Confessions of a Christian Binge Drinker

binge drinkingI have an addictive personality and have struggled with moderation on all fronts my entire life. What ever I have done  – work, God, people – I have always done it with passion. The consumption of alcohol has been no exception. Being a ‘larger sized lady’ I could really put it away too. It was nothing for me to drink a whole bottle of wine or champagne to myself and not show any external signs of inebriation. I used to kid myself that because of my size it wasn’t a lot to drink.

Being a committed Christian I have come to understand that the consumption of alcohol while permitted is not always helpful. I used to say to people – I like to have a drink but not get drunk – but I think that was a bit of denial.  I loved to have a drink and I didn’t just want one or two, I always liked the feeling of getting a little tipsy.

On New Years Eve of 2010 I decided to fast the consumption of alcohol to pray for my church. I was particularly praying for a financial breakthrough. The church had done a massive renovation and the debt weighed heavily upon the leadership and congregation. I promised God I would not drink until I saw that debt reduced in a major way.  Eleven months later I ended the fast as God answered my prayers – certainly not in the way I imagined but nevertheless the debt no longer overshadowed the church. A good friend was getting married so I chose her wedding to break my fast and break my fast I did. With a well rested liver I drank like a fish and only experienced a mild hangover. In the next month I found a few other celebrations to have a few drinks with friends.

In the eleven months I had fasted alcohol I had a number of occasions such as my birthday, a going away dinner for Canadian friends and my anniversary that I would have liked to have had a drink. But once the celebratory moment passed I realised the next day that I never thought to myself  ‘Oh, I really wish I had drunk last night’. In fact I thought the opposite. I was so glad I hadn’t over indulged.   I loved not getting the sweats through the night as my liver struggled to process the alcohol or the thumping headache in the morning or that seedy feeling that only time and McDonald’s heals. I most certainly didn’t miss having to apologise for any stupid or immature behaviour and I loved that I could remember these events clearly and I didn’t lose the following day to a hangover. In fact I realised that I didn’t actually like drinking that much and I didn’t like the Catherine I became when I had too much to drink. I didn’t like her at all. She was loud, offensive and toward the end of the night – angry.

So after 3 weeks of ‘drinking’ I decided to give up the booze forever. I sent an sms to my close friends and family letting them know of my decision and that was it. I felt fantastic. It was the best decision I’ve ever made for my spiritual, physical and emotional health. It was an amazing feeling. I no longer wrestled with the drink or not to drink question  I just didn’t even think about it anymore. If I had known the peace that would be mine after making this decision I would have done it years ago.

I once asked God if there was anything I did that held me back in ministry – He said to me ‘Yes your drinking”. So now, after 2 ½ years of almost complete sobriety but for that 3 weeks in December of 2011 God has called me to be a Pastor. I feel absolutely honoured and totally unworthy of this call to lead God’s people. I am glad God is able to look beyond all my personal failures, all my other issues and all  my problems and use me to serve in his kingdom. Mostly when I think of myself as a Pastor I think of the verse that says ‘His grace is sufficient for me”. Oh let that be applied liberally to my life. I really need it with a capital G!

Over and Out,

Catherine xoxox

One Comment to “Confessions of a Christian Binge Drinker”

  1. Great! “Not my will but Thine”…

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