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Sober Reflections, God is the Answer

Sober Reflections, God is the Answer
July 13
09:35 2018
By Mike Rudon Jr.

I figure there are some people looking at this right now who are wondering if I’ve gone off the deep end. Others are thinking this is just a phase. Some will say it is the bloated scribe seeking attention. After all – you screw up enough times and you find God, you’re absolved of all wrongdoing, right? Isn’t that the magical formula for the vanishing of sin? So every time I screw up, I find God. And I’m pristine again.

But No!
First thing, if you’re reading this in the Reporter newspaper, then it must mean that I’m no longer at the Belize Times. It’s not rocket science. If the column is familiar to you, then you are one of the seven people who read it religiously while I was the Editor of that paper. I started the column a long time ago because I wanted my own personal space to rant and rave about the government and various other people and things which irritate me. At times, I even ranted about the PUP, which certainly earned me no friends in that quarter. I’m not sure whether I’m disliked more in the UDP or in the PUP, or in equal measure. What I am absolutely sure of is that it makes no difference in my life. Not when it counts. And not where it counts. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Eventually, this article became a balm to my wounded soul. The old dog still has some poetry in him. I was able to write about my struggles with alcohol. Alcohol is not pleasant. A lot of people don’t want to talk about it – not even alcoholics. There’s no romanticism in addiction or in abuse of that substance or any substance. There is nothing cute or attractive about it. And it’s not funny. I have told some very personal stories in these columns, stories that are humiliating. I know that there are persons who think less of me reading about some of what I’ve gone through. And that’s okay. I have lost a lot of people along the way. A hell of a lot. But I also know that there are persons going through the same struggles I am – persons who may feel alone out there.

Alcoholism is lonely, and I’ve learned that people are particularly unforgiving. I’ve been the subject of scorn many times, openly and behind my back. People don’t understand. I was telling a couple of the guys in my church group that people see you out there acting the fool, being obnoxious and stupid and utterly idiotic, and they don’t understand that you are no longer in control of yourself. That person they’re watching is not you. It’s as simple as that. A few days ago I saw someone post a video of a Police Officer drunk on the roadside, staggering along his way. To that person who posted it, and to so very many of those who commented on the post, this Police Officer was the object of ridicule and scorn and condemnation. They were offended.

It was as if by getting drunk this person personally hurt them. They wanted him keelhauled, tarred and feathered, or at the very least fired from his job. Tough audience out here, I’m telling you.

You know what I felt? I wanted to reach out to him to ask if he needed to talk, or if he wanted to join a group of people who could likely help him. I felt for him because I’ve been there. I’ve been that person staggering on the roadside drunk. I’ve been that person asleep at the bar and on the bar. I’ve been that person who has no idea how I got home.
I keep telling those who stick by my side these days, family and friends. It is only by the grace of God that I am here today. It is only by the grace of God that I have not killed myself, or killed somebody else. There was a time in my life, many years ago, when I used to get up in the morning with a feeling of dread as I waited to hear if there were any reports of a hit-and-run accident the night before. This thing is real, people.

God is the answer. I had to reach out, come outside my comfort zone. My comfort zone was alcohol and women – the smell of cheap perfume, dimly lit bars, and copious amounts of alcohol which turned me into this sexy, suave superhero – took me to this place where I could be who I thought I was back then. It’s not an easy road. It’s not an overnight fix. You won’t be transformed from sinner to saint in a second. But walk with me. At least start, as I have. God is the answer.

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