As I look back in time there was a war I had to go to and participate in: Vietnam. I went there twice and did what I had to do. Beyond that I plead the fifth. Suffice it to say that I came home so screwed up that I thought I was normal. Everybody was smoking pot and carrying on as if there was no tomorrow and I went along with all of it. I went back to college and proceeded to come out with a 4.0 GPA. I was cruising and pot was still a crutch. Then I got married and pot was no longer readily available so beer, wine, scotch, gin, vodka, and other sundry beverages had to fill the void.

Again, looking back, my gateway to getting high was pot. As the dreams of war became more frequent alcohol became a stringer and stronger influence in my twenty-four hours days. It didn’t matter the substance, it as the high, the feeling loose and free even when responsibility for wife, business, and children demanded sobriety. Sobriety didn’t cut it so getting loaded on one thing or another filed that gap to the detriment of all I held sacred and that included God, the Bible, and my family. I was f’een lost on a boat in an ocean of booze. Good grief I was a sad case of jittering and pulsating jelly.

Years intervened until I finally put myself in the hospital with about twenty minutes of life to spare. Somehow, I got through it but leaving the hospital took two and one half months in which I had to learn to walk again and then, if I stayed sober, I had to figure a way to make amends and try to bring my family back to me. I can’t tell you the damage I did. Then I renewed my Bible study and, believe it or not, got my wife to speak to me again. My kids were another matter and that would take patience, love and me demonstrating that I was recovered and wouldn’t go back to the old ways. That is where God came in and it was a sudden burst of light from an opening door into a land of sober thinking. A land I did not remember as I hadn’t seen it for so very long. A land of peace and harmony and then the dreaded dreams began to fade. I guess my mind was being given a chance to heal. For the first time in decades I understood the power of healing that my belief in God, which I never lost, had brought me back to a state of grace.

Despite the many temptations that have arisen I have not bent toward drunkenness again. My prayers have been for the mental defense against drinking and God has heard and provided that defense. Of course, temptation form the evil one is always near but with prayer and faith in God I have now eleven years of healing myself and providing a stable person for my wife and adult children to once again love. It hasn’t been easy but it is more than I feel I deserve, and now I am old and sober.

At the end of this summer I will be seventy-six, sober and loved. What more can a person from any walk of life ask?

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The Road Staying Sober So, Onward & Upward
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