My Dance with the Bottle

Hi, my name is Rob.

I was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I lived all my school years here and then went into the Army when I was 19. I gave my life to Christ when I was 14. Then began a long uphill battle. I was extremely shy in school and was always trying to find a place to fit in. I experimented with drugs, but they scared me too much. Then came alcohol. I went to a party when I was in the 12th grade. They had beer, I drank, I got drunk, I got sick…. I cooled it for awhile after that, and tried to stay on the straight and narrow with God. I got baptized and became a member of a church. I was happy with Jesus in my heart.

I went in the army after I turned 19. I was stationed in Seattle, Washington. I went to church every Sunday there and I became a regular. I had one weakness though, and it proved to be the downfall of everything good, that I tried to do…….. My interest in female companionship. Well, I’ll touch on that later…..

I took my first drink in the Army towards the end of my tour in Seattle. There just wasn’t enough Christian friends around me to prevent this. I was alone in Christ, no friends, just me and Jesus. So I gave in when we had a company cook-out, and some guys offered me a beer. I took it.

I shipped out to Korea after that. Sex was easy over there, the women were pretty too. All the sex, beer, and partying that I could handle. I drank a lot, I wasn’t shy anymore. When I got back on post in the evening, I would head to the latrine for a late night “puke”, “barf”..whatever….

I met lot’s of Korean women, and started smoking because of one of them I was going out with, she smoked so I started too because I would buy her American cigarettes on post. Might as well smoke if I am buying them!

I married a Korean woman and brought her back to the states with me. We had a child. A boy, he’s ten now. I love him.

I started drinking heavy when me an the wife started having marital problems. She was addicted to gambling and running us into the ground. I lost total control of the situation. My plan’s for a normal marriage were “out the window”. My wife moved to Texas for about ten months, left me with the child. Baby sitters are expensive! I was trying to juggle a military career and be a single parent. It was hard. I left my son at the baby-sitters on the weekends, and would go out and get drunk with my friends.

After a while, I tried to file for divorce, I thought my wife was not coming back from Texas. Well, on day she surprised me by coming back…..I dumped the girlfriend I had at the time and went back to my wife.

Well, my drinking was getting worse, I didn’t have blackouts just yet, but boy did I “puke” a lot.

Well, then came the dumbest move I ever made, it ruined my marriage, but quick! I requested transfer back to Korea! I wanted to party some more, I missed Korea. I forgot all about taking care of a family. So, me the wife and kid, went to Korea. She gambled, I drank, and between the strict Army standards over there and the booze I crumbled into dust……I soon learned what a blackout was, I would wake up in strange places late for formation…. etc….. I once got hauled out of a ditch, I was all covered with mud, jacket ripped, I had slept there all night! Another time I got walloped up side the head with a board or something I don’t remember….I got 12 stitches in the left temple. I was unhappy, broke, in trouble for bad checks, wife left with the kid, I was alone, blood pressure was sky high, army wouldn’t treat it.

I finally got out of the military. I got my son and came back home. I filed for divorce, my wife and I mutually agreed. I got custody, she lives in Hawaii. I live with my parents, they pretty much raise my son till I get on my feet financially.

I drank when I got home, made an ass out of myself, brother still won’t forgive me even now that I have quit drinking. He says “First impression is always a lasting one”. Anyway to make along story short….put my dad’s truck in the ditch, hit a mail box with his Jeep. Had some pretty ridiculous sexual relations, while in a drunken state of mind, embarrassed myself a hundred fold! Lost one job, was on welfare……..and then one morning I looked out and saw the front end of my dad’s jeep smashed, I had a hangover, I felt terrible. This is the last straw I thought, I buckled and fell to my knees, I cried out to my God, and said “Lord I can’t take this anymore”, why is this happening to me!?” “Lord please help me, have mercy on me, and save me from ….myself”.

I quit drinking, for a whole 5 months. I screwed up a couple of times since, but I feel so bad that I get right back up on that “horse” and get sober again.

I think the Lord has allowed me to go through these years of hell on earth, so that I could better understand his love and forgiveness. I know that it’s through God’s mercy that we are saved, we don’t save ourselves, we can’t, we have been infested with sin….I have lost much through alcohol, but the I’ve gained a better understanding of my God’s mercy and love…. I think of a passage I heard in a sermon once: “Woe to that man who is addicted to strong drink!”