For 30 years, I drank every day.
I’m going to pause now and let that sink in.
For those who know me, you’re going to think to yourself, “but I never saw you drunk!” Or, “but you always looked fine, put together!” And even, “but I never smelled alcohol on you!”
The truth is I was, I was, and no you didn’t.
Then - for those who know me - you’re going to ask yourself, “what about during work?” “What about at church?” “What about driving?”
And the hard truth is: yes, yes, and yes.
I’ll repeat it one more time: FOR 30 YEARS, I DRANK EVERY DAY!
I have two beautiful children and only by God’s grace, loved me each day they saw me drink.
I had an amazing career in television – won 5 Emmy Awards and several national awards. I met heads of state, celebrities and had a front seat to moments that changed our world. I had it all – I thought.
Life changed…I got divorced. I was mean to people. I lied to cover my drinking. I lied about it all.
On one of the most significant professional and personal moments of my life - September 11, 2001 – I watched the second plane go into the World Trade Center on live television. I ran to the liquor store and picked up 4 large bottles of vodka and went through 4 days of directing and producing live television with nothing but vodka and tonic water running through my veins.
I didn’t only drink through the bad times – I drank in the morning times, afternoon times, evenings – when it was sunny and 80 or cloudy and in the teens. I drank through hurt and devastating loss and through a belly laugh that would last for hours.
Every day. Every moment possible.
But I was not an addict. How can you say that, you say? The definition of addiction is the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity. I chose to drink every day. I understand that that statement is going to anger some and perhaps make folks stop reading here, but believe it or not – it’s true. My circumstance isn’t common because people in the addiction field tell you that in order to stop drinking (or smoking, or doing drugs) you need, ironically, drugs. They will also tell you that you can’t stop on your own and you will always be an addict – whether or not you’re using or drinking. They will insist on meetings and even private therapy and warn you – as my doctor tried – that not following this path will result to my drinking again.
The devil is a liar!
My grandfather died because he drank. I lost two uncles to drinking. They were sick and addicted. One other commonality, they didn’t know God.
I remember sitting in my doctor’s office almost two years ago, my husband by my side, and being told that I needed to go to rehab for 30 days. When I said no – the doctor, head of the behavioral department that deals with addictions, shook his head and told me I would fail.
The devil is a liar!
I don’t put down individuals who feel they need rehab and therapy and drugs to “kick their habit.” I don’t put down those professionals who help those trying to “kick their habit.” But what if God were a part of this process?
I know God has been holding out his hand for me all my life. You see, I always knew God. I always had faith – but I didn’t trust myself with God. I got angry with God. I even tried to turn my back on God because in my professional field I was trained to believe that God didn’t exist.
The devil is a liar!
I thought I was smarter than God – and everyone else for that matter. I thought – well, I’m not hurting anyone. I’m not stealing or robbing anyone so I can drink. And it was no one else’s business but my own.
Boy, is that devil a liar!
The truth was I was hurting every single person around me who watched as I swallowed drink after drink after drink. I stole time away from my husband and my family so I could drink. I robbed myself of greatness – despite my success – because I wanted to drink.
That day in the doctor’s office, two years ago, my husband went back to work and I went home. I cried as my body wrenched in pain for the next two weeks while the poisons left my body. It was the absolute worst feeling I had ever experienced in my life. And then on the 15th day, I asked God if I was okay.
No more lies from the devil!
God spoke to me and said, ‘yes you are!’
No drugs, no meetings, just God. He said to me, ‘my daughter – I’ve been waiting for you!’
And I said, I am here!
And all of a sudden, my life changed! I had a clarity that I didn’t know existed. I heard God’s words every day! I looked at my husband, my best friend, and knew that he was also waiting for me.
No drugs, no meetings, just God!
I just turned 51 with no damage to any organs! I became a grandmother for the first time last year and I’m so much in love with her. My children and I have never been closer. My creative and professional life is now thriving - despite the devil trying to test me.
I am here.
Relationships, friendships – everything is so much better than it was before. I’m in development of several new projects and thinking about writing a book.
We bought our dream house last year and already planning on a second!
I look into my husband’s eyes like it’s for the first time and I’m really seeing and loving him and he is finally seeing and loving the woman of God that he knew was there all along.
All this and God continues to say to me, ‘I’ve only been waiting for you to show you the glory that I had in store for you all along!’
I thank God every day for silencing the devil’s lies.
I thank God every day – my Father, God almighty for never giving up on me.
I thank God every day for HIS voice I hear saying to me, ‘I’m so glad you are here!’
I had my last drink on November 17, 2017.
Let me repeat that: I HAD MY LAST DRINK ON NOVEMBER 17, 2017!
And I thank God every day – for his love – and his power – and his glory – and his protection – and his healing – and his forgiveness – for I AM HERE! And I pray for those who are still in the struggle that they find their way HERE, too!