They say that maturity is stunted when an alcoholic begins drinking heavily, or that when addiction starts, development stops. For me, that basically meant that I had a lot of growing up to do.
My recovery process has involved a lot of stopping to reflect on what is going on inside of me. More importantly, it’s involved communicating with God… about everything. One of the biggest, most heartfelt prayers that I prayed, with tears in my eyes, was…
Lord, please show me how to live the right way! I don’t know what to do, because all I know… is what I know!
I can’t even begin to describe how much He’s shown me.
So… backing up a bit, I want to talk more about my little detour; my pursuit of the man. I used to be SO innocent. Naive is maybe a better word. I dreamed about finding THE ONE. The love of my life. My soulmate. It wasn’t that I envisioned a future with someone, or even dreamed of living happily ever after. I was just searching for something. Something PROFOUND. That heart wrenching, over the top, so deeply felt it hurts kind of love.
I was a love addict. I’d never seen a shrink, and had no professional diagnosis, but I knew enough to realize that, putting alcoholism aside, I had some serious issues! I loved being in love, or just loved pursuing love, I’m not really sure which one applied. Maybe both.
This isn’t a sex addiction I’m talking about, either. I think I was brainwashed early in life, whether it was by a specific man, men in general, or just society as a whole, that sex was just what people do, and it’s perfectly normal. In my case, it wasn’t exactly normal. I was just starting to realize that I had subconsciously used it… in an attempt to receive love.
I hope that came across correctly! Handing out sex to get love was not something I went about doing all of the time; and that certainly isn’t the point I’m trying to make. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I was starting to discover that my entire life had been about pursuit; PERIOD.
From the moment I was young and my mind opened up to questions about the meaning of life, and death, I had a burning desire. I needed to find something! I would observe everyone around me, going about their daily routines, and think to myself; “Please tell me there is something MORE!”
I think from the very beginning, alcohol just helped me drown out that nagging voice in my head. It enabled me to stop worrying about finding the secret to life, and just go about my tedious day to day business like everyone else did. In looking to God for answers, I saw that my entire life had been the story of a girl who, since adolescence, was completely LOST. Swimming through a sea of alcohol and bouncing from relationship to relationship, in an attempt to fill a HUGE VOID, and find perfect love.
I was beginning to understand that none of those things; Alcohol, my business, or even the love of a man, would ever provide the complete satisfaction that I was looking for. Nothing here ever would. What I was seeking couldn’t even be bought. My mind was opening up and I was realizing that the things I thought mattered to me, never really did. It was a scam. The world around me had groomed me in such a calculated way that I was fooled, and I was just beginning to see things in a new light.
So, although I failed to “get the guy,” I got something much, much better. I gained valuable insight and learned something about myself, about life, and about God.
I’m thinking that the little detour I took….
…wasn’t really a detour after all.
Next Up: A Sprinkle of Faith
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2