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The drunk

Updated on April 6, 2015

There but for the grace of God go I

Alcohol addiction is a devastating problem. This is a hub about not judging other people, because we never know what has happened in someone's life to bring them low and in this case lead them to alcohol addiction. I have a friend who has been through this experience and come out the other end intact and a whole person. Of course I do not understand as the person who has been through it, but I feel I know enough to encourage those, with happy lives, not to judge their fellow man.There is always a problem at the back of the drink problem. No one chooses to drink like this unless there is an underlying and usually, huge difficulty that they want to forget.

All photos on this hub are mine.

The Drunk

Do you see that drunk there

In the gutter?

He's made in God's image too

And what is more God loves him.

So" why?" you ask me,

"Is he brought to this?"

As you turn up your nose.

He's a broken man,

Trying to dull the pain.

A man with a problem

Besides the drink.

It could just as easily be you - or me there

In the gutter,

With vomit on our clothes.

Do not judge him.

You and I could not cope

With the things he has coped with.

And he will pull through.

He will go to AA

To people who understand,

Because they've been there.

There he will find God,

"The God of his understanding"

And find he is a God of love,

Not a brutal taskmaster

As he had, in his youth, been given to understand.

There again he will learn some dignity,

Learn that he has a worth

And learn to cope

With the appalling memories

And face them without the drink.

Oh there will be little slip-ups

And the drink which dulls the pain

Will reach out to trap him again

But he will escape now,

Now that he has found

Some understanding friends.

The drink will always be there

At the back of his mind,

But his freedom will be there

At the front urging him on.

Some helpful books

Not a pretty sight

There is always an underlying problem which is causing the alcohol addiction for someone. He or she is trying to bury this, to drown this, to ease the pain. It may be a lost love, or a lost career. A lost career may have led to money difficulties and a lost home. Maybe our alcoholic has done something that made these things happen, but often it is through no fault of his own. We who have led charmed lives must not judge and we must remember these things could still happen to us.

I do not often write pretty poems, although you will find at least two in my other hubs. One is called"Daisies Pied"and the other "O Babbling Brook." No, I feel there are more important things to talk about in my poetry. One of my pet subjects is that of not judging folk whose behaviour we find unpleasant and degrading. As I have put in my introduction, "there but for the grace of God go I " Those of us who have not sunk to these terrible depths must thank God who has given us a good life. We would cope no better if we had devastating things to face in our lives.

Don has been there. He knows what it is like

The Alcoholics Anonymous meeting

Over the years Alcoholics Anonymous has done a tremendous job of self help in its meetings. I am not an alcoholic and should not have gone to one of their meetings, but I did not know this at the time. I went to support a friend. It was a place of acceptance where members felt free to tell how things were going for them. They speak of "the God of your understanding" This means any religion can feel happy here. Also they find God in their own way, and often bad pictures of God from their childhood can be jettisoned, while they now find the God who cares about them as an individual. They do indeed use the phrase,"I am (name) and I am an alcoholic." In order to make progress they need to face up to the problem before progress can be made.

At the meeting several spoke of broken marriages and lost dreams, of descending into homelessness and wandering, of psychiatric hospitals and doss houses. And yet they had now made it back to a much better life. Sometimes we have to go down and learn by it before we can go forward.

Someone recovering from alcohol addiction is a person with great understanding of life. He has seen a side of it that we have not seen and has learnt from it and is a more rounded person than those of us who have not been there. In his parable of the one hundred sheep Jesus speaks of the shepherd counting his sheep and finding one is missing. He puts the 99 safely in the sheep pen and goes out over all the rough ground to find the one that is lost. When he finds it he picks it up and carries it home and is so pleased he has found it. Jesus said this story shows us that there is more joy in heaven when someone who has sunk low returns to God than there is over the people who have no problems to overcome.

Al Anon

Al Anon is another self help group, but this time to support the relatives of the alcoholic. This is also a tremendous help in the situation. The relative is called a co-dependent. Quite often they are so used to their partner being alcoholic that they prefer him. or her that way and will sabotage the alcoholic's attempts to dry out. Problems like this can be discussed at Al Anon.

The partner is under tremendous pressure living with the uncertainties of life with an alcoholic. The sufferer may be dry for months on end and then give in to the cravings for no apparent reason. Of course many marriages break down. It is certainly good that Al Anon is there to help.

The twelve steps to freedom from alcohol addiction, one day at a time

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The value of Alcoholics Anonymous

I notice I have so far spoken of the alcoholic as “he.” Sadly just as many women have trouble with alcohol addiction. The cost to family life, with both sexes is terrible. Also alcohol addiction would seem to be an inherited trait. Some people are far more susceptible to the addiction.

Alcohol may be, at first, a solution to one’s problems, creating a hazy world where the pain of living is not so sharp. However, soon the alcohol takes over and demands that more and more is consumed to get the same effect. Eventually the demand to drink takes over and the desired affect has vanished . The addict is left with a bigger problem than he started with and now has no resolve to cope with the original problem. Break ups with family and friends result and the alcoholic becomes cut off from the support he needs. It is then that Alcoholics Anonymous can be the replacement for the family he or she has lost. Here is found the support of people who have already walked this way and many who have succeeded in getting their lives back together. What encouragement to find people who know from experience what you are going through and can tell you there is hope; they are living proof of it. Knowing the importance of their work Alcoholics anonymous keep in mind their Twelve Traditions, protecting their society from being side tracked from their main purpose of helping each other stay off the drink.

The prayer of serenity

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

Here is another site that might help you and your family

247helpyourself My sister who is a counsellor recently told me she had been to a meeting where she had heard, the founders of this site, talk about their work with people who find they are having a problem with alcohol. With this group you don't have to label yourself as alcoholic. All levels of alcohol addiction are helped

Is this lens helpful? Tell me what you think of it

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    • OrganicMom247 profile image


      6 years ago

      Your lenses are very inspiring. I love reading them.

    • OrganicMom247 profile image


      6 years ago

      Your lenses are very inspiring. I love reading them.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Dear LizMac60, what a truly wonderful lady you are. You have a beautiful spirit. Your lens is so up lifting. You are one of my favorite sights for encouragement. I have recommended your lens people who feel that no one understands. Great Job!

    • LizMac60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Mackay 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      @shellys-space: Thanks for commenting. May Gos continue to bless you, Love Liz.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 

      7 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Love the page Liz. I am in recovery myself and "But by the grace of God..." am sober now for 15 years! AA helped me in my recovery and Jesus Christ saved my soul :)

    • GnossoS LM profile image

      GnossoS LM 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for your lens! I tried AA and it wasn't for me, but it's good to see that it helps others. If you want, you can check out my lens on my struggle with alcoholism:

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      A beautiful lens, Liz; I admire your capacity for compassion! Blessed!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      8 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I worked as an alcohol and drug counselor for many years before I opted for self employment. I have seen many many people recover from this terrible addiction, and it is a wonderful thing to see. I totally agree that we cannot judge others. We have not walked a mile in their mocassins as the saying goes.

    • LizMac60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Mackay 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      [in reply to ideadesigns] Thanks so much for your comment.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Three people in my life overcame alcohol. One by a life threatening disease, two by the deliverance of God. One of those two prayed in a church meeting, the other was alone with God at the end of their rope. I also prayed my way through it, until I had no desire for it and stuck my head into God's word.

      I pray, that the source of the hurt be healed for those still struggling. I pray that we see them in a non-judgmental way and pray for the root cause of self destruction to be made whole. You've shown us your compassion for hurting people and may it spread to others. God bless you've made another great lens!!

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 

      9 years ago

      Nice lens showing the compassionate side of you. I went into this lens as the title caught my eye - "The Drunk" - thought it might have been about me (smile).

      Seriously though, yes, well all have reasons for what we do. My lens Self-Destructive Behaviour speaks of suicide (my daughter's) and the on-going fight and frustration with my ex-wife. And, like everyone else, I believe my version and attitudes are the most appropriate and that I am the one who is further in the right.

      Bottom Line - There must be a God (otherwise let's just have anarchy and the heck with anyone else). When I do leave this earth, I plan to do it with my head held high though the rest of me might be somewhat horizontal.

      5 Stars from the Zut ...

    • moskit profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens. Your commpassion shows through. The 12 steps to freedom is perfect.My uncle was a drunk....many people judged him. I could see the guilt and pain in his eyes every time I saw him.

      Unfortunately,he was unable to get out of it on time.

    • ctavias0ffering1 profile image


      9 years ago

      Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. - Plato

      ;) one of my favourite quotes.[in reply to GrowWear]

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very nice message lens. Indeed, when we judge others, it says so much more about ourselves than it does about the judged. What's that quote? Be kind, for everyone is fighting a battle? And indeed, there but for the grace of God, go I.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Nice lens and equally good poetry...yes, there is a need for compassion in this chaotic world...let's continue to shine the Lord's light!

    • Laniann profile image


      9 years ago

      What a wonderful poem with so much understanding and compassion for others. 5*s

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very valuable lens, Liz. Your empathy really comes through. Great job!

    • oneskms profile image


      9 years ago

      A great read and well put across

    • ctavias0ffering1 profile image


      9 years ago

      Excellent lens Liz very well done and I am sure it will touch a lot of people where it needs to 5*

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 

      9 years ago from Croatia

      Beautiful poetry and wonderful lens! You did great job here Liz!


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