The first time I tasted beer I didn’t like it. I was told, “It is an acquired taste.” So I tried it again and again until I did indeed acquire the taste. Part of this acquiring was made all the more alluring as I slid into the exaggerated place of well being better defined as drunkenness. This was a place easily discovered, as bars with Happy Hour were readily available during those delirious college days. I looked forward to those days anticipating their arrival. I relished the freedom, the fun and the break away from the books and the stress. There was even a period of time where I thought maybe alcohol was a better option for me than my food addiction. Both gave me just the lift I needed yet drinking seemed the more acceptable way of coping. Sadly, I was admired for being able to drink so much beer. I could even match my date beer for beer during the course of an evening.
So began my dependence on alcohol when I wasn’t bingeing and purging. It was like I was living my days depending on one or the other to get me through until tomorrow where it started all over again. Two addictions…side-by-side, joined together to give me the relief I needed to live my life. It was a terrible trap and I was caught.
I look back I see how God had His eyes on me the whole time. I didn’t know Him in college…I used His name in vain…and He still loved me. It’s like He was waiting for me knowing that one day I would choose Him. And I did just that in 1976. I remember that day and the knowing I had that life was going to take a different path from this day forward. It proved to be a process…one that didn’t happen all at once. The alcohol dependence was the first to go after all it was the least acceptable in my new Christian life. Yet the food addiction hung on for another 15+ years. AND God still had His eyes on me and loved me.
As you can see I’ve been the whole gambit from binge drinking in college to abstinence for 19 years. I really don’t regret any of those college days…I had a blast, likewise I don’t feel cheated that I abstained for 19 years. Both played a part in who I am as a lady who enjoys beer.
Today I savor so much more the experience surrounding a good glass of beer. This would include: friends, laughter, celebration, thirst, aromas, tastes, hops and the surrounding environment that invites the sheer pleasure of the moment. Yes, life is lived differently now than it was 45 years ago. Moments come and at times they are fleeting…too precious to waste with drunkenness.
So my friends: What are you savoring today? I invite you to try something old in a new way that brings back the memories of no regret and can be savored for the moment.
Mary Jane Hamilton has grown to love her sense of style and her peaceful lake living. Mother of 2 and grandmother of 6, she has a wonderful capacity to love and is still active as The Tooth Fairy. She is extremely fond of her dachshunds, who rarely venture from her lap, and enjoys biking with her husband of 44 years. She is rekindling her writing skills and finding it life giving.
Thank you Mary Jane for your openness, honesty and willingness to share. Your gift of words in retelling of your Journey is offering encouragement to others.
Thanks, Valerie! Your encouragement means a lot.
You have blessed us again Mary Jane with your vulnerability of struggling through addictions and the saving grace of Jesus. Thank you.
You are so welcome. Your kind words are a blessing to me…thank you.
Your experiences lend themselves to become an understanding gracious listener – and a wise woman that knows how to respond – I like the way you offer the realities of your life.
Thank you, Elaine. I’m glad you see the goodness of my realities…I appreciate your encouragement.
Mary, so many of us depend on something, moving forward and backward on the hinge. It is quit a lean as we move into who we are and who we are becoming. I taste that lovely beer and oh it is now a sign of victory! Cheers! thank you for sharing!!
Would love to share a beer with you some day…we could celebrate victory together. Thank you for your kind words.
Although I won’t be taking the invitation to again enjoy a drink, I did enjoy reading this insightful reflection by you, Mary Jane. I am reminded by you that I, too, am not regretting the past, but am appreciating its ‘place’ in my life….of having brought me to this place of peace.
Thank you, Karen for your kind and understanding response. I so appreciate your knowing and finding your peace as well. You are so gracious in responding to mine:)
Mary Jane, there is always such a refreshing “realness” as you share about your life. I respect and trust that.