A role model. That’s what I heard. I heard this when asking God what in the world He wanted me to be when I grew up. A role model. Me? I didn’t see it. As someone who was compelled to head to the gas station/liquor store and buy a 12-pack every night, then proceed to drink that 12-pack…every night, smoking a pack or 2 to boot, I just wasn’t seeing how my life would be a role-model-y one. Not in a “Follow-me! I’m-a-leader!”-kinda way, a financial-kinda way (I spent approximately $60–tax not included–each week on my addictions) or a moral compass-kinda way either. I was depressed, discouraged, distressed and downtrodden. (And perhaps another d-word I can’t think of right now.)
I remember just shaking my head and practically rolling my eyes upward, muttering something along the lines of “Yeah right” in typical Eeyore-fashion. My life meant nothing to me at that point. I truly didn’t care if I lived or died. I remember waking up, laying in bed, and thinking, “Maybe this is the day it ends.” I didn’t necessarily want to die, but I sure didn’t care much if I lived at all. I needed someone desperately. I needed someone to notice the torture my mind went through, the sheer agony of not caring, the element of feeling so hopeless and so worthless that you could see your car driving off a cliff and then, cut to you: simply sitting there, not screaming, not upset, just staring off in the distance, on the way down.
Even now, as I type a fraction of my story, I feel those same feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, dread of a new day of nothing new at all, depression, and anxiety.
Then, just like that (snap your fingers here for effect), God set me free. He was the someone who cared. He was the someone who noticed my torturous days. He loved me even though I didn’t love myself, or maybe especially because I didn’t. He was the voice at the bottom of that beer can that said, “You don’t have to do this.” I don’t? I would think. But I like it! (I believe this is the part where God rolled His eyes at me.)
My life and my mind began to change when I started to face the truth. I, in fact, didn’t like it. I hated being a slave to a beverage and tobacco and I surely didn’t benefit from the junk it brought along with it. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol doesn’t fix anything! Who knew?
It was March 12, 2009 when I met with a Christian counselor, fully intending to hit the drive-through liquor store on the way home. It was on the same road as her office. How convenient! After our session, I’d sit on the back porch, working my way through my drinking issue and a 12-pack at the same time. (I’ve always been a multi-tasker.) After all, people didn’t just STOP drinking miraculously, did they? No! It required time and effort on their part and I’d get there. I just needed to think about it some more.
How many of you can agree with me when I say that God ALWAYS has a better plan? That night, the woman of God and I prayed. I can’t even tell you that my heart was totally in it, so it wasn’t because I believed really hard or wished with all my might. My depressed mind kept me from any of that. I held her hand and felt the tears well up, I willed them to stay right where they were, firmly pressed down. But they wouldn’t. And it was with those tears, that God saw my true heart, before I did. I am ecstatic to tell you that I haven’t touched alcohol since, and laid the nicotine habit down in June of that same year. God is so good that words cannot possibly describe…but I can sure try.
Today I pray for each and every person who struggles with addiction in any way and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that all they have to do is pray to the God Who created them and the truth shall set them free.