My name is Paul. I’m an alcoholic and a believer in Christ Jesus.
From a young age I remember my uncle and my dad driving down gravel roads, mixing drinks in the car; my father’s drinking daily after work; our family functions involving a tremendous amount of alcohol.
I started drinking in my early teens. I never drank socially – I drank to get drunk every time.
Drinking became a normal part of my life. I loved the way it made me feel. However, as my drinking progressed, so did all my problems.
Drinking Made Me Feel Invincible
* Being an invincible businessman, I quit my job of 18 years and invested in a start-up company with a friend. When it failed I lost my savings and had to move in with my younger brother. I blamed my friend.
* Being the invincible husband, I didn’t see the writing on the wall when my wife of 17 years left me. I blamed her for all of it.
* Being the invincible Dad, I let my children go off to live with their mother. I assumed they would come running back begging to live with me.
My resentments grew until I couldn’t deal with the pressure.
I went to church and started to feel better. I became born again and was involved in many healthy bible studies.
God blessed me with a second marriage with the wonderful woman who has been my wife now for over sixteen years, Cheryl.
Then, inexplicably, I started to drink again. Slowly and carefully in what I thought was a controlled manner.
My drinking led to a health crisis. I had to stop drinking completely so that the gout I developed would clear.
Cold turkey didn’t work for me. I “cut” my drinks and developed ways to bridle drinking. I became more and more miserable. Cheryl was scared to death that I would lose it all through drinking myself into an affair or making a serious business mistake.
In desperation I went to my first AA meeting in a church off of Jasper Avenue in Edmonton.
There were six people in the group. Each one shared their story of alcohol abuse, how they came to believe the powerlessness of it. I immediately identified with them.
When the meeting ended, I truly knew I could no longer cover up the huge lie within me. I was an alcoholic and couldn’t stop drinking on my own.
It was a sense of freedom to admit this to myself, to others and to Cheryl. The lies were over. I was an alcoholic and powerless to stop drinking.
I honestly shared that I was having problems turning my will and life over to the care of God. It was because I was a control freak. How does one actually let go and let God? They showed me. For the first time I actually got on my knees to pray:
“God, I offer myself to you to do with me as you will. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I could do your will. Deliver me from my difficulties so that my victory would bear witness to others of your power, love and your way of life. I want to do your will always. Amen.”
When Shame is Gone
That day was truly a gift – a beautiful gift. I will never forget the feeling of the weight of shame melting off my back.
The transformation began!
I listened to others who made it through. I put my ego aside and for the first time followed someone else’s directions.
Quickly I learned how much baggage I was carrying around in my life. The things I had done; the people that I hurt and who hurt me. My life changed when I honestly and vigorously detailed this to a sponsor and to God. Freedom!
It is an indescribable feeling to have been able to let go of all of it.
Let go of my fear of the future and pray for God’s will in my daily life.
Watch my life unfold as a participant – and NOT as the director.
To let go of the stubborn old patterns of thinking and behaving that are so harmful to recovery.
I am thankful to God for his mercy and grace, the program of AA and my church.
I am thankful for my wife Cheryl. Without her love and care I wouldn’t have had the sense to seek out help in the first place.
My name is Paul. I am an alcoholic and a grateful believer in Jesus Christ.
Please leave a comment for Paul. Thank you.
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