Thursday, April 4, 2013

My First Attempt at Alcoholism

“Grandma it is way past 8.  You should be a sleep,” I thought.  once the light clicked off I crept downstairs.  I didn't want a lot.  Just a taste.  The lights were all off downstairs but I knew where it was. My dad was asleep and my mother was not there.  It was the perfect crime. I had been planning it all day. Waiting for the right moment.   I was not sure exactly what Marlow was but I knew it was a forbidden fermented fruit.  I am slightly humiliated that at the age of 26 I had to break into my grandmas liquor cabinet.   Being Mormon you never even touch the stuff.  Like Indiana Jones I methodically made my way down the stairs.  Hopping over the stair that creaked. Tip toeing to the light switch.  Trying to avoid the dog.  There it was. Marlow. What is it?  I had no idea but it was red and there was a lot of it.  It towered over the counter like an ancient roman artifact. I quietly snatch the wine glass down from the ceiling. I poured myself a glass. Barely any really. I smelled it. It smelt fantastic! I had never smelled anything so sweet and biting. I poured a little more.  I drop spilled on the counter and I panicked!  Though it was the size of a nickel I imagined it would burn into the hard wood floor. The game would be up.   I could hear movement upstairs.  I raced for a paper towel. I couldn't leave any evidence.   Who knows what would have happened if my Dad caught me.  After I put the cap on I rushed to the stairs. I stopped suddenly. Two dead eyes pierced from a pale face. I knew it! I’m toast. It was the cat! She knew what I had done.  From where I stood she looked like one of the fallen devils.  "You don't understand cat!" I thought, " All your friends drink milk!"

 I flew up the stairs careful not to spill.  I know red wine stains because I have seen so in infomercials.  I sat on my bed and stared at the drink. It sat, and sat, and sat untouched.  I couldn't do it. I just couldn't bring myself too.  You see drinking that glass of wine was not just a glass of wine.  It was me turning my back on everything I have ever known. Drinking this would make me a sinner.  A lush in the Mormon world.   I am a good Mormon.  And good Mormons just believes. I took my glass of Marlow that I had worked so hard for and poured it down the drain.  One day at a time I thought. One day at a time. 


  1. I am slowly reading through your posts here, so I apologize if I ask about something that you have already addressed later.

    "I am a good Mormon. And good Mormons just believe..."

    If I understand right, you did not grow up in Utah, but moved to Utah to go to BYU. Is that right? Was there a large Mormon community to influence you where you grew up, or were you mostly taught by family?

    I grew up in a place that had a larger-than-average Mormon community, but LDS was still not a majority by any means. My biggest question is, do some LDS people actually teach "good Mormons just believe", or was it the kind of thing that was just quietly assumed?

    I think belief should be influenced by evidence, but belief is definitely an individual thing--the same evidence may have varying or even opposite impacts on the beliefs of different people.

    I also understand that sometimes things are true, but still really hard to believe. I think generally we all want to believe things that are true and reject things that are untrue. This is a hard process, and we should all be talking about what that process looks like.

    May I ask, what does that process look like to you?

  2. The Phrase "a Mormon just believes" is from the Book Of Mormon Musical. I actually just saw it last night and it was wonderful. I was not raised in UT. My ward growing up was rather Conservative. In fact many of us growing up liked living in a black and white community. We often talked about how we would not want to raise our kids in UT because of all those Jack Mormons.

    So the question is are Mormons thought if they should just believe? Simply put yes. I was thought to just believe and not question. Don't get me wrong i questioned at times but nothing i could answer because i was afraid i might read "anti-Mormon history" I was thought from class, family's, friends and general authority to just believe without looking at the history. I was told it was a sin to read "anti-mormon anything" My own brother found out i was reading a book about the church and darn near scolded me to death for questioning. (See: Sleeping with the enemy) Only read the book until you know it is true. if you don't feel it just keep reading forever. I remember in conference being thought that if i studied "anti-Mormon history" it would ruin my life. Many times i wanted to learn the history but i was afraid.

    I agree the church needs to teach the history. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Some people can take that for what it is and continue. Some, like me, will never trust the church again. i know i would have been more understanding if my BOM teacher had told me about the unspeakable truths of Joseph Smith while i was at BYU.

  3. I made a commitment to myself to never drink. I'm sure the foundation of that conviction was word of wisdom based, but now I'm an atheist, yet I've decided to maintain that commitment. I don't have any desire to drink, there's alcoholism in my family, and I've seen or heard about too many families destroyed by drunk drivers. The risks are just too high. Penn Jillette is one of my modern heros, and he's also an atheist who's never had alcohol or drugs, in fact he won't even have dinner with folks that are drinking, (I don't take it that far).

    So remember, exmo does not automatically mean you should try drinking. I do drink a bit of coffee now though, and would like to drink more, since there is a recent study linking a dramatically lower chance of getting Alzheimers if you drink about 4 cups a day.