I have struggled with that term, that label, since it was first used on me. I did not want to admit defeat to a substance. I did not want to be my great grandma. I did not want to let anyone think that I had lost control of my life, but that is exactly what I had done. I went to recovery meetings which covered a lot of things in life, not just addictions. They had an AA chapter there, but I did not want to go down that path. Not because I didn’t see my behavior as a problem, but because I had a different way I wanted to approach this hurdle of life.
Many times before I had found myself addicted to or obsessed with something unhealthy. I had tried the cut and dry approach. It did not work for me. It either led to a closet life or a constant fear of anything remotely close to that “thing”. I could “give up the bottle forever” and end up in either place rather quickly. I know that meetings and sponsors work for many people, it just was not going to work for me. I wanted control over alcohol. I did not want it to have control over me. I wanted to get to that place where I could say “yes” or “no” and it be ok. Where I would have the self control to stop, or not even start. Where I could see it as a refreshment and no longer a demon.
I did not get there overnight. I remained out of control for quite some time. Thankfully I had a husband who was patient and watched out for me during those times. Progress was little victories. Realizing why I got drunk. Understanding what I was desiring to lose control because of. Finding better outlets for anger, sadness, fear, boredom. Soon I was grasping the reigns for myself. Yet, as I am sure many of you have found out first hand, holding the reigns ourselves is never going to get us far on the correct journey. I had to hand them over. Not back to alcoholism or a meeting, but to God. HE wanted control of that area too. The places I was so afraid of that I drownt them out. HE wanted those places.
I want to share with you a journal entry of mine. It had been an out of control day and I was tempted to drink for the wrong reasons. As I finished writing this entry I truly believed it and felt God’s strength fill me.
“Today I am feeling sad and overwhelmed. Instead of drinking I will sip a latte and light a candle. I will put on my comfy pants and indulge in ice cream. I will release control to my Father instead of drowning and losing control to alcohol. I am not an alcoholic. I have power over it through Christ!”
**My approach to alcoholism is not for everyone. We each have different DNA, circumstances, and ways we handle things. Please seek amd find professional help if you need it. I now enjoy alcohol as a refreshment, but I know friends who cannot and choose not to even take one sip. I respect that and encourage them in their journey.