The word, “alcoholic,” conjures images of drunk bums living in the gutter. Or maybe you think of a loud and obnoxious uncle you only see at holiday dinners who can’t seem to get it together and blames everyone but himself for his lot in life. Alcoholics get multiple DUIs, get divorces and lose all their money. Alcoholics beat their wives and abandon their children choosing a bottle over life’s responsibilities.
As long as that’s the picture we visualize when we hear the term, “alcoholic,” we have no hope of ever curing alcoholism.
You see, alcoholics are also across the boardroom table from you at work, chatting with you at your kid’s soccer game, sharing your point of view at the PTA meeting and sitting next to you in the pew at church. There are over 15 million of us in the U.S. alone. We are quite literally everywhere.
The cure for alcoholism is on the tips of our tongues. We must speak the truth. We must end the stigma.
I invite you to join me Sunday, June 10th at 9:30am at the Washington Park United Methodist Church at 1955 East Arizona Avenue in Denver 80210 where I will deliver the sermon titled, simply, Stigma. I will talk about my experiences as a high-functioning alcoholic including the biggest barrier to a cure for my disease: shame.
I was ashamed that I could not control my drinking. When I tried to quit, I was ashamed to be the only non-drinker in an alcohol-soaked world.
I will discuss the key to my permanent sobriety, and suggest a cure to the epidemic of alcoholism in our society. Here is a hint…we need to treat alcoholism like the disease it is instead of talking about it in hushed whispers with looks of disapproval and disgust.
Alcoholism is the deadliest and most wide-spread disease of our own human invention and proliferation. If we are going to clean-up this mess we created we had better start talking about it and eliminating the stigma.
I sincerely hope you will join us on June 10th. If you are concerned about your drinking, please come. If the drinking of a loved one is causing turmoil in the life of your family or friend group, please come. If you want to learn more about a disease that impacts more people than cancer, please come. If you are my friend and can spare an hour to support me on my mission, please come.
Washington Park UMC is an inclusive and welcoming place with no dress code and a warm, neighborhood feel. You will be welcomed no matter where you are on the faith spectrum – even if you are still wearing your pajamas.
I will be honored to see you there!