Beware of Taking Your Sorrows to Alcohol Before God

The Gospel Coalition | 9/23/2019 | Christine Chappell
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It wasn’t until I spent a week in the mental hospital that I heard the message loud and clear: “Stay away from alcohol.”

As I sat in the doctor’s office, preparing to re-enter the world with my new bipolar disorder II diagnosis, I finally conceded that even the slightest drop of liquor would act like fuel on a smoking flax. Intoxicating my sorrows was all harm and no good.

Battle - Depression - Relief - Anything - Reach

Some of us who battle depression know what it’s like to turn to alcohol—or any substance—for relief. We’re tempted to grasp at anything within reach to numb the pain, to quiet the voices, to tame the grief.

What starts as periodic self-medication can quickly morph into a reflexive habit. Whenever I felt undesirable feelings of sadness, I turned to liquor to manage the pain. But the bottom of the glass never marked the end of my troubles. The drink that promised much became a bitter salve, a Christ-less crutch that could offer no life, no remedy, and no rescue from the pit of despair.

Alcohol - Intoxication - Coping - Mechanism - Melancholia

Using alcohol intoxication as a coping mechanism for melancholia can quickly become a matter of life and death. It acts as a depressant, fooling our brains into thinking we feel “great” while simultaneously pressing us deeper into despondency. Since our bodies build up a tolerance to alcohol over time, we eventually require a steadily increasing supply to achieve the desired effect.

And the more we consume, the more we exacerbate the symptoms of many mental-health conditions such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and depression, all of which can contribute to suicide.

Alcohol - Trigger - Presence - System - Desire

While it may not be the alcohol that pulls the trigger or tightens the noose, its presence in our system strips our desire to honor God with our choices and quenches the Holy Spirit (see Eph. 5:18). Drinking to drown our...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Gospel Coalition
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