Do you consider yourself courageous? Do you aspire to be?
Because reading this article may be one of the bravest things you have ever done. Or, perhaps, sending it—with love, grace, and compassion—to someone you care about.
To set the stage, know that I totally understand the positive aspects of Drinking alcohol. I did it for over 30 years and got a great deal of enjoyment from it, so I get it why people choose to drink.
Perhaps you do it because it relaxes you and makes you feel better than before. Maybe you enjoy that warm, pleasant sensation as life slowly become less stressful and more fun. For a while.
But you may sometimes wonder about your use of alcohol, even if you haven’t run into any big issues: no DUI, your family is doing okay, and you are still productive at work.
Because our choices have consequences, good and bad. Which means that Counting the cost of your use of alcohol is wise to do. And it is a courageous step to take as well.
Counting the Cost
Take the next step in counting the cost of your drinking by determining which items below apply to you. Add up the cost of those that do and decide what you should do about the result:
Money – It adds up: drinks when you go out, ordering wine at dinner, keeping alcohol at home for happy hour, and beer for the game on Saturday. When you do the math, you could be spending thousands of dollars a year on alcohol.
Time – If you drink to relax after work each day and drink for fun on weekends, you may be spending as much as 25% of your waking hours under the influence of alcohol.
Marriage – You are becoming increasingly distant with your spouse, not able to share everything like you used to do. And you get more angry more often these days. You may not notice, but your spouse now carries a deep burden—worry about you—that never goes totally away.
Kids – You are not as present with your kids as you used to be. You still do things with them but not as much as before. As they get older, they notice the difference in how you act when you drink. And the odds of them facing addiction are 50% higher, simply because of heredity.
Work – You’re a good performer at work, but you’re not as sharp as you used to be. And you don’t go the extra mile as much either. Some days, you have a lot on your mind, and that lessens your productivity as well. You still do a good job, but you could do better.
Friends – You’re not spending as much time with your friends as you used to, especially those who don’t drink. You missed those relationships for a while, but that feeling is slowly fading away.
Setting an example – You know people who may have alcohol issues. It would be better to set a different kind of example for them, but that’s not important enough to you to change. And, every week, you continue to set a living example for your kids and spouse.
Driving – You know drinking and driving is wrong, but you still do it sometimes. You deal with that choice by NOT thinking about slower reaction times and clouded perception and judgment. Then, in one sudden and tragic second, an accident happens! Is anyone hurt? Killed?
Character – Lying about your drinking is easier than facing the questions and accusations, from other people or yourself. You plan your secret drinking carefully, and being deceitful comes almost automatically now. Lying to yourself—denial—has become the easiest way to handle the guilt.
Self-esteem – Over and over, you take the easy way out of dealing with the ups and downs of life. Your drinking has changed you, so you try not to think about it. Sometimes, though, you wake up burning in shame after another night trapped in a habit you know you should stop.
Significance – You used to dream of making a difference with your life, and finding purpose and meaning was important to you. Now, you don’t think about it much, and it’s easier to pour a drink instead. But, occasionally, you look down the road: Will this be the rest of your life? Your legacy?
God – Rather than trust God to get you through life, you take things into your own hands. Drinking has become an idol to you, something you depend on more than God too much of the time. And you have begun to realize that you are now being disobedient to what God wants you to do.
Counting the cost of your drinking was a big step, and you should feel good about having the courage to follow through with it. I’m proud of you, and your family will be thankful. Good job!
Taking the Next Step
No matter what you found, you are not alone, because there are millions of people who are exactly where you are. And many others who used to be there but are in a better place now.
Reading this article, or giving it to someone else, may have been the bravest thing you have done in a long time. Finally admitting you have a problem with alcohol is courageous as well.
But the most heroic action is to do something about it.
Question: Who do you know—including yourself—who could benefit from counting the cost?
Action: Forward this email to lots of people, even if you mean it for one person in particular.
Photo by Jing a Ling Photo by rawpixel.com Photo by stevendepolo
The post Counting the Cost appeared first on Steps Ministries: Hope, Healing, and Help.
This post first appeared on STEPS: A Daily Journey To A Better Life | How Anyo, please read the originial post: here