When I was 17 years old I was admitted to the Adolescent Unit of Florida Hospital for alcoholism. My parents, along with the counselors at Florida Hospital, decided that it was in my best interest to receive inpatient treatment for my addiction.
I, however, adamantly protested their decision. I didn’t feel like I was an alcoholic. I simply enjoyed getting drunk. All of my friends drank more often than I did. Plus, their quantity of consumption was almost double what I consumed on a daily basis. Therefore, I really saw no evidence that convicted me of alcoholism. My arguments fell on deaf ears.
I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas of 1986 in a locked treatment center. I have to admit it was probably one of the worst Holiday Seasons of my life…but also one of the best!
Prior to hospitalization, I woke up most days about mid-morning with a noxious hangover. I began many a day taking a swig of beer before my feet even touched the floor. Once I started drinking I didn’t stop until late at night. Needless to say my daily routine was forced to receive a major overhaul once I started treatment.
When I was finally released from the Adolescent Unit I had been sober for two months. I no longer thought about drinking 24/7 and my cravings for alcohol were almost nil. I really thought I had conquered the whole “alcoholism” issue.
Then reality set in. I had worked the program for two months while hospitalized, but I had been buffered from the outside world. Once released I suddenly realized that I had no friends. Well, no sober friends to be exact. All of my sober friends had given up on me years ago; they had abandoned me to my drinking haze. After that abandonment, I had clung to my drinking buddies like they were my lifeboat.
Upon release from treatment I felt like I was tossed back into the choppy seas of my life with no lifeboat for survival. My alcoholic buddies pretended to understand, but at the end of the day their goal was to get drunk. If I wanted to fit in with them I needed to want to be drunk with them.
I had a choice to make. I could cling to my usual lifeboat, my alcoholic friends, and all of us could go down with the alcohol ship. Or I could do the unthinkable, I could cut the lines to my lifeboat letting it drift off.
Did I want to go down on that ship with them or did I want to live?
Sometimes, what we view as our lifeboat is really not what will give us life. It is actually a lie that the enemy uses to keep us in bondage. At times like that we need to step out in faith cutting the ropes to our false lifeboat so that we might find true life.
If you feel like you might be depending on some false lifeboats in your life please call the Glennon House for an appointment with a trained Prayer Minister. Our Prayer Ministers will walk with you as you cut the ropes of those lifeboats and invite Jesus to become your Lifeboat.