Dry January?

Alright y’all. I didn’t know that “Dry January” was a thing until a few days ago. I had unknowingly participated. Let me tell you about it…..

Today marks a month of no alcohol for me. My decision to stop drinking didn’t stem (wine…you see what I did there) from a “problem” per se. At least I didn’t think so at first. Just like everyone else, my personality would change when I would drink. But I was in denial. I didn’t want to hear that I was aggressive and inflammatory. Those aren’t exactly personality traits anyone would want to posses. Well, maybe some of y’all but no judgement!

When I would drink, I would wake up the next day with a tremendous feeling of guilt. It was like my soul was wired to reject alcohol. Even if I didn’t do anything worthy of that feeling, it happened nonetheless. This next statement might sound contradictory, but a lot of times I would forget things I said. I was a binge-drinker. I couldn’t enjoy just a drink or two. It was always shot after shot, usually Fireball or Jameson, followed by PBR or Miller Lite. No apologies. I’m a redneck deep down!

Drinking would always cause my emotions to go to the extreme. If I was happy, I was giddy. If I was sad, I was sobbing. If I was angry, I was aggressive. Insecure? Yes, you guessed it. It was terrible. I was terrible. So I decided to do some soul-searching. It was time to lay my relationship with alcohol to rest.

I’m happy to report, that it’s only been a positive outcome from it. No more feelings of guilt. I’ve saved money. Lost weight. My skin is clear and glowing. I’m just happier in general. However, one thing I wasn’t prepared for was having to face my emotions dead-on, without a crutch or something to mask them. That has been the hardest part. January has been one of the most challenging months of my life, mentally. Doing a competition prep, fresh off a breakup, school…it has been overwhelming at times. But now I’m in control of me. I’ve had to do a lot of deep breathing and most of the time it doesn’t work but I’m trying! Growth in 2019. That’s my goal. Like Cher said in Clueless “I needed a makeover…but this time I would makeover my soul.”

Am I saying I won’t ever have a beer again? No. Let’s be real. Braves. Beer. Some things just belong together. But now, I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t. Being the drunken messy girl is not something I ever want to be again.

And to the person that forced me to see this reality, thank you. Hard truth isn’t something I’ve always been good at accepting, but thank you for loving me enough to hurt my feelings.

XOXO

Only God can judge me

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I may say some things that will make you mad. Just a warning. But that’s the beauty of the first amendment. I can say anything I want. I’m not out to hurt anyone, I’m just tired of hearing people say “Only God can judge me!” They say it so self-righteously. Nowhere in the Bible does it  say that only God can judge us. 

First lets talk about the fruits of the spirit. You can find these glorious nuggets in Galatians 5:22-23. They are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Self-control is an interesting one to me because how many of us have self-control? We all have that one thing that gets us every time, whether it’s donuts, chinese food, pornography, alcohol…you get my point. Mine is oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. No self-control around those bad boys. I’ll eat 5 and not even blink!! Ok I’m getting off-point here. Sorry.

So lets say we see Sally out at Applebee’s and she is sloppy drunk, hanging all over the guy sitting next to her and slurring. I think it’s fair to make a judgement that she shouldn’t drive. In fact, this judgement could save her life.

I’m going to share a personal experience of mine to help you understand where I’m coming from.

I know I’m getting judged. I can feel it. You ever just know people are talking about you? I can feel it. At Bella’s basketball games, at her softball games, at her school. But I have to put myself in these people’s shoes. How do they view me? I mean, only the worst of the worst of mothers lose their children to the father. I would judge me too. Not to mention the things Bella’s father has said about me. No, I’m not being paranoid about this. I’ve had several people come forward and ask me about/tell me what’s being said. No wonder people stop talking when I walk by. They think I’m a monster. So it’s no surprise that I’m always on the defensive. I feel like I have to prove myself to everyone, that I’m not a terrible person. Let me tell you, that’s a humbling experience too. I feel like I should safety pin the judges words to my shirt and say, “See!! I’m a wonderful mother! And nurturing!!” 

I’m defending myself right now. Did you catch it?

I can’t shut it off. I’ve always been the person that wants to be liked; to please everyone. Unfortunately, Bella has this same trait. I’m trying to help her break that, but when you only get 5 1/2 days a month, it’s very hard to do. Now I’m off track again. 

But alas, I cannot, and YOU cannot, make everyone happy. I think Dita Von Teese (yes, I know what she does for a living) said it best, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” Well said, Dita. So now I just try to please God. Although I’m sure lately He hasn’t been very happy with me. I blame Him for what happened. But is it really His fault? I don’t know. I’ll never know until I’m standing before Him. Maybe by then I won’t care. I just don’t know how to channel all the heartbreak I experience daily. Hourly. 

Now back to judging. My (humble and unimportant) opinion is that we can judge people. If they’re not walking in the fruits of the spirit, and not bearing fruit (Matthew 7:16), we can form an opinion of them. But we CANNOT run to our gym buddies, friends, co-workers, twitter followers, whoever! and run our mouths about Sally that we saw drunk at the bar. We don’t know Sally’s story. She may be going through something so painful that she doesn’t know how to deal with it. Maybe she doesn’t know Jesus. And guess what? By you running your mouth about her, isn’t going to help her want to get to know Him. Christians have a terrible reputation for gossiping and being hypocritical. We need to change that. Pray for her, in your own quiet time instead of spreading lies. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Galatians 5:14). Some of y’all don’t love yourselves very much either. That’s a whole different blog post. 

The bottom line is this. Love each other. Build each other up. Don’t do things that will cause your brother to stumble(Romans 14:12-13), meaning if they are on a diet, don’t eat donuts in front of them. If they’re battling a pornography addiction, don’t ask them to go to the strip club with you. Hey you shouldn’t be going there anyway!!! 

Just remember, things are not always what they appear to be.

 

I love y’all. Thank you for sharing life with me.