by Gayle Cue, Bangalow NSW
I never really liked the taste of alcohol. However, it was part of being normal in society and so I tried. I wasn’t very successful at enjoying or abusing alcohol. Nonetheless, it has played a major role in my life.
My father had fought in the trenches of Germany during WWII. By the time he came back to the US, met my mother, and I was born, he was heavily into a relationship with alcohol, to try and drown out his memories and nightmares. My mother held off for several years while us kids were really young, but she eventually joined him in his misery and chosen relief.
I married at 18 to get out of the house. At the time I married my husband, he wasn’t truly an alcoholic – yet, but he was well on his way. His parents were also alcoholics so you can appreciate that it was difficult for us to see drinking as a problem. It was just part of life. I was still trying to be part of the norm and would try to drink, but I could never stomach more than one or two so rarely experienced being drunk, although I often experienced the headache and lethargic day that followed my attempts.
By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I started to realise that alcohol was a real problem for most people. They, in fact, became ‘other’ people after a few drinks. This was hard to spot because some people drank every day and so I was only occasionally given a glimpse of who they were when they weren’t drunk or hung over.
And so it came to pass that I found myself with two small children, and a husband who needed constant supervision. After several wrecked vehicles and other shenanigans, I decided that I was fine about supervising my children – but not the husband. And so I made the painful decision to divorce. I still hadn’t really linked the behavior to the alcohol. I had just decided I didn’t want to be raising two children and an adult.
And blimey, if I didn’t go and do it again! I married another alcoholic. He was charming, funny, loving, a great father to my children and his, a good provider… and addicted to alcohol. No, I didn’t see it during the year that we courted but it became obvious shortly after we married.
Three years into the marriage and probably three wrecked vehicles later, I gave him the ultimatum. It was either me, or the bottle. He could decide. I won that round and the next five years were wonderful. We were a real team, raising my children and his children in a beautiful home in the country, travelling, having friends over on the weekend.
After a trip to New Zealand in 1985, we became unsettled about our lifestyle. We had a good life but we wanted a simpler life. And so, crazy and brave as it sounds, we just decided to pack up the kids and move – somewhere. New Zealand seemed simpler. We sold the business, the house, the cars and all the ‘stuff’, and off we went.
It seemed safe to have a celebratory drink – it was the beginning of the end.
Now there were four children under our roof to consider, mine and his, and we were partners in business and so I rode the turbulent years with as much grace as I could muster. It was a foolish plan, but all those years, I thought if I abstained from drinking, it would make those around me see that drinking was bad for them. (It didn’t work).
After my husband died in 1998, I found myself living on my own for the very first time in my life. I realised I could buy a bottle of wine or a couple of beers and they would still be there when I got home from work. It seemed safe enough and so I started to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, and much to my surprise I found a nice cold beer at the end of a long day in the garden tasted pretty good.
When I first attended Universal Medicine presentations and heard Serge Benhayon talking about the effects of alcohol, I never even tweaked that what was being presented was relevant to me. I knew I had never abused alcohol. In fact, most of my life I had never drank any alcohol. And even though I occasionally had a glass or a cold one, I could easily go without. I didn’t go to bars, I didn’t hang out with people who drank heavily. So, surely, this part of the presentation, about alcohol, wasn’t about me, right?
What I didn’t see creeping in was an increasing negative attitude towards life (which an occasional glass of wine seemed to relieve), a pessimistic outlook, the lowering of my self-esteem, and the drain of my energy, which was effecting everything. I wasn’t turning to alcohol to solve these problems and I wasn’t trying to drown myself into oblivion. But the ‘occasional’ drink was becoming more frequent. I eventually noticed that my tolerance to the effects of alcohol was increasing. Therefore, I could drink more than ever before – and had a new found stamina to draw on for the recovery the next day. Then I actually found myself getting ‘drunk’ on an occasion or two. Still, it seemed safe enough because it wasn’t often and the rest of my life seemed good.
On the few occasions that I would have a session with Serge Benhayon – when I was feeling particularly low or trying to get over some traumatic experience, he would inquire if alcohol had been involved. I always answered truthfully and I never felt any judgement. But I did notice that he was asking that question. I remember the last time I ever went for a session with Serge – hoping to get back on track because I had clearly fallen off the rails – and he asked that same question. When I had to answer YES, I didn’t feel any judgment from him BUT I did notice that he cringed (involuntarily, I think). In that moment, I got it. I saw how having a drink, even one drink, even once a month or once a year was saying YES to the whole energy that goes with alcohol.
My body had shown the allergic reaction to alcohol from the start and it was only through repeated exposure that I was able to increase my tolerance to the poison. And I considered this a good thing. How crazy. I trained my body to accept a poison and I failed to notice the changes that even an occasional drink was causing in my attitude and emotional wellbeing.
Thanks to Serge Benhayon’s unconditional love, and patience, I was able to eventually see all of this for myself and make the choice about not having alcohol in my life. Now, even when there is a celebratory toast for a graduation or a marriage, which seems safe enough, I fill my glass with water and join the toast. I know I will never take a drink of alcohol again.