Straight Talk About Alcoholism

by Deanna Pierce

I didn’t know I was an alcoholic until years into my marriage. I knew I probably had a problem, but I never wanted to address it.

I’ll be real with you: I enjoyed getting drunk. I enjoyed the feeling of everything being numb. I enjoyed the pleasure of sin. I learned in my early 20s in college all of these behaviors and sinful pleasures. I thought I had it all under control and that God would forgive me when I was older and wanted to live the “Christian life”.

I thought I could stop when I wanted too, but that is the lie I believed without knowing I really had no willpower strong enough to overcome behaviors that were now addictions. I also didn’t realize it was because of this addiction that I had been in very destructive relationships before meeting my husband, Dewayne.

When I was 26, Dewayne and I were married. Occasionally, he’d have a beer, or we’d go out with his clients and we’d have a drink with dinner. Now at that point in my married life with Dewayne, I didn’t know that past family members were alcoholics. It was never talked about. I had a great family; they just weren’t really communicative about the past.

Within the first two months of our marriage after work on a Friday, Dewayne said, “Hey, let’s just get a six-pack of beer and watch movies tonight – Just relax at home.”

I’m like, “Okay, great.” We arrive home and he goes into the bathroom. I’m waiting for him to come out, and I’m thinking, “This is awesome. We’re Christians. We’re married. We can have sex. We can get drunk.”

Before he gets out of the bathroom, the six-pack is gone. He walks out and asks me what I’m doing. I said, “Hey, we’re married, we’re Christians, we can get drunk, we can have sex.”

He got very firm and with a solemn face said, “We’re not doing this. We’re not even going to start this. This is not what I meant when I said we would have a beer.” Then we talked a bunch, but I want to tell you, had Dewayne not taken that stand in our marriage that early on, I would not have been able to be faithful to him when things got tough down the road.

Dewayne and I use this motto when we counsel people. We say, ” What you as parents do in moderation, your children will do in excess.”

Because when you get drunk, your defenses are down. The alcohol changes your thinking, it numbs you. I won’t go into the whole lesson about drinking and all of that, but there were times, even in our first year of marriage when guys flirted with me. If I had been drunk, I may not have been faithful to my husband.

My life would have been destroyed again because of alcohol.

Here’s where God really brought to my attention that I had a problem. It was after my daughter was born. We’d been married for six years. One of my friends was getting married in this small town. My brother and his wife and all of our friends were there.

We weren’t there to party, but they had an open bar and I thought that it wouldn’t hurt God for me to have one drink. I finished that drink pretty quickly, and I really want another one. Dewayne said that one drink was probably enough.

I couldn’t just have one. It was drawing me. It was calling me. But I did not have another drink, praise God. Dewayne was my accountability.

The next day we were driving home from the wedding and listening to a cassette tape Dewayne had in his car. It was teaching how the wine of the Bible is not fermented like the wine of today. The wine of the Bible was basically grape juice.

When the tape was over, I looked at Dewayne and I said, “I’m an alcoholic and I didn’t even know it. I am not supposed to ever let alcohol touch my lips again.”

The Holy Spirit had spoken to me, not in an audible voice, but He laid that conviction on my heart. Frankly, I didn’t know about the Holy Spirit back then other than He was part of the Trinity, but I knew God had spoken to me by an inner knowing.

Dewayne replied that he could agree with me on that. So that’s when I stopped drinking alcohol. He doesn’t drink alcohol. We don’t have it in our home. In fact, Dewayne and I use this motto when we counsel people. We say, ” What you as parents do in moderation, your children will do in excess.”

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Jane Clark

Jane Clark

All I could think about the rest of the trip was this: If Jesus is real, he must be so frustrated right now. He’s probably thinking, “I gave you the burning bush. What more proof do you need?!”