BJDW: Ep. 61 Alcohol in the Church: A Sobering Conversation with special guest, Susan Larkin
As a Christian, Susan initially adhered to the belief that Christians don't drink. However, as life unfolded, social situations introduced alcohol, challenging her perception. This shift led to a hidden struggle with overdrinking and was exacerbated by the stigma associated with drinking in Christian communities.
Susan highlights her experience as a gray-area drinker, where she couldn’t relate to the traditional “alcoholic” but struggled with overdrinking, leading to a cycle of shame and hiding. She shares her experience seeking help within the Christian community, including confiding in her pastor and attending AA meetings.
Candidly recounting her attempt to control her alcohol intake by drawing a line on the bottle, Susan reflects on the frustration of constantly breaking self-imposed limits and the desire to be a “normal drinker.” She describes the moment she had a breakthrough related to her relationship to alcohol when she focused on how she wanted to feel – alive!
Susan shares her experiences during a vacation and a birthday, challenging common narratives about “data points” or what we refer to in our coaching as “growth points,” encouraging others not to discount their alcohol-free achievements.
Susan also reflects on a poignant moment when she felt God's kindness, understanding, and lack of judgment, transforming the guilt associated with overdrinking and illuminating the compassionate character of God.
Challenging the perception of alcohol as a “people problem,” Susan highlights its addictive nature and explores the need for an awakening in the church regarding alcohol-related discussions.
Our conversation with Susan serves as a powerful narrative of faith, struggle, and self-discovery, offering valuable insights for anyone navigating similar challenges within the intersection of alcohol use and Christianity.