In the days when every night ended with multiple glasses of wine, my daily responsibilities and routine were the switch that kept my drinking in check. The carpool and committee meetings, and the daily tasks I carried out as Family Manager, ensured that no wine was poured before 5pm.
God knew that the time would come for me when those superficial controls would disappear. Children would go off to college, daily stresses would build, and then one day the World would come to a screeching halt. God knew that when that happened, if I were not in control of my drinking by then, I might spiral out of control and drown myself and my joy in liquid poison.
God knew when he helped me meet a woman, 10 years my senior, whose drinking had spiraled once her nest emptied, that her story would be a cautionary and inspiring tale for me. God knew when a few months ago he prompted me to join a secret FB group of women who want to stop drinking. It was there that I discovered Annie Grace and her book This Naked Mind. I commend her book and virtual community to you.
Recently, about a week into our local time of social distancing and self quarantine, an email was circulated by a friend. It contained an image of a clock with every number around the dial replaced with a 5 referencing the old quote, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” The people on the email chain laughed and applauded and thought it wonderful. Not me. I saw a huge danger sign flashing in my face. Now that we are home all the time, the natural controls that helped me, and I’m sure others, keep our drinking in check are gone. That scares me.
I am so thankful that I am no longer drinking. I am also now feeling a pull to be more public with my story, to share it with others who may be on the path I was on, and for whom the controls and boundaries of daily life are now gone, replaced with stress and isolation of Covid19.
I trust God. I feel Him working in me, and in the world. I know that He has a plan for my life and for the best way for me to share my story in order to help others. Time to pour a cup of tea and think more about it. I’m sure it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!