“People are like a vapor, their days like a shadow that disappears.” Psalm 144:4
Life sometimes reminds me of one of those old picture flip-books: the kind where a series of pictures, flipped through quickly, creates a small “movie.” People, events, the passing of time, age and styles all seem like a blur. This realization brings me to the point of my writing this morning: TIME and the unveiling of repetitive destruction- specifically alcoholism.
The constitution of a vapor, scientifically, is fairly translucent. I haven’t been vapor-like in my blogging lately…which IS the underlying purpose of this blog. So, let me be more translucent…or should I call it “transparent.” My husband pointed out that many of my posts are encrypted. I thought to myself, “well, of course! I don’t want to vomit my personal life on the screen for the world (or the small percentage of the world) who ends up reading it!”
What’s the point of experience if you don’t truly share? It becomes a pointless vapor. Recently, a large reoccurring vapor appeared- just in time for the children to start school…
Simply labeled: Alcoholism.
This is an area of my life I have had to experience on many different levels, however, the current experience is a succession of many from the past which are all related. My children’s father has been battling relapse after relapse for most of his adult life. It has cost him marriages, children, jobs, dignity, and the list goes on. The only thing I can see it not completely costing him [yet] is his life. If this sounds cold, it’s not meant to be cold- it is meant to be SOBERING. My writing is from pure compassion, concern and conviction.
What struck me in this most recent relapse was his response to me after I had contacted him to set the boundaries for going forward regarding the children:
Me: “…Mercy, Grace and Forgiveness all come from God and do not mean you can impose destruction upon your children at your own whim…” (btw- this was not in a self-righteous fashion- it was my way of saying I personally extend these attributes, however, I cannot allow this to impose on the children’s well-being.)
His response is the point of me sharing this partial conversation:
Him: “Greta, it has been my overriding thought…how do I keep telling you failure. I sit here and don’t know what to say…”
ALCOHOLISM. My lessons, experience and observations come from many years of living through the heart-wrenching ups and downs of this disease. I am angry and perplexed- I can NO LONGER sit back and observe this affliction and merely react to my own personal woes. This is going to a level of involvement I consider to be advocacy.
Many people have their opinions about the causes and “fixes,” however, I feel it boils down to one main point. As with any affliction, addiction, etc.. any person who holds pain deep in their heart and doesn’t truly work to get to the root of the pain, will never be freed of their affliction. Efforts to remove the pain have to be tended to daily and cannot EVER fall to the fringes or be taken for granted.
How do you explain to your children that their father is not well? To them, he is well the second his eyes are open and he’s able to text or talk. They don’t understand the sickness that looms for months, maybe years after the physical cessation occurs. The healing is just beginning- for everyone involved.
Hence, the first of a series of many on the subject of alcoholism. Please feel free to share your experiences if they are HELPFUL
to the purpose of understanding this subject.
Because life is so much like a vapor, I want to acknowledge this dark area and set it free. I want others to do the same. No person is without fault and no stones are being thrown here. This is part of the journey and I pray, as fellow Christians, we can come together to encourage each other and to share our experiences so we can join in following Jesus’ leadership in all the many facets of this life.
In Christ’s Love,