I sat in a room with about 10 other people today and heard a man admit to being an alcoholic. He said he wakes up every morning and has to have a drink to get his day going. While he doesn't drink at work, he can't wait to get home to crack open his first beer. Over the course of his admission, he included that he had served time in prison and had previously been addicted to drugs. He stated all this with a matter of fact attitude and when he was done, he had a look of relief on his face as he stated, "wow, it feels good to admit and unload that!"
I looked around the room at the other people sitting there. None of us seemed to be prepared for that admission. It came out of the blue, it seemed. Tears were stinging my eyes and I had to swallow deeply a couple of times to hold them back. Something about the look on his face, the release of admission to something that he maybe had been holding on to for a while. He might have admitted it to himself, at one point, but maybe this was the first time he admitted it to others out loud. He continued sharing that he wanted to stop drinking but didn't know how. Now he realizes he needs to do something. He has three small children, all boys, he wants to be around as they grow up. Tears now flowed slightly from his eyes.
I wanted to reach out to him. Touch his shoulder and let him know that he could do it. Remind him of all he had to live for. Encourage him to get help. Offer prayer, anything to let him know he wasn't alone. Yet, I didn't. Like the others I just sat there and listened. It didn't seem the appropriate time to interrupt him. It didn't even seem the appropriate time for his confession.