Addiction: Life's Too Short - Soapbox Jr.
I’ve struggled with this week’s soapbox for reasons I won’t go into, but I wanted to talk a little bit about my grandfather, William Carlton Daniel(s). He passed away on April 13, 1973.
In his book, “Never Look at the Empty Seats,” dad spoke candidly about his father’s struggles. I was aware that my grandfather was an alcoholic, functional most of the time, but what I wasn’t aware of – until I read dad’s book - was the fact that the reason they moved around so much when my dad was growing up was that Grandpa Carlton would lose his job because of his addiction, but he was so good at his job and had enough contacts in the timber business that he would always find another job, but that usually meant relocation.
My recollections of him are fairly vague, I was almost 7 years old when he passed away from a heart attack, so I have a few bits and pieces of memories. I remember visiting my grandparents’ home in Wilmington, North Carolina when I was very young. Some of the stories I know have been told to me by mom and dad over the years. For example, he took me to get my hair cut, and I’m not sure exactly why, but I must not have wanted it cut, because they told me I didn’t want to have anything to do with him for a while after that, and I remember him making fried eggs with bacon grease, and being a young child, they looked dirty to me, and being the picky eater that I was, I didn’t want to try them.
But I remember that he was a kind and loving man, but he had an addiction which probably put him in an early grave, robbing him of his life, his family, and seeing his only son succeed beyond his wildest expectations.
People who are dealing with this addiction are often lacking candor, with others, and with themselves.
Those magic words, “I don’t have a problem,” which I understand that every alcoholic has uttered at least once - and most likely much more often - are pretty much a sure sign that there is a problem.
From what I have been told, there is a saying among those alcoholics who have been in treatment and those who have loved ones who are alcoholics.
“How can you tell if an alcoholic is lying?”
“Their lips are moving.”
Alcoholism is an ugly disease. It drives people apart, it deludes those who suffer from it with the lie that they are in control of their drinking when it's the drinking that is actually controlling them.
I know people who have struggled with and are still struggling with this, and it is indeed life-long, but no matter how hard you are struggling, you are a child of God, and He wants better than this for you.
I urge anyone who is struggling with this, who thinks they can control their addiction to be honest with themselves and to get some professional help before it is too late for them.
Many treatment programs are faith-based, and it’s with His help that healing can begin, physically and spiritually.
There is a powerful line from the Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss song, “Whiskey Lullaby” about two characters and it says that he – and later she – “put that bottle to” their “head and pulled the trigger.”
Tragically, that’s essentially where that road leads for many.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police, the peace of Jerusalem and our nation.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels, Jr.
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