Can you say denial? Its that one thought that so many stubbornly cling to when it comes to drinking. So here's a clue, if you go to a party and the first thing you do is grab a beer or wine cooler that you drink down so you can catch up to everyone else,odds are you got a problem. If you have to sneak a few in your squad car and then go plow into two empty cars ya might just have a drinking problem. If you know which bars have the best food because you spend your lunch chugging down a few frosty ones, you might just have a problem.
Culturally as Americans we seem to ignore it when someone is an alcoholic. At least until they hit bottom then its finger pointing all the way. “Oh did you hear about so and so what a shame.”
“I cant believe she put her family through that.” “His poor kids, they must be so messed up.”
Today it isn’t uncommon for a family to have at least one relation who abuses alcohol. For me it was an uncle who drank away his career and his life. It was watching a grown man try to hide his drinking from his family. The pity and disgust you feel when you realize they aren’t the person you thought they were. It's that silent heartbreak of realizing that person you idolized is a lie. That almost everything about them is a lie.
As a sixteen years old I couldn’t help but to feel both ashamed and embarrassed by the man my uncle had become. That such a brilliant musician and music teacher had thrown away his life and crawled inside a bottle. That this funny intelligent person I grew up adoring didn’t have the strength to just quit.
We are taught to look at an alcoholic as a person with a disease, and it is. What I am talking about is the road to that point. That person who lies to his or her family and swears up and down that they only party a little but put them in a social gathering with their peers and they can't remember what happened the night before. They often wind up sleeping with strangers, and hung over the next day. Yes if you're that person who goes to a party, and drinks until you get sick, pass out or can't remember how you got home. Ya might just have a problem.
Here's a little FYI, if you're the jerk that makes an ass out of yourself, socially when you drink. You're that person that people talk about behind your back, often saying, what a loser you are for not being able to hold your liquor.
If you're the man or woman with that person “You lucky dog you.” You get to hear the comments, and see just how pathetic your partner is. Oh yes thats who I want to grow old with.
Here’s the thing, if you're young and partying with your friends. If you're that guy or girl who honestly can't have just one, two, or even three drinks at a party and stop there you're headed in a bad direction. I say this with the complete memory of what it means to be young and stupid, once myself. The average person gets totally blitzed at least one to three times in their life, because throwing up in a toilet and then having to go to work is no fun. Its a lesson that many people do actually learn.
For the knuckleheads that don’t get that. You need a wake up call. You too could become that sad pathetic fiftysomething person who tells his or her kids that your booze is your medicine. Or you dont give up the keys until you do destroy yourself or someone else's life. No one wants to become an alcoholic. No one wants to admit they have a problem.
Your decision, is hurting the people in your life. You may pass the buck, blame your loved ones, or flat out deny it but it is on you. No one makes you pick up a drink just like no one makes a smoker smoke. Its a choice. The next time you go to a bar look for the old drunk sitting on a stool at the bar, you may laugh now but when it's your turn to sit there in his seat you’ll be the fool looking into a glass of sad memories of what you did choose to do with your life. The thing is you do get to go back and do it over again.You don't get to take back the hurt you have caused your kids, your family and friends.