I accepted Christ as my Lord & Savior when I was a teenager. I didn't have any "this is where I turn my life around" experience. I was raised in a very small country church and just felt it was time. I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit & followed through. Afterwards, life went on as usual.
When I was 15 I met my husband, starting dating him at 17, and married him at 18. While we were dating, he lived life "a little on the wild side." He was saved, but had fallen away. I wanted him to go to church with me, but when he didn't show any interest in joining me, I decided to join him. (You know the old saying..."if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.) We began drinking socially. My husband worked offshore, so when he was home, we'd join our friends and go out drinking & dancing.
In 1986, I found out I was expecting our first child. We’d been married for two years and after several moves, had settled down and started attending a small, country church. Finding out that we were going to be parents REALLY helped us decide to put our "drinking days behind us." We took the fact that God trusted us to be care-givers to a beautiful baby very seriously. What an honor & a blessing!! When our son was born, we couldn't have been happier! A couple of years later, we were blessed again with a daughter. This completed "us" and we were happy with our little family of four.
As the children got a little older, we began to have an occasional drink again. We would buy frozen drinks during half-price happy hour or on 2 for 1 days.
This was where I made a huge mistake. This started a "habit" that I didn't fully understand or realize until years later.
I began to enjoy our frozen drinks a little more often. We began socializing with other couples with children the same age as ours. We would get together to let the kids play while we enjoyed adult company…and adult beverages.
After several years and moves, we found ourselves near the small town we had lived in when our children were born. When we moved back, we changed churches so we could get "plugged in" with new friends & get our children involved in their new church and school. This is where we have lived for the past 20 years, where our children grew up, where we call HOME. So much has happened during the past 20 years that it sometimes just doesn't seem possible that time goes by so fast. My children are now grown, married and are beginning families of their own. To say that I am BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE is an understatement!After all, a little drink every-now-and-then didn't hurt anything, and we were not going out to bars or anything like that. Nothing wrong with a little "social drinking," right? (At least that's what I told myself.)
I'm not sure exactly when or where it happened...but it did. I did not drink a drop either time I was pregnant or breastfeeding my children (just want to make that perfectly clear)! There were years that I completely stopped. As I struggled with "being a Christian" and drinking, I'd ask for prayer, confide in close friends, be determined that "I can do this on my own". I would quit for a while, then sadly, the process would start all over again. Anytime I decided that I wanted "just a drink", it became 2 or 3 drinks. Then it progressed to several days a week, and so on. Next thing I knew... I realize that for at least the last 10 years, I drank 7 days a week with just a few exceptions.But that's not when my story ends. Actually that's where "it begins", because somewhere, during the past 30 years, as I became a wife and mother, I also became an alcoholic…
I’ve discovered I’m considered a High-Functioning Alcoholic. I kept my secret very well. Even some of my closest friends and family did not know that I struggled with this problem. I worked a normal job during the day, went to church, went to school functions (when my kids were still at home). I did everything just like most moms/grandmothers do. But in the evening, after all my "chores" were done, I would pop-the-top on my first cold beer, (my drink of choice). My husband was even denial about my addiction, until earlier this year. I'm not exactly sure how long I had been considered an alcoholic. I probably began drinking as early as 13 –15 years old. Although I didn't drink consistently for the past 30 years, I know I probably drank 7 days a week for the last 10 years of my life. In the end, I was hiding how much and how often I drank, even from my husband. He usually goes to bed before me, so I would stay up and drink for several hours after he was sound asleep. I would "sneak" to the liquor store when he was at work, and I'd always pay in cash so it wouldn't show up on our banking account.
Tomorrow Donna shares Part 2 of her amazing story. You won’t want to miss it!
I'm a columnist, & featured writer for The Minute Magazine. I love to restore, refinish & repurpose unwanted furniture & give it "new life." I have been married to my best friend, Mike, for 28 years. We have been BLESSED with two children who are now grown. son- Michael & his wife Michelle (and) our daughter-McKensie & her husband David who have blessed us with two precious grandsons; Remington 3-1/2 yrs. & Levi 2 yrs.
What is God doing in your life? Has he delivered you from an addiction like Donna? Or carried you through a dark valley? Or given you strength and courage during a time of fear and uncertainty? We would love to share your story! For more information or to share your testimony, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message us on our Facebook page. We look forward to sharing your story very soon!