Saturday, April 21, 2012

WHY I DON'T DRINK....

I felt led today to share with you the reasons I don't drink.  I suppose it took me many years to understand the answers to this question and how to share them without being offensive.

In the early years of my life, I never saw anyone drinking alcohol.  My parents abstained and that is the way I was taught.  Our faith and denomination forbade it and we followed.  That was my childhood view.  When I was a teen, I was often offered alcoholic beverages. In college, you were considered "corny" and a "freak" if you didn't participate.  But it didn't matter to me.  I didn't want it and to this day, I've never tasted it.

When I was a young mom, I continued this train of thought concerning alcohol.  The Bible doesn't speak of drinking beer or wine as being sinful at all....it only says to not become drunk.  Even so, I simply did as my parents did and we never had those products in the fridge and we didn't order them on trips to the beach. Even on those few occasions when we were celebrating and no one else was around....even then there was never any question.  We didn't drink.

There became a time when I began to move from neutrality into hatred of alcohol.  I heard stories of those who were giving alcohol to minors...even their own children.  They would allow their high school children to have friends over and they would supply them with drinks.  It bothered me very much and at times, made me angry.  I learned there were adults that would purchase it for kids who were underage and hanging out in the parking lot of the store...and the adults would do it for free or just to get one of the beers from the case. Hard to imagine.

My feelings about alcohol continued to sour into rage when I discovered my own son had an addiction problem.  I questioned everything I had believed during that time.  Not only was he dependent on drinking, but also on drugs.  There simply are no words to describe the pain of those years.  Of course, it didn't help that this was a very public battle. I had a neighbor tell me that she didn't want her kids to be at church too much, cause kids who are in church too much get "all messed up."  Yes....I wondered if perhaps she was right and I felt awash with new guilt and angst.  Guilt for doing what I thought was the right thing for my family.

Now that the years have passed and I have faced many struggles of various kinds since then, I stand firm.  I can look back and say that my children knew how I felt.  They were brought up in a loving Christian home...not perfect, but Christ's presence was known.  We held firm to our values. We still do.  If our children choose another way, then that is between them and the Lord.  My values are mine.  I have shared my values with them.  Now they can choose their own.

I am still surprised by the number of adults who try to make "kicking back with a cold one" look cool.  That is certainly their right and I can't judge them.  But I do feel a twinge of pain.  Who is watching them?
Who is reading that post?  Will that influence bring them down?

I can't tell you everything that addiction takes away from one's life but I can name a few: Relationships are ruined, families are broken, hearts are ripped, nights are restless, money is wasted.....the accidents, the affairs, the nights in jail, the hopelessness....and the influence.

We always talked openly about alcohol and drugs to our children.  We said, "If you never try it, you will never have to worry if you are an addict or not."  But the world says, "Look, this is cool...look, this is so grown-up and sexy."  Why, I have even heard of ministers drinking beers with their parishioners and making everything look cozy.  But that's just not for me.  I can't take that chance.

I hate alcohol.  It broke my heart and robbed 9 years of my precious son's life and his relationship with our family.  We can never get that back. I hate it.
And that's why I don't drink.


13 Comments:

At April 21, 2012 at 10:04 AM , Blogger annspencer said...

I am right there with you, Sherry -- and I just don't get it when others don't see the dangers of alcohol. Whatever fun it seems to bring to people is not worth the risk, in my un-cool opinion. Thank you for your honesty.

 
At April 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM , Blogger Sherry Hefner said...

Ann, thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving your meaningful message!

 
At April 21, 2012 at 3:17 PM , Blogger Michelle-ozark crafter said...

I hate alcohol! I remember the horrible times when dad was drunk and one of those he threatened to kill my mother with a butcher knife. He also gave me my first drink when I was a young teenager. Is it any wonder at one point or another in our lives that all three of us kids were alcoholics?

 
At April 21, 2012 at 4:10 PM , Blogger Shelley said...

To me...it is a deadly poison! So much heartache from my childhood due to alcohol and then to have a husband that abused drinking it. As you say the pain is still there...although I have turned the pain over to God...over and over! I too still cringe when I see others consuming alcohol. I taught my children not to drink it,but as you say they must make their own choices as adults...and that's to be between them and the Lord! They certainly know how I feel in my heart about it. I have heard some call themselves "Social Drinkers",but I never knew one..the people I knew that drink...drank it until they were very drunk and got really mean! And that's why I don't drink,as well. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings

 
At April 22, 2012 at 9:03 PM , Blogger Sherry Hefner said...

Thanks so much for visiting the blog and sharing! Sorry to hear of the pain and suffering alcohol ha caused you and your family. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone avoided it?!

 
At April 22, 2012 at 9:04 PM , Blogger Sherry Hefner said...

Hi Shelley....thanks for taking the time to stop by and share from your heart. I appreciate what you had to say. Blessings to you...

 
At April 23, 2012 at 3:00 AM , Blogger Mara-The Poetic Homemaker said...

I used to drink alcoholic beverages (for shame I know) on occasion in the past. However, as I have become older and wiser, I stay away from alcoholic beverages. I've also experienced what too much alcohol can do to a person, and it's not pretty.

BTW, great testimony! Thank you for sharing this!

 
At April 23, 2012 at 10:39 AM , Blogger Karen said...

I agree with you 100%. I don't drink either--have never even tasted alcohol. I know how alcohol can take over a person's life and ruin it! Thanks for sharing with us!!

 
At May 5, 2012 at 10:51 AM , Blogger a little of me said...

nice post thanks for sharing...looking for to visit more...blessings

 
At May 5, 2012 at 1:32 PM , Blogger Sherry Hefner said...

Thank you for stopping in and sharing a comment, Karen! I hope you will come back again! Blessings to you...

 
At May 5, 2012 at 1:33 PM , Blogger Sherry Hefner said...

Mara...thank you for your sweet response. You are always an encourager!

 
At May 5, 2012 at 1:33 PM , Blogger Sherry Hefner said...

Thank you so much for visiting my little blogspot. Hope you see you again!

 
At February 14, 2014 at 5:11 PM , Blogger vickie garland said...

I enjoyed your story I struggled with alcohol for years and no longer have to by the Grace of God ! Your story goes to show it does not matter what time of home you come from. My father started drinking then my mother started drinking which let to there divorce. I've lost a sister to a drug overdose so I have had a lot of life lesson due to this powerful disease. God has forgiven me and I am no longer that person. I thank him everyday and am so grateful for the life I have today. It's made who I am. I do believe you can become a product of your enviroment yet your stories show different. Just goes to show how powerful this stuff can be and grab a hold of your life yet there is Savior and hope ! God bless youand your son and your family . you've overcome this !

 

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