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Overcoming Addictions - Help for Christians

Christians and non-Christian alike battle with addictions and other behaviors that they find themselves struggling to leave behind. Through faith in Jesus Christ and placing emotional and spiritual health as attainable goals, we can all be overcomers.

This blog, produced by Certified Recovery Specialist Beth Livingston, is for people to exchange struggles and victories of breaking free from addictions and other hurtful behaviors.

Holidays and Drinking: Too Much Cheer?

drinking and holidaysby Beth Livingston
Certified Recovery Specialist

Well, another holiday is just around the corner and some of us may be at family gatherings where the “drinks are on the house.” It’s been a long time since I drank, but I still know the temptation can be great – the peer pressure too! How are you feeling about your chance of staying alcohol free during this upcoming holiday? We may be around people having lots of fun having a few drinks. And we may be around folks who routinely have a glass of wine with a meal and it never leads them to a life of alcoholism. They may not understand why we need to avoid alcohol. How will we be able to make it through the holidays without a drink?

Alcoholics are used to drinking on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Celebrations, in general, can stir recovering alcoholics to drop their guard and have a drink (or two or more). When we make the life choice to stop drinking, the holidays can be a tremendous time of uneasiness and temptation. We have to be aware of this trigger and plan how to handle the temptation ahead of time. The desire to drink can be even bigger if we’ve suffered tremendous loss during this year or we’re lonely.

Holidays are family times and that sometimes means we will be in the company of family members who have caused or still cause us emotional pain. Spending the day with them can bring on such uneasiness that we use our favorite method of escape. Have you found some healthy ways of making it through these days?

Someone said at a recent recovery meeting that planning how you will handle a situation before you encounter it will give you a better chance at making right choices. She said, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." That seemed like a reasonable strategy for success. Can you share with us what your plan is to stay sober this year? It may help someone else.

I have a plan to go outside or to the bathroom and pray to Jesus to help me avoid returning to alcohol, the deceptive fun in a bottle that nearly destroyed my life. I have purposely left a room and gone somewhere by myself and prayed several times in one day during past holidays. The battle for our sobriety is bigger than we are, so it’s so important for us to turn to our Lord. Have you come face-to-face with this struggle between righteousness and the buzz? How did it turn out?

Just one drink can send us down a path we promised ourselves we weren’t going to travel again.

Rather than raising a glass in a toast, let's lift up a prayer to God:

Jehovah God, you are worthy of all praise and all our trust. These days of celebrating Thanksgiving in the United States and the Holy Birth of Jesus Christ the world over are days that we desire to honor you God. Help us to praise you with our bodies, our souls and our minds. Many of us struggle with alcoholism, addictions and other behavior defects and want to surrender our wills to Your will right now. We want to love you with all that we are and without shame. Purify us, Oh Lord, for your Glory! Please help us to be free in You! Please help us to be strong in our resolve to have a new life in You. We trust the Holy Spirit to comfort us instead of the things of this world that used to comfort us. We will have no other gods before you!

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 11:41 PM

Comments on this post

# RE: Holidays and Drinking: Too Much Cheer?

Thank You Beth for the reminder and Prayer to Our Lord. For years and years as a bulemic and anorexic, I dreaded the holiday for the fear of food. Praise God that He is beginning to be the true Manna from Heaven, and food can take it's rightful place in my mind and body. Please keep us all in prayer this season and I pray the Lord to keep you too.
Left by Dixie on Nov 24, 2009 6:09 AM

# RE: Holidays and Drinking: Too Much Cheer?

Oh my gosh, Dixie; I hadn't even thought about the difficulty that the holidays bring for people who struggle with food addiction and other food related destructive behaviors. Thank you for your comment.

Precious Jesus, please guide your children who struggle with food into healthy ways of taking care of their bodies in these difficult days ahead. You give us these temporary vessels to house our souls along with your Holy Spirit. Help us all to honor you with our bodies and our choices of what to put into them and what not to put into them. May you be glorified with our choices.
Left by blivingston on Nov 24, 2009 9:17 AM

# RE: Holidays and Drinking: Too Much Cheer?

We are Christians and do have a drink or two with our family at Thanksgiving. We don't get drunk and don't really think anything of it. But, I wouldn't necessarily be saying this in my Sunday School class. So, what is the big deal with having a couple of drinks? Is it really a sin?
Left by Tracy on Nov 25, 2009 12:05 PM

# RE: Holidays and Drinking: Too Much Cheer?

Dear Tracy, for me, eating can become sin. I see people who can pick up a piece of pie and stop at that. I pick up a cookie or piece of pie, and I become a glutton, I can't stop until I have disgusted myself enough to purge and stop. Then I am left with the consequence. Same with drinking, there are people who can have a cocktail, and stop, some who can't. It's the ones who can't that the sin of drunkedness and all the junk that goes with it comes into play, like abusive talk, abusive behavior, lies, cheating, sexual sins, and the like. And in each case, there is a lack of self control, which comes from the Spirit of God. So to us, it is sin. Hope that helps. One hope is that if a Christian falls, as I do many times even yesterday, I can come to the Lord and ask for forgiveness, not live in denial, and He is merciful and gracious to forgive me and cleanse me again so I may lean on Him again, not run away from Him. That is the great gift of Mercy. Love, Dixie.
Left by Dixie on Nov 27, 2009 5:52 AM

# RE: Holidays and Drinking: Too Much Cheer?

Well, I fell for a moment this Christmas. I felt powerless because there was so much anger in my midst between my husband and our children. It started Christmas Eve and by 5:00 p.m. Christmas night I was bummed about how things had gone. After we got home alone, my husband and I went to deliver some Christmas home-baked goods to my aunt and uncle down the street. As we sat in their kitchen, they offered us a glass of wine. Normally, I would say, "No Thank you." But this time, I was weak and said yes. I ended up drinking 3 glasses of wine. I had a little buzz, but didn't stay until I was toasted. Before this, I had not taken a drink to deal with sadness in over a year and a half. I consider this a temporary slip-up, and will be in touch with my accountability partner more frequently over the next few days and weeks. I am ashamed of seeking relief from that idol! However, I have confessed and repented. Please pray for me.
Left by blivingston on Dec 28, 2009 3:41 PM