Just how many holidays or other special occasions have you attended which have been spoiled by the excessive consumption of alcohol? Someone (or maybe you) has too much to drink. Social inhibitions are loosened. For some, the result is becoming the jovial jokester of the party or the huggable Teddy Bear. But the spoiler is the one who has the Jekyll and Hyde switch which gets turned on by liquor.
What is left in the aftermath of the monster who suddenly appears from the shadows of light at the party is every bit as devastating as a dark decimated Oklahoma town in Tornado Alley. It may take years to rebuild what was lost or maybe restoration is not possible at all.
Research has established that there is a reciprocal relationship between excessive alcohol use and violence. Research suggests that alcohol use may promote aggressiveness while victims of the violence may be led to drinking more following physical harm. Studies show that the more a person drinks, the more severe violence may become.
It only takes one experience to know that once the drunk Genie comes out of the liquor bottle, it is impossible to control or reason with the Genie. The father, mother, aunt or uncle, son or daughter, cousin, relative, or friend becomes the monster you never want to see or be with again for the rest of your life.
As a collaborative divorce attorney, I have had clients whose marriages end because they or their spouses are unable to stay sober. I have had a good number of clients who, in order to stay sober, can no longer stay married to a spouse who drinks or expects the spouse in recovery to go to functions where others drink. It is hard for the one whose social activities have been centered around alcohol to sacrifice that for the other spouse.
Sadly, in order to stay sober, the one in recovery cannot be with extended family at Christmas, Fourth of July, reunions, and birthday parties. Attending will sabotage all efforts to maintain sobriety. Non-sober spouses feel like they are no longer married to their best friend. Where have they gone besides an AA Meeting? The conflict, the loss, and the inability to give up alcohol results in divorce.
One of my clients (the wife) was told by her husband, “I don’t even know you since you’ve gone sober on me.” In the collaborative divorce process the team of professionals, especially the mental healthcare professional, was able to approach the divorce in a therapeutic manner. The couple divorced, remained friends, and effective co-parents. Life did not end with the death of the marriage.
God has spoken in Scripture.
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
Let us pray.
Dear God, please help all those who strive to be sober to remain sober one day at a time, not just on holidays or special occasions, but every day.
God, if I have an addiction now or if I develop one in the future, please empower me to seek help, not only from You but from AA and others You’ve placed before me in Your grace.
God, please grant forgiveness to those who have been harmed or injured because of addiction.
God, in the darkness of addiction, please shine the Your Light upon the addicted and the afflicted.
God, in Your Holy Grace, lift all those who dwell in the despairing place of addiction. The only power stronger than addiction is the power of Your love. Let that power reign on Earth as it does in Heaven. Amen.
If you think Jack’s prayer helps you or will help someone you know, please forward it to them. Jack may never make millions selling books or writing prayers, but spreading God’s good news to others is reward enough for him.
Ann Boland, Jack’s Publicist