at a beautiful waterfront bar. Chatting with one of my friends, we talked about what was success for my first book, which was that one person’s mindset was changed.

In my current draft of the memoir, I wrote “I don’t want to write this book. Thinking back to these times doesn’t make me happy. Trying to read other memoirs about drinking is hard to do. I want to forget it all happened. I want to leave those memories in the past. Why would I ever want to go back there? Why would I want to share even more about the things I did? I suppose, if just one person is helped. If one person can move past addiction and treat it finally as a sin, it is worth it.

I think I have my goal for this book.

So, when did I know I was an alcoholic?

Probably in the few days after my last drink. Here’s a snapshot from my journal, which is part thinking out loud, part praying, in the days after that last day.

September 29, 2014 (first day sober)
I do enjoy it and I have had some great times, yet I’ve quit so many times. Can I really not control myself or am I trying to prove to myself that I can? Am I holding on to sin? Should I cut it loose? Do I need to cut it out completely? Truly? Forever? Is it standing in my way?

On October 3, 2014
Thank you also for the clear “it’s time” to quit drinking. Thank you for the strength already against temptation. Let it open doors to honest communications about how Christians aren’t perfect.

Almost three years later and I think it’s so true – that it can open lines of communications. People are shocked when they hear about my sobriety – “but you’re a Christian!”
Thinking back to the months following this moment, I remember thinking that there is almost more stigma against people who don’t drink than people who do. Look at all the memes about drinking at the end of the day, or that say “how could I ever quit drinking, I’d be boring!” I was more embarrassed and nervous to say “no thank you” to a drink, then when I was downing bottle after bottle.

I’m so thankful for sober Jen, because she can go to places like we went yesterday, and remember every minute. I really hope we can live near the water some day.

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Day 3380 – Reflections On Getting Arrested In 2006 – repost

Originally posted on 9/16/16

Ten years ago at 1:59 a.m., I had a number of thoughts:
– I was so excited about my new job! It was my first “real” job. A 9-5 where I had to wear business casual and not a uniform.
– I really enjoyed working at Target.
– I should not be driving right now.
– I texted someone and said as much.

Ten years ago at 2:00 a.m., when I was pulled over, I had a number of thoughts:
– I shouldn’t have been driving.
– I shouldn’t have been texting.
– I should be ok, I didn’t have that much to drink.

Ten years ago around 4:00 a.m., after being officially arrested, I had a number of thoughts:
– I can’t believe this is happening.
– I can’t believe I blew a .13.
– I can’t believe I talked to the cop on the way back from the official breathalyzer test about thinking God wanted me to talk to him. How embarrassing.
– I can’t believe the cops at the station said I took a good mug shot.

Today, ten years after being arrest, I have a number of thoughts:
– I can’t believe I didn’t think I had a problem back then. I found a short survey I took for my court mandated substance abuse classes. I scored an 11 out of 24. 9 or more meant probable alcoholism.
– I am SO thankful that God graciously helped me quit drinking cold turkey.
– I am so thankful I was pulled over that day. If I thought I was ok driving that day….I shudder to think what could have happened on the days prior that I knew I wasn’t ok to drive.
– I am thankful for those who stood by me through the last 10 years.
– I never thought I would put this out there publicly! I remember being SO scared about people finding out.
– I am thankful for work that doesn’t require me to check off a box – “have you been arrested” etc.
– I am thankful that I can now be a designated driver and not be mad about it.
– I am most thankful that alcohol doesn’t hold any power over me anymore. I always thought I wanted one of those stories….you know the kind…..drug addict, alcoholic, etc sees the errors of their ways and comes to Jesus and is completely saved from their vices. I always thought, well, my story isn’t that exciting….I grew up in a Christian home, gave my life to Christ very early and have clung to my faith ever since. I now know that is one of THE best testimonies. But, now I have both testimonies. 🙂

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Day 3378 – World Mental Health Day – or – I Learned So Much About Myself After I Got Sober

When I got sober four years ago, so many things changed in my life. Some things were expected – more money in my account, less weight on my body, overall better sense of well-being. But there were a number of things I didn’t expect.

I think the biggest was how being sober forced me to really get to know myself and deal with the things that I found. I saw how I have a tendency to use any excuse to do the things I want to do. When I was drinking, it would be “oh, I’m having a good/terrible/wonderful/awful day, let’s have a drink!” Now it’s, “oh, Bret is off work, I’ll take off work too!” Recognizing this about myself allows me to really dig into the why of it all – bottom line, I can be a pretty lazy person.

Another thing I learned is practicing extreme self-care. There are things that upset me, things that make me happy, and things that I think other people think is weird. I’ve learned I HAVE to say no to things that upset me, oh heck YES to things that make me happy and accept that I am who I am and I cannot control how people see me.

And the best is that people can change. I was locked in alcoholism for years, but God freed me from the shackles. In the years since I have changed in SO many other ways.

If someone you know is struggling with something, and you have thoughts that they’ll never change – take heart, change is possible. Oh and know that sobriety is FUN! I mean, look at all this fun I had AFTER getting sober.

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Day 3370 – You Never Know What’s Going On Behind The Scenes

As I scrolled through my On This Day (much later in the morning thanks to blocking Facebook on my phone), I noticed this post, How Is The New Reading Plan Going?, where I talked about doing a devotional plan with Bret.

I wrote this post a few days after I got sober. I said this “Up until this morning, we’ve only missed one evening!” What I didn’t say in that particular post is that the one evening, I got plastered. I was so drunk, we couldn’t read together.

There have been many times on my blog where I only share part of a story, there are times when I cannot share the full story for a myriad of reasons. It got me thinking that we need to be aware of this in our day to day lives. There are folks out there going through things you would never know.

Sometimes it’s good things like carrying a large check into the bank that will finally pay off the debt that has taken years to pay off. Sometimes it’s the death of someone, and their pain comes across as anger. Sometimes it’s a secret, long carried, and never or very rarely shared.

I don’t think we can every truly, 100% know someone. There are just too many layers and experiences and moments that cannot be shared. As you’re going through your day today, remember that you never know what’s going on behind the scenes of someone else’s life.

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Day 3347 – Sober Mercies – A Book About An Alcoholic Christian – Read A New Book Month Day 9

After I got sober, I tried to read a few memoirs by alcoholics. I found myself a little depressed and just not encouraged by what I read. While being an alcoholic and the journey to sobriety isn’t exactly a super happy one, there was just something missing from each book I tried. That all changed when I read Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk* by Heather Kopp. I found encouragement and a journey similar to mine. It was one of the best books I’ve read about drinking and really encouraged me to keep working on my own book about my sobriety journey. If you think you’re a Christian alcoholic or a non-Christian alcoholic or are just curious what it’s like to be a Christian alcoholic, this is the book for you.

*

Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk*

As a reminder, the links to the book on Amazon are affiliate links. As a reminder, an affiliate link is one that if you click and purchase the book (or something else) I’ll receive a small percentage at no additional cost to you. I ruthlessly only share products, services, books, etc, that I have personally used and only recommend what I think is useful and valuable. I’ve marked all affiliate links in this post with this little guy –> *

Check out all of my 2018 Read A New Book Month recommendations.

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