Sent in by Billybee
I was born (I'm 54) into a family where both my mom and dad were alcoholics. My parents' generation was highly tolerant of heavy drinking and dysfunction. Because they were so poorly equipped to raise well adjusted children, they sent their kids to parochial school in the hope that the fear tactics of Catholic nuns would offset their lack of control over our behavior. The result was the same as throwing a wool blanket over a burning tire. The flames of my bad behavior appeared to be in check, but in reality, something dark and stinky was smoldering under the cover.
I followed my folks' footsteps into a lifestyle of hard drinking and yet maintaining a reasonably respectable social facade'. The religion was never pressed past the point of it's practical usefulness, but the seed of its terror was fermenting just below my boozed out consciousness.
Two identities; NO WAITING!
Beer chuggin' , coke snortin', acid droppin', pot smokin', screwing machine by night. Miserable, confused, truth seeking machine by day. Balancing my dual lifestyle lasted into my twenties. I was at the first of a series of 'rock-bottoms' ,when I caught a T.V. commercial for Hal Lindsey's' book: Countdown to Armageddon! It hit me like blue-lightening; THIS WAS THE ANSWER TO MY UNHAPPINESS! I bought the book and the hook, line and sinker.
Remember that smoldering bomb of toxic poison that I mentioned earlier? Well... she blew. Overnight I went from being the gold-medalist of the Lampshade Olympics into my new identity as Mr. Turnerburn!!!
I won't regurgitate the story that many of the regulars to this site have already told. Suffice it to say that my Jesus fit lasted for about eight years. I didn't back-slide, I went straight into free fall. It took about three years for me to hit bottom again.
Up to this point I had tried every thing from Transcendental Meditation to Alcoholics Anonymous and last, but not least, hard core faith. Nothing had been very beneficial to my hope for personal sanity. But thing were about to radically change.
I got popped for D.U.I. (my second in nine months). Part of my sentence was that I would have to submit to an evaluation of my substance abuse issues. This meant that I would be talking to an actual professional councilor. My system of fixing myself via white-knuckle sobriety with Jesus as my co-pilot had run out of gas. True, it had transported me as best as it could to that point, but the wheels had come off and my old buddy Jehovah didn't know the first thing about fixing flats.
I'm finally on my feet and walking this strange and wonderful road. I expect that there will be bumps, detours, ruts, and the occasional downhill coast. Traveling by reason... it's the only way to fly!
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)