Alcohol Fuels the Flames

I felt the vibration between my legs.

Looking down the silent words from another man were so loud they reverberated off of my husband’s cell phone. I was in charge of his phone during the time the text came in. Hate filled words meant to hurt my husband by attacking me.

I took a sip of soda water. Dousing water, not alcohol, on the words to smother, not fuel the flames.

Receiving alcohol fueled messages doesn’t fuel my flames.

This text message was the fourth disparaging message I received in eight months since I started publicly sharing. The first was a lengthy email, the second and third were comments on an Instagram and Facebook post. All four from past friends who were acting out from either a hurt (painful past memory), hang-up (a resentment) or habit (alcoholism). All four people reacted from three things which I know so well.

My first blog post Overcoming Our Fears

We were out with friends when the text message came in and the words set the tone for the evening. But fortunately following a glass of wine at our friend’s house I switched to water for the remainder of the evening and into the night.

The alcoholic wife fuels the flames with alcohol.

In the past I would have used alcohol to fuel the flames, creating much unneeded chaos. My husband having an alcoholic wife would be very familiar with this tendency I once had (at times still do with a sober mind).

During the time of abusing alcohol I showed up differently for my husband than others. My girlfriends mainly saw the happy, fun side of my alcoholic behavior. Rarely, did I act out and create drama within my girlfriend groups, which is why many of my friends have questioned my diagnosis as an alcoholic.

I am guilty of sending an inappropriate email/text or commenting on someone else’s post negatively in the past, all as a result of having an alcoholic mind. A mind which was acting out of a hurt or hang-up and fueled by alcohol.

My husband and I have a unique relationship so I react differently with him after reaching a certain level of intoxication. He and my daughters are the closest so they would suffer the consequence of my discouragement due to a broken society. The bitterness I developed through unresolved daily struggles were directed towards my husband. He took the brunt of my rage.

When we add alcohol to our unresolved problems it fuels the flames.
When we add alcohol to our unresolved problems it fuels the flames.

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

James 3:6 NIV

What does the tongue is the fire mean?

While the alcohol fuels the flames water extinguishes them.

If my husband is smoldering over some unresolved conflict in his life I know exactly which words stoke his flames. In the past I would use my tongue to create a fire. And when we consumed alcohol together we could end up with an inferno.

As a sober woman I resist being engaged negatively by my husband. I give him the space he needs, removing myself or gently telling him the conversation should wait. And then after a cooling period we will address our problems. Now I use my words with intent for good, not to provoke him.

Alcohol fuels the flames and water extinguishes the flames.
Alcohol will fuel the flames, while water extinguishes the them.

If you haven’t noticed by reading my blogs I am a passionate person. I have allowed my ideas and feelings to create trouble for myself in my past life. I happened to marry a man who is equally as passionate so together we can be at war with words. And in the end both end up losing.

Over the last two years I have learned to reign in my ugly words, pause when necessary and listen. And when others act out I have learned to not react. Instead offer silent compassion for their hurts, because we know that hurt people hurt people.

Extinguishing the flame with Holy Water.

How did I learn to not inflict pain on others? I needed to learn to love myself first. How do we love ourselves? By receiving God’s love and then we can offer unconditional love to others who are hurting.

Instead of acting out of spite, we can choose to use encouraging words. Encouragement can change someone’s attitude. It can lift them out of a dark place. It can offer hope and determination to overcome their struggles. Finally, I learned how to love my husband with true intention, not spiteful words.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 GNT

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