To the very beginning
I am planning on taking a trip this next week. It's long over due. In fact, I haven't been on a trip of this magnitude since my wife passed away just over six years ago. That was a trip to the Oregon Coast, which was about ten years ago. Wow, how time flies.
Sadly, I don't miss those days. They were terrible. Drunk all of the time, we didn't enjoy much of anything. Or, I didn't enjoy it. She always seemed to enjoy many of the things I did not - mostly because of our alcoholism. But then again, she enjoyed drinking.
I didn't start out "enjoying" drinking. I was always afraid of it, actually. So I had prided myself in not drinking a drop through my teen years, and even as I started my adulthood; I felt that I was good. Strong. No need for me to partake in something that would make me stupid and destroy my life. None. I was a righteous person!
But I secretly wanted to, deep inside. And eventually, I began to find reasons that I could do so. I mean, if Jesus made wine from water, then surely it must be okay. And my best friend had been drinking a beer or two, or a wine cooler, or a Zima. He certainly hadn't "lost it" and died.
"Just a sip. Maybe two. Or possibly ten would be okay..."
I had always wanted to drink. Ever since I was very, very young. I had snuck a beer from my mother, at age five or six. One bottle.
Now, be mindful! My mother didn't know I was even drinking it. She was outside hanging laundry that day. I remember it like yesterday. It was a bright, warm, sunny day, and the breeze was just enough to sway the hanging clothes. She had a beer on the kitchen counter, and when I saw it - I snuck a drink. I ran outside to talk to her about whatever it is a five or six year old kid talks about, and suddenly thought that another drink was in order.
My mother had asked me to go get her some more clothes pins, so I took that as an opportunity and ran, up the deck stairs, and into the kitchen. Gulp! Down went another childish swig.
To bring a little more understanding to the situation, the laundry room was, in fact, DOWNSTAIRS. I had intentionally gone out of my way to go by that beer bottle. So I raced to the front of the house, down the stairs, and to the laundry room to get her clothes pins. And again, the thought crossed my mind that I could sneak yet another drink if I didn't go out that back door - which I stood right next to. So, back up the stairs, through the living room, into the kitchen, and GULP! down went another wholehearted swig.
Off I went, dashing once again down the deck stairs to my dear mother, who was waiting patiently in the hot sun and the gentle breeze. I passed off the clothes pins pretty quickly, and ran, once again, back up the deck, into the kitchen, grabbing the nearly empty bottle.
I finished it off. I don't remember much about anything else that day, but as I understand it, I was found curled up on the couch, sound asleep. I can only imagine what my mother thought when she found the empty beer bottle, but I can assure you that beer was never that easily accessible again.
It didn't matter though. The seed was planted, and for the next seventeen/eighteen years of my life, it laid dormant, though I often thought about it - wondering, "Just a drop. A tiny, little drop." But The Religion in my life was strong enough at the time to keep temptation at bay; the fear of Hell rested heavily upon my shoulders.