|I have lived six decades. Within that time period, I’ve probably had a total of 10 drinks..Five of those in one sitting when I was 21 y/o. No, I never had a hangover and I didn’t get rip-roaring drunk, either. I didn’t even throw up later. The other 5 drinks I’ve had during my lifetime were at random points in my life…just single drinks at one time.
I do not have a religious reason why I do not drink..I am not a Baptist, but a Methodist. I do not hold anything against anyone else who likes to drink. I just prefer not to drink. I don’t really like the taste of alcohol. I like the smell of beer and of wine and even of hard liquor, but I do not like the taste.
This has caused me some problems over the years as others, I believe, are uncomfortable around me since I stick to my Diet Coke.. I do not always get invited to social gatherings where there would be alcohol and I have been asked, point-blank, why I don’t drink.
Over the years, I’ve been tempted to tell people I don’t drink because I’m a recovering alcoholic.. That would put an end to the ceaseless looks and inquiries.. But, I am not a recovering alcoholic and I’m a poor liar.
After this much time, I truly doubt that I will take up social drinking.
My spouse’s only brother was an alcoholic. He died at age 40 of metastatic cancer. Truly I believe that he died of cancer because he had drunk so much of his meals over the years that his body was in no shape to fight off anything. The alcohol only diet had destroyed the ability of his immune system to destroy cancer.. At least, that is my hypothesis.
My spouse does drink an occasional beer. He also drinks some non-alcoholic beers. That is fine with me.
When I was in my 20’s I used to be given a hard time about my abstinence from alcohol and I surely thought this would STOP when I became an older adult. Sadly, it has not.
I have a lot of fun in my home and out with others without drinking. I hate having to defend my choice. Those who have never taken the time to get to know the real me because they view me as ‘different’ since I don’t drink, it is their loss. I am worth getting to know.
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How I KNEW God was walking beside me. written in 2008.
This year has been unique. My mother (alert and oriented and very, very active person) fell down her basement stairs striking her head in January, 08. Never re-gained consciousness and died that same day at Overland Park Regional while on a ventilator. Twelve days earlier she had celebrated her 85th birthday. Then, on June 24, 08, my 80 y/o father (who has pulmonary fibrosis..cause unknown..progressive scarring of his lungs ’til he cannot breathe any longer) headed for Olathe from his home in Lenexa to get groceries. By that time he needed 24/7 oxygen. He took a portable oxygen tank with him..He thought it was full, but it was empty. Three miles from his home he became unconscious. We have a police video of the policeman running beside my dad’s slow-moving car on a 4 lane highway and the police officer using his billy club to smash out the left rear window so Dad could be rescued. Dad had extremely low oxygen(50)..normal is 95-100 oxygen level when they pulled him from his car. He was taken to Overland Park Regional where he was loopy from brain damage for about 3 weeks. Now, he is totally lucid, but is not safe to drive because of above incident. The scarring of his lungs is worsening (he never smoked). Hard to watch someone I love struggle for life-sustaining breath.
I have a very strong faith in God..Have had for a long, long time. Very strong. And, God has been with me throughout this sorrow-filled time. My friends have been terrific, too.
As far as a defining moment?? Yes, there was. I KNEW God was with me because of this: My dad was brain-injured and confused for the first couple of weeks after his incident. He was repeating names of colors or letters and spitting on Satan.. Strange behavior that I had never seen before.
Four days after the incident on June 24th, dad was transferred to a Rehab Facility on Saturday afternoon.When I left the Rehab Facility Saturday night, I had not planned to return to see Dad again until after church the following day. At 4am Sunday morning, I was awakened from a sound sleep…awakened so immediately that I felt I was wide awake. I had an overpowering urge..and overwhelming feeling.. that I needed to go back to the rehab facility right away. I got up and got dressed and got there at 430am. I went to my father’s bedside and found that he was buck naked and had removed his oxygen and was confused. There was not a nursing aide or nurse in sight. I hollered for help and no one came, at first. I attempted to put the oxygen back on dad.. Though he grabbed my wrists, eventually he just gave up and let me put the oxygen back on him..When finally, someone came, they checked his oxygen and it was 70.
That is when I was SURE that God was walking beside me through this awful experience. I feel that I woke up because God wanted me to go to my father. That is how I see it.
I’ll never forget a pastor’s wife who came up to me….TWICE (separated by about 6 months) ..and had the nerve to imply that I had broken up my spouse’s first marriage 36 years ago. The truth? I met my husband three and a half years AFTER his divorce. His first wife had divorced HIM because she found a new man for her life. I had no part in their divorce and knew neither of them at the time they were married.
This same woman came up to me within two months that I had gone to her pastor spouse who was now a professional counselor. (I had paid him nearly $500 for counseling at $100/hr) She started discussing the SAME TOPIC that I had shared with her spouse. I had trusted that what I told him was confidential !!!!! I couldn’t believe it. I felt betrayed TWICE… First, by the pastor counselor and then by his wife who scornfully put me down and she obviously didn’t know the full story. Finally, after 4 instances of her coming around and trying to get more information, I wrote her a formal email asking her never to talk to me about that topic again…she could talk to me about anything else but that topic. That put an end to those conversations!!
I am through with this couple and will never, ever go back to either of them with ANY information. These two instances made me so angry, because what could I do?? She already had formed her own opinions and I could no longer trust either of them… Sickening. Absolutely sickening..