I know all about pain. The kind that numbs you, and stabs you at the same time. The kind that twists your soul into unbearable knots. Its worse than gas, toothaches and labor. I know how it makes you cry. The kind of cry that suffocates you, stifles you, squeezes your lungs, clogs your ears, holds its ugly hands over your eyes. I know the headaches that come with it. I know the burden of pain. It’s heavy. It’s big. It’s overwhelming. And it can kick your butt.
I know how it leads to anger and resentment…and hatred. Which leads to tirades…you sling your anger with the precision of David with that rock towards that big ole Goliath. Your target may be the cause of your pain, or an innocent bystander. Either way, when you strike, it doesn’t make you feel better. It makes you yell. You yell loud (is there a quiet way to yell?) until you don’t recognize yourself. There is a knot in the back of your throat, that’s bigger than your throat, and it hurts. And you still yell. And then there are the times that you shrink completely into yourself. You don’t talk. You have no words, not even for those that are trying to help.
And I know about searching for something, anything to numb that pain, that loss. I know about trying to fill that void. Even momentarily. I know about trying to escape. I know about looking for relief.
I’m scared of drugs, I was still married and I’m really scared of adultery. But I was thinking I could find some answers somewhere in a bottle….totally lying. I knew that there were no answers. Yet I searched Jack and Mike, Absolute and Moscato….”Do ya’ll have any answers for me?…No?…Ok well let me try these fruity delightful things that taste like candy and don’t hit you till you try to stand up….”. They didn’t have the answers either. They left me with not only the pain I came in with, but they also helped me to make up imaginary scenarios in my head that seemed real, and only fueled my anger. By day, I was Vee, who had it all together at work. By quitting time, I was Vee, who looked like James Brown in that one mug shot…
*SN: Things to consider as I tell this story…1. My children were never home when I drank. It was summertime. My kids thought my mother’s house was their summer home and my mom knew what I was facing at home (minus the drank), so they spent time there. 2. I never missed work. Gotta make that coint! 3. I still ate bacon (you should know that nothing is so bad that I don’t want bacon). 4. I wasn’t an alcoholic…but I sure was developing the symptoms
A mentor of mine, who knew the angst I was going through, said to me that I would miss my children growing up if I kept down that road. She assured me that I would not remember their childhood, that I would lose precious moments and big She told me to give it to Jesus, and let Him fill those holes. I said ok, while I psh’ed her in my head. Jesus LET the holes form! was my thinking. SO Psh! My friends sat me down, and took the glass from my hands. “Vee, you may be goin too hard” they said gently. In my head I heard “Vee why aren’t you doing better?!”. So I snatched the glass back and stormed out. How dare they judge me?! I was doing the best that I could!
Only I wasn’t. I was coping. And barely. I looked in the mirror one day, after a particularly long cry, and my face matched my yelling voice: unrecognizable. I was no longer Vee. Didn’t feel like her. Didn’t look like her. I was miserable, not only because of what was done to me, but also what I was beginning to do to myself. I was miserable. And angry. I was hard and cold. The essence of who I was, all the good things that made up the woman that is Vee was shrinking up and seeping out through the holes life had caused. Disgusted, I almost headed to the kitchen for a drink.But my last little bit of common sense told me to pray. “Pray what?!” I fussed at myself in the mirror. “I prayed that God would protect me and He didn’t! I prayed He would save me and He didn’t! I prayed for Him to rescue me and He didn’t!” All untrue…but at the time…allowing things to put you in the wrong frame of mind will have you talking crazy! That tug of war battle continued until I was too tired. There, is where I confessed all my feelings, even the angry ones. I told God all that was going on inside me. I confessed my hurt. I confessed my fears. I confessed it all. I threw it all up. And there is where my holes began to fill. The end of the old me, was the beginning of the new me.
I would learn a lot of things since then, and be reminded of things…like speaking God’s word over my situation, like the importance of discernment…when to move and when to stay still, like what it really means to not lean to my own understanding. And there are lessons I will learn in the future. But confession was the first, most crucial step. Hey Sis…do not turn to other people, other things, or destructive behavior to make you feel whole. It won’t work. That temporary good feeling only pushes you further from where you’re headed. And it seriously clouds your thinking. There is only one that can do fill you up. And that’s Jesus! I blogged a while back about Kintsukuroi-the art of putting broken pottery back together with gold, silver or platinum, making it more valuable and beautiful. God can do that. God will do that. It started with me being honest with God, and it’s brought me to a beautiful place, a beautiful Vee…on the inside. I put down the alcohol and I picked up my Bible. And now my thirst is to know Him more…