Dear God, I Drink
An alcoholic's self love story by Alycia Vreeland
I am standing in a room of strangers that are supposedly afflicted by the same dreaded disease as me. Through big ol’ crocodile tears I blubber out loud (or was it in my head?) ” I can’t do this without Jose!"
A short and nosey man without the gift of boundaries blurts in my direction “Jeeze. Let go or be dragged, man!”
"Let go? Can I just let go and know that someone or something will take over for me?" I ask myself. "Do I just need to get out of my own way? This God everyone talks about seems to help them, but I guess I will actually have to let go for this to happen. Before that, I must believe that the damning God of my youth can actually help me. Why would he support me now, if he did not seemingly help me then?" So many questions are percolating...
As I tip-toe toward my new faith, I see a yellow piece of glass peeking out from under a pile of gnat-infested seaweed, but it’s not blue. After another two steps, I find a red marble-shaped glass that's been worn smooth by the turbulence of the sand and sea. Three steps later I spot a light violet nugget, the color of twilight. Come on God. We had a deal!
It's then that I discover my favorite color - a Chartreuse green remnant of a magnificent, old-fashion glass bottle top with its shape perfectly intact. Five steps later, I see a gorgeous, light-blue-turquoise gem, pressed against a mollusk covered rock. I pick it up and look what I've collected in my hands. I am awestruck by the magnificence of my finds; a handful of jewels gifted to me from the Kingdom of Heaven.
"What just happened?" I only asked for a great blue piece and I received so much more! A rainbow of colored glass.
"Ok God, You might be able to help me after all, but I'm not fully convinced You can handle all of my troubles. You just showed me that if I trust in You, the gifts will appear. So here is another test! Let’s see if You pass this one God - I want a boyfriend, because I am lonely. I need someone to help me through this journey." I look to the sea. "Maybe a cute surfer guy? What do you say? Show me a sign and then maybe I will believe in You again God."
I steer my eyes to the left, and there on a berm of sand, I spot a pair of plastic legs protruding from the crusty heap. I lean down and pull on them to reveal a G.I. Joe in all of his exposed glory, sand-worn and just right for me. "Thank you, God, for You know this is all I can handle!" I giggle to myself. This God clearly has a sense of humor too.
So I take my new-found faith out into the world and I'm told that I appear to be on a Pink Cloud. I do feel radiant. And I glow from the inside out as the sunlight of the spirit works through me. Others are attracted to my light and join me on this journey of perpetual freedom. I continue to attend the meetings with those “morons” who helped save my life. Maybe they're not such morons after all.
I live my life with an unfamiliar, clean freedom for over six years, then one month shy of seven years sober, my faith is abruptly shattered by the death of my 27-year-old sister when she dies suddenly from a brain tumor.
The pain of her loss is too much for my mind to grasp and my lack of faith leads me to Dr. Smiley the weed doctor. Before I know it, I am off and running in the wrong direction again. One glass of wine with dinner leads to the whole bottle, which leads to screaming at my husband, and to the loss of my son's trust. Now my broken soul lies on a friend’s kitchen floor and I surrender to God once again. He, or she, is the one place I know I can place my belief and trust to get me through this.
Today, I am four years sober. My unbreakable faith in a God continues to throw life’s little “lessons” and “teachers” my way, to make sure I maintain a conscious contact with the Keeper of the Seaside Jewels on my path to this substance free Kingdom of Freedom. I guess God passed my test.
P.S. If you love the personal story Alycia shared, please send her an email and let her know! email@example.com
*Alycia Vreeland is a Santa Barbara based illustrator and art instructor. You can see her work and learn more about Alycia on her website www.alyciavreeland.com.
The bottle has been my best friend. Senor Jose Cuervo. His magical serum drags a dark veil over the uncouth memories. Without Jose, I will have to face what has chased me my entire life. I pretend to surrender with the help of this visual - a fucking white flag I’ll acquire from this free-spirit, surrender loving moron at a Montecito seaside “meeting”. I really need this God to prove himself capable of saving me first though!
I trudge right down the street to Miramar Beach to gain some perspective on my “God Test”. On a normal beach walk, on a good day, I will find at least one rare, blue piece of sea glass. Today is different though. I look up to the heavens and ask God "Hey! If You are real, then You will show me lots of blue glass today." This seems a fair and reasonable trade for making such a profound commitment as placing my absolute faith in the almighty to save me. Right?