Doctor's visits, I hate them! What I hate even more is blood tests. All that poking with needles makes me nervous.
Feeling drained of energy after doing simple tasks (like washing dishes), I faced my fears (doctors and needles) and book an appointment with my doctor. He ordered a series of blood tests. Now, I was returning for a follow-up visit to hear the results.
While waiting in the doctor's office, I wondered what this report would reveal. I trembled at the thought of hearing bad news. How was I to know that starting over would begin with this doctor's report?
"Patricia, there is a problem. Your liver is twice the normal size."
My heart sank!
"Patricia, how often do you drink alcohol?"
With my heart pounding and palms clammy, I could no longer hide from the truth. I have a drinking problem.
"Doctor, I drink about two to three drinks a night to relax and take the edge off a difficult day."
"Patricia, you must stop drinking alcohol or it will destroy your liver."
My heart was racing from this truth. My drinking had to stop or I could or I could die from liver failure. My industrial sales job was stressful. Liquor and wine were served at most sales promotional meetings. There was the temptation to drink. How was I going to handle that temptation? I would need to start over with a new lifestyle.
Starting over would take courage. This courage would come from many sources. Firstly, divine intervention was necessary. The faith to believe that Jesus Christ could change the desire for alcohol came by reading encouraging Bible verses: verse about God's power and desire to make me a new person.
Secondly, is accountability: being open, honest with myself, with others and with God. I have three accountability partners. Rita was my scripture memorization partner. Each week we would memorize verses. When the old yearning for alcohol returned, I would go over and over and over the verses in my mind until the desire would pass.
Jan is my prayer warrior. When overpowered by a compelling need to drink, I would phone Jan. "Jan, I need your prayers. I can't handle this. I CAN'T HANDLE THIS! Pray for me." Her prayers are powerful. Barbara challenged me to write about my struggles with accountability and alcohol. When overpowered by a strong desire to drink, I would sit at my computer keyboard and let go of the stress with words. The anger, the frustration, the stress, I pounded these feelings into print.
Fighting my desire for alcohol is a life-long pursuit. My liver is now normal. I am healthy, happy and have a challenging life. Good friends - who love me and support my new lifestyle, surround me. The power from Jesus and His word can make all things brand new.