Alcoholism takes away peace

Special to the Herald-Guide
July 11, 2014 at 9:24 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

By "Deacon G"

How many of us at one time or another have had one too many to drink? Perhaps it happened accidentally in our youth. We saw the older kids or adults drinking and since we were told we were too young to drink, we were even more tempted to find out what the “poisoned fruit” was all about.

We might have sneaked a couple drinks at a wedding reception when no one was really paying attention or perhaps we raided the fridge or bar at home when no one was looking. After three or four or more, (who’s counting), we either slip into a slumber and wake up with a bad headache, or we find our way to the porcelain throne, vomit, and still have a terrible hangover. How we responded to this experiment had serious consequences, either good or bad, for the rest of our lives. Even if our foray into the world of alcohol didn’t occur until later in life, what we learned from getting drunk and how we put that information to work in our lives, affected our future in ways that we can’t always measure.

For those who learned to drink in moderation, who know when to stop, and who never became addicted or hurt themselves or others by drinking, they only need to look at those who are alcoholics and the losses they’ve suffered, in order to know the blessings they’ve received by not over-indulging and they should proclaim, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” For they have not known the losses caused by uncontrolled drinking, such as the loss of a job, of a spouse or family, of wealth, of good health, of consolation, of friendships, of freedom and other valuable treasures in life.

If we find ourselves starting to slip a little from being just a casual drinker, to someone who is experiencing more than an occasional “morning after” regret, then we should seek help immediately. It could be something as simple as having someone with us monitor our behavior and remind us when it’s time to stop. Some people rely on their “designated driver” for this. However, when we ask someone to do this and we fail to take their advice, then we definitely have a drinking problem. Having a designated driver on a regular basis for the purpose of abusing alcohol, also is a sign that we are on a train going downhill into a dead end.

We should be aware of other telltale signs that we need to change our drinking habits, such as having to take off of work because of hangovers, showing up late for meetings because we had to have just one more drink before leaving the bar, physically abusing children or our spouse while inebriated, taking money from our pay to spend at the bar instead of paying bills or buying food, recognizing that old friends no longer want to go out with us because we become too obnoxious when we drink, being arrested for driving under the influence or getting in a wreck while drunk. These and many other signs sound the trumpet for concern and change.

So what can we do if we find ourselves in this situation? We can start by removing all alcohol from our homes. Then we can enlist the support of family and friends. If they are aware of the problem and they probably are, they can help by not tempting us by having alcohol at get-togethers or at least by offering us non-alcoholic beverages as an alternative. We can attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

The only requirement is that we have a desire to stop drinking. It’s a sign that we have recognized we have a problem, that we need help, and that we request the ultimate power to help us. And speaking of the ultimate power, we can turn to prayer, for in Ephesians 5:18, 20 we read, “And do not get drunk on wine, …, but be filled with the Spirit, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.”

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