Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 2/3/12

When people go into rehab or begin any 12 step group, one of the first things they hear is that relapse is part of recovery. There are millions of people just like Josh Hamilton. They are alcoholics and have to make a decision each and every day of their lifes whether or not they want to be sober. Some days are easier than others.  Some individuals won’t even have a fleeting thought cross their mind about having a drink. There are other days when some have to use everything at their disposal to keep themselves from picking up a bottle or going to the bar. However, there are sometimes that the obsession becomes so great, that the idea of staying sober is not as appealing as that one drink they believe that they gotta have. I’m not sure if Texas Rangers OF Josh Hamilton falls into that last category, as it is quite general, but at some point, according to reports, he lost his sobriety earlier this week.

We have all heard Hamilton’s story. There is no need to rehash it here. I’m not going to suggest or imply what led to Hamilton’s decision to pick up a drink. Only he knows why. Speculation is going to fly of what brought his demons out to play, and the media is going to want to make it as salacious and riveting as possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hamilton gives them what they want. He has been very public about his struggles and his faith, never shying away from discussing what he has been through.

The bare bones of it is that Hamilton is still an alcoholic. Just to be clear, even if he didn’t relapse, he is still an alcoholic. Naturally, people are going to keep asking why.   We don’t need to know why. He doesn’t need to tell us why.  People relapse.  There isn’t a need to relapse, but it in fact happens.

As a public figure who is open about his battle with alcohol and substance abuse, we will hear about his slip-ups. There will be people who criticize him, and make comments that he uses Jesus as a crutch, and that he is full of crap, and that he doesn’t take his sobriety seriously. These people should be ignored for their ignorance and incompetence. There is going to be unwavering support and people making excuses for him. We will hear people talk about the disease of alcoholism. I don’t prescribe to the disease model. I believe the choice always exists up until the second that the beer or whatever hits your lips. Step 3 in AA talks about making a decision, which means cognitive thought is involved. Bottom line is that Hamilton made a decision to drink at that moment, apparently, and not serve God like he has claimed that he wants to do. Hamilton made a choice, and now he needs to get right.  Maybe he hasn’t been drinking or doing whatever since then. We should hope that is the case. Not because he is a great baseball player, but because he is a husband,  a father, and just human-being like you and me. But he needs to make that choice each day and embrace the reality of his sobriety. He cannot continue to make the choice to be the reality of relapse.

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