- Mental Health»
This Is A Very Intoxicating, Yet Useful Story For Wannabe Drinkers
I ONLY WANT ONE PERSON TO BE SAVED
There's an old tried and true adage that states, "No use beating a dead horse," and this one, "Spitting in the wind." I personally love both of these sage-like axioms very much. And at this point, I am doing both--'beating a dead horse' and 'spitting in the wind' with this story, that I hope that is very useful to JUST ONE PERSON.
This is not an anti-alcohol story. This is not a pro-alcohol story. There are extreme degrees in these two areas, but I am choosing to be a moderate--letting common sense overcast any negative connotations that might arise from this story about alcohol.
Alcohol has many names: Booze, Hooch, Rot Gut, Moonshine, Home brew, White Lightning and more that I choose to not clog up my storyline with their usage. Either name you want or all names together, alcohol can and will be deadly if not used in the appropriate manner. Alcohol is a drug. And can be addictive is used and abused on a regular basis. I should know. I have an addictive personality and I had my "time in the ring" with alcohol from 1979 throughout 1990 and I shall not forget the Sunday evening when I drank my last Natural Lite beer. That was the most-liberating day of my life. I know. I get it. No one likes a reformed alcoholic, so I will put my soapbox and Carrie Nation Temperance League banner away and continue with my story.
There is actually no solid, proven starting point for people who abuse and misuse alchol. Some begin at early ages while others experiment with alcohol during their teen years and depending on the individual, this alcoholic pattern continues throughout college and spills over into their adult lives. And all the while the problem drinker is oblivious to what the alcohol is doing to them.
May I share some facts with you now?
FACT: alcohol is never presented in a truthful package. Has it ever occurred to you while watching television, reading a paper, enjoying your favorite radio station or even looking at those massive billboards along the road that alcohol is always displayed as a way to be with good-looking people having a great time or the scene is two or three guys in three-piece suits at a local pub raising their glasses to celebrate a victory in court or the closing of a big deal. Alcohol is always, and I mean always, is packaged for young and old people to be the missing element in their lives that if they start with a few drinks, success will soon follow. This is legal propaganda dished out by J. Walter Thompson and other advertising giants on Fifth Avenue in New York.
FACT: alcohol companies such as Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Miller Beer, Budweiser and Busch beer, spend as high as $1 Billion dollars a year (or more) on advertising. You see these highly-popular names everywhere--newspaper ads, on the cars in the Spring Cup Series by NASCAR, on speedboats and on dragsters. But hey, let's negate the ads from Winston, Marlboro and other 'nasty' cigarette companies. Young people may want to try smoking, so we as civilized members atop the food chain, get the Federal Government to discontinue ads from tobacco companies and keep the booze companies happy. I would wager, and win, that the major alcohol companies have the best-paid lobbyists on Capitol Hill. Along side of the pharmaceutical firms.
FACT: every 10 seconds, someone is run down by a drunk driver in America or is killed in their own vehicles for doing the most-stupid act known to man, driving while intoxicated. Face it. Drinking in moderation, I have no problem with if the drinker has a designated driver or just stays home to get loaded, but most bravado-driven guys (not as much girls), love to show their pals how much they can drink and then drive. And these are not trailer trash guys necessarily, but sharp, intelligent, well-mannered high school and college kids. And some adults thrown in for a sad measure. I am really bothered by people who are out to get 'drunk' on purpose. And yes, I can be understanding as Will Rogers, as I know that everyone sins and 'goes off the wagon' sometimes in life. That's not the issue. Intentional drinking to prove something to someone else or themselves.
FACT: I admit it. It does look cool and suave for a young person (to their eyes) to take their first sip of beer or whiskey. Their friends are amazed at how grown-up they look. Sound familiar? This analogy was once used for kids who started out smoking behind the house to look grown-up and cool when their equally-cool, cigarette-smoking buddies would pick them up for a Saturday night romp in town--and sometimes this did include alcohol to make the night complete, but what isn't glamorous is when the young experimentalist drinker likes what alcohol tastes like and continues to sip and then swig his or her way to alcoholism. And another scene the giant alcohol companies do not want you to see is the numerous drinkers who pass out or have black-outs from excessive alcohol abuse. YOU WILL NEVER SEE A TRUTHFUL ALCOHOL ADVERTISEMENT ON ANY COMMERCIAL, CABLE, OR SATELLITE NETWORK. Why? Simple. It's all about economics. Money. Green backs. The major alcohol companies might lose a few bucks if they presented the truth about their products. And we cannot have that. No sir. Alcohol companies must thrive. Then why in the name of decency has the Federal Government not forced alcohol companies to put warning labels on their products? Ever wondered about that? Hey, before cigarette ads were totally banned, the tobacco companies had to print huge legible warnings on their cartons and packs of cigarettes. And what burns me up is the clowns who smoked round the clock, got cancer, and then sued the tobacco companies and WON! One person won a huge settlement because she couldn't read the warnings on her cigarette packs. Why don't the families who have lost a child to a drunken driver, sue the alchol company whose product was in the driver's veins? Huh? Fair is fair, Federal Government. Or as you too afraid that your senator or congressman might lose valuable support from his or her major campaign supporters: the alcohol companies.
I can tell you from personal experience, I started drinking because it was new to me. I was raised in a predominately Christian home, but as I grew older, my pathway of life took me to a newspaper job where all the employees drank. I was the only stick in the mud. I began to question myself. Have I missed something? I thought. Long story short, my first sip of beer clicked a switch in my brain and told me that 'this stuff is great' and I wanted more. I started buying a six-pack on weekends. That evolved into buying a case of beer for the weekend until it became two cases and then three. And all the while I was on my alcoholic roller coaster, I didn't once see the harm I was doing to my wife and young daughter. Alcohol is a strong, illusive mistress, young people who might be reading this.
My wife and daughter saw me drink so much on numerous weekends that I would find myself waking up in the floor the next morning while they had long since went to bed. My daughter does not drink to this day. Nor does my wife. I realize that I sound like a newbie at an AA meeting, but I don't care. I want this story to affect ONE PERSON who might be in the valley of decision on whether or not to start drinking. Let me say this to you. If you do want to drink, drink in moderation and drink in a safe environment. I was prone to getting loaded with my boozing buddies in bars that we didn't even know existed. And I always carried cash. I could have been killed and never knew it. You see what stupidity of the subject of alcohol can do for you? The more alcohol I drank, the better. I felt more of a man than when I was sober. I didn't realize that a true man is one who takes responsibility for his actions and accepts responsibility for his wife and children.
And the major alcohol companies are never in attendance or send cards of sympathy to the people who arekilled by alcohol abusers or even the alcohol abuser themselves. I think that the Federal Government, who regulates alcohol and its various complex regulations, should pass some token legislation to force alchol companies to step up and take responsibilty for the lives they are costing us each year. But throw in the powerful battries of corporate lawyers who are on permanent retainer by the alcohol companies and you get to a long, drawn-out courtroom drama where the slick corporate lawyers make the loss of an innocent person (at the hands of a drunk driver) look like it was the victim's fault, not the alcohol company. Alcohol companies are immune to law of the land and are so insulated by loopholes and alliances with the Federal Government, that I know that I am 'beating dead horse' and 'spitting in the wind' by writing this story.
So why write it? You ask? Simple.
I want JUST ONE PERSON to be affected, educated, and possibly kept out of the 'fast lane' that I helped to pave in my drinking days.
That's all I want.