Our Fight With The Bottle: Alcoholic Love
Her body lay crumpled on the sofa, legs bent, head twisted above a rising urine stench wrought by another binge.
Once radiant, she now resigns to the grips of a vice so baleful its undercut her dreams and bygone pride.
This scene, marked by harrowing imagery and hints of ethereal abstraction, finds the woman I adore at her lowest, but, nevertheless, her soul remains.
For even as she mumbles through intoxicated breath, I, and more importantly, her creator, whose compassions are unending, glimpse beauty and love escaping through her exhausted face.
While mired in this moment, however, overcome by all about me I just cannot react outwardly; though, inwardly my heart wails as I sink lower than her physical state.
I begin a hastened prayer of endurance, though I feel broken while standing above the chaos.
Yes, I can care for my partner's daily needs, provide support, and even slow her spiral, but I cannot restore years lost or proffer a fix to rid the infliction which resides among us.
Only the God of enduring mercy can do such things.
However, still frozen in my flesh, attempting supplication to mend our home, the Almighty's grace eludes me as my mind entertains the bleakest notions of where this illness may lead.
In non-negotiable terms I'm struck by images of the many who have slipped into an inescapable abyss while fighting for sobriety.
This urgency intensifies when a scourge so exacting unfolds before your very eyes, to the one you love: that is when a faith to defy all understanding is most needed.
Countless times, with joined hands, under better circumstances, my wife and I have recited Reinhold Niebuhr's longstanding twenty-five word prayer:
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."
After contemplating these simple, sage words, along with Philippians 4:13, my wife and I daily renew our all out war with the disease of alcoholism.
And It is a disease worth fighting, especially with her, but, even with recent minor victories, the fight is exhausting.
Many times, by day’s end, I feel hollow and burdened beyond anything I could’ve imagined.
Though, I’ll be damned if I surrender in the face, and clutches, of addiction, or lose faith in an ever- loving God.
Along with those offered for my household, my earnest prayers go to all who battle addiction from either side of the substance.
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