Wednesday, April 25, 2018

On Alcohol

So I have an issue that I need to discuss and that I have recently actually been willing to admit to:

I have a small problem with alcohol.

It is not big in the sense that it is a problem 7 days a week.  It is not big in the sense that I hide my drinking.  But it is big that when I do, I cannot have just one.

(To be clear, this is a bit embarrassing and humiliating to write.  After all, I am over 50 at this point and should have things better in hand.)

I have always had a somewhat tempestuous relationship with alcohol - mostly because, like a great many people, once I start drinking I do not want the feeling of lack of inhibition to stop (to those who do not know, there is a reason they call it "Courage In A Bottle").  I have managed to avoid serious harm to myself and others  but have occasionally embarrassed myself and some of those around me. 

I have always rejected the slice of Christianity that rejects alcohol out of hand (I am pretty clear on what Scripture does and does not say in this regard) and, being somewhat stubbornly myself, have always felt that such a thing which was not clearly forbidden by Scripture but enforced as if it was to be the worst sort of authoritarianism and going beyond what God clearly states.  And I still believe that.

At the same time, I find myself in the position where my self control (which is also something that God clearly speaks about) is being consistently overwhelmed when I do have a drink.  And if my self control is overwhelmed there, it will undoubtedly be overwhelmed in other areas as well.

Why is this becoming an issue now? It has always been there, of course, but I do not wonder if the struggles I am going through right at moment - and in some cases finding myself at a loss for what to do in general - are pushing me towards some kind of "stress" relief.

The whole point of this, of course, is that it needs to stop.  Pretty quickly.

I have never (and will never) criticize or comment on other people's ability or willingness to enjoy a glass of beer or wine.  But I have reached the point where such a thing, which may be allowed for others, can no longer be allowed for me. 

14 comments:

ShallNOTBeInfringed Original said...

I'll be praying for God to take this from you. It's working for my personal addictions. Don't expect it to be overnight. Remember that our Father does things according to His plan. If he decides that you have learned what he needs you to learn, he may just grant you immediate relief. Remember to thank him and praise him IN the storm and the lessons that it will bring, but not necessarily FOR the storm.

Glen Filthie said...

LOL.

You're not the only one TB. You'll stop when it's your time. I think I just quit, myself. I've had six drinks this year. Granted, they were BIG drinks... But I just don't feel the need to drink like I used to anymore. I will not look down my nose at anyone that does, but for me... It's not on my list of priorities. I have cans of beer here that are over a year old.

I used to drink as you did, but for me it was a coping mechanism for dealing with a lunatic family. When I finally smartened up and dealt with the lunatics... I guess I didn't really need the mechanism anymore.

I think there's a lot of men, some better than us, in this exact same boat. :)

PeteForester1 said...

There's nothing in Scripture that says you can't drink. The issue is being found "drunk with wine" Eph 5:18). Indeed; the first recorded miracle Jesus performed was to turn water into wine! That being said; if having one drink causes you to lose control (you "can't have just one"), then you may want to back away from the stuff, if for nothing more that to know that you're still in control. When the alcohol starts telling you what to do, it's time to tell ALCOHOL what to do; especially when you're using it to de-stress! I've seen this before. Soon enough, there's no such thing as "enough" to de-stress.

For the record; I'm no doctor. I am, however, someone who's dealt with alcoholic relatives most of my life, and have felt its pull myself. Alcohol is insidious; it often has you before you know it! If you're "questioning," take it as insight from God...

Anonymous said...

You can do it. Praying for you TB.

Jeff

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thank you SHBIO and I appreciate the prayers. Hopefully it has been caught before a want becomes a "need"; that said, if this was removed today that would be completely okay as well. Better to lose the occasional treat than create even more issues.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks Glen. I wonder if, as you say, there is a certain time in life that men reach when they realize that why the drink has very little to do with the taste of the drink (as if vodka actually had a delightful taste. Ugh.).

I think mine is a coping mechanism as well, Glen - in my case, coping with feelings of being trapped and not courageous enough (to change may situation, let alone anything).

The other thing (and thank you for addressing it) is that in fact my inability does not mean alcohol is wrong for everyone. Just, for now, it is wrong for me.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Indeed Pete, and that is a position I have held for long years (and continue to hold), even in the face of well meaning Christians that reject it entirely.

I can just have one drink. Unfortunately when I alcohol has been involved lately, it seems that "just one" is not in the agenda. So I am taking it as a gentle "nudge" from God that the thing needs to be dealt with now, not later.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks for the prayers Jeff. Appreciate you stopping by.

LindaG said...

Your rabbits could be good stress relief.

I quit when I am certain I felt it killing my brain cells.

Or perhaps it was God telling me...

God bless. You are 8n my prayers, TB.

Mad Jack said...

There was one period in my life when I drank for relief. I had just started a new job and was living with my brother and his brand new wife. He insisted to the point where I couldn't turn him down. Anyway, the woman hated me, would never speak to me under any circumstances, and treated me poorly. After about a month of this, I packed up and moved out to an apartment about 5 minutes from the office, and the minute I walked in my door that desire for a double manhattan vanished. What I hadn't realized was that living with The Girl was causing me to drink.

I've always been a happy drunk, on the rare occasions that I actually got drunk. I don't have a problem with alcohol; I know this because when it's too much trouble to get up and fix a drink, or a new bottle of whiskey is just too expensive this month, well then it's safe to say that there is no problem. I've had to deal with drunks most of my life, and I have little tolerance for them.

Although I don't know you and haven't read your blog all that much, I'd say that you can have a two drink maximum evening. You don't want to, because it's work. I'd say that you were able but unwilling.

The true alcoholic won't talk about the water wagon, and has no problem drinking until he can't get a drink. Then the trouble starts. Having one or two ounces and no more takes the edge off the desire to drink and generally prevents recidivism. Try it, see how it goes.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thank you Linda. The rabbits are in fact excellent stress relief. And at this point, I need all the brain cells I can hold together. And thank you for the prayers.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Mad Jack - Thank you so much for stopping by and your story. I completely agree with you that this is trigger related event - and I guess over time, I have come to recognize that I know what my triggers are. Perhaps to your point, it is not so much the behavior (alcohol) that is the ultimate issue, it is the event (or events) that cause me to want to have one - and then one, and then one, etc. It may very well be that what I really need to deal with are those underling issues - but up to that point, I need to work on the outcome, which is not really doing me any favors at this point.

And thank you very much for the clarification. I feel a little better knowing I am not demonstrating true alcoholic behavior.

Anonymous said...

What is more important to you? Alcohol? Or not having alcohol?

Diane

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

A fair question Diane. If had to choose, I would say not having alcohol because it eliminates potential risks.