Testimony Tuesday

I thought I’d share today the story of how I’m no longer addicted to alcohol despite this being thought to be impossible.

I was very similar to a lot of people nowadays, I started drinking when I was a young teenager (around 13ish) but me being me, I tend to go to extremes with whatever I do. So it quickly escalated from bottles of cheap wine to vodka and became daily from a fairly young age really. There were periods in my life where I didn’t drink so much – so when I was pregnant with my daughter when I was 20, I didn’t drink and for a while after I didn’t drink regularly but when I did I completely overdid it, binged and drank to the point of insensibility. I never seemed to have that ability some do, of just enjoying a drink. Once that bottle was open, once I was out having a drink – the gloves were off.

Also like so many other people I got into a lot of trouble whilst drinking, found myself in dangerous situations, acted irrationally, got hurt (fell downstairs a few times, off walls etc etc). I also eventually started losing my memory when drinking, particularly when drinking vodka, it’s like my memory would suddenly switch off and the next day, I would remember nothing. I had so much shame and guilt that had accumulated and this acted like a vicious circle in that I’d drink again and then feel worse but then drink again.

As I got older, the drinking changed in that I did a lot of it in my house on my own. I was embarrassing to go out with because I just got SO drunk, so I just drank at home. It was also a bit of a secret, so I think I isolated myself too. In my early 30’s (I’m now 44) I was drinking most if not all evenings, often into the small hours, waking up on the sofa at 3 am still holding my glass. I felt a need of it. I can remember going and sitting outside a supermarket and feeling what felt like an irresistible urge to go and buy vodka. I “needed” it. I tried not to but did. I liked vodka because it didn’t make you smell the next day (well not as bad as some) and as I was working. I didn’t want people to know. The next day I often felt dreadful, racing heart, shaking hands, a sense of fear and doom… (alcohol is a depressant if you didn’t know).

Then I met Jesus. Through someone I worked with. Gradually things changed, almost without my realising it. The drinking lessened, then stopped. I had one last bout where I got absolutely “hammered” and it was almost as if I needed that as a wake up call and then I was healed. I put my faith and my life in Jesus hands and no longer needed booze.

Now, I can have alcohol in the house, I can have a drink and enjoy it. I don’t have to finish the bottle. I don’t even particularly enjoy more than one drink, whatever it is. In fact, when I had my miscarriage, I purposefully went and bought a bottle of rum, intending on getting drunk, but just couldn’t. It was like there was something inside me physically stopping me. Which of course is true, the Holy Spirit is inside me now. Which is truly amazing.

Jesus has healed me in so many ways. This story to me is just awe inspiring. I was addicted and now I am not. I believe this is the only way we can be truly healed from addictions – through Jesus, he makes us new, not better versions – new.

It is now 10 years and counting of being able to have a drink but not getting drunk. I feel no pressure to drink, or not drink. I rarely even think about it. God is indeed good.

Bye for now.

So much I could write on….

I have so much going round in my mind at the moment, so many different subjects, so many things! I could write a lot of stuff…but I’ll try not to…I try to write what’s relevent and filter out the stuff that doesn’t need sharing. I usually ask God whether it’s right to write what I’m writing or not and if it feels like it isn’t, I don’t write it.

In your anger, do not sin…keeps going round in my head at the moment, mainly because I’ve just had the revelation that I can actually be angry, I’m just not entitled to take it out on anyone else. The ESV (English Standard Version) puts it as “Be angry, and do not sin…” (Ephesians 4:26). Stuffing anger down is so bad for you, but unfortunately for me, I try and then have a tendency to blow. So I think, this is changing slowly, God is changing how I think about it and how I think about people. Somehow, I felt I had the “right” to be however I was, with whoever I was with and that isn’t right.

I’ve been reading about lamenting, it was a book by someone called Esther Fleece and called “no more faking fine”. It was great (I’ve now given it away) and reinforced to me that with God we don’t have to stuff anything down, we don’t have to fake fine and he actually wants us to give him our all, including our questions, anger, grief, everything…and in turn we learn more about Him, we get to know Him properly, no holds barred so to speak. It made me think of when I had a miscarriage in March 2014. I found it utterly heartbreaking, it took me a long time to recover and in some ways I feel like I am still recovering. I feel like I grieved to a point and then sort of thought you need to pull yourself together now and put a seal over it. Well meaning people said, don’t ask why, don’t question God. I think this advice was given in love, but I now think it’s wrong. We probably won’t be given the answers, but get it out there, ask God why!??! let rip to Him and see what He does. I can guarantee He will meet you with love and compassion (and that is an understatement). Allow yourself to grieve or be angry or whatever you are, and come to the God who loves you, tell Him everything, ask Him anything… He can take it…

(The move is slowly moving along by the way, hoping to have more news by the end of the week).