Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I have written of him before. He is his own worst enemy.

Joe is a kind, gentle man who speaks quietly, and is a thoroughly nice man…. When sober.

Sadly, Joe is a binge drinker. He can go for months on end without drinking. But when the urge hits him he keeps drinking until he has destroyed all that he has so painstakingly built up over the previous months of sobriety.
He longs to stop.
But this disease eats at him. Sober he says that he needs help – only to reject the help when the alcohol kicks in. And, once again, he is self destructing.

We have housed him in a room at our church in exchange for odd-jobs around the premises. But he has gradually stopped doing anything. He has a girl friend with a monthly pension. And Joe has been visiting her for liquid comfort. Yesterday I found the two of them drinking on our church premises. On top of this he managed to find the food that was prepared for a church function and finish it off on the two of them. And when I challenged him he explained that he did not steal it, he only “took it”. And he explained that his girlfriend needed somewhere to sit because she felt unsafe. And that they were not drinking – and the bottles in the room were a co-incidence.

So I blew my gasket and ordered them off the premises.
And now Joe is sitting on the corner across from the church glaring at us.
Within a day or two this will turn to self-pity, and then despair. And finally he will arrive with deep sorrow and heart-felt apologies to ask for his room back.

And, because he is a 58 year old man, I will not patronise him by thinking that I know what is best for his life. I do not agree with the choices he makes, but I cannot prevent him from exercising his choice of lifestyle.

I will not stop giving him my friendship and support. And I will continue praying for him.
Perhaps you might pray too.

1 comment:

The Grem said...

To support an alcoholic is hard. It is even harder to be one knowing that your life will fall apart around you while you drink it away. I have been there.

And I thank you, Pete, for not giving up on Joe. He may fall of the truck every now and again. But if he didn't have you and the others in the church office, he would never try to get back on the truck.

I will pray for Joe.

God Bless You, Pete