Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Where I Have Been

I have talked about how I went to a very strict church and how the fire and brimstone sermons affected me.  How it made me feel tremendous guilt for anything that was "wrong" in the eyes of God.  And how everything turned into something that felt wrong, felt like a sin. Everyday required many confessions of sins and confessions of thoughts of sins.  I guess what I haven't talked about is my turning away from it all... with alcohol as an older teen, younger adult.  I hated church and the way it made me feel so much I walked away from it all and decided not to look back.  I thought how can God be so loving but want to send us to hell for every little thing we might do wrong? And if all sins are the same, I might as well SIN it up...cause there would be no saving me from that point on...

At 18 I moved out and into a small apartment with two other friends, and I dove into sinning! I drank a fifth of liquor by myself almost every night. I partied, I tried to smoke...never caught on thank goodness!  It made the world so much easier to deal with. It made me a funner person!  I talked to people I would have never talked to, I went to parties, I made people laugh! People liked me!! Me!  They acted as if I belonged in their group! They wanted me around. Life was SO good! It was so much fun!  It was!  Even as much as it became a burden, when it first started it was about the best I have ever felt.

And then it wasn't...I couldn't drink enough. It took more and more to get me drunk.  I could drink a guy twice my size under the table.  I would have blackouts. People would relate stories to me of things I had done the night before, and I had no memory of them. It was horrible. I walked into a strangers apartment and lay down on the couch and went to sleep!!  I was in the wrong house!!  I should have been an apartment over!  I was so young, and so wanting to feel accepted and this was the only way I knew.  It was the only thing that had ever made me feel "normal".

Finally it got to the point where I was at a party and apparently embarrassed friends so badly they no longer wanted to be my friend!  I felt like once again everyone was laughing behind my back.  It was a sobering experience to say the least! One day I just didn't drink anymore...

From there I moved back home and then a few months later met my husband and got married. I totally put the experience and the thought of any of these people out of my head.  I am great at denial.   It is a skill close to my heart. I mean, where would I be, what pain would I have to deal with if I didn't have this skill?

I guess I just wanted to remind myself that no matter how bad or even how good the journey seems at a particular moment...it will change.  Change will come no matter how much I try to control my environment.  It will knock on my door when I am least expecting it, it will take me by surprise, for good or for bad. But living in any other moment other than the present will not keep it from visiting me.

I will do things I am proud of and things I am not so proud of.  Maybe I can remind others to that life is a journey. Where have you been?

1 comment:

  1. Shannon, I also turned completely away from the church and from God. I got into some relationships that I never should have been in -- I just wanted to be loved. Some of those times I can barely stand to think of--I guess there's some denial there, too.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It lets the rest of us know we're not the only ones!