Friday Tidings
2/29/12 at 12:06 PM 0 Comments

Lethal Habits

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I’m honoring three anniversaries that I’d rather not. These anniversaries remind me about what I’ve lost and what alcohol took away much too soon. I’m not pointing fingers here, except at myself and what I didn’t do. Alcohol isn’t evil. But because of it, my innocent friend was killed on a lonely road by a drunk driver, leaving behind her devastated family. And I watched my parent’s alcohol-related diseases slowly kill them. Alcohol is part of my life. I just wish it wasn’t.

My parents were “functional” alcoholics. It didn’t cost them a day at work—but the price was paid in their home life and ultimately how long they lived. They worked hard in their careers and then alcohol gradually took their health and eventually their lives before they ever could enjoy retirement—or their grandkids.

Growing up around alcohol, l learned that life’s rough edges could be smoothed with a drink---or several. Alcohol can start out innocent enough but for some it’s quicksand. It would have been that way for me too, but I chose a different addiction: food. Take this from a former addict: we know how to hide it. But I couldn’t fool those who knew me best.

Lethal habits steal the life right out of you. I’ll always remember my mom handing me a book on anorexia/bulimia. She said, “You need to read this.” She was right, of course. And she did it because she loved me.

Often our life preserver can come from those who care enough to call us out. I didn’t save my mom’s life, but I love and honor her because she did save mine. I’ve spent enough time wishing I could have encouraged my folk’s sobriety rather than just looking the other way. So now instead of having regrets, I offer my words of caution.

Please take these words with a heart of love. Life is a treasure that alcohol (or other things) can gradually steal. It can leave you honoring anniversaries of those who could have enjoyed so much more time.

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