I read a heart wrenching story this past December and I have been holding on to it all this time waiting for the right words and the right time to share about it. I guess it’s time. The Lord has been stirring my heart on this extremely difficult and painful subject so here I go again…
This article entitled “A quiet way to die” was about a fairly young woman, who three years earlier at the age of 39, died a horrible and lonely death. Her name was Julie Kroll. A documentary was made featuring her story and four women in the documentary share their shame, hoping they might help another alcoholic woman deal with hers. The name of the film is “Lipstick & Liquor, Secrets in the Suburbs.” In this article, the filmmaker states it’s a pretty film with pretty people. She explains that’s deliberate. Her film shows attractive, successful middle-class women who also had a problem. The article said: “The villain in the film isn’t Kroll, it is alcoholism and the damage the disease does, Kroll is just the haunting example…”
I have not seen the documentary yet, but I am glad it was made. People need to hear these stories. There are a lot of women out there who seem to have it all together. Most people would never be able to guess that they have a problem. I was one of them. I think that is why this article touched my heart the way it did. This article and documentary are focused on how harshly society judges addicted women. But to me, addiction is addiction. It doesn’t discriminate. So my heart goes out to all men and women who suffer any type of addiction.
Julie’s story truly broke my heart. The article stated that she went to pick up her 8 year-old daughter after school in Virginia. Apparently, she had been drinking and lost her way. After a minor crash, she left her daughter behind and stumbled away into the dusk with no coat, purse or phone. She vanished. She had a prior arrest on the suspicion of drinking and driving and the police viewed her as a fugitive. A friend of hers stated that the police didn’t think Julie was worth looking for. They thought she was on the run or hanging out in a bar somewhere. There was a blizzard that made search parties unsuccessful. Her husband pressured the police to help. Tragically, thirteen days later when the police finally searched for her, her body was found in a ravine just 300 yards from her car. The article stated that death came from alcohol, blunt-force trauma and exposure.
Every time I think of what Julie’s friend said about how the police didn’t think Julie was worth looking for, I break down and cry. How heartbreaking that must be to God. I understand how the world works—some people are just considered not worth spending any time on. But that’s not how I feel. I believe every single lost soul is worth finding. And I know without a doubt, that so does the Lord.
Many people do not reach out for help and I pray that they start sooner than later. Nobody should die like Julie did. I pray someone out there will be motivated to take that very difficult step and ask for help and get into a recovery program. But even more important than that, I pray that something in Julie’s story, the documentary, or even something shared from my own heart will get someone to reach out to the Lord like they’ve never reached out to Him before. Recovery programs are great. Sponsors and friends who understand this problem and help us to stay on track are a blessing. But I believe with all my heart that getting sober and staying sober is impossible without the Lord’s help.
When I was reaching bottom, I hadn’t fully surrendered to the Lord yet. Not all areas of my life, anyway. I am realizing more and more now, that the Lord started to reach me before I fully surrendered. He had to have been doing something in my heart because when I look back, I remember talking to Jesus every week even though I didn’t really know Him. I would say, “Okay Lord, I will not buy the alcohol this week. I will not stop at the store on my way home from work. I promise.” Yeah right. When I was just a weekend drinker, I would tell myself that I wasn’t going to buy booze for the weekend. But it never failed. I broke my promise every week. At the end of the work week, what was I doing? Yep, I was buying my supply for the weekend, which was quite the supply for one person. Life was hard and I drank hard so I could forget about it for a while.
I know now that I was foolish to ever think I was actually in control and that I could stop when I wanted to. Oh, how wrong I was…almost dead wrong. God changed everything and I am grateful. In just two days, I will be 47 years old and because of God’s wonderful miracles in my life, life has barely begun for me. In just three days I am celebrating three years of sobriety and there is no way that would be possible without the Lord’s power in my life. I encourage anybody struggling out there to reach out to God and get into a recovery program. I highly recommend one that keeps Christ in the center of it.
Someone out there needs to hear this message. If you know someone who is struggling, will you please share it? No matter who you are or what you have done, don’t believe the lies. GOD SAYS YOU ARE WORTH SAVING. Call out to Him and He will meet you right where you are and your life will be changed forever. Coming from someone who not too long ago was looking for a quiet way to die because I was believing the lies, I pray my testimony will help you find hope and that you will believe that you are worth it and believe through God ALL things are possible. God loves you so much.
Thank you and may God bless you all. ♥