2 years. It’s been 2 years since I put the bottle down and quit drinking. After years of saying I really should quit, I finally did it. I never thought it was possible, but God proved to me it was. Today, I am going to tell you the full story of how I quit. The version I tell online hasn’t been the complete truth. Today I promise to leave nothing out.
I started drinking in high school. Then it was mostly at parties where I ended up sleeping on the bathroom floor a few times. I drank a lot after college at concerts going on at bars. I believed I needed to be drunk to be happy for a while there, and it almost took me completely. I moved onto just having a bottle at home and drinking at home a lot by myself. I would drink to forget sadness or anxiety. Maybe even if I was in some sort of physical pain like my back hurt…hoping I could forget it for a while. I was pretty hung up on thinking I needed to be under the influence of alcohol to enjoy myself sometimes.
I wrote several poems over the years about hating alcohol and what it did in my life, yet I couldn’t let it go. I had that thought go through my head a lot, “This isn’t good for my body, I really should just quit.” The quitting never happened though.
Early in 2015, God started speaking to me, “It’s time to let it go.” I told him that it was impossible for me to quit drinking. I told God something was impossible….the God through whom nothing is impossible. I did nothing in response to his call but continue drinking.
In May 2015, I got a package in the mail. It was an album by The Protest titled ‘Great Lengths’. A friend had gotten it for me because I had never even seen them live before so I couldn’t get a physical copy. I stuck it in my car to play it. I was also struggling with church, and one day I decided I should drink a little before church…maybe I would finally enjoy it again. I had a pretty good buzz at church honestly. I probably drank too much to be going to church.
When I got in my car to leave church, this song from that album from The Protest called “Control” played for the first time:
I’ve got this poison filling me
it drags me down
But oh, I love the way it tastes
cause its straight from Hell
you kill me, you kill me
with every lie that you feed
you think you’ve got a hold on me
but I’m in control of me
I heard God say in a very stern voice, “Don’t ever do that again.” He wasn’t happy with me. Every time I heard that song, I heard God say, “It’s time to put the bottle down.” I put the album down instead. I didn’t listen to it for a good while there.
June 2015 is when I saw The Protest live for the first time. Those are some of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. If you haven’t seen The Protest live before and talked to them, you are missing out. I’m a very introverted person, and I don’t do well in social situations. Yet I talked to those guys a bunch that night and felt comfortable talking to them after just one night of knowing them. That does not happen with me very often friends. So now the band behind this song “Control” had made a big impact on me. I played the album again. I didn’t put it down this time. I kept hearing God say, “It’s time to put the bottle down.”
July 2015. I finally decided to put the bottle down. I wasn’t sure if I totally believed it was possible for me to quit yet, but I decided to take a leap of faith since God kept telling me it was possible. I took the last third of a bottle of Jack Daniels I had left and dumped it out. I poured it over the lyrics to the chorus of “control” I posted above and took a photo. That’s the last bottle of Jack Daniels I hope to ever drink.
God knows us more than we will ever know ourselves. We can sit here and say “This is just who I am,” and be completely wrong when we base who we are on earthly temporary identities that are just frail masks that will not last into eternity.
It’s actually a good thing that God knows us better than we know ourselves, so don’t get stuck on whatever identity you have given yourself on this earth.
This is because the biggest way God knows us better than we know ourselves is that he KNOWS that we are capable of so much more, able to endure and conquer so much more, and able to accomplish so much more for the kingdom of God than we think we can.
That’s why over and over, he told me to put the bottle down….because he KNEW I could do it.
One day I told God that something was impossible. He said it was possible, and he proved me wrong. It was a good time to be wrong. Don’t ever underestimate God when he says something is possible that you think is impossible.