It sure is not an easy thing to just be starting in my forties. It’s hard learning to live when you spend a lot of time alone. It’s hard to break away from being a loner. That’s all I’ve known for too many years of avoiding people. I got very used to keeping to myself. I am a true introvert. And what makes it worse, a shy one.
I have a real difficult time in social gatherings. I spent this past Sunday at a park for a picnic with my church. It was a beautiful day. I got some practice photography in and managed to capture a few good shots that showed some beautiful hearts for God. It was a blessed time of fellowship. However, it was not easy for me to be there at first. I don’t think most people would have been able to guess that the morning was a rough start for me. I felt so anxious I was thinking that maybe I wouldn’t go. But, I really love these people so I knew I had to just deal with it. I’m glad I did of course because in time I was fine. It’s so interesting to me that I’m okay with the same people when we do outreaches. Even though I get nervous, it’s completely different. It must be the servant heart that the Lord has given me. I really do have a passion to serve Him and to reach others for Him. I’m sure in time I’ll overcome this social challenge with His help.
I’ve never been comfortable socially in large groups. Put me in a large group for a work meeting and have me speak in front of all of them about things I know, no problem. But put me with that same group to just be social? That’s definitely a problem. What used to get me through those situations was drinking. Not only was alcohol my medicine to numb the pain of depression, it was also my liquid courage. I wasn’t so shy when I drank. Drinking calmed my nerves and made me comfortable in my own skin.
I thank God that I am no longer tempted to drink, but I make sure I don’t put myself in situations that may cause me to slip up. Even though I’m much stronger now, I can see how easy it would be. All it would take is just one sip to destroy everything that God has done. There’s just too much to lose to take that kind of chance so if I’m invited to an event where there’s going to be alcohol, I usually turn it down. If I do go, it’s not for long. I just simply prefer not to be around it if I can help it. Some people understand, and some people don’t. I can’t worry about that. I have to do whatever it takes to make sure I stay sober.
Doing things like that are great but I don’t think it’s enough. One of the greatest things I’ve learned to do is to build a team of godly people to help me stay accountable. God has blessed me with an incredible team. They sure inspire me to keep pressing forward and they keep me out of trouble. I love spending time with them.
It’s been a little over two years, but I’m barely getting started on this new life the Lord has given me. While I was writing this, I realized I never really learned how to live before sobriety. I was too depressed and intoxicated to live. I can see that this is going to take a bit of time.
Well, I just felt like I needed to share what’s on my heart tonight. Maybe someone out there can relate to this. I will just keep doing what I’m doing…holding on to hope and holding on to God one step at a time, one day at a time, and praise Him for victory!