Today, I woke up groggy, as usual, and was dreading having to pack for a long drive to Florida, with a stop at a funeral along the way.
I really don’t like funerals. I’ve only met the person who died twice. It’s more of an obligation, and I resent having to change my travel plans to accommodate it. I’ve been whining for days, when I am not thinking up schemes to get out of it.
Yes, I really am that selfish. And yes, it is what happens when you live as a heavy drinker. No one expects anything less from you after a while. They know you are a whiny (but entertaining, you imagine), self-centered person that cannot be counted on when it really matters.
But after some spiritual reflection, I had this rush of joy when I realized it had been thirty days since my last drink, and that I didn’t have to play this role today. I am in awe of the fact that I can be of use to the people there. I can pay my respects with respect! I need not harp silently on how this man’s death inconvenienced me. I can be a positive, praying influence on the shocked family. I can make it easy on my husband, who knows he is half-dragging me there. I can graciously and lovingly be a partner instead of a millstone. I can allow him to take his attention from placating his whiny spouse to supporting his friends and family, who have suffered an unbelievable loss.
And I am ecstatic about this! I know the feeling won’t last forever, but who cares? I am not fixated on the drinking that will be going on after the funeral — I have barely thought about it. I am free to be what I really am — a loving person, a child of God. The alcohol hides this about me. Love doesn’t come naturally when I choose drinking over actual human contact. I have been among the walking dead. All I have to do is read my first post to see how shocking my state of mind was under the influence.
I can choose to be strong instead of weak. I can break these chains once and for all. I have never felt more free.