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I stopped social drinking without losing friends

From the October 2001 issue of The Christian Science Journal

DURING MY SENIOR YEAR in college, I was confronted with some tough moral questions that led me to search for spiritual answers. I was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with myself and my social life at school. Although I wasn't a heavy drinker, I still felt compelled to drink socially. Vanity, fear, and selfishness seemed to be a part of my daily experience. I began to dread any kind of social activity, and was spending an increasing amount of time alone and feeling sorry for myself. I felt as if something inside of me was rebelling against this behavior, but I couldn't quite articulate what I was feeling.

I wanted to find an answer through prayer, so I took a drive to pray and think things over. I ended up stopping for lunch next to a huge sign that said, "Hold Your Own." It was just the message I needed to hear! At that moment, I knew that holding on to my spiritual identity was the most important thing I could do that year. Truth suddenly seemed straightforward, not dogmatic or confusing.

At first I thought that by making an effort to spiritualize my thinking and actions, I would become a boring person. I was so afraid of losing my individuality and my friends in the process. So I turned to a statement in Science and Health that describes spiritual identity this way: "This scientific sense of being, forsaking matter for Spirit, by no means suggests man's absorption into Deity and the loss of his identity, but confers upon man enlarged individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive love, a higher and more permanent peace" (p. 265).

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