Stop in the Name of Love!

Subtitle: With apologies to The Supremes

In August 1970, I enrolled in college. For the first time in my life, I was away and apart from the strictures of my Christian household where I was taught to conform (or else!) to the wishes (the demands!) of outwardly uniformly righteously-conservative parents (though whom, not I, could have known of their – as all humans, I have come to believe, harbor – heart-held secret sorrows of unfulfillment).

Liberated, soon and very soon, I, with gustatory permissiveness, familiarized myself with the fleshly pleasures of tobacco and alcohol.

Cutting to the proverbial chase, I, diagnosed with early-onset emphysema, on Thursday, October 21, 1993, smoked my last cigarette. I am convinced that had I not undertaken that act of self-preservation, many are the folk, unto this day, I never would have had the pleasure of meeting and the privilege of knowing.

Now, my long-secret self-confession (surely, known by those closest to me), I share openly. I am an alcoholic.

(So, too, was my father. Though I neither blame him nor harbor any ill self-justifying will toward him. No, Dad, it’s not your fault, for I am responsible for me!)

I love the taste of alcohol. White (and, yes, in deference to my wife’s far more finely developed palate, occasionally, red) wine. Bourbon. Single Malt Scotch. Vodka. Scotch. And, in that order, if any of those are not available, then whatever is on or at hand. (I recall a seminary all-nighter in preparation for a semester final exam, when poor of purse, a fellow student and I lustily consumed all that we had at hand. A bottle of crème de banana!)

I am a high-functioning alcoholic. I am responsible. Or, as I am wont to say, I am response-able; able to respond in the time or moment of need to those around me who rely on me. In a word, I carry out my daily duties of human living with an exacting diligence.

Nevertheless, as I age, I note the increasing diminution of my capacity to bounce-back from my states of incapacitation to some (any!) realm of alertness to the world around me. Moreover, as I also suffer from certain forms of mental illness, my consumption (over-consumption) of alcohol, whilst momentarily calming my inner-ragings, also forestalls the inevitable backlash of the angered uprising of my artificially-subdued demons.

So, for my sake and for the sake of all who depend on me and for the sake of the love of God in whom I place my greatest trust, I must stop drinking.

© 2021 PRA

#alcoholism #mentalillness #highfunctioningalcholism #smoking #gettingthehelpIneed

3 thoughts on “Stop in the Name of Love!

  1. Paul,

    Tim and I met you and Pontheolla in 2006 and we all became “frienalies” (friends who become family) soon after and we have lived lots of life together. I’m just going to say three things about this post…I support you, I applaud you and I love you! Always.

    Loretta

    Like

  2. Dear Paul,

    What honesty and courage it took to write this. As the daughter of an alcoholic father who could never allow himself your deep awareness, I read your statement with sadness but much more with relief, admiration, and love. You already had a special place in my heart, and now more than ever. With Loretta, I support, applaud, and love you.

    Karen

    Like

    1. Always, my dearest sisters, I thank you. And, now having openly named for myself one of my resident demons, as I go forward, for how ever long that will be (for, among the manifold things I’m wont to say, I have much more life and labor behind me than I have before me), I must discern the difference (for a manifest large difference there is) between not drinking and seeking sobriety. For I well recall times past when I, for a season, did not drink alcohol, yet all of my alcohol-fueled-and-fired behaviors remained woefully intact. Therefore, I see this, truly, as the proverbial first day of my (newer) life.

      Love,
      Paul

      Like

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