From the January 2013 magazine.

January 2013: Sneaky Drinker

Car keys, the neighbor’s liquor, vanilla extract—nothing was safe from this alcoholic

When we come into this world as babies we have no clue what awaits us. We are scared and just want the security of our moms. When the doctor hands us over to our mom everything feels safe and secure. As we grow up we learn from our parents right from wrong; but we also learn from other influential adults in our life, such as teachers and preachers. For a while we believe that what they say is the absolute truth and try our best to live up to their ideas. As we grow into adulthood most of us start testing these rights and wrongs to figure out who we are and what we believe in. We start needing our parents less and less. This was not the case with me.

I was raised in a strict Baptist home where drinking was a sin, cursing was a sin, and not going to church was a sin. I can remember as far back as 7 years old crying myself to sleep because I thought—even after I went through the procedures that were said to save me—I would die and go to hell. As I grew up I felt fearful of ever making a decision on my own. For some reason the need for the security my mom gave me did not go away. I can remember being on a mission trip in my late 20s and crying every night because I was homesick. I could not understand what my problem was. I never felt good enough. I always felt guilty and less than everyone else. I could not live up to the ideal that I assumed my mom and the people in church thought I should be. Everyone saw me as this sweet, quiet, shy girl, but inside I was screaming. I would go to church a lot and repent, but I did not know what for. I was not drinking then, and I did not do drugs. I worked, went to church, and came home.

-- Donna M.

Sweetwater, Tennessee

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