Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Not sure how to follow that up...

I've spent the last few days re-reading my previous blog post, kind of surprised I posted it.  If you know me, you know that I'm an open book and I will literally tell you anything... but that post?  That was tough.  I have been wanting to talk about it for the last 18 months, but it wasn't something I had gone through, it was still something I was going through.  I wasn't on the other side of it yet. 

{If you're not sure what post I'm referring to you can find it here.} 

One of the reasons I shared that story, is because I want others out there to not feel so alone in their failures.  We ALL fail.  Possibly not as epically as I did, but we do.  I was reading a Joyce Meyer book this morning called Healing the Soul of a Woman.  If you're struggling from past abuse, self loathing or living in a constant spiral of shame, this book is for you.  Today, I read something so profound it almost quite-literally blew my mind.  

She writes, "A rattle snake, if cornered, will sometimes become so angry it will bite itself.  That is exactly what happens when we harbor hate and resentment against others - we "bite" and poison ourselves.  We think that we are harming others by holding on to spite and hate, but the deeper harm is actually done to ourselves."  

The are a few things that stand out to me here.  I have made them quite obvious.  Think about that for a minute.  We poison and harm ourselves when we are angry at the hurt that others have caused us.  We "bite and poison ourselves" when we feel cornered, like we have no way out.  We don't face the situation in the face, we become so entangled with the problem that we can't possibly see the solution.  The only thing we can harm in this situation is ourselves.  Obviously if we are angry with our children we don't hurt them, we don't hurt our husband or that friend.  We don't retaliate against them because we are decent human beings.  We, instead, mistreat ourselves.  To me, when I think about this, that was me.  I felt like I was trapped inside myself taking on the roll of "just a mom".  Getting through the endless piles of laundry, dishes, screaming kids, working husband and finding time for myself.  I coiled up in a corner and poisoned myself.  Every day.  I was so blind to what I was doing and I even justified it.  I didn't look at it as poisoning myself, I looked at it as an outlet.  As a way to ease the situation.  I used it to feel more relaxed, or to be a little bit sillier, maybe even to give me the courage to have that conversation that needed to happen (alcohol was never helpful in that situation).  

Like the snake, I needed a release and that release would only come when I had just enough to drink.  My "bite". 

Did that drink ever help?  Maybe for a few minutes.  But my anxiety and need for more only became worse the more I used.  I say "used" here because Alcohol is a drug.  It has actually just recently been listed as the most dangerous drug on the market, taking more lives annually than cocaine and heroine.

That scares me to death.

In tears days before I decided to give up alcohol for good, I told Jordan that I keep having this whisper in my ear that if I continue trying to find a "comfortable" place for alcohol in my life, it will eventually be the reason I die.  Whether it be from one of the seven forms of cancer it causes, liver disease, a car accident, alcohol overdose, dementia... the list of alcohol related deaths is extensive.  I refuse to let that be the reason, to be a statistic.  God will take me when He is good and ready, but it will NOT be correlated to alcohol in any way.  More and more young moms and women these days are believing the cleverly conceived lie that drinking in excess is the norm and you will not survive motherhood without it.  Women on Instagram are free advertisers for the alcohol industry!  They don't need to pay 5 million dollars for an advertisement during the Superbowl, because chances are, your wine rack is already stocked.  

Don't believe the lie that you need to poison yourself in order to relax, have fun, forgive, sleep, conversate, vacation, throw a kids birthday party, calm down, reminisce, chat with a friend... Honestly, what events do people NOT drink at these days?  

I write this knowing that I will probably rub some people the wrong way.  My intent here isn't to call out those people who have the occasional drink or don't have a problem with dependency on it.  My intent is to hopefully give the person who needs it a gut-check.  I got way too many gut-checks before I finally listened to it.  I have countless moments I could list where I said to myself, "Never again.  I will never drink again.  This was the final straw."  There were a lot of those moments.  More than I care to admit.  Maybe this will be one that can be added to one of your personal gut-checks.  If it is, don't let the list get too long, life is too beautiful to live one more day of it wasted.  Literally.  

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