Losing My Religion

Like much of my family life, the religion of my childhood was far from normal.

I was raised in a religion based on faith healing. It rejects medicine, doctors, hospitals; bans alcohol, tobacco and drugs; and encourages an unhealthy level of self-righteousness.

My parents divorced when I was eleven and I divorced myself from that religion, beginning a twenty-five year spiral into alcoholism: a life of half measures and wanderlust, unfulfilled careers and relationships. But I never stopped believing in God. Now, through my journey to the home of self, I discover spirituality.

And a new purpose: caretaking. My 81-year-old mother is challenged by Alzheimer’s. She’s lost her entire sense of time and space but remains rigidly devout. As her primary caregiver, in an ironic twist of fate, I learn to respect this religion and accept her as she is.