I do NOT miss these seven things, now that I am sober:
I do not miss: 1. Missing Mass because we didn’t get our act together to go in the morning. And I would be drinking by the afternoon so I couldn’t go to evening Mass. Nine times out of ten we would go in the morning. But if we didn’t for some reason, then I chose alcohol over God.
“How high a price we pay for the burden of habit! I am fitted for life here where I do not want to be, I want to live there but am unfit for it, and on both counts I am miserable.” Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
I do not miss: 2. Begging God to please help me stop, take over my will, give me a miracle, make me stop drinking for good please. I remember yelling at God telling him free will was a stupid idea!
“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” Romans 7:15
I do not miss: 3. Not remembering a great evening because I had had too much to drink. I especially ruined date nights with Husband. The night would start out wonderfully, with sushi and Chardonnay. Then, inevitably I’d want to have more wine. Perhaps we’d skip the movie and instead “hang out and drink.” That’s when the best conversations happen, right? We were bonding, sharing out feelings. Right. By the end of the night, I’d most likely said things and behaved in ways I wasn’t proud of.
Ah! Those who rise early in the morning in pursuit of strong drink, lingering late inflamed by wine, banqueting on wine with harp and lyre, timbrel and flute, but the deed of the LORD they do not regard, the work of his hands they do not see! Isaiah 5:11-12
I do not miss: 4. Hangovers. Working from home gave me the opportunity to be hungover and still get my work done–I could be miserable with a headache and lay in bed with my laptop and my Advil. Forcing myself to get up early to get the kids off to school, fed and with their lunches was such a chore. And then as soon as they were out the door, I’d head back to bed for more uselessness.
1809 Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion. Catechism of the Catholic Church
I do not miss: 5. my children’s worried faces. I’d pick the little darlings up from school and they’d be excitedly sharing their day with me. Mom, they gave us hot chocolate today during safety patrol. Mom, I’m the star student next week so we need to make my poster. Mom, can you help me tonight with my Literature project? And then, inevitably on the way home, I’d stop at the convenience store and pick up a 6 pack of Michelob Light. Back in the car, my children’s faces were down, their sweet voices quieted. The cloud of alcoholism had surely infected our family, in unspoken words.
“Pride is the king of vices…it is the first of the pallbearers of the soul…other vices destroy only their opposite virtues, as wantonness destroys chastity; greed destroys temperance; anger destroys gentleness; but pride destroys all virtues.” Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen
I do not miss: 6. Husband’s irritation and worry. At times during my drinking days, Husband would say to me, “Honey, I don’t mind drinking every now and then, going out and having fun with friends, or staying home and drinking. But I can’t do this every night. Maybe just on the weekends?”
“The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church – read on – and give his life for her (Eph. V, 25). This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is – in her own mere nature – lease lovable. For the Church has not beauty but what the Bride-groom gives her; he does not find, but makes her, lovely. The chrism of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man’s marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of a bad one, in his unwearying (never paraded) care or his inexhaustible forgiveness: forgiveness, not acquiescence. As Christ sees in the flawed, proud, fanatical or lukewarm Church on earth that Bride who will one day be without spot or wrinkle, and labours to produce the latter, so the husband whose headship is Christ-like (and he is allowed no other sort) never despairs.” CS Lewis, The Four Loves
I do not miss: 7. being separated from God. I think many of us have that “one thing” that blocks us off from the light of God. The more we focus on the thing, rather than on God, the more we separate ourselves from grace. Once I put down the thing I loved and walked away, God was able to enter my life and fill the vacuum left inside of me. And how glorious to be filled in this way!
“Virtue is its own reward, and brings with it the truest and highest pleasure; but if we cultivate it only for pleasure’s sake, we are selfish, not religious, and will never gain the pleasure, because we can never have the virtue.” Cardinal Henry Newman