Faith Amidst the Cray-Cray

Life is a strange thing that I’ll never really understand. However, I take comfort in the fact that I don’t think we’re truly supposed to understand it.

I’ve often considered writing about certain things that have happened in my life, but I always end up deciding against it. For one thing, I have a terrible memory, and I really only remember the outlines of things. In some cases, I’ve forgotten the course of events entirely. I could blame the copious amounts of alcohol I’ve drunk as an adult, but that’s not really the culprit. Even as a kid, I had a bad memory. My mother used to say I had a “head like a spaghetti strainer.” The brain stays in the strainer, but thought and memory drains out. I’ve always been like that.

I already mentioned that I have a drinking problem. For the past ten years, I’ve had a passionate love/hate relationship with alcohol. It’s gotten me through a lot of hard nights, but also made for countless days of illness afterwards. Another big issue is that it’s strained my relationship with my mother. Due to the fact that we’re both single and not very wealthy, we live in the same house and share expenses. We recently lost our 17-year-old dog, which is definitely the hardest thing we’ve gone through as a family.

Last night, I found out that they’d halved the credit limit on my last credit card, I guess due to the pandemic. My largest card was maxed out with vet bills and home repairs. I drank a little too much and acted like an ass, which I didn’t even remember this morning and had to be reminded of. My mother’s not currently speaking to me, a little bit of an awkward situation given the fact that we’re stuck in the house together.

I’m ashamed of my behavior, of course. I’ve done this same thing more times than I can count. I’m not proud of it, and I’ll try not to do it again, but even when I promise myself I won’t, I still end up in the same cycle. At any rate, I will try my best not to even have one drink. Because when I have one, I have eight. I have no self-control. I admit this.

To say I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life is an understatement. But then, I’m sure a lot of people could say that. I try not to beat myself up about it, but at the same time, I wish I was a stronger person. You might not believe this, but when I was a kid, I was incredibly strong, emotionally and physically. I always had my fair share of mental health problems, of course, but I was still a lot different back then. I guess everyone’s different when they’re a kid. You have this implicit trust in everything, a complete and total lack of fear. If you need something, you ask Mom or Dad, you don’t have to figure it out yourself.

But then, you get older, and you can’t ask anyone to fix your problems. You have to do it yourself, and sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you’re just not strong enough. So you drink, or do drugs, or make some other bad choices. And the situation just keeps getting worse, eventually spiraling out of control.

And yet, I understand why I was so strong when I was little. Like I said, I was never afraid, I trusted my mom and I knew she would take care of things. I had faith in that.

Throughout most of my life, I had faith in God. But these past few years, I’ve been in a sparring match with Him, demanding to know why He wouldn’t change my circumstances, ordering for Him to explain why I had to be born this messy and screwed-up individual. If He existed, I said to myself, I wouldn’t be this way. I wouldn’t have been born this way.

The past few days, I’ve realized what a fool I was. Life isn’t perfect, and people aren’t perfect. God never said we were. In fact, He said that the only way to be perfect is through Him. There is no goodness in people, He admitted that. The only goodness we have, we get from Him. Which explains why, when I turn away from Him, I become an extremely crappy and fucked-up person. I mean, I’m always pretty fucked-up, but I think you catch my drift.

During the times in my life that I was happiest, I had complete faith in God. I trusted Him the way I trusted my mom when I was a kid. No matter what happened, I knew that He would take care of the things I couldn’t affect or change. When I stopped believing that, I started losing myself. Because the truth is, there’s no me without Him. There’s nothing good in me, at least. Without Him, I’m left with nothing but the vile, putrid bits. And trust me, those aren’t fun to swallow.

Last night, when I found out that my last cushion of credit had been taken away, I tried to maintain my faith, but once I started drinking everything went to shit. It’s about three o’clock now, my hangover is beginning to subside, and I feel really terrible about the way I acted. And yet, my faith is intact.

After my mom yelled at me this morning, I went for a walk, and though I spent the whole time thinking about my own regrettable behavior, I wasn’t really all that upset. I was rueful that my mom was (and still is) angry with me, I knew perfectly well that what I’d done was wrong, I was acutely aware of my poor financial situation, and my hangover was pretty bad. And yet, my faith was intact.

Seeing what’s going on in the world right now is unnerving and surreal, but it’s nothing that I didn’t expect. I always had a feeling I’d be around for the end of the world. This may not be the end, but I think it’s the beginning of the end. God’s timeline doesn’t work the way a human one does, and a certain number of years to us is just the blink of an eye to Him. Because of that, there’s never any way to predict when certain things will happen.

But it doesn’t take a Christian to see that things are bad. There’s no way to know just how bad they’re going to get. And yet, I’m not afraid. I’m like I was when I was a little kid. I have faith in the fact that God will see me through. That doesn’t mean things won’t be uncomfortable; that doesn’t mean things won’t hurt; that doesn’t even mean I won’t die.

But He’ll see me through. That’s all I need to know.

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