by Delmer Tad Twombly
I sat at the bar with a bottle in my hand and let the smooth liquid wipe
away my sadness. I was lonely. Completely and utterly alone. I had nothing.
I had no one. You hurt so bad...so you drink. And you stay drunk. Every
morning when I woke I downed a warm 16 ounce Bud and dropped some speed
before even getting out of bed. It was the only way to keep the pain away.
Most of the time I didnt have a clue how I had gotten home, but
it just didnt matter anymore. Nothing mattered.
Since I was a kid, alcohol had always been there. My grandfather made
his own so there was plenty around. In a drunken rage my step father would
call me a good for nothing bastard. So Id run from him and drink
away my pain. I was so alone. There is no other way I can describe it.
Just utterly alone. I hurt so bad.
For seventeen years I worked in Burlington, Vermont. I got married and
we had a daughter. I had a house and a car but I still felt completely
alone. Each day Id drink enough and take enough pills so I could
make it through the work day. I hated going to work. I dont even
know why but I hated it. I kept my cooler full in the trunk so the minute
I got out of work I could grab a beer and head over to a bar. And I would
drink the night away. Once I even lost my car for two weeks because I
couldnt remember where I had left it. When I happened to wander
into the bar I had been at that night the bartender asked me if I wanted
my car back. He handed me my keys and told me it was in the back. Nothing
mattered to me anymore. I didnt care about anything or anybody.
I would do anything I had to, to take the pain away.
In 1980 I quit my job with IBM and headed for 4 years of constantly being
drunk. I took my severance pay and gave a thousand bucks to the convenience
store and told them when that was gone I would bring them more. I knew
that as long as I could stay drunk enough I wouldnt have to feel.
If I didnt feel, than I wouldnt hurt. That was all that mattered
to me. Not to feel lonely and not to hurt.
On March 4, 1984 I almost killed a man for accusing me of wrecking his
car. The only thing that stopped me was another guy at the bar who did
care. He kept telling me Dont Tad, hes not worth it.
So I left that place and walked home. When I got home I called up a guy
who I knew was a part of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). I was sick of being
sick. I didnt want to hurt anymore and I knew I needed help. That
night he took me to my first AA meeting. It was the last time I had a
drink. Its sad to think that only 4 years before I had a wife, a
child, a home, and so many other things, but now all I had was half a
garbage bag of clothes and a TV set that didnt work. I had lost
almost everything and I needed help.
The next day I ended up at the Farm, a place where people could go to
get help in overcoming their addiction. At the time it was being run by
a fellow who had owned a bar that I went to often. When he saw me he told
me not to leave, to get my stuff and he would find place for me even if
he had to put a cot in the hallway. He wasnt willing to risk me
changing my mind. I stayed there for 30 days. I learned to cry and I learned
it was okay for a real man to cry. But I still felt alone!
About a month later I had earned enough money to go on an Alcoholics Anonymous
intensive weekend at Monastery Holca up in Canada. One day on the way
to a meeting by the river, I was walking through a huge parking lot. Oh,
I hurt so bad. And I said, If theres a God, will somebody
please help?! Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder and I spun around
ready to attack. I hurt so bad that all I wanted to do was hurt others.
But there was no one there. Then God said to me Believe in me and
you will never have to be alone again. Can you imagine that? It
was all I had ever wanted. To never have to be alone again. And I felt
so full of joy and hope! I could feel these arms wrapped around me holding
me close. All I wanted to do was stay in that place and have God hold
After that day I knew I had to change. The old Tad could take any woman
home, but I just couldnt do it anymore. I started looking for God.
I was looking for that same feeling I had had by the river. I went to
every church in town but I couldnt find Him. I saw Him in the clouds
and in the flowers but I just couldnt find that closeness I had
felt before. So I kept on searching.
One day while I was working in a bottle redemption center in Johnson a
guy named Craig came down to pick up a bunch of bottles to help us out.
We started talking and he told me about Jesus. When he left he invited
me to come to his church. I just blew him off but he kept coming back
and coming back trying to get me to go with him to church. It took me
awhile before I decided to go with him. When I finally went it was just
to get him off my back but I ended out feeling like I had come home after
being away for a long time. I felt that same feeling I had been searching
for. I was home!
It took a while before I was able to trust people but even when I got
angry and rebellious my Lord Jesus sent Craig, or Dwain, or Martin (3
brothers who really cared for me) to come get me and bring me back. God
wasnt willing to let me go and I know the only reason I am still
alive today is because He had plans for me.
Jesus has claimed me as His own and given me a gift of never having to
be alone. I have a family bigger than I could have ever imagined and friends
like John who are closer than brothers. I wish all drunks and alcoholics
could find the Lord. I wish I could tell them. I know what it is like
to have nothing but a bottle but now I know there is so much more. You
dont have to live with loneliness and sadness. You have a Father
who loves you unconditionally and wants to hold you. I was probably as
bad as anyone could get and look at all Jesus has done for me! He said
I took you away from where the drugies gather and the land of the
alcoholics and I set you on my land. I will never be alone again.
I dont know what the future holds but Jesus is my hope, my promise,
my love, and my life. He will never leave me or forsake me!
My step father told me I wasnt good for anything but that is not
what my Heavenly Father tells me. He tells me He loves me.