When my brother died in a horrible house fire, I felt like God had truly had it in for me....
It was bad enough that Aaron and his young wife, Stephanie, were burned beyond recognition, but what was truly unacceptable in my head, was how God allowed the three babies to die. What had somehow become my job over the years, resumed at this devastating time. I had to go to the hospital morgues to identify each body!
Seeing my brother lying burned and dead post autopsy was a nightmarish scene that stayed with more for many years! I wanted to vomit. I became dizzy, nearly falling over the table that held my brother's lifeless body. "This is not how I want to remember you," I clearly heard myself moaning over and over.
After the funerals for my brother and my little nieces, my nineteen-year-old cousin who had come from Rochester College to attend the funerals, suddenly dropped dead on her mother's living room floor from pneumonia.
In the midst of death, mourning, and funerals, plans had to be made for yet another!
I could not imagine how much worse this never-ending drauma called life could get! It seemed that the black cloud of gloom and doom would hang over me and last forever.
I dealt with it in the bottom of beer cans and rum bottles. I was on leave of absence from work, yet night after night I showed up, drunk and crying, to lean on my co-workers and drinking buddies. This seemed my only consolation because I had given up on prayer at this point.
Several months dragged by and the progression of alcoholism was rapid. I needed to drink to drive anywhere! I needed to drink at social functions or I refused to attend if liquor was not present. I needed to lie and cheat in order to get money from my family and friends to buy more booze! I left my children in my mother's care, knowing that they were safe while I drank myself into delirium, ultimately passing out.
I took on a part-time job after working twelve hour shifts at a civil service job, because I never wanted to sleep. Nightmares haunted me and I became a drunken insomniac. And, then, it happened.
A co-worker at the second job told me about a movie that she was looking for to buy for her husband who had been drinking too much. I helped her to search the video aisles until we found it. I decided to buy myself a copy and went home that morning to watch it. I found myself sitting on the edge of my water-bed, guzzling beer after beer while watching Clean & Sober, starring Michael Keaton. His performance was amazing.
More importantly, seeds of hope had been planted in my liquor soaked brain. Night after night for the next few months I watched Clean & Sober before passing out on my bed. My downward spiral was quickened when I could not stop drinking even during working hours. I managed to sneak beer and liquor past the security because I otherwise could not complete an eight hour shift!
One warm October afternoon, I went into work and was drinking with my co-workers as we worked. One friend came to me and stated that it was too warm in the building and that management needed to turn on the air conditioning system or we should all walk out. Alcohol flowing through my veins told me that we must take a stand against management!
"Come with me to speak to the boss! They can't do this to us!" alcohol whispered nto my ear.
The false courage made me go face to face, liquor breath and all, with my tour supervisor. I staged a walk-out, demanding my fellow co-workers and drinking buddies leave with me.
"We must leave! We must leave! They can't make us stay and work under these conditions!"
Dozens of employees left with me!
The events that transpired later that evening led me crawling into my Employee Assistant's office the following morning, begging him for help. Clean and Sober, the movie about a man who signed himself into a rehab program in order to escape the law, became my reality, or so I thought.
After detoxing, I soon realized that this was a safe place. I also soon realized that these people weren't going to teach me how to drink without getting into trouble! I had to stay stopped and start to change! This was the beginning of a transition from depressed, sorrowful, spiritually bankrupt life of darkness into the wondrous light-filled life as I know it today.
I learned to live one day at a time, hang out with people destined for greatness, rekindle my relationship with a power greater than myself, and change, change, change.
Making positive changes was a tough order, yet, I knew that action was a huge part of my new life...
copyright © 2007 by Miriam L. Jacobs. All rights reserved. No republication of this material, in any form or medium, is permitted without express permission of the author.
~ Never give up hope~
I No Longer Color My Hair- A Memoir coming soon...