Addiction vs. Faith: My Battle with Alcoholism, By Adam Durnham
Alcoholism is something I have struggled with for many years. I started drinking at an early age, only to eventually use the liquid to mask my emotions and feelings. Having grown up in the church, I knew that drinking was wrong in the manner in which I was doing it. I was drinking too much, harming my relationships with others and questioning my faith. It would be a long hard road before I learned how to use my faith to help me begin on the path to alcohol rehab.
Starting a Problem
Alcohol is not necessarily a problem when enjoyed in moderation. As a teenager, I began dabbling in drinking, having beers with friends at parties on weekends. As a sports star, I was used to being in the crowd and seen, so I would hold up appearances by drinking beer. I didn’t really like the taste but I did like how it made me feel.
Over time, my sports career in high school had taken off and there was a lot of pressure on me to perform well on the football field. I continued to drink on the weekends at parties and then decided to drink a little during the week to ‘take the edge off’. Over time, this was how my addiction started. I needed the alcohol to ‘feel better,’ so I drank more, even switching from beer to hard liquor.
During this time, I forgot my faith. I made excuses as to why I didn’t want to go to church because deep down I knew my behavior was wrong but didn’t want to stop. After high school, I started college, only to flunk out because I was partying more than studying. I was losing my way and needed help.
Finally, my family helped me enter a rehab facility. The place I chose to go was a faith-based program. During the program, I was introduced to daily worship and prayer, learning how to use my faith to heal. I had to detox from the alcohol and learn how to focus on myself without the need to medicate with a drink.
I attended bible study and learned how to get back to God. I met with pastors and worked with other individuals who were fighting similar battles. With daily journaling, I learned how to use Bible verses to motivate myself and see things clearly.
One verse, in particular, held a special meaning. 1 Peter 3:11 in the New King James Version says: “Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.” All I had been longing for was peace. I didn’t know how to feel okay and at peace without drinking. With this faith-based program, I was able to use the Bible and its teachings to get back to what I once knew.
I am still a work in progress. I struggle daily to be able to accept myself and not want to drink. However, I know a higher power is in charge. I look to Him for guidance and work on myself each day to continue to do better. Seeking treatment from a faith-based facility was the first step on my road to recovery.
Adam Durnham is a Christian freelance blogger that specializes in mental health, addiction, and recovery. He currently lives (and can often be found running) in Detroit.