by Julie Stirn for New Life Thai Foundation
How could I have a problem with alcohol?
It started like anything else: wanting to have fun; having free time; wanting to do what my friends were doing; the wild abandon of being a fifteen-year-old.
Even though my mom had taught me about the evils of alcohol, I didn’t care. I was on Spring Break and I was invincible. Time for fun. Who wanted to say home and watch TV? Not me.
How much harm could a strawberry-flavored wine cooler possibly do? Just one – I’ll have just one. It seemed harmless enough. The TV ads made it look friendly. My three friends and I stole some wine coolers from my friend’s mom. She’d never noticed; she was an alcoholic. But that didn’t scare me. I came from a “normal family” of non-alcoholics. My parents didn’t drink at all How could I ever have a problem with alcohol? Ha!
So I took that first sip. Then I took another. Then I finished the bottle. And that’s when my love affair began.
From strawberry cooler to alcoholic
Twenty-five years later, sitting at New Life Thai Foundation, I ponder what happened ? How did I go from that one strawberry wine cooler to alcoholic? Wow, what a journey, what a ride – a ride that nearly killed me or landed me in prison for life.
I can’t thank God enough for saving me from myself. I know from the very depths of my soul that He sent an army of angels to protect me from myself – my own worst enemy. There have been people in my life who have who have harmed me. But no one has ever harmed me as much as I harmed myself.
Why did I harm myself so terribly? Why did I think that I was worth destroying? Why did I pick up that weapon called alcohol? Why, after seeing the destruction that alcohol was causing in my life, did I continue to wield that weapon against myself?
How belief can pick you up from your bottom
I believe that God created me as a unique and special human being. There is only ONE me, out of over seven billion people on this planet. I was created for a purpose that only I can fulfill. I am not my body, but my soul needs my body to live during this life. But I kept harming my body with alcohol. My soul is not my mind, my feelings or my emotions. But I kept harming my mind, feelings and emotions with alcohol – until finally I was so numb that I hardly knew I was alive.
Finally I “hit bottom.” And in that bottom, I had a split second of clarity. And with God’s help, I booked a flight to Thailand, and came to the New Life Foundation, and started my new life. I’m so glad that I did, because life is precious, including my own.