Raise your hand if you’ve never asked God to save you from drugs or alcohol.
Right now. Raise it.
Okay you’re excused. The rest of you, let’s give a huge sigh of annoyance and an intolerant eye roll for the Bible trumper, oops, my bad, thumper who points to their Bible and claims “it says right here that if you …” and blah blah blah.
Of course I asked God to deliver me from my addiction to drugs and alcohol. It never came.
Is it because I asked during severe episodes of a comedown from one drug or another? When I spoke utter gibberish, and made no sense at all, were my words too slurred for God to understand? I’ve been told that God is a sensible God, perhaps He set my nonsense aside altogether and just forgot about it.
Really, I wonder what took so long. I prayed. I asked for help. I wanted to change. And the saints prayed too: my grandmothers, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, lovers and friends. All bent God’s ear over the years.
Prayer might have been what kept me alive. But it never sobered me up.
I wish I had passion for story telling but there’s no time. With each post I gun for 500 words or less because (1) I’m distracted and (2) you’re distracted. Attention spans don’t allow for wordiness these days and I want you to catch this.
Just know that I did all that I felt grown enough to do.
Sherm or “PCP” at 15. Shrooms and powder Cocaine at 19. Freebasing by 20. Meth, Ketamine & X in my ’30s and ’40s. And all of this doused with heavy doses of Vodka, Gin, Cognac, Wine, Champagne, Beer and NyQuil.
I’ve been asked more than once why I don’t write about the details.
Well, there was this time I was in-patient in a behavior modification program and we were in group. Women were sharing the details and their narratives were outrageous. With each passing of the mic my housemates leaned into the spotlight and glorified their addict/alcoholic behaviors and exploits, until at one point, our group leader admonished, “Quit trading war stories!”.
I guess that stuck with me. Although I didn’t stick with the program. I was kicked out of Crash Inc. on my 26th day, and for the second time too. My first attempt lasted a cosmic 31 days.
I’ve said it before. The scandalous details of my story aren’t relevant. Deliverance isn’t in the details.
Or is it?
The day’s leading up to my sobriety date were grave. I was drinking to maintain a stabilizing blood alcohol level and vomiting up the rest. I’d been awol from work for weeks. I was suffering from blackouts which produced two accidents. I couldn’t make a 30-day supply of Ambien last 15 days. When I looked into the mirror, puffy eyes stared back at me with no answers to give. My pride and confidence were gone. My excuses were old and no longer believable, not even to me. And, my dad was dying.
A sprinkling of details.
One hangover morning, I stumbled around my studio until the circumstances sat me down. And it happened. I prayed. No wait, I wailed. I cried. I sobbed. All day. No chaser, just me and God. I prayed the most despairing prayers of my life . I stretched myself deep and wide and in every emotional attempt imaginable.
Not intentionally. No, it was not my intent to relinquish control. But as I begged for deliverance it happened. I wanted to live. And so I poured out the details in prayer all damn day until at some point I was empty.
That was February 14, 2015 — my sobriety date and the rest, as they say, is history.
I believe God savors the desperate, hopeless, last-chance, “when all else fails” prayers. These hard to find prayers are His absolute favorite.
Expect to receive the highest return for these delicacies.