It was the first semester of my Freshman year in college. I was sitting in a bar drinking beer, smoking a cigarette, and trying to look cool. I had just gotten my first set of grades and they were a lot worse than I thought they would be. Too many beer nights had seen to that. I felt lonely, sad, and empty inside. I wondered where my life was going. I thought a few more beers would make me feel better, but all they did was make my head spin and my hands feel numb.
The rock music blared from the jukebox. I shook my head and reached down to take another drink from my draft. My numb fingers, however, were no longer working well. The glass slipped from them and beer spilled on the table and my pants. Red-faced, I got up and quickly walked out of the bar followed by the noise of drunken laughter. On my way back to my dorm room I could only think of how stupid I felt. I began to realize too that even a billion beers wouldn’t fill the hole I felt inside my heart. I knew I had to take another path.
I stopped drinking and smoking soon after that night, improved my grades, and graduated college. I started looking too for the path that might lead me to true happiness. It took me years but I finally did find the Love, Grace, and Oneness with God that sent the loneliness, emptiness, and sadness away for good. It had been patiently waiting for me all along. All I had to do was invite it into my heart, soul, and life.
No amount of alcohol can ever drown your pain, loneliness, and despair. They all know how to swim. The only way to get rid of them is to daily replace them with something stronger: God’s love for you and the love that burns within your own soul. Do so and make your heart beat with happiness. Do so and make your life a gift of joy to the world.
Joseph J. Mazzella [email protected]