24 April 2018

Alcohol addiction split my family

The realisation that she was allowing history to repeat itself in her life pushed Elizabeth to stop drinking alcohol. She divorced her husband of 35 years because he drank excessively and physically abused her.

"I found it difficult to provide for our five children after I divorced my husband. The friends I had at work suggested that I drink alcohol to drown my sorrows.

I then started drinking alcohol as a way of shifting my focus away from the struggle of raising five children alone. I later realised that I was also violent towards my children when I was drunk, the same thing I could not tolerate from their father. I also started petty fights at taverns with men because I was still bitter about what my husband put me through. My children avoided being with me because of how I treated them whenever I was drunk.  Three of my eldest children ended up moving out because they were tired of my behaviour when I was drunk," she said.

Elizabeth later dated someone who also had a drinking problem.

"I drank even more and used snuff. In 1998 one of my daughters started attending services at the Universal Church and she often invited me.

I would attend church services drunk. I yelled at her and beat her up for convincing me to go with her.  I regretted how badly I treated my children when I sober and I missed the other three who left home because of my bad behaviour. What pained me more was the thought that I was doing the same thing their father did to me.

I continued attending services and gradually noticed changes. I remember one morning when I went to use snuff in the toilet, but I kept spilling it on the floor until I gave up. My boyfriend had bought two beers but I could not drink them. I could not stand the smell of beer that day and that left me wondering what was happening to me. I understood that God was giving me the strength to stop drinking and using snuff. There was peace at home because I was no longer drinking. There was temptation at work however I was determined to regain my children’s trust and set a good example for them.

My three children who left home came back to live with us. I was also able to put my money to good use as I no longer spent it on alcohol.  I ended my relationship with the man I dated and worked on strengthening my relationship with God. I now lead a sober life and have all my children living with me. God healed me from the inner scars of many years of abuse and I am at peace." she said.  

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